The Self-Sufficient Backyard Review: Is it a Good Guide? Let’s Find Out!

The Self-Sufficient Backyard is the ultimate guide for learning how to turn your homestead into a fully self-supporting space that has all of the resources you could ever need for survival without sacrificing any of the modern comforts of today. From water to food, energy, storage and even medicines, everything can be provided to you right in your own backyard, but learning how to do all of this on your own could take weeks, months and even years of research, prep and planning.

With The Self-Sufficient Backyard program, all of this has already been done for you, so you can quickly and easily implement the necessary steps to transform your backyard, no matter how big or small it may be, so you can be fully independent and free from the government’s help, charity, utility and energy companies, corporations, grocery chains and the Grid. It provides you with all of the information and tutorials needed to start thriving on your own.

the self-sufficient backyard review


What is The Self-Sufficient Backyard?

Homesteading basically means providing for yourself with food, energy, shelter, medical care and all of your basic needs and The Self-Sufficient Backyard teaches you how to provide all of those things right on your own land. It’s a comprehensive program that covers everything you could ever need to become fully self-reliant. It’s infused with expert knowledge and advice about homesteading and how you can become totally independent and free in all aspects of your life. The Self-Sufficient Backyard comes with over 100 DIY projects that pertain to energy, food, shelter, medicine, water, and composting, complete with simple, easy-to-follow steps, charts, tables, diagrams, photos and much more. This includes everything from gardening to canning, road building and off-grid power, beekeeping, cooking, storage, preservation and more.

The program has been designed so that anyone can use it to become self-reliant, even with no prior experience. The plan has been developed so that it can easily be customized to suit each person’s individual needs and preferences. It also comes with a 60-Day Money Back Guarantee so you can try it out, risk-free! 

The Self-Sufficient Backyard Download Page
Preview of “The Self-Sufficient Backyard” download page.

Who Created The Self-Sufficient Backyard Program?

The authors of The Self-Sustained Backyard are Ron and Johanna Melchiore. They’ve been living off-grid and entirely self-sufficient for over 40 years and have created this program to help others do the same. Ron and Johanna also blog for various sites including Mother Earth News and they have been published in Backhome Magazine, Small Farmer’s Journal, and Countryside and Small Stock Journal. They have also appeared in a documentary film about living off-grid called Life Off Grid.

Overview of The Self-Sufficient Backyard

The Self-Sufficient Backyard is the ultimate guide that provides you with all of the information and steps needed to implement over 100 practical DIY projects that allow you to be entirely self-sufficient from your own land. It’s a comprehensive guide that has 265 pages of content, separated into 17 chapters that cover the steps to becoming an independent homesteader in detail. Each chapter is filled with valuable knowledge, DIY projects, steps, tips and tutorials that guide you through learning and implementing the things you learn. For example, you learn about homestead water in Chapter 5 and also receive detailed steps on getting water, disinfecting it, installing a filtration system, getting hot water, and so on and so forth.

The program also comes with a variety of plans and examples, which can easily be customized depending on your individual needs, property size, resources, time, and so on and so forth.

To give you a better idea of everything this program covers, here’s a more detailed look:

Main Manual

  • Chapter 1: 40 Years Homesteading
    • Where it all Began
    • The Beginning – The First Homestead
    • Time for a Change  A Move to the Wilderness
    • The Final Frontier – The Last Homestead
  • Chapter 2: The Homestead Plan
    • More Question
    • The Sketch
    • Sketch Details
  • Chapter 3: Site Selection
    • One Step at a Time
    • Homestead Layout
  • Chapter 4: Road Building

The first few chapters cover the basics of homesteading. It goes into the history of homestead, why someone may want to explore this option, the benefits of doing so, and much more. You see photos of what the authors’ homestead started out as and the process they’ve made over the years, and tips for following the same pursuit. These chapters also provide you with valuable information about getting started, including tips for selecting a site and building roads, and you also receive a sample sketch that can be customized to suit your preferences and needs.

  • Chapter 5: Homestead Water
    • Drilled Wells and Hand Pumps
    • Hand Dug Wells and Piston Pumps
    • Machine Dug Wells
    • Well Disinfection
    • Homestead Water Filtration
    • Homestead Hot Water
    • Rain Water Catchment

In chapter 5, you receive all of the information needed to ensure a constant and reliable source of clean water. It goes over the different ways you can get water to your homestead and helpful tips for keeping the water clean through filtration. You also receive steps for getting hot water and ways you can use rain water on your homestead.  They even teach you how to install a fire pump for emergencies.

  • Chapter 6: House Floor Planning
    • Dirty and Clean Areas
    • Homestead Kitchen

Choosing a floor plan for the house you’ll be living in is an important step, so chapter 6 is dedicated entirely to this. It talks about the different things to consider based on where you’ll be living, fun ways to play around with different possibilities without having to completely re-do the floor plan, the importance of designating dirty and lean areas and so on and so forth. It also provides you with quality information you may not think about until you start living in your home and cannot change the design, such as the importance of having a large corner kitchen to do all of the canning, butchering, cutting, cooking and so on and so forth.

  • Chapter 7: Off Grid Power
    • Basic Electricity
    • Batteries
    • Solar Panels
    • Charge Controllers
    • The Inverter
    • An Example Design
    • Wind Turbines

In chapter 7, you learn how to generate off-grid power. This chapter was created with the help of Rob Beckers, who is an electrical engineer and owner of Solacity.  So, there is plenty of expert advice and tips in this section about all types of energy sources, including hybrid systems.  

  • Chapter 8: The Orchard
    • Growing Zones
    • Berry Planting
    • Grapes
    • Rhubarb, A Vegetable or a Fruit?
    • Fruit Tree Planting
    • Controlling Pest and Disease
  • Chapter 9: Homestead Gardening
    • Your First Garden
    • Container Gardening
    • Let There Be Light
    • Edible Landscapes
    • Choose Garden System
    • The Shape Our Garden Takes
    • Plan the Layout
    • Crop Rotation
    • Soil Building and Preparation
    • Organic Fertilizers
    • Vegetable Seed Selection
    • Let’s Get The Garden Started
    • Ready to Plan
    • Succession Planting and Intercropping
    • Mulch and Fertilize
    • Insects and Diseases
    • Varmint Control
    • Season Extenders
    • Plant Protection
      The Solar Greenhouse
    • Seven Cash Cow Crops
    • Guide to Common Garden Vegetables
    • Winter Gardening
    • Culinary Herbs
    • Medicinal Garden
  • Chapter 10: Easy on the Back Gardening
    • Hay or Straw Bale Gardens
    • A Keyhole Garden
  • Chapter 11: Seed Savings
  • Chapter 12: Food Preservation
    • Freezing Fruits and Vegetables
    • Freezing Meats
    • Canning
    • Canning Equipment
    • Canning Foods – General Principles
    • Canning Vegetables
    • Canning Fruits
    • Canning Fruit Juices
    • Canning Jams, Jellies and Preserves
    • Canning Meats
    • Drying or Dehydrating
    • Root Cellaring
    • Curing, Smoking and Other Off-Grid Means of Food Storage
    • Storage of Staples
    • Making Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Chapter 13: Busy as Bees
    • Building the Hive
    • Equipment
    • Potential Issues
    • How to Start a New Bee Colony
    • Harvesting Honey
  • Chapter 14: Introduction to Chickens
    • Chicken Breeds
    • The Chicken Coop and Run
    • Starting the Flock
    • Feed and Bedding
    • Chicken Processing

Chapters 8 to 14 cover the topic of food. From gardening to collecting honey and growing chickens, these chapters give you all the information needed to ensure you will have all of the food (and proper nutrition) you need to survive and thrive. There’s an abundance of expert advice and tips throughout as well. For example, Chapter 13 was created with the help of beekeeper Mario Swinkels who is a member of the Canadian Honey Council. You’ll also find different food charts that break down the type of food/plant/tree, how many seeds and plants needed per person, where to grow them, the spacing needed, and so on and so forth. You learn the best time to plant different produce, steps for doing so, how to raise chickens, how to process chickens, medicinal plants to grow and how to use them, preservation tips and so much more.

  • Chapter 15: Composting
    • Recycling Human Waste

This chapter teaches you how to recycle and reuse some of the waste stream crated from your daily life. It teaches you about composting, how to do it, the benefits of doing so, and so on and so forth.

  • Chapter 16: You Can Do the Impossible
    • Tools of the Trade
    • Real World Examples
    • Safety First
    • Homestead Fuel Storage
  • Chapter 17: Parting Thoughts

In the last two chapters, you receive some additional information that serve as the final touch to your homestead. This includes must-have tools and accessories to have available, real-world examples of homesteading, valuable safety tips, proper fuel storage, and so much more.

the self-sufficient backyard table of contents
The table of contents for “The Self-Sufficient Backyard” main manual PDF.

Free Bonus Guides

  • The Aquaponic Gardner
  • Where Free Land Can Be Found in the USA
  • DIY Projects from the 1900s That Will Help You In the Next Crisis

The Verdict

Advantages of the Program

  • Allows you to become fully self-reliant on your own land
  • Can be used with as little as approximately 1000 square foot for food (per person)
  • Covers every topic needed to become fully self-reliant
  • Teaches you tried-and-true methods
  • Comes with examples, tutorials and steps that can be customized to suit your needs and preferences
  • Based on more than 40 years of experience of self-sufficient homesteading
  • All of the research and planning has been done for you, so you can easily and quickly become self-reliant
  • Digital copy allows you to download the guide right onto your personal tech devices for use anytime, anywhere
  • The printed version is available
  • Supported by a 60-Day Money Back Guarantee
  • Approved by expert survivalists

Disadvantages of the Program

The Self-Sufficient Backyard is a digital program, which comes with many advantages such as instant access online and the option to download the guide onto your tech devices so you don’t have to pay or wait for a package to arrive. However, this also means that a printed version doesn’t get shipped out to you. Although, you are provided with the option to get a physical hardcopy for a small fee. You could also download and print the guide off on your own.


The Self-Sufficient Backyard is the ultimate program for learning absolutely everything there is to know about transforming your land into a space that allows you to be fully self-reliant and free. It’s a comprehensive system that comes with more than 200 pages of expert knowledge, DIY projects, tutorials, advice, experience and much more. It can be used with as little as 1000 square foot (per person) and is supported by a 60 Day Money Back Guarantee so you can check it out, risk-free and see if becoming self-sufficient is for you.

download the self-sufficient backyard pdf


Can I get a physical copy of the program at a store?

No. The program is digital and is sold exclusively on their official website, so you won’t be able to find it in a store location. However, the digital copy comes with lifetime updates, a variety of free bonus guides and a money-back guarantee so you can try it out, risk-free.

Are there any discounts available?

The authors chose to price the program reasonably so that a discount wouldn’t be needed in order for it to be affordable, so no discounts have been released at this point. If this were to change, it would be announced on the program’s website.

Do I need homesteading experience to understand the program?

Absolutely not. The Self-Sufficient Backyard is incredibly detailed to ensure that anyone can use the program even without any prior experience or knowledge. Within the over 200 pages of content, you are provided with everything you need to learn, understand and implement the steps.

How safe and reliable is this program?

The authors have used the information provided to you in this program to be fully self-reliant for over 40 years, so it should certainly be safe and reliable for everyone else using the same approach.


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(as of 11th July 2024)