The Backyard Homestead

@ Inu Baka-I took the Shibas for an outing to Del’s today, my local feed and seed, which has been my chicken supply depot. I bought a really neat book, The Backyard Homestead:

Apparently all you need is a 1/4 acre, which could produce, if in the right climate and with the correct care: 

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

The book has lots of neato layouts and dimensions needed to help give us visual learners a better idea of what to build and where. There is also schematics for those on 1/10th of an acre, which is probably nearer the size available for most of those who live in a larger city. I have hope that on 1 acre, I can at least put up some raised beds and raise a pig or two, or have a couple small dairy goats. Heck, that is more than sufficient space to raise a calf or lambs for meat as well depending on grazing. The dogs would still have enough open running spaces if I lay the beds and paddocks out cleverly. Oh, and my new favorite term now is “Rural Homesteader”.

5 thoughts on “The Backyard Homestead

  1. Wow, cool book! Makes me wonder what's waiting to be discovered up the road at the feed store.I'm slowly getting out of overwhelmed mode…checking things off and planning with the help of beginner aids. This blog http://www.farmgirlfare.com/ is written by a woman who has been homesteading for 14 years and says she still learns something new everyday. She's got funny farm stories, too, but no schematics! Adding Backyard Homestead to my must have list.I think any of the livestock you mentioned would fit right in with your lovely dogs and chickens. Cheers to you in utilizing your piece of the earth!

  2. great find!! I'm buying that today, definitely. Our moving plans, well, since its family property it is not without drama. Moving may take a bit longer, but if we did get that property we'd have 1 acre of flat land, 1/4 acre of raised wooded land and the rest of cut off by a creek. Totally workable, I'd rather have a "rural homestead" than a huge empty dog run!Thanks for posting the book!!!

  3. @ Liz, that's a cool blog. The feed store has always been a favorite destination for me since I was a child. I'm sure you will soon be enjoying it too (and the hardware store) once you get some big projects for your place checked off your list.I bought this place about a year ago, and at 6 months post purchase, I was still unpacking boxes and sorting things. There were so many "urgent" chores on the list to make the place safe for the dogs and more private, that took up all my time, but it went fast, and some days it was very overwhelming. Those were/are days that I grab some inus and a Grym and crawl under my covers and hold my calls :)@ Jen, that is a lot of land! Flat too? That's gold right there. I would much rather see rows of raised beds brimming with veggies than a barren dog yard. I'm really getting interested in heritage breeds of livestock (heirloom, traditional breeds). They have fallen out of favor due to modern agriculture practices and factory farms demand for livestock to conform to crowded conditions, more market friendly timelines and standards. I think heritage breeds are healthier, do better on range in small pastures, and as they are in need of preservation, the livestock heritage breeds that are dual purpose will work well for small farms/setups like mine given my goals (organic, free range, easy to keep, and I like rare breeds). Size of the animal will be really important to me too. Olde English Babydoll Southdown Sheep, Berkshire hogs, Dexter cattle, and Nigerian dwarf goats are at the top of my list. Also, they are all flipping cute as heck.

  4. I agree about the dog run. Seems like dogs see all obstacles as opportunities to make play more interesting- now ya see me, now ya don't! That's how Nala rolls, at least.I also have to credit Farmgirl with two more years homesteading than I mentioned this morning… in her FAQ she writes "over 14 years" and clarifies this as 16 years later.Mornings make me happy and chatty, but not so much precise, I guess. Apologies.I'm so going to the feed store tomorrow for fun! Thanks for all the ideas.

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