Full Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. As a reader, I am very open about my opinion of the books I read. As a writer, I fully appreciate open and honest reviews. In this review, I offer no less than complete honesty on my thoughts and opinions.
All of the images any any quotes are used and reprinted with permission from Rockridge Press and The Beginner’s Guide to Backyard Homesteading.
In addition: This post contains affiliate links; if you click on a link and make a purchase I might make a small commission, but it does not affect the price you pay!
Asking the Right Questions
Lisa’s book, The Beginner’s Guide to Backyard Homesteading, begins with questions. Not just any questions, but valid ones that require you to think about why you dream of homesteading. These are also important questions you need to answer in order to better understand the extent of your ability to homestead.
She states, “Your responses will shape your homestead plans and projects.” And she is right. Homesteading isn’t as easy as it sounds. It takes hard work and dedication, with considerable attention to detail to make it work.
But this lifestyle is more than worth the effort it takes. And The Beginner’s Guide to Backyard Homesteading will not only take you through every step of the way, but helps you to be more and more successful as you progress.
Once you are able to honestly answer the questions and are ready to move forward with your plans, she breaks down what you can do with different size properties, your budget and your time.
And this covers only the Introduction. Just imagine what other nuggets of pure gold you will find throughout the rest of the book!
Review Beyond the Introduction
If the introduction is the supply list, each subsequent chapter works to assemble those supplies into a working homestead. Chapter One helps you to build a foundation – from mapping out your homestead on paper and learning more about your soil, to maximizing your space and planning for diversity.
The following chapters allows you to seamlessly move from one concept to the next, with detailed information on each subject. These are the chapters you will find:
- One – Basic Steps for Preparing your Homestead
- Two – How to Manage Your Homestead
- Three – Vegetable and Herb Gardens
- Four – Fruits and Nuts
- Five – Grains and Livestock Feed
- Six – Raising Poultry
- Seven – Raising Dairy and Meat Animals
- Eight – Beekeeping for Beginners
- Nine – Growing Beyond the First Season
A Review by Chapter
Each chapter has in depth information on the subject at hand. They are filled with notes, charts, checklists, and more.
In raising poultry, she gives a full cost breakdown on how much you will spend raising chickens from day-old chicks to 22 weeks and ready to lay. If you want to raise meat birds, she also breaks down those costs.
For a beginning beekeeper, Chapter Eight has a Feasibility Research section and information on expected yield, estimated time and cost, seasonal chores and a bee-friendly plant list.
You can also find information on the types of hives available, as well as the pros and cons of the bee species.
If you are interested in growing food, and then canning and preserving your harvest, Lisa takes you from preparing the soil to safe canning practices.
The best part is that it doesn’t stop there. She also has information on selling your home grown items, including legal considerations and market assessments.
The Icing on the Review Cake
The icing on the cake are the recipes. For every section in the book, she has a recipe or two on how to use them. Most are easy to make, and all of them sound delicious!
As a homesteader and small farmer, I have a collection of books on a myriad of subjects relating to everything I need to know on having the most productive homestead possible.
In The Beginner’s Guide to Backyard Homesteading, Lisa answers questions and provides better detailed information than any I have read.
My Favorite Part
My favorite part of the book? I understand the title is ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Backyard Homesteading’, with the key word being ‘beginner’. However, this book is invaluable for homesteaders and small farmers regardless of how many years you have under your boots.
It is the perfect book for any home library, whether dreaming of homesteading or a 25 year veteran. I highly recommend The Beginner’s Guide to Backyard Homesteading, and plan on keeping it close for quick and easy reference.
Thank you, Lisa, for providing homesteaders and small farmers everywhere the information we need to have a better, more productive homesteading lifestyle.