Book Review: Backyard Farming on an Acre (more or less)


Angela England’s book Backyard Farming on an Acre (moreor less) is as inspiring as it is informative.  Not only does the book describe in detail how to plan your homestead, grow your own food, raise animals, prepare food, and craft using the materials from your backyard, but it does so in a simple, engaging and friendly manner.  Throughout the book, Angela England walks you through the skills of backyard farming with honesty and knowledge. While the book claims to focus on backyard farming on roughly an acre, the book provides valuable information for a range of situations: from people living on small plot in the city to people with many acres in the country.

With a growing number of homesteading books available, I was pleased to read a book that covered the information in detail without over complicating the simple procedures.  The skills of the backyard farmer have been practiced for years - well before the use of sophisticated kitchen utensils and high tech tools, and were presented in the book without intimidation.  I specifically enjoyed the simple approach in the section on beekeeping.  As a beekeeper, I still find much of the literature daunting and appreciated the uncomplicated description of maintaining a beehive.

While many books sufficiently cover growing vegetables and raising animals, I enjoyed the down to earth discussion of food preparation and crafting.  I would have enjoyed a section on using grains in the kitchen, but benefited from the section on storing food in a root cellar or basement.  Her simple description of making infusions, decoctions and tinctures has already inspired me to plan some of my own projects for the coming year. 

Part 5 of the book covered crafting in the backyard farm and included many of the skills often overlooked in homesteading books.  There are so many additional ways to engage in backyard farming besides gardening and keeping animals and the book discussed everything from making dairy products, to brewing cider.  Since we raise Pygora goats (similar to Angoras) I greatly appreciated the discussion on using fiber.   

This book will continue to be a resource in my home for many years to come.

I did receive a copy of this book to review; however the opinion expressed above is honestly and truly my own.

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12/18/2012 2:15:42 PM

Gretchen, I love homesteading books. Even though they cover much of the same things in each one there's still that one thing that always explains something just a little better or has a little better way to do something. It's my favorite reading. I find it difficult to have the time to read an entire book so magazine articles are my type of reading. That's not to say that I nibble away at books of interest. It just takes several weeks to read an entire book. I'd rather being doing what's in the book than reading about it. My favorite all time series of homestead books are the "Foxfire" books. The set of 12 cover everything you wanted to know about homestead living and more. Have a great holiday season.

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