The Backyard Homestead: How to Make the Pages a Reality


| 1/28/2010 2:47:23 PM


A photo of Drew OdomSeveral months ago my wife, Pan, and I were at the bookstore wasting away a rainy Saturday afternoon. I have to admit it was a little oxymoronic to be sipping my chai tea latte whilst I perused the self-sufficiency and homesteading books. But I digress.

After picking up a few of those titles that have great book jackets and catchy subtitles but little substance I came across a book by Carleen Madigan called The Backyard Homestead. With its etsy-esque cover and obvious homages to the neo-homesteading venture it captured my attention rather quickly.

The Backyard Homstead coverAfter reading just a bit I found that the author, Carleen Madigan, was born into a self-sufficiency oriented family and the had the opportunity to grow up eating homegrown foods. She continues to live this way and now brings a comfortable even keeled passion to the subject matter.

I found myself mesmerized by even just the first chapter with its simple quarter acre plot sketches and landscaping ideas. It is a huge source of information and while it is fairly dense on content it is an easy enough read with a lot of illustrations, charts and graphs. It is most certainly a resource that every homesteader, hobby farmer and aspiring one should have in their personal library. I am proud to say that now – some 3 months later – I have my own copy compliments of Santa Claus.

The main premise of the book is that you can produce all the food you need on 1/4 acre (dependent, of course, on your zone and your personal diet). The back cover boasts that on a 1/4 acre you can yield:



1,400 eggs
50 pounds of wheat
60 pounds of fruit
2,000 pounds of veggies
280 pounds of pork
and 75 pounds of nuts

anotherkindofdrew
2/2/2010 11:37:16 AM

@Mountain Woman - It is amazing sometimes just how much a good harvest can give us. I think it is great that you will be donating some of your bounty. What an inspiring idea, to be honest. Thank you for taking a look at this blog and my daily blog. Be sure to visit often!


Mountain Woman
2/2/2010 9:44:08 AM

Hi Drew, I enjoyed your post. Last year was my first attempt at growing vegetables and my husband, who is the expert gardener, told me just how much could be grown in a small area and it would be way more than our needs. Our farm is organic so I experimented with making my own manure tea. Hard to believe my horse provided my fertilizer. I made mistakes along the way but I had so much fun and like you I only grew what we enjoyed. The joy of eating food I produced cannot be described and I became hooked. This year, I'm expanding our garden and then giving the food to a local food bank. Your post was really helpful and I'm off to find the book. I also visited your main blog today and enjoyed my time there. Mountain Woman of Red Pine Mountain


Mountain Woman
2/2/2010 9:42:16 AM

Hi Drew, I enjoyed your post. Last year was my first attempt at growing vegetables and my husband, who is the expert gardener, told me just how much could be grown in a small area and it would be way more than our needs. Our farm is organic so I experimented with making my own manure tea. Hard to believe my horse provided my fertilizer. I made mistakes along the way but I had so much fun and like you I only grew what we enjoyed. The joy of eating food I produced cannot be described and I became hooked. This year, I'm expanding our garden and then giving the food to a local food bank. Your post was really helpful and I'm off to find the book. I also visited your main blog today and enjoyed my time there. Mountain Woman of Red Pine Mountain






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