The Backyard Farming Tool Shed: 45+ Guides to Sustainability at Home

Solar power is one big way you can save money and the environment while making your home self sufficient. Another big step: backyard farming. Whether you live in an urban, suburban, or rural area, if you have a patch of land, you can farm, whether it’s on a small scale or a large one. From backyard vegetable gardens to goat dairy farms just beyond your back door, a successful backyard farm is possible with the right knowledge.

We’ve found more than 45 guides and blog resources that can help you get started with your backyard farm, whether you want to add a few raised beds or start eating fresh eggs from backyard chickens. You’ll find planning resources, lots of answers to questions, and a wealth of information for making your home more sustainable and self sufficient.

Backyard Farming Guides

Get an introduction to backyard farming with these guides that explain the benefits, realities, and steps you can take to get started.

  1. How to Start a Backyard Farm: Our One Acre Farm explains how you can do a lot in just a little space. Learn about crops that do well and even how to preserve them in this guide.
  2. Feeding My Family on Less Than an Acre of Land: See how this family survives on less than an acre of land. They have eggs, milk, gardens, and more.
  3. How to Be a Suburban or Urban Homesteader: Find seven ideas for the suburban or urban homestead to get started with your backyard farm. Start with a garden, compost, become a beekeeper, even consider chickens.
  4. Modern Homesteading and Sustainable Living: Romance vs. Reality: Get a reality check and see what backyard farming and homesteading is really like.
  5. Backyard Farming 101: Right to Thrive’s Backyard Farming 101 class is a great guide for getting started with a productive backyard farm.
  6. UC Food Safety: Backyard Farming: The University of California’s backyard farming guide explores edible gardening, food safety in edible landscape, and even how to deal with pets and flooding in your backyard farm.
  7. Creating an HOA Approved Backyard Farm in the City: This guide explains how you can get past HOA rules and city codes to set up your backyard farm.
  8. 7 Farm Animals to Raise for Beginners: Start your backyard farm with ducks, rabbits, chickens, bees, pigs, and goats — and avoid cows.

Saving Money with Backyard Farming

Many home owners get started with backyard farming to save money. These resources explain the costs and savings of farming in your backyard.

  1. The Cost of Setting Up a Homestead: The initial startup costs of homesteading can be expensive, but pay off in the long run. This guide shares an accurate look at the cost of setting up a homestead.
  2. How Much Money Can You Save Gardening and Homesteading?: See how much one backyard farmer is able to save each year.
  3. Farm Stands Turn Your Backyard Kale into Cold, Hard Cash: This article explores how neighborhood farm stands are helping backyard farmers make money with their crops.

Backyard Farm Designs & Planting Guides

Need inspiration and guidance? See how you can plan out your backyard farm, when to plant what, and how to plant what your family will eat.

  1. Four Backyard Farm Designs for Self-Sufficiency: Choose from these designs to make your backyard farm self sufficient. The plans range from 1/4 acre to 3 acres in size.
  2. Backyard Farm Design: Converting Lawn to Garden: See how you can start slowly in converting your backyard lawn into a farm by converting some areas into garden plots.
  3. How to Turn Your Backyard into a Four Season Farm: Modern Farmer explains how you can enjoy crops from your backyard farm year round with two years of spring and fall planting plans.
  4. Planning What to Grow in Your Backyard Vegetable Garden: The Simple Bites offers a guide to planting with a plan.

Backyard Gardening

These guides offer support for building a backyard garden large or small.

  1. How Much Land Do You Really Need to Be Self Sufficient?: Do you have enough space in your backyard to become self sufficient? Possibly. This guide explains how much land is enough to feed your family.
  2. Start Your Own Simple, Super Productive Backyard Farm: Take these steps to create a productive backyard micro farm.
  3. Tips for Starting Your First Backyard Garden: Just getting started? This guide offers great tips for planting your first vegetable garden in your backyard.
  4. Garden Planning: How Much Will Feed My Family?: See how much you need to plant to grow your own food with this guide.
  5. Four Easy Ways to Create a Backyard Garden: Use planter boxes, natural containers, square foot gardens, or raised beds to get started with gardening.
  6. Plan & Plant Now for Sustainability, Freedom, and a Backyard Revolution: Keeper of the Home explains why gardening matters and how you can get started.
  7. Seeds and Saving Them: See how you can save garden bean seeds and save money doing it.

Backyard Chicken Farming

See why every backyard farm needs chickens, how you can enjoy farm fresh eggs from your backyard, and the basics you need to know to get started.

  1. Why You Need Chickens: Farming My Backyard explains why backyard chickens are a great idea from fresh eggs to eating bugs.
  2. Backyard Chicken Basics: This resource from the University of Minnesota explains breeds, diet, housing, care, and more for raising and maintaining backyard chickens.
  3. Backyard Chickens 101: Wondering what it’s like to keep chickens in your backyard? This guide explains the basics and answers common questions.
  4. Raising Backyard Chickens for Dummies: Learn about the good, bad, and ugly of raising backyard chickens in this article, from returning roosters to shoveling chicken poop and enjoying backyard farm fresh eggs.
  5. Raising Chickens 101: When Chickens Stop Laying Eggs: Don’t think you have it in you to butcher a chicken? This guide explains how you can humanely butcher and eat a chicken that’s past its egg laying life.
  6. Chickens: Basic Care: This resource explains how to raise chicks, get started with chickens, and choose which chickens to cull.

Backyard Goat Farming

Goats are another popular backyard livestock choice. These guides will help you decide whether goats are the right choice for you, and how you can take care of goats and enjoy their milk.

  1. Are Goats Right for Me?: This guide explains the pros, cons, and important points you should know about raising goats before you put them to work in your backyard.
  2. A Simple Guide to Raising and Milking Goats: Read this guide to learn how to purchase a goat, find out how much milk goats produce, and even how to raise baby goats.
  3. Basic Goat Care: Here you’ll find resources for goat care, including goat health record forms, goat diseases to avoid, and even how to keep goats and chickens together.
  4. The Goat Kids are Here — Can We Milk Yet?: When is it a good idea to start getting milk from your goats after kidding? This guide explains a few different approaches.

Backyard Bee Farming

Bees are an easy first livestock choice for new backyard gardeners. Learn how to get started with these guides.

  1. Three Reasons for Homestead Honey Bees: Find out why homestead honey bees are a good idea and why you should consider them for your backyard farm.
  2. Honeybees: Getting Started: Learn about why you should get homestead honey bees, what you need to know before getting started, and how you can help honey bees survive.
  3. Stupid-Easy Beekeeping: Find answers to common beekeeping questions in this guide, then learn how you can get started ordering and maintaining your backyard beehive.
  4. Keeping Bees in the City: The First 30 Days: Get a glimpse into the first 30 days of urban beekeeping.

Backyard Farm Recipes

Enjoy food fresh from your backyard farm with these delicious recipe collections.

  1. Backyard Farming Recipes: Find recipes for squash, seasonal vegetables, and more in this resource.
  2. Preserving the Harvest: A garden overflowing with fruits and vegetables can quickly go to waste, but with these preservation techniques, you can enjoy fresh food from your backyard farm year round.
  3. Weed ’em and Reap Recipes: Find healthy living recipes made from backyard farming goodies here.
  4. Better Hens & Gardens Recipes: Make champagne brunch eggs, sun dried tomato dip, herbed eggs, fresh blackberry cobbler, and more with these recipes.


Want more? Follow these popular backyard farm blogs to further explore backyard farming.

  1. Backyard Farming: Find insights from a backyard farmer on gardening, backyard chickens, and seasonal reminders on the Backyard Farming blog.
  2. Weed ’em and Reap: Follow Weed ’em and Reap for a hilarious, informative take on backyard farming with goats, chickens, and more.
  3. Farming My Backyard: Check out this blog to see how you can become an urban homesteader in even the tiniest space, growing a garden and using livestock including rabbits and goats.
  4. Better Hens & Gardens: Read about self reliance, real food, and sustainable living on a real farm.
  5. Ghost Town Farm: This urban farmer tends to bees, chickens, and three dozen fruit trees.
  6. One Acre Farm: Explore homesteading and backyard farming in the suburbs on One Acre Farm.