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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Giveaway

Read through the article to see how to win a book.

In past articles we have discussed some of the things that we can do in the winter when the snow covers our nurturing soil and we have less to do in our yards.

Plan: Make goals and plan what you want to do next year in your yard. Every good backyard farm begins with an idea. This is the time when you can dream big and make your plans as grandiose as possible.

Cook: Since you have less time that you have to dedicate to yard work, use this time to practice and try out recipes. It is also a good time to find recipes that you will be able to use when your garden provides it's bounty.

Read: In my opinion, this is the best time of the year to educate yourself on whatever it is you want to focus on in your yard. I am currently reading beekeeping for dummies. There are myriads of books that you can read about gardening, beekeeping, raising your own flock of birds, and canning and storing produce.

In this light we are doing another giveaway on backyard farming. Let's create our own list of our favorite backyard farm books that we use to learn and increase our backyard farming prowess. Leave a comment of your favorite book that has helped you learn and grow as a farmer and we will compile the list as the backyard farming recommended book list. We will then randomly choose one person from the list of suggestions and send this book to you.


We will announce the winner on Christmas.

31 comments:

Amy Olson said...

Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew...this it the book that started it all for me when I only had a small apartment patio to work with. Excellent!

Tami said...

The Backyard Homestead edited by Carleen Madigan. While I'm sure there are more in depth reads this one really gave me (someone sitting on .22 acres) the true umpth that there really is so much more I can do on my little plot of land. Since reading it, I have begun my urban orchard, planted thornless blackberries and raspberries, added 6 layers and have big plans on expanding the "orchard", garden areas and hopefully adding bees.

bandwidow said...

Keep Chickens! Tending Small Flocks in Cities, Suburbs, and Other Small Spaces by Barbara Kilarski. This isn't even close to in depth as the wonderful Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens, Care, Feeding, Facilities by Gail Damerow but it was exactly what I needed to get my backyard flock going.

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

What a great idea for a give-away... to compile a list of books we all read! Excellent! I'm looking forward to hearing what others have read and enjoyed. My favorites are mostly Storey Publishing books such as Storey's Guide to Raising Goats, The Complete Compost Gardening Guide, and The Vegetable Gardener's Bible. Other than Storey... I'm enjoying Eliot Coleman's Four Season Harvest. I've heard his book The Winter Harvest Handbook is good, too.

Hmmm... can you tell I like to read?
Merry Christmas to you all at BackyardFarming!

Susan said...

I've been doing the backyard homesteading thing for years. My favorite book is an old one, "Country Women," by Jeanne Tetrault and Sherry Thomas. While some of the information is good from a practical standpoint, the real value of the books is to empower women to try the homesteading journey without male help. Those of us without husbands, or with husbands who aren't in to the whole homesteading movement, can get real inspiration from this book.

anthropsychopathy said...

I've only got a small collection of backyard farming books, but so far the one that's teaching me the most is Crops in Pots by Bob Purnell. It's got some neat ideas and creative suggestions for apartment patio gardeners such as myself.

By the way, I just want to add that I tried butternut squash for the first time last week using your butternut squash soup recipe...it was delicious! Added it to the recipe box! :)

Karen said...

I really like The All New Square Foot Gardening COOKBOOK: Bringing the Harvest to the Table by Mel Bartholomew. It is much more information in it than just a cookbook. It suggests what plants to plant together, when to harvest, what parts to use, etc.

I don't know if this will show who this is so I'll tell you. This is Marisa's favorite college room mate...what? no...it's Karen. But thanks.

:)

angela said...

Backyard Homestead is definitely a great resource and I check it out from the library often...I should probably just buy it. A book I do own and absolutely love is called Made From Scratch:Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life by Jenna Woginrich. It covers everything from gardening, to chickens, to bees, to angora rabbits. Oh, it is such a wonderful book.

Sarah said...

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Kingsolver got me interested in the aspect of "farming". It's a gateway drug book. ;-D

Michaela Dunn Leeper said...

I have lots of homesteading type books, but one of my faves is Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living. I also love John Seymour's books (The Self Sufficient Life & How to Live It), Backyard Homesteading, the Foxfire books, Storey's books. I could go on & on. I love reading these types of books!

Thanks for this opportunity! Merry Christmas to you all!

Rural Revival said...

Good advice for spending time during the winter. It took me a winter spent in the country, unprepared for the idleness and naive to summer's busyness to learn how to plan my winter weekends. My fave is Storey's The Backyard Homestead.

~Andrea~

Kyle said...

Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan. Though not quite a gardening book, this one really changed the way that I think about my relationship with my garden.

David said...

I have traveled through many eras of gardening. I started with my mothers's way of row crop planting with lots of weed pulling, hoeing, and watering. I progressed through that to row crop with mulching, then on to double dug beds with mulching and composting. Some time about two decades ago I stumbled across a young lady who was had just ended life a few years before named Ruth Stout. She claimed you didn't have to work hard at gardening but just pile up the mulch very deep and plant. Lasagna gardening and layer gardening all stems from Ruth's methods. Some would say that her garden looked like piles of weeds in the backyard but the produce she grew in those mulch piles would rival any modern day method. My style is a little modified and has a little more work involved but I never lost the pile it high mulch method.

The two books that influenced me the most are called "How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back and Gardening Without Work."

Have a great garden planning day.

daisy said...

The Have-More Plan by Ed and Carolyn Robinson was one of the first books I read after I diagnosed myself with "barnheart" a la Jenna at Cold Antler Farm. It's got great planning ideas, frugal advice and drives home the point that whatever you choose to do can be done. That's inspiring, man!

jacki said...

Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew is my favorite backyard farming book!

Christy said...

hands down for me = Mel's Square Foot Gardening. We had a large garden area but didn't like the typical plow it all up, plant a ton of stuff, tend a weed patch all summer kind of garden we'd seen around us. We're neat freaks & way too OCD for a brambly mess. Definitely reccomend Square Foot Gardening for the beginner OR experienced gardener!!!!!

Michelle said...

I have two books, the first being Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew and Country Wisdom and Know How. They are both packed with so much good information. Thank you for blessing us with a giveaway.
Blessings,
Michelle

MAYBELLINE said...

Sunset is my garden bible.
Carrots Love Tomatoes is great too.

AFarCryFromNormal said...

I love the Vegetable Gardner's Bible and this cookbook for all your in season cooking:Simply in Season Expanded Edition (World Community Cookbook) by Cathleen Hockman-Wert and Mary Beth Lind

We moved this year to Utah from Illinois where we had a large garden. We are renting right now. The landlord agreed to a garden and I plan on doing container gardens too. I love planning all winter what my garden will be and what I can do to move towards my goal of living a more sustainable life!

Dani said...

My gardening bible is "The New Self-Sufficient Gardener" by John Seymour.

His book, although written for Great Britain, is written in such a way that is applies to South Africa as well - in fact it would apply to anywhere in the world.

His detail on growing is so complete and he even goes into how to preserve your excess harvest, the life expectancy of harvested seeds and the care of your tools.

He gives so much more information than other gardening books - absolutely brilliant!

I'd be lost without it, and my family would probably be a little hungry... :-)

Andrea @ That'll Do Farm said...

Without a doubt, Eliot Coleman's books: New Organic Grower, Four Season Harvest, and Winter Harvest Handbook. Another book that reads more like a novel than a "how-to" book, but is quite good, is Goat Song. Get it if you are thinking of getting goats!

KathieW said...

Thanks for the list - and just in time. On my list of things to do over this holiday vacation are: (1) research container gardening and (2) read Put 'em up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton and Canning for a New Generation (Bold, Fresh Flavors for the Modern Pantry) by Liana Krissoff.

lisawith4 said...

I've really learned alot from Sharon Lovejoy's books. They are fun to read and very easy to understand.

Shawn, Kalli, and Porter said...

The Encyclopedia of country Living for sure. I found it at the library and it had me hooked on the idea of farming.

Diane@Peaceful Acres said...

The Garden Primer is my go-to garden book, but since it's not a go-to "farm" book, I'd have to say The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Emory as an all around farming book.

Tanya Boracay said...

Oh great, i can't wait to grab some copy.

Just like to share with you a funny quotes...

"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying." - Woody Allen

You can get more funny quotes at http://quotelandia.com/category/funny

JoyceAnn said...

My latest read is Storey's Guide to Raising Goats , hope Santa brings Eliot Coleman's " Four Season Harvest ".


~ Holiday Blessings ~
JoyceAnn

LAURA said...

Not a book, but 2 magazines. I learned how to garden in 1980 with "Organic Gardening." Now I subscribe to "Mother Earth News." Great winter reading.

Homesteading Quest said...

I love Mother Earth News also, it has really been helpful, as has Vegetarian times. But my favorite book is probably "The Tomato Festival Cookbook " , with our abundance of tomatoes that has really help me use up all of our bounty. Great book.

Stephani said...

I have read and reread 'Houston Garden Book' by John Kriegel over the years. However, since we are moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan in June I think I will have to change up my reading a bit! Merry Christmas and thanks for the give away!

Jenna said...

Square Foot Gardening! I know others mentioned it, but it is so easy and doable that it got me very excited and feeling confident to branch out from there.