The folks at Backyard Food Production contacted me before Christmas and asked if I’d like to review their DVD for free. I said sure and had them send it to the ultra secretive, totally anonymous Bat Cave mailing address. A few weeks go by before I can pick it up and by then I’d found myself, somewhat unexpectedly, knee deep in a bedroom remodel project that consumed my already non-existent spare time. Eventually I got to it, though, and I invited the wife to sit next to me on the couch like a little movie date night to see – Backyard Food Production.
You can get a feel for the DVD by watching the trailer here:
My review of the DVD is mixed.
First – The Bad
- The editing is amateur. It has that “produced on my home pc” look and feel to it. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but don’t expect professional editing. The amateur editing could have been buffered with more creative delivery, though. It’s very “here is some information” as you would expect it to be, but the delivery didn’t have to be so … dry. A little humor or personal touch would have gone a long way.
- A lot of the information is specific to their location in Texas. While I understand they need to describe what works for their environment, that information does little for me up here in Maine.
- After she kills a rabbit in her kitchen and processes the carcass, she puts the rabbit guts on a dish for her dog to eat. That part wasn’t so bad in itself, it’s that the same clip was shown a few times. Seeing the dog eat rabbit guts off a plate was interesting – the first time.
- There’s little information on financial costs. She talked about reducing the need for commercial grain and such, but there’s no information around how their operation cost to purchase, build or maintain. That would be useful for anyone serious about replicating what they’ve done.
Now – The Good
- There’s a lot of crunchy, hippie-like talk on soil fertility. She talks about it as though it’s spiritual. I dig that action and my wife dug it, too. My wife said the family seemed very “Waldorfy“.
- You see a rabbit get killed and butchered. Some people might think that’s bad, but I didn’t, mostly because of the way she did it. She was as respectful of the animal as she could be. She hummed some short spiritual sounding ditty while crumbling up some, presumably smelly thing in her fingers as the rabbit died. I wanted to know exactly what she was humming and what she crushed up in her fingers, but she didn’t get into that.
- She feeds rabbit guts to her dog – more specifically – she uses, or has a plan for, every part of the rabbit. You can’t be a more spiritually conscious meat eater than she is. That was good to see.
- Any prepper type will find something of use in the DVD. I went back to watch the poultry section a 2nd time before handing the DVD over to Jarhead Survivor to watch. I even paused that section a few times so I could write down notes. From a “big picture” perspective, if nothing else, the DVD will spark creative thinking about your own yard and what you might be able to do.
I recommend the DVD for:
- Preppers in Texas – there’s particularly pertinent info for you.
- People serious about trying to produce a large amount of their own food on their own land, whether you’re in Texas or Alaska.
- People that more easily digest information from video than from reading. Each medium serves different learning styles.
I think the folks should do a sequel, and this time make it a bit more lively, more personal. The information is useful, but these folks have a story to tell, and I’d like to see their story weaved in.
If you’ve read the post this far – you’re a hardcore, non-casual SHTF Blog reader. Leave a comment and at week’s end I’ll draw a random number and the author of that comment will get the DVD mailed to him/her. Any comment will do, whether it’s relevant to the post or “I love you, Ranger Man” or “this blog sucks.” Only one comment per-person.
– Ranger Man
BTW: I wrote a Is Prepping Depressing? guest post over at Survival Mom today. Check it out.