Review of The Backyard Homestead
As of this writing, there are 550 customer comments and 0 answered questions for the Backyard Homestead: Produce All the Food You Need on Just a Quarter Acre. I've read the customer feedback, and then condensed the results into this review. I hope this helps you when shopping for a gardening book.
The Backyard Homestead is a guide to knowing how to grow and preserve a harvest of grains and vegetables, raise animals for meat, eggs, and dairy, and how to keep honey bees. This book has step-by-step instructions, and teaches you about canning, drying, and pickling. You can buy this book on Kindle or on paperback. This book was edited by Carleen Madigan, and published by Storey Publishing, also called Storey books. You can also get the Backyard Homestead PDF free download.
The Backyard Homestead has inspired a lot of the people who left comments about wanting to homestead. Here is one of the many comments, "Much of this time was spent fantasizing about one day having a 1/10th or 1/4th acre homestead. During that time, the book was eye-opening as to what is possible with that little space. Having soaked up these ideas about raised beds, chickens, dwarf fruit trees, and so on for so long, when I finally got a house recently, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it, which alone is probably worth the price of the book."
Covers A Lot of Information
This book does not go into a lot of depth on subjects but it does cover a lot of information. A customer explains, "I can't begin to describe how awesome this book is. It literally covers everything. Mind you it doesn't go in-depth on a lot of the subjects, it just covers the "need to know to get started." But everything is in here: what to rotate in regarding crops, when to plant, how to raise livestock, cheesemaking, beer making, wine making, canning, making maple syrup, garden layouts, and herb suggestions etc. It is amazing! For those of you who have always dreamed of having a farmette...well you will love this book. Makes backyard homesteading seem feasible! My fiance is already rolling his eyes at me LOL! P.S. The gardening section does go pretty in depth where the rest of the subjects are the beginners sort."
Mixed Reviews on the Pictures
There were mixed reviews on the pictures that are in the book. Some people thought that the pictures were very detailed and instructional. But others wished there were more pictures in the book, and thought that colored pictures would be better than the drawings and diagrams. Here is a comment from a customer who enjoyed the pictures: "There are very detailed pictures and diagrams, and even plans on how to make your own chicken coop. It covers what plants are the easiest and most productive, and gives a good primer on crop rotation. This is definitely going to be useful!" Here is another comment from a different customer who thought more pictures should be added: "Just the right book to buy if you're one of the those (like me) who dream of having a small sustainable homestead. If you're a visual person, you might wish for a little more pictures."
Good Price for What You Get
A lot of customers were very pleased with the price of this book. One customer had this to say, "This book, for the price and size of it is quite detailed and gives a lot of information about how to choose what you do and do not want to deal with raising on your own. It gives good basic information, enough for someone to make some choices with, especially if they don't have a lot of room to try to grow or raise everything on. Great reference guide, it has helped us out quite a bit with planning and knowing what we want to do with our land, in hope of becoming self sustaining."
Not as Many Pictures on Kindle
If you purchase this book on Kindle, be aware that some pictures may not come through. Although some customers did not mention any problems on Kindle, a couple customers who bought both the Kindle version and paperback version noted that there weren't as many pictures on Kindle. Here, one customer explains about this difference: "I saw this book in a bookstore and then went home and purchased it on my Kindle. Don't! The book is full of illustrations and tables that do not come thru on your kindle..I tried to read it on my iphone as well and was just as unsuccessful. It is just one of those books you need to read in print."
Something for Everybody
Both beginners and experts have found this book helpful. Whether you're new to homesteading, or have been doing it for years, customers have commented how there is something for everybody in this book. One satisfied customer had this to say, "There really is something for everybody here who wants to have a hand in growing or raising some of the food that they eat. This easy-to-follow book outlines ways to turn a quarter acre of space into a mini-farm, producing 1,400 eggs, 50 pounds of wheat, 60 pounds of fruit, 2,000 pounds of vegetables, 280 pounds of pork and 75 pounds of nuts. You won't feel pressured by this author to turn into Farmer Jones. Start with something easy and move on from there."
Easy to Read
Some books are difficult to read and are hard to understand. Fortunately, this book isn't one of those. Many customers found this book to be easily read, and some read through the book a couple of times. Here is what one customer had to say, " Love this simple, easy to read, easy to get in to, no frills book on homesteading. Sure there could be more info in it but it covers a wide variety of things. To cover everything would mean it would have to be a few more (like lots more) pages but the author keeps it simple. Bought this for a few friends and they love it too. Great addition to my library."
Great for Gifts
A lot of people who enjoyed this book bought more to give out as gifts. Because there is something for everybody in this book, anyone who enjoys homesteading will enjoy this book. One customer had this to say, "This book is awesome. It takes you from a quarter acre to an acre or more of land for your homestead. great layout, easy to follow. I am buying more for gifts."
Has Many Recipes
Besides its instructions, the Backyard Homestead: Produce All the Food You Need on Just a Quarter Acre contains many recipes. Some customers found these recipes helpful, while others wished that this had more information on homesteading rather than recipes. Although the recipes received some negative feedback, most customers were pleased that this book taught you how to cook the food that you grew. Here is a positive comment on the recipes found in this book: "This book is clearly and interestingly written. Also contained in this book are good ideas for canning and freezing as well as other great sounding ideas and recipes."
The Backyard Homestead Conclusion
The Backyard Homestead: Produce All the Food You Need on Just a Quarter Acre is a great book to help your get started with Homesteading. It also would make a nice gift for just about anyone who is interested in living off of the land. It is an easy reading book that doesn't use hard to understand vocabulary. If you order the Kindle version be aware that some customers had a hard time opening all of the photos. In a nutshell, for what you get for the price is great. This is a popular book with good reviews.
Here are some top questions that I found for people considering buying The Backyard Homestead.
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