The Backyard Homestead – Book Review

Anyone interested in farming, raising livestock, or growing their own food could learn something from the book The Backyard Homestead. Whether you have 1/4 acre of land or a vast expanse of space to work with, homesteading is possible almost anywhere. From tiny seedlings up through dairy cows, author Carleen Madigan gives advice and how-to information on a variety of everyday small-scale farming operations. Suburban gardeners and novice working farm owners alike can learn about the skills and resources needed for any size farm.

The Backyard Homestead

It’s a good book and very informative, especially for someone with no real knowledge about farm work. It covers the very basics like soil composition and planning out plots for growing crops as well as the best ways to keep farm animals from chickens through cows on a small patch of land. There’s plenty of information about homesteading on a small property (or even a balcony) but the advice can be sized up for much larger areas of land as well. It is an ideal beginner’s resource for getting crops, fruit trees, or livestock set up on your property.


The Backyard Homestead provides an overview of turning as little as 1/4 acre of land into a working patch of food-producing, functional farmland. But it is just that: an overview of setting up a homesteading space on your property. While it is sweet in tone and engagingly written, it’s much better at providing a broad, top-down view of what it takes to turn any amount of soil into something more productive than it is at giving really detailed instructions. Many readers may find themselves somewhere in Year One of their homesteading adventure and ask themselves, “Now what?”


So while readers should be prepared to supplement this book with other, more detailed sources of information about farming niches (chicken husbandry, processing meat, pruning plants), The Backyard Homestead is a great inspiration and resource for getting started. To be sure, a homesteading experiment starts with a general resources like this one and goes out in whatever direction the home farmer sees fit.


It’s tough to ignore the rising prices of food and many people want to do something about it. Enter the idea of homesteading to produce some vegetables, fruits, or eggs on even a small property. The Backyard Homestead is a great starting point for anyone looking to get their feet wet when it comes to growing food at home.


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