The Weekend Homesteader is organized by month—so whether it’s January or June you’ll find exciting, short projects that you can use to dip your toes into the vast ocean of homesteading without getting overwhelmed. If you need to fit homesteading into a few hours each weekend and would like to have fun while doing it, these projects will be right up your alley, whether you live on a forty-acre farm, a postage-stamp lawn in suburbia, or a high rise. You'll learn about backyard chicken care, how to choose the best mushroom and berry species, and why and how to plant a no-till garden that heals the soil while providing nutritious food. Permaculture techniques will turn your homestead into a vibrant ecosystem and attract native pollinators while converting our society's waste into high-quality compost and mulch. Meanwhile, enjoy the fruits of your labor right away as you learn the basics of cooking and eating seasonally, then preserve homegrown produce for later by drying, canning, freezing, or simply filling your kitchen cabinets with storage vegetables. As you become more self-sufficient, you'll save seeds, prepare for power outages, and tear yourself away from a full-time job, while building a supportive and like-minded community. You won't be completely eliminating your reliance on the grocery store, but you will be plucking low-hanging (and delicious!) fruits out of your own garden by the time all forty-eight projects are complete.
Twelve months to self-sufficiency! This fully updated second edition of the popular Weekend Homesteader series includes exciting, short projects that you can use to dip your toes into the vast ocean of homesteading without getting overwhelmed. If you need to fit homesteading into a few hours each weekend and would like to have fun while doing it, these projects will be right up your alley, whether you live on a forty-acre farm, a postage-stamp lawn in suburbia, or a high rise. The April volume includes the following projects: * Find room to homestead * Survey your site * Plan your summer garden * Start a no-till garden with a kill mulch The second edition has been revised and expanded to match the paperback, with extra photos and feedback from weekend homesteaders just like you, plus permaculture-related avenues for the more advanced homesteader to explore.
Learn everything you need to know to become a backyard egg and meat producer in 30 minutes or less!
Author: Anna Hess
Publisher: Wetknee Books
A short, sweet, and self-sufficient guide to keeping chickens as part of a rural or urban homestead. Learn everything you need to know to get started on your poultry adventure with these quick answers to your frequently asked questions. The Working Chicken begins by helping you choose the perfect flock for your family, then explains how to feed and house your new pets. Finally, the book's permaculture twist ensures that your chickens will not only be happy and healthy, they'll also keep your family healthy too. Now with a bonus picture book to inspire the next-generation of chicken lovers!
Efficient Producers of Eggs and Meat on the Homestead
Author: Anna Hess
Publisher: Wetknee Books
Category: Technology & Engineering
Do you want your chicken habit to pay for itself? Many backyard chicken keepers are surprised to learn that they spend more on store-bought feed than they would have paid for eggs and meat at the grocery store. If you're on a budget and want your foray into poultry to save money, not lose money, your first step should be to select thrifty chicken breeds. The best breed for the cost-conscious homesteader will be a dual-purpose chicken that forages well, doesn't cost much to feed, stands up well to predators and weather, and lays copiously in the winter. In addition, Thrifty Chicken Breeds covers a variety of other factors that homesteaders should consider when choosing new birds, then explains why a dozen common breeds do or don't make the cut. This new installment in the popular Permaculture Chicken series helps make backyard chicken keeping cheaper, sustainable, less smelly, and more fun. Join the thousands of readers who have used Hess's tips to turn chickens into a frugal part of their permaculture homesteads!
Homegrown humus is easy with cover crops! Cover crops are a simple, cheap way to boost your soil's organic matter, to fight weeds, to prevent erosion, to attract pollinators, and to keep the ecosystem in balance. Unfortunately, most information on growing cover crops is written for people who plow their soil every year and are willing to spray herbicides. You can get all of the same benefits in a no-till garden, though, if you're clever. Homegrown Humus details five no-till winners in depth --- buckwheat, sweet potatoes, oilseed radishes, rye, and oats. Profiles of other species suggest gardening conditions when you might want to try out sunflowers, annual ryegrass, barley, Austrian winter peas, crimson clover, cowpeas, or sunn hemp as well. Meanwhile, the book delves into finding cover-crop seeds, planting cover crops in a no-till garden, and easily killing cover crops without tilling or herbicide use. Understanding the C:N ratio of cover crops helps determine how long to wait between killing cover crops and planting vegetables, as well as how to maximize the amount of humus you're adding to your soil. Cover crops are an advanced gardening technique bound to increase your vegetable yields, but are simple enough for beginners. Give your garden a treat --- grow some buckwheat! This second edition is updated with three new chapters and contains a total of 54 photos.
Put down those harmful sprays and learn natural pest control! Are you sick and tired of pesky insects in your garden? Do you want to stay away from pesticides and harmful poisons that could be hazardous to your health and your garden? If you answered yes to both of those questions, Bug-Free Organic Gardening has all the answers to your troubles. This book will show you how to bring your garden ecosystem into balance so that beneficial insects and larger animals do the work of pest control for you. Anna Hess has more than a decade’s experience growing all of her family’s vegetables. Here, she sums up all of her knowledge and expertise, teaching you many hands-on pest-control techniques, such as: Succession planting Choosing resistant plant varieties Shielding plants with row covers Timing plantings to bypass bugs And so much more! With Anna’s expertise, you too can grow beautiful, healthy, organic vegetables for yourself and your family, put down those harmful sprays, and learn natural pest control!
Hatch healthy homegrown chicks! Permaculture Chicken: Incubation Handbook walks beginners through perfecting the incubating and hatching process so they can enjoy the exhilaration of the hatch without the angst of dead chicks. 92 full color photos bring incubation to life, while charts, diagrams, and tables provide the data you need to accomplish a hatch rate of 85% or more.
The Real Dirt on Cultivating Crops, Compost, and a Healthier Home
Author: Anna Hess
Publisher: Wetknee Books
Grow twice the fruits and vegetables in half the space on the farm, in the backyard, or even in your window! Have you noticed the extraordinary flavors and yields emanating from even a small garden when the soil is just right? If you’ve ever been envious of your neighbor’s dirt or just curious about homesteading, then The Ultimate Guide to Soil is the perfect fit for you. This first volume in the series walks new and experienced gardeners through fun and easy personality tests for their soil. You'll measure carrots, play with mud pies, and assess your weeds to get a big-picture idea of what's right or wrong with your dirt. Then follow Hess's tips to figure out which professional soil tests --- if any --- are necessary to bring your garden to the next level of ecosystem health. With an emphasis on simple techniques suitable for the backyard gardener, The Ultimate Guide to Soil gives you the real dirt on good soil. Maybe next year your neighbor will be envious of you!
Are you sick and tired of pesky insects in your garden? Do you want to stay away from pesticides and harmful poisons that could be hazardous to your health and your garden? If you answered yes to both of those questions, The Naturally Bug-Free Garden has all the answers to your troubles. This book will show you how to bring your garden ecosystem into balance so that beneficial insects and larger animals do the work of pest control for you. Anna Hess has had seven years of experience growing all of her family’s vegetables. Here, she sums up all of her knowledge and expertise, teaching you many hands-on pest-control techniques, such as succession planting, choosing resistant plant varieties, and shielding plants with row covers. Paying attention to the nutritional needs of your vegetables can also deter pests, and the remaining insects are simple to handpick. With Anna’s expertise, you too can grow beautiful, healthy, organic vegetables for you and your family.