Book review: The Backyard Homestead ed. by Carleen Madigan

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This is an excellent first or second book for someone interested in homesteading or mini-farming. It’s a Reader’s Digest-style compendium of selected chunks of dozens of Storey Publishing titles, so every chapter is written by an expert. It covers vegetable gardening, fruits and nuts, herbs, grains, poultry, meat, and wild foods.

The subtitle on the cover is “Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!” The introductory chapter gives a nice overview of preliminary considerations (Start here or move? What will the neighbors think? Are chickens legal here?) and suggests some mini-farm layouts for 1/10, 1/4, and 1/2 of an acre. While this may make the target audience seem to be urban or suburban homesteaders, the majority of the book can be applied to any size yard.

— Amanda

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