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Carleen Madigan is a keen gardener and was previously managing editor at Horticulture magazine. She learned many of the skills described in the book while living on an organic farm, and was inspired to write the book by reading a classic series of booklets on self-sufficiency published more than two decades ago. Recognizing the real and current value of these traditional skills, she has tested them and adapted them for a new generation of productive gardeners.
There’s a lovely sense of enthusiasm about this guide, it’s ambitious but not unrealistic and it’s good on follow-through with plenty of advice on what to do with your crops. The charts and tables are an excellent aid as are the details on yield – not always easy to find. There’s a lot packed into these 350 pages providing a good read and an invaluable reference for the more ambitious grower.Like for Like ReadingHow to Store Your Garden Produce: The Key to Self-Sufficiency, Piers WarrenAnimal, Vegetable, Miracle: Our Year of Seasonal Eating, Barbara Kingsolver
Home-produced food almost always begins in the vegetable garden. So, too, begins The Backyard Homestead . Planning charts and a thorough vegetable-by-vegetable growing guide are accompanied by simple techniques for canning, drying, and freezing the garden's bounty. The plant section continues with the hows, whens, and wheres of growing fruits, herbs, and nuts. Hardworking food growers will be delighted to reward themselves with healthful herbal teas and homemade wines and cordials. Recipes and simple techniques are included for the beginning home wine maker. Part two moves from plant to animal products, beginning with an overview of chicken keeping. Readers will find charts, lists, and helpful tips for collecting, storing, and using eggs, along with advice on butchering chickens and cooking the meat. Additional chapters focus on raising larger animals, such as cows, sheep, and goats, either for their meat or for their milk. Milk producers will find plenty of information on making simple yogurt, butter, and ice cream, as well as all the basics on getting started with cheese making. Additional information on rabbits and pigs rounds out the meat-raising sections. An overview of foraging and detailed information on installing and caring for honeybees wrap up The Backyard Homestead . Storey's trusted advice on gardening, cooking, brewing, cheese making, and raising animals proves once and for all that it truly is possible to eat entirely from the backyard.