Cover image for Backyard homesteading : a back-to basics guide for self-sufficiency / David Toht.
Backyard homesteading : a back-to basics guide for self-sufficiency / David Toht.
Second revised edition.
Publication Information:
Mount Joy, PA : Creative Homeowner, [2018]

Physical Description:
311 pages : color illustrations, color maps ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Getting started -- Raising vegetables and herbs -- Growing fruits, berries, and nuts -- Raising chickens -- Raising goats -- Beekeeping -- Harvest home.
"Teaches readers how to raise and process their own homemade food and other goods, from vegetables, herbs, and fruit trees to eggs, goat milk, and soap. Includes tips for designing homesteads and building simple backyard projects"--Provided by publisher.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
631.584 TOH Book Adult General Collection

On Order



This award-winning book addresses the needs of people who want to take control of the food they eat and the products they use--even if they live in an urban or suburban house on a typical-size lot. It shows homeowners how to turn their yard into a sustainable and self-sufficient "homestead" for raising livestock and providing homegrown food including fruits, vegetables, honey, eggs, milk, and meat. Backyard Homesteading also provides practical instructions for preserving food, making beer and wine, making soap, and more. Well illustrated with new photographs and illustrations, this revised 2nd edition provides important new information on attracting pollinators, and an expanded section on raising chickens.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 8
Chapter 1 Getting Startedp. 14
Why Backyard Homesteading?p. 15
Municipal Regulationsp. 18
Making a Planp. 19
Planning for Plantsp. 25
Waterp. 28
Electricityp. 30
Permission to Buy Toolsp. 31
Small Shedp. 34
Large Shedp. 36
Chapter 2 Raising Vegetables and Herbsp. 38
Deciding What to Growp. 39
Timingp. 41
Preparing the Groundp. 43
Improving Your Soilp. 44
Testing Your Soilp. 47
Planting Your Vegetable Plotsp. 48
Hardness/Heat-Zone Mapsp. 52
Saving Seedp. 54
Preventing Weeds, Pests, Diseasesp. 55
Pest-Proofing Your Gardenp. 56
Vegetables, Plant by Plantp. 62
Gardening through the Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winterp. 78
Herbsp. 86
Common Herbs, Plant by Plantp. 88
Chapter 3 Growing Fruits, Berries, and Nutsp. 98
Fruit Treesp. 99
Planting Fruit Treesp. 103
Pruning Fruit Treesp. 104
Caring for Fruit Treesp. 110
Fruit Trees, Plant by Plantp. 114
Choosing Fruiting Shrubsp. 121
Pruning Fruiting Shrubsp. 123
Fruiting Shrubs, Plant by Plantp. 126
Choosing Grapesp. 129
Pruning and Training Grape Vinesp. 131
Grape Vines, Plant by Plantp. 137
Choosing Bramble Fruitp. 140
Bramble Fruits, Plant by Plantp. 144
Nut-Bearing Treesp. 148
Chapter 4 Raising Chickensp. 150
Changing Codesp. 151
Choosing a Breedp. 154
Structuresp. 156
Ideas for Coopsp. 160
More ideas for Coopsp. 162
Getting Startedp. 164
Feeding and Wateringp. 167
Winterizing a Coopp. 172
Chicken Healthp. 175
Gathering Eggsp. 178
Meal-Type Chickensp. 182
Ducks, Geesep. 184
Turkeys, Quailp. 186
Chapter 5 Raising Goatsp. 188
Are Goats Right for You?p. 189
Quarters for Goatsp. 190
Assessing the Breedsp. 194
Feed and Waterp. 198
Breeding and Birthingp. 200
Milkingp. 201
Maintenancep. 206
Other Livestockp. 208
Chapter 6 Beekeeping
Are Bees Right for You?p. 211
How Bees Make Honeyp. 212
Establishing a Hivep. 222
Working with Beesp. 227
Winterizing a Hivep. 228
Diseases and Parasitesp. 228
Chapter 7 Harvest Homep. 230
Canningp. 231
Preparing Pickled and Fermented Foodsp. 245
Preparing Butters, Jams, Jellies, and Marmaladesp. 247
Canning Meatp. 249
Making Sausagep. 252
Drying Fruits and Vegetablesp. 256
Packaging and Storing Dried Foodsp. 266
How to Dry and Store Herbsp. 267
Freezing Your Harvestp. 269
Smoking Fishp. 276
Smoking Meatp. 278
Brewing Beerp. 279
Making Winep. 280
Making Apple Ciderp. 282
Making your Own Soapp. 284
Root Cellarsp. 290
Resourcesp. 294
Glossaryp. 298
Indexp. 306
Creditsp. 310