In the information-rich tradition of Storey's Basic Country Skills, here is a reliable compendium of advice on how to feed our families using plants and animals raised at home. From growing fruits and vegetables to churning butter and raising chickens, The Backyard Homestead has all the how-to that enterprising homeowners need to make a wide array of food items.
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 winemaker. For the truly dedicated, a chapter on grains offers an overview of growing wheat and corn, along with drying, storing, and milling solutions. Whole grains (homegrown or purchased) can be used to learn the craft of home brewing, while milled flours are put to delicious use in pastas and breads.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. 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.