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Here is the best of backyard building: Popular building authors Jeanie and David Stiles (whose tree house once garnered a spread in Architectural Digest) have gathered dozens of original plans for tree houses, playhouses and sheds, as well as a summer house, tea house, garden arbor and functional workroom.
Backyard Building covers backyard accessories, the fundamentals of tools and materials, and useful tips based on real-life questions from the couple’s popular website. The book’s unique style, with hand-drawn illustrations to guide the reader through the building process in an easy-to-follow fashion, stands out from the crowd. The clear, detailed drawings are not only useful but a pleasure to look at; they are supplemented by irresistible color photographs.
Author: Jeanie & David Stiles
A lighthearted A-to-Z encyclopedia of farm lore, Barnyard Confidential covers everything you need to know about living in the country, from courting to dealing with manure, root picking to rat catching, winter chores to tractor restoration, hay mows to outhouses … anything and everything related to farm life. Entries from well-known country authors like E. B. White, Gwen Petersen, Roger Welsch and Patricia Penton Leimbach range from funny definitions to full stories and are illustrated throughout with a charming mix of fun, nostalgic, black-and-white photos and illustrations. These stories are both humorous and practical and will remind you why you often have a love-hate relationship with rural living. Before you move to the country (or even if you already live there), learn all the secrets to success from Barnyard Confidential.
Featured authors include: Eric Sloane, Roger Welsch, Gwen Petersen, Ben Logan, Jim Heynen, Bob Artley, Marjorie Myers Douglas, Hamlin Garland, E. B. White, Jerry Stelmok, Louis Bromfield, Bob Becker, William Hazlett Upson, Patricia Penton Leimbach, Jerry L. Twedt, Michael Perry, Willa Cather, Jerry Apps, Josh Billings, Michael Dregni, Jared Van Wagenen Jr., Hugh Orchard, Dorothy Canfield, Virginia Bell Dabney, Tom Anderson, Ronald Jager, Margret Aldrich, Bill Vossler, and Gordon Green.
Author: Melinda Keefe
This is a practical and engaging guide to transforming an ordinary backyard into a productive farm.
Homesteading is experiencing a revival among both rural and urban residents who want to get back to basics and live closer to the land. With this book, homeowners will obtain both inspiration and instruction for transforming their grassy yard into a lush farm that can produce all the food they need.
The author is an experienced woodworker and homesteader who shows how to plan and design a backyard farm. He offers expert advice for making all of the essential hard-working structures that are needed to sustain small-scale agriculture.
Step-by-step instructions are provided for 10 projects including green houses, beehives, rabbit hutches, raised beds, potting sheds, trellises, fences, and more. Readers learn how to create an irrigation system, harvest rainwater, and keep their farms environmentally sound. Each detailed plan is accompanied by the author's clear, instructive drawings.
More than just a manual, the book also offers entertaining and enlightening interviews with both experts and “average Joe” farmers. We learn what motivates them to become backyard farmers, the lessons that they have to share, and maybe even a couple of funny stories along the way.
Author: Chris Gleason
In an organic garden, plants in optimum health thrive abundantly, produce harvests with amazing taste, and possess the ability to fight off plant predators. When they don't, there's often something lacking in their proper nutrition. Maybe they are missing beneficial microorganism companions, or perhaps they are short of the energy needed to reach their full nutrient-dense potential. The solution is to "start with the soil," but healthy soil doesn't happen just by composting, fertilizing or companion planting alone. The solution can be found in Building Soils Naturally, which gives gardeners a hands-on plan for creating productive, living soil by using a practical, holistic approach - crafted right in your garden.
Author: Phil Nauta
Chicken coops come in all sizes and styles to meet the needs of every chicken family. Start a great DIY project, and build a chicken coop with these how-to drawings and conceptual plans for 45 different designs — from strictly practical to flights of fancy — guaranteed to meet the needs of every chicken owner. A 16-page color section shows detailed photos of many of the featured coops.
Author: Judy Pangman
Expert flower grower Lisa Mason Zeigler introduces us to the long-blooming stars of the spring garden, the hardy annuals – those flowers that thrive when they are planted during cool conditions (instead of waiting until the warmth of spring). Forget “Some Like It Hot,” she advises, and give them a cool start. Plant them in the right spot at the right time, nestle their roots deep into rich organic soil, and stand back. In no time at all, you’ll have a low-maintenance, vibrant spring flower garden that keeps on blooming when other annuals are dead and gone.
Author: Lisa Ziegler
This 476-page book is a compendium of treasured knowledge from hundreds of small booklets published as "Country Wisdom Bulletins" in the 1970s. Whether you want to build a stone fence, make strawberry-rhubarb jam or plant an herb garden, this book will show you how.
Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, Mother Earth News is recommending books and products to readers. For 40 years, Mother Earth News has been North America’s “Original Guide to Living Wisely,” creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.
Author: ed. Storey Books
Reminiscent in both spirit and design of the beloved Whole Earth Catalog, Country Wisdom & Know-How is an unprecedented collection of information on nearly 200 individual topics of country and self-sustainable living.
Compiled from the information in Storey Publishing's landmark series of "Country Wisdom Bulletins," this book is the most thorough and reliable volume of its kind.
Organized by general topic (including animals, cooking, crafts, gardening, home, and health and well-being), it is further broken down to cover dozens of specifics (from "Building Chicken Coops" to "Making Cheese, Butter, and Yogurt" to "Improving Your Soil" to "Restoring Hardwood Floors"). Nearly 1,000 black-and-white illustrations and photographs run throughout, and fascinating projects and trusted advice crowd every page.
Author: Editors of Storey Books
Author: Jay Shafer
From Erin Benzakein, owner of internationally renowned Floret Flower Farm and a leader in the locaflor farm-to-centerpiece movement, Floret Farm's Cut Flower Garden is equal parts instruction and inspiration: a book overflowing with lush photography of magnificent flowers and breathtaking arrangements organized by season. This beautiful guide to growing, harvesting, and arranging gorgeous blooms year-round gives readers vital tools to nurture a stunning flower garden and use their blossoms to create showstopping arrangements. With irresistible photos of Benzakein's flower farm that showcase exquisite blooms, tips for growing in a variety of spaces and climates as well as step-by-step instructions for lavish garlands, airy centerpieces, and romantic floral décor for every season, Floret Farm's Cut Flower Garden informs and entices gardeners of all skill levels.
Author: E. Benzakein & J. Chai
Garden Projects gives you a range of plans for useful and ornamental additions to your garden. Each project is fully explained, with detailed step-by-step descriptions and illustrations to guide you through.
Garden Projects suit your needs and abilities, from practical and simple raised garden beds to more ambitious things, like a toolshed. There are more whimsical structures too: a flagpole, a garden swing, and an ornamental wheelbarrow for flower arrangements. Author Roger Marshall has carefully designed projects that don’t require a vast array of tools or advanced woodworking skills. Every gardener will find ideas and plans to enhance his or her garden in this helpful book. Marshall applies his know-how and skillful delivery to a wide range of building projects that might take a weekend afternoon or provide a way to pass the time constructively on those dark winter days when you can’t wait to get back out into the garden.
Author: Roger Marshall
Keep your lawn and garden lush without wasting resources by capturing and recycling the greywater that drains from your sink, shower, and washing machine. This accessible and detailed guide walks you through each step of planning for and installing a variety of greywater systems, including laundry-to-landscape and branched drain gravity-fed systems. After identifying greywater sources in your home and estimating flow rate, you’ll learn to pinpoint where to redirect the wastewater for the greatest benefit. No matter which system you decide to build, you'll have the information to construct it yourself or move forward with confidence to hire a professional.
Author: LAURA ALLEN