Backyard farming may just be the answer for you and your family’s self-sufficiency and even survival in a world gone made. The good news is that people all over are turning even postage-stamp yards into mini-farms, producing 85% of the food needed.
The first step in becoming self-sufficient in food production is to learn the various methods of mini-farming. You can’t just stick some seeds in what used to be a flower bed and expect to get a great harvest. You’ll be greatly disappointed.
Instead if you will take the time to study a few basics, you’ll be surprised at just how much you can produce in very little space. Some of these basics include:
Buying, saving seeds; heirloom vs. hybrid:
Some of the things you'll need to know about actually producing food from the soil, includes soil fertility practices, composting, planting methods, as well as determining which type of gardening method or combination of methods will work in a backyard farm. You'll also need to educate yourself about garden pests and plant disease, crop rotation, and crop production planning.
Plus if you’re a carnivore, you are going to want to include some type of meat production capability. Learn which animals will produce the most meat in the least amount of space.
Of course, if you produce enough food to last a year through backyard farming, you are also going to need to learn how to put up that food to get you through times when the weather makes gardening outside impossible.
Other backyard farming skills to acquire are:
Food preservation – canning, freezing and dehydrating, as well as smoking and salting
Brewing and Distilling – even if you don’t imbibe, any type of alcohol can be useful in trade and in producing medicinal tinctures, as well as some medical procedures
Beekeeping – not only do your plants need bees to propagate, but honey is a cash crop
Building structures – animal housing, fencing and gates, smokehouses and greenhouses, as well as solar dehydrators and root cellars
If you want to carry your quest for self-sufficiency and ultimate survival even further, then you will need to acquire additional skills and consider other options. Since one person cannot learn it all, and if you are looking to build a survival group, then the most desired additions are going to be those that have skills you don’t, and skills which will complement what you are doing with backyard farming. Such skills might include:
Tanning – raising animals for food, means that every time you butcher you are going to have hides. Being able to turn those hides into useable fur and leather will provide material for clothes, shoes and barter.
Candlemaking – raising bees will provide you with wax for making candles.
Fiber arts – sheep, as well as certain rabbits, cats and even dogs will provide wool and other fibers suitable for weaving and cloth production.
Soapmaking – any milk produced can also be used in making soaps, which can be sold now and used in barter later.
Natural Healing - growing a wide variety of medicinal herbs and plants and knowing how to use them as medicine in tinctures, elixirs, oils and teas is one of the most valuable skills to have.
Here are a couple of books we have found extremely helpful in our efforts to use backyard farming to turn our small place into a self-sufficient homestead.
With these books in your library, you’ll have the information you need to turn your backyard into a farm.