Little House in the Suburbs: Backyard farming and home skills for self-sufficient living

Little House in the Suburbs: Backyard farming and home skills for self-sufficient living

by Deanna Caswell, Daisy Siskins

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Little House in the Suburbs: Backyard farming and home skills for self-sufficient living by Deanna Caswell, Daisy Siskins

Self-Sufficiency in the Suburbs!

Gardens, goats and chickens in the suburbs? Absolutely!

The easy-to-follow advice in this book will show you everything you need to know to enjoy an abundant, independent life on food and products grown in your own back yard. You may feel like you have superpowers the first time you prepare a meal using only ingredients you grew in your garden. And is there anything you can't do after you lather up with a bar of soap that you made in your own home? This book is full of recipes and tips that will help you discover the joy of self-sufficiency. Do'’t worry; suburban gardening doesn't mean you have to rip up your yard, or risk being ostracized by neighbors or your municipality or homeowners association.

Inside you'll find:

  • Gardening instructions for any-size yard and any skill level
  • A complete overview of keeping chickens, mini-goats and bees in the suburbs
  • More than 40 food recipes featuring ingredients from your garden or animals
  • Canning techniques
  • Recipes for natural deodorant, toothpaste, lip balm and other beauty products
  • Step-by-step soapmaking instructions and soap recipes
  • Natural cleaning recipes for kitchens, bathrooms, surfaces and laundry
  • Gift basket ideas
  • Community-building ideas including babysitting co-ops, meal swaps, and barter systems
  • Advice on how to keep the peace with family, neighbors, and officials if your self-sufficient plans meet resistance

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440323836
Publisher: F+W Media
Publication date: 01/16/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 932,542
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

Deanna Caswell and Daisy Siskins write the popular blog, which has been featured on,, and The blog has 150,000 page views each month.

Table of Contents

Introduction 6

1 Why Simple Living in the Suburbs? 8

This little chapter is about the why and why not of simple living. There's a whole host of reasons to give it a shot. Simple living is good for your family's health, for the body, the soul, and the planet. The best news is it's low commitment (unlike that gym membership or your cell phone plan).

2 I Grew It Myself! Or, But You Don't Understand, I Kill Everything 24

Learn how to make a simple raised bed in an afternoon and get years of great produce with very little effort. Find foolproof plants and help them thrive with fertilizing ingredients you can find around the house. Plus learn the basics of composting and pest control and overcome the special concerns suburban gardeners face.

3 Did Your Backyard Just Bawk? 56

Chickens are easy to care for and terribly useful. They eat all your scraps, bugs, and weeds and turn them into eggs! This quick chick primer shows you how to get them, how to keep them, and how to feed them. Plus learn how to research community code concerning backyard birds.

4 Mini-Goats: Interesting, Urn, … Dog You Got There 84

Mini-goats are awesome pets. No claws, no top teeth, and they mow for you! This chapter covers how to select, care for, and feed a good goat. Plus house them and make goat's-milk products.

5 Secret Beekeepers 104

We'll show you a super low maintenance way to keep bees without alarming the neighbors or endangering your children. Learn how to safely harvest honey, without upsetting or inconveniencing your bees, and find great ideas for using all that glorious beeswax you'll collect!

6 My Pantry Was Never So Yummy 124

After we've all shaken our heads at the mountains of fake food in our lives, we'll give you about twenty-five recipes we've used for homemade spices and flavoring, and then take you through some basic freezing, canning, and drying techniques.

7 I Never Smelled So Good 148

Forget the facial scrubs, moisturizers, and hair treatments. This chapter covers the items you use every day-shower gel, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash, and lotion. You'll also learn how to fearlessly face soapmaking. Lye isn't that big a deal.

8 My House Was Never So Clean 166

There is no need for special factory-baked cleaners unless you're afraid of elbow grease. Basic home cleaning formulas cost pennies to make. You'll also find some ways to simplify your housework (like caring less…HA! Just kidding.)

9 I Made It Myself!: Gorgeous Gifts Aplenty 180

A well-done handmade gift is giving your thought, time, and effort to make something really special that no one else would make. This chapter gives ten different gift-basket ideas with the accompanying projects to get you going.

10 Small Town in the City 194

This chapter is about rebuilding that interdependence through swaps and co-ops. We'll tell you how to build them, maintain them, and keep them running smoothly. Get the help you need without feeling like you're imposing on anyone. And build relationships that will last forever.

11 It's Hard to Complain With a Mouthful of Cookies 206

Not everyone goes for our lifestyle. This chapter will help you make choices that don't disturb the family way of life. Also in this chapter, we'll help you deal with those not-so-friendly neighbors.


Spring Planting Chart 222

Fall Planting Chart 224

Companion Planting 226

Companion Planting Chart 228

Fall Garden Plan for Raised Beds 230

Root Vegetable Garden Plan for Raised Bed 232

Resources for Goat Owners 234

Good Neighbors Handout for Suburban Goat Owners 235

Resources for Backyard Chicken Owners 236

Good Neighbors Handout For Backyard Chicken Owners 237

Soapmaking and Skincare Resources 238

Resources for Beekeepers 239

Good Neighbors Handout For Backyard Beekeepers 240

Purpose and Administration Duties for Baby-sitting Co-Ops 242

Baby-sitting Co-Ops Bylaws Agreement 244

Gardening Log 246

Index 250

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Little House in the Suburbs 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has lots of practical,easy to understand ideas.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read a lot of homesteading books. I really love the easy to read writing style. I haven't finished the book yet, but I'm looking forward to reading the rest. I've read books that gave more specific details, but they made me feel overwhelmed as a beginner. I feel like they give more than enough info to get me started on many home skills. I especially liked the chicken chapter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago