Thursday, December 13, 2012

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

I recently had the pleasure of reading Angela England's new book, and wanted to take the time to share my review and opinion here.  If you didn't get the chance to read her Homestead Highlight yesterday on the blog, pop over and read a little more about Angela's own backyard farming experiences.

If you haven't visited her site yet, pop over and check out her launch party and all the amazing giveaways going on through Dec 18th.

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.

1 comment:

  1. I just ordered a copy yesterday, can't wait to read it! There have been some really great books (and e-books :)) written lately, and although they cover similar topics the do it from different perspectives which can really provide valuable information not found in older books. I have added several new gardening books to my library over the past year which have not only become excellent resources for information but have also given me the inspiration to keep following my path!