The Woodland Homestead: How to Make Your Land More Productive and Live More Self-Sufficiently in the Woods

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Put your wooded land to work! This comprehensive manual shows you how to use your woodlands to produce everything from wine and mushrooms to firewood and livestock feed. You'll learn how to take stock of your woods; use axes, bow saws, chainsaws, and other key tools; create pasture and silvopasture for livestock; prune and coppice trees to make fuel, fodder, and furniture; build living fencing and shelters for animals; grow fruit trees and berries in a woodland orchard; make syrup from birch, walnut, or boxelder trees; and much more. Whether your property is entirely or only partly wooded, this is the guide you need to make the best use of it.

"When you start reading The Woodland Homestead, you'll learn how to think about your woodland not only as an ecosystem but also as an 'ecology of possibilities'."
-- from the foreword by Philip Ackerman-Leist


"A friendly and informative book about a subject that intimidates many folks new to homesteading. McLeod makes a walk in the woods a whole new world."
-- Jenna Woginrich, author of One-Woman Farm, Barnheart, and Chick Days

Table of Contents:


Chapter 1: Seeing the Forest Through the Trees: How to Unlock Your Woodlot's Potential
  • Taking Stock
  • Evaluating Your Options
  • Your Woodland Eye
Chapter 2: Tools and Techniques: Essentials for the Homestead Woodlot
  • The Axe
  • From Rusty to Trusty: Restoring an Old Axe
  • Felling and Chopping
  • The Peavey
  • The Bow Saw
  • The Chainsaw
  • Splitting Firewood
  • Skidding Logs
  • The Portable Sawmill
Chapter 3: Animals in the Forest: From Stumps to Greener Pastures
  • Silvopasture
  • The Closed-Loop Silvopasture Sequence
  • Pork Power for Stumps and Soil
  • Taking Stock of Livestock
  • Multispecies Grazing
Chapter 4: The Coppice Forest: Fauna, Fodder, Fuel and Furniture
  • A Brief History of Coppice Forestry
  • Establishing a Coppice Woodlot
  • Creative Woodlot Tending
  • Coppice with Standards
  • Fauna in Your Forest
  • Coppicing for Fodder
  • Coppicing for Charcoal
  • Forest Furniture
Chapter 5: Woodland Structures: From Living Fence to Living Barn
  • Fencing Psychology
  • A Short History of Living Fences
  • Living Fence for the Homestead
  • Inosculation Hedges
  • The Living Fencepost
  • Formerly Living Fenceposts
  • Building with Stumps
  • Shelterbelts
  • The Living Barn

Chapter 6: Giving Trees: Fruit, Honey, and Syrup

  • The Homestead Orchard
  • Deciding What to Grow
  • The Multipurpose Forest Micro-Orchard
  • The Art of Planting
  • Resurrecting the Woodland Orchard
  • Bees in the Woodland Homestead
  • Cellar and Cider: Enjoying the Harvest
  • The Homestead Sugarbush
Chapter 7: Farming The Forest Floo: Nuts, Berries, Mushrooms, and More
  • Hugelkulter: A Whole-Tree Composting System
  • Cultivating Forest Edibles
  • Edibles, Medicinals, and Miscellany
  • Baskets, Burls, and Birch Bark
A Typical Woodland Homestead Calendar

Brett McLeod is the author of American Axe and The Woodland Homestead and an avid axe collector and restorer. Before becoming a forestry professor and coach of the woodsmen's team at Paul Smith's College in the Adirondack Park, he was a professional competitive lumberjack in the Stihl Ironjack Series and competed in the Stihl Timbersports Collegiate Series. He lives in northern New York with his wife and his collection of 200 vintage axes.

Storey Publishing

Pub Date: June 30, 2015

0.7" H x 9.9" L x 8.0" W

240 pages