Homesteading: Growing and Raising the Good Stuff!

In part inspired by my colleague’s recent post here on the LBPH Blog, I’ve recently decided to look further into the topic of homesteading and self-sufficiency.  I’ve been gardening for a few years now, and every year try to do a little more to make my yard more sustainable and productive.  I have a raised bed garden, but also mix plenty of edibles throughout the landscape.  I’ve never worked with any livestock, but would love to get hens or bees someday, although I don’t think it’s going to happen.  I’ll need to read some books on being persuasive to get my wife to agree to backyard hens or bees.  Maybe that’s an idea for my next blog post!

I was sad to note that our accessible collection doesn’t include anything on urban homesteading (which I hope will change in the future).  We do, however, have plenty of resources for those looking to get into gardening and some of the skills for homesteading.

ALL NEW SQUARE FOOT GARDENING: GROW MORE IN LESS SPACE! By Mel Bartholomew: Bartholomew, a former army engineer devised a system of intensive planting in raised beds.  Makes beds very productive in small spaces.  His system reduces water use, favors recycled materials, and is easy for even beginning gardeners.

ACCESSIBLE GARDENING FOR PEOPLE WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES: A GUIDE TO METHODS, TOOLS, AND PLANTS By Janeen AdilOne of the flyers for our service has the slogan “Reading is for Everyone!”, and I wholeheartedly agree, but gardening should also be for everyone!  There are many ways to make gardening accessible, from wheelchair friendly raised beds to tactile gardens for children who are blind.  Learn about all of them in this book!

SMALL-SPACE VEGETABLE GARDENS: GROWING GREAT EDIBLES IN CONTAINERS, RAISED BEDS, AND SMALL PLOTS By Andrea BellamyIf you only have a small space or a balcony, or even if you just want to add some whimsy to a large garden, containers may be for you.  Many garden favorites can be grown in containers.  A bonus is many containers can be made from recycled materials.

BARNYARD IN YOUR BACKYARD: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO RAISING CHICKENS, DUCKS, GEESE, RABBITS, GOATS, SHEEP, AND CATTLE By Gail DamerowStraightforward, comprehensive instructions on caring for livestock on a small farm. Provides pros and cons of raising these animals and tips on feeding and housing them. Includes a glossary and a list of helpful organizations and web sites. 

Do any of our readers have experience with homesteading, urban or otherwise?  If so, please let us know about it in the comments below.   

All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!

Do you know what the best feature is in All New Square Foot Gardening? Sure, there are ten new features in this all-new, updated book. Sure, it’s even simpler than it was before. Of course, you don’t have to worry about fertilizer or poor soil ever again because you’ll be growing above the ground. However, the best feature is that anyone, anywhere can enjoy a square foot garden – children, adults with limited mobility, and even complete novices can achieve spectacular results. (Goodreads Description)

Small-Space Vegetable Gardens: Growing Great Edibles in Containers, Raised Beds, and Small Plots

Small-Space Vegetable Gardens explains the basics of growing a bounty of edibles in a minimal amount of space. Andrea Bellamy, author of the award-winning blog Heavy Petal, shares all the knowledge she’s gained from years of gardening small: how to find and assess a space, and how to plan and build a garden. Bellamy also highlights the top sixty edible plants and offers complete information on how to sow, grow, and harvest them. This hardworking and enthusiastic guide teaches gardeners how to take advantage of the space they have—whether it’s a balcony, a patio, a plot in a community garden, or even a small yard—to create the food garden of their dreams. (Goodreads Description)

Barnyard in Your Backyard: A Beginner's Guide to Raising Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Rabbits, Goats, Sheep, and Cattle

When is the right time to shear a sheep? Is there a market for manure? What time of day is best to collect eggs? What is the correct way to milk a goat? What does a duck eat? Can a cow and a sheep share the same pasture? Which types of rabbits are easiest to raise? The perfect book for anyone who has ever dreamed of having that little place in the country, Barnyard in Your Backyard offers tried-and-true, expert advice on raising healthy, happy, productive farm animals: chickens, geese, ducks, rabbits, goats, sheep, and dairy cows. (Goodreads Description)