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Backyard Farming

This libguide will provide resources and guidance to those who choose to start backyard farming, or want to know more about farming and gardening in general.

What is Backyard Farming?

Backyard farming is the practice of utilizing any kind of space you have in order to grow and produce your own food. Whether you have a large or small yard, or even a balcony, you are able to have a backyard farm.

Backyard farming is about maximizing your space to your benefit, growing what you think is right for yourself or your family, and enjoying being outside and contributing to a greener and healthier Earth. 

You can be a backyard farmer and only grow one type of plant. You can be a backyard farmer and have animals, making your home a homestead. There isn't a wrong way to be a backyard farmer.  

A photo that says "How to start a Backyard Farm", and has tomatoes in a basket, a chicken, honey in jars, and apples in a barrel all in a clockwise rotation.

Online Resources

Backyard Farming: How to Homestead in the City is an article written by Katie Wells on the website wellnessmama, which gives a perspective on the different ways that you can start backyard farming, whether it is for your family or for profit. There are tips, links to other sources, and links to books that would be beneficial to your start. 

The Backyard Farm Company is an online resource that offers guidance for both residential and corporate  farming. They are a business based in the Bay Area of California, and their mission is to "thrive on empowering those who grow their own food no matter how big or small their space". The information on their site is universal to anyone who wants to start backyard farming, no matter where they are in the world. 

Mother Earth Living is an online resource that offers advice and skills on healthy and environmental living. They offer recipes, gardening tips, videos, and a newsletter that can be catered to your liking. As for backyard farming one of their newsletters were centered on that topic alone, during the summer of 2015. Which, the advice and guidance given still can be useful today. Such advice involves making the best use of your space. diy projects, and references to backyard farming blogs. 

One Acre Farm is another online resource, that is more of a personal journey of one woman who wants to share her expertise and experiences with farming. The owner of this site has a small, one acre, backyard farm. On the site many resources are offered to on farming, wildlife, cooking, and of course backyard farming. On the how to start backyard farming page, she offers advice on the ways and organization of growing your food in a small space, understanding if having animals would be beneficial, forging, and preserving food. 

Benefits of Backyard Farming:

Year-round food


Nutritional value


Saves money 

Educational fun


Environmental health

Source: What is backyard farming

Print Resources

Backyard Farming: Your Guide to Building the Ultimate Self-Sustaining Backyard Mini Farm by Sanford Evans

The Backyard Homestead: Produce All the Food You Need On Just a Quarter Acre! by Carleen Madigan

Backyard Farming for Beginners: The Ultimate Guide To Building A Mini Backyard Farm at Home by David Campo

Backyard Farming: Homestead: The Complete Guide to Self-Sufficiency by Kim Pezza

Maximizing Your Mini Farm: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre by Brett L. Markham - Available at the Monroe County Public Library

The Everything Backyard Farming Book by Neil Shelton - Available at the Monroe County Public Library

Little House in the Suburbs: Backyard Farming and Home Skills for Self-Sufficient Living by Deanna Caswell - Available at the Monroe County Public Library

Organic Hobby Farming: A Practical Guide to Earth-friendly Farming in Any Space by Andy Tomolonis - Available at the Monroe County Public Library

Backyard Roots: Lessons on Living Local from 35 Urban Farmers by Lori Eanes - Available at the Monroe County Public Library

Backyard Livestock: Raising Good, Natural Food for Your Family by Steven Thomas - Available at the Monroe County Public Library


Be sure to check your local library for similar books on farming, backyard farming, and gardening. There are also kid-friendly gardening and farming books to aid in their learning. 

Monroe County Public Library - Library of Things

The Library of this holds a collection of items that you may not have thought would be held at your local library. On of those libraries that may be of use to the backyard farmer is the Seed Library. The seeds are available in The Commons at the Main Library. 

Guide created by:

Mariah Isbell, IU Libraries Reference Assistant