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Homesteading in the 21st Century: How One Family Created a More Sustainable, Self-Sufficient, and Satisfying Life
Not since Thoreau made his home in the woods at Walden Pond has the notion of self-sufficiency held more universal appeal. There's no question we're going through some tough economic times, but this book offers an alternative. It's a guide for anyone who imagines a better life--from struggling families tired of energy dependency to dreamers who always wished they could live off the land someday. This ultimate DIY guide holds to the premise that anyone can homestead, and raise at least a portion of their food themselves--even if they live in the city. This book is absolutely brimming with ideas on how to take control of your life by degrees--whether that means keeping chickens, growing a garden, or brewing your own beer.
"The Self Sufficient Life and How to Live It" is the only book that teaches all the skills needed to live independently in harmony with the land harnessing natural forms of energy, raising crops and keeping livestock, preserving foodstuffs, making beer and wine, basketry, carpentry, weaving, and much more. Our 2003 edition included 150 new full-color illustrations and a special section in which John Seymour, the father of the back to basics movement, explains the philosophy of self-sufficiency and its power to transform lives and create communities. More relevant than ever in our high-tech world, "The Self Sufficient Life and How to Live It" is the ultimate practical guide for realists and dreamers alike.
"The Human-Powered Home is a level-headed book which focuses on informing and entertaining. There is no utopian hyperbole, just useful facts and anecdotes that provide the foundation necessary to take appropriate action. Dean has produced an accessible primer for novices in the area of people power as well as a book that is thorough enough to benefit even experienced tinkerers. - Joel Gillespie, Momentum Magazine "Tamara Dean, author of The Human Powered Home, doesn't want anyone to get the wrong idea. Creating one's own power is not an easy undertaking. But it can be very energizing. The bicycle is the real hero in the book. There are photos and descriptions of dozens of jury-rigged devices, built to do everything from wash clothes to make soap to power laptops. While it's a thorough guide for confident do-it-yourselfers, the book also details how pedal and treadle power can make life-changing differences globally." - Marsha Walton, Mother Nature Network What if I could harness this energy? An unusual question for anyone putting in a long stint on a treadmill perhaps, yet human power is a very old, practical, and empowering alternative to fossil fuels. Replacing motors with muscles can be considered a political act--an act of self-sufficiency that gains you independence. The Human-Powered Home is a one-of-a-kind compendium of human- powered devices gathered from a unique collection of experts. Enthusiasts point to the advantages of human power: Portable and available on-demand Close connection to the process or product offers more control Improved health and fitness The satisfaction of being able to make do with what is available This book discusses the science and history of human power and examines the common elements of human-powered devices. It offers plans for making specific devices, grouped by area of use, and features dozens of individuals who share technical details and photos of their inventions. For those who want to apply their own ingenuity, or for those who have never heard of human-powered machines, this book is an excellent reference. For those who are beginning to understand the importance of a life of reduced dependency on fossil fuels, this book could be a catalyst for change. Tamara Dean is a technical and environmental writer who lives in Wisconsin, where she and her partner David human-power their grain mill, blender, coffee grinder, and assorted electrical gadgets.
Starting off as a young, single woman with a desk job and a city apartment, Jenna Woginrich set out to build a more self-sufficient lifestyle by learning homesteading skills. She didn't own land or have much practical experience beyond a few forays into knitting and soap making, but she did have a strong desire to opt out of what she saw as a consumer-driven culture. After moving across the country to a rented farmhouse in northern Idaho, she learned to raise chickens, keep bees, and grow her own food. This is the story of her joyful, dramatic, and sometimes sorrowful journey toward self-reliance. Along the way, she learned that an abundance of enthusiasm and a willingness to experiment could make up for a lack of knowledge, and that reaching out to others for mentoring and guidance could help her reconnect with her community. From the satisfying work of starting a new garden and installing honeybees, to the bliss of gathering fresh eggs to be baked into a quiche served with warm-from-the-oven bread and hand-churned butter, "Made from Scratch" shares the deep satisfaction that comes with providing for oneself. In an encouraging and entertaining voice, Woginrich weaves into her narrative easy-to-follow instructions for making your own clothes, teaching yourself to play a musical instrument, and much more. In any setting - urban, suburban, or rural - with any level of experience, it's possible to take small steps toward self-reliance. Windowbox vegetable gardens, a batch of homemade strawberry jam, a handknit sweater, or a small flock of backyard chickens all satisfy the craving to homestead. It's not about having a rustic cabin on five acres, complete with a pickup truck and a barn full of livestock. For Woginrich, it's about being more receptive to learning the simple skills most of us have forgotten, and finding joy in the process. Praise for "Made from Scratch" - "The book...is simultaneously a lighthearted fish-out-of-water, city-girl-turns-homesteader memoir, and a more serious primer on making a lifestyle change. Perfect for environmentally conscious, do-it-yourself readers." -"Booklist" "This fine, simple book is the real deal - and it will come as a great relief to people feeling some silent dread in a time of rising gas prices, food shortages, and the like. Much can be done -- in your home " -Bill McKibbon, author of "Deep Economy" "A delightful introduction to the simple (and not so simple) life." -William Alexander, author of "The $64 Tomato"
Build your way to a more self-sufficient lifestyle with step-by-step projects for backup and supplementary utilities--including independent water, heat, and electricity--growing and storing food, raising small livestock, beekeeping, and more. Many of the projects require basic materials available at your everday home center, but this book also provides valuable DIY resources for solar, hydro, greenhouse, and gardening needs. This book will help you build security with utility backup systems and become more sustainable, resulting in less dependence on city systems for basic needs. Whether you have a city plot or simply pots, this book includes all of the information needed to plan, build, and succeed with greater self-sufficiency.
Does your backyard or garden look bleak and boring? Has your spouse ever told you that you need your own work building? Are your children's toys overflowing into the neighbor's yard because you have nowhere to put them? Have you ever thought about investing in a two-car garage or a small barn? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this is the book for you. We all know that hiring a contractor or builder to take care of backyard projects can be costly and aggravating. In Monte Burch's BACKYARD STRUCTURES AND HOW TO BUILD THEM, you will be shown how to undertake these projects yourself, saving time and money, and still end up with beautiful new outbuildings. More than two dozen attractive and practical building plans to improve your yard, farm, or homestead are fully presented in this book. Many of the structures are known as pole buildings, which require no foundation excavation, only limited grading, and fewer materials. They also allow for the use of sites not suitable for other types of construction, and offer excellent structural integrity and wind resistance. Monte Burch's backyard structures include: OSmall and Big Hay Bale Barns ORecreational Vehicle Shelter OMobile Home Cover OWoodshed OTwo-Car Garage OWorkshop OPlayhouses OTreestands OGrape Arbors OAnd many more From storage shed to swimming-pool deck surround, Burch's fresh ideas offer something for everyone. Better still, the simplicity and ease of construction make them ideal for the first-time builder.
The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Subjects: Frontier and pioneer life; Pioneers; Wyoming; Women pioneers; Biography
Like so many other city-dwellers, Cam and Michelle Mather longed for a simpler, quieter life in the country. When they found a century-old farmhouse on 150 acres of land that was in their price range, they jumped at the chance to make their move. The fact that the home was "off-grid" with no power or telephone lines connecting it to the outside world seemed like a bonus Twelve years later their life in the country is not quite as simple as they had envisioned, but it is peaceful. There were more challenges than they could have anticipated, as well as more rewards. Along the way they installed more solar panels, erected a wind turbine, and upgraded and replaced all of the major components of their off-grid electrical system. They installed a solar-thermal hot water system; figured out how to have a phone, internet, and satellite TV; and kept their home heated with wood cut from their own property. They also carved out a garden and began growing much of their own food. They acquired new skills and knowledge, but, most importantly, they learned to appreciate the value of good neighbors, good books, and good manure. Cam Mather is a writer, publisher, and video producer who knows how to equalize batteries and pinch suckers off of tomato plants. Michelle Mather looks after the editing, the website, and the dwindling bank account and keeps Cam calm during times of crisis.
Can you make your own bread (sans bread machine)? Grow a garden all winter? What can you use instead of toilet paper? What if the power went out for a month? What if the grocery store closed? Can you make a solar oven? Store food without electricity? Raise a water buffalo? Make fine linen from stinging nettle? Make your own shampoo? Deliver a baby? Is it possible to be totally self-sufficient? This massive, full-color book answers all these questions and thousands more and includes checklists, diagrams, and instructions on how to buy a sheep. All of the information included meets these criteria: It is something that anyone can do, without special training. It can be done with relatively few supplies or with stuff you can make yourself. It has been tried and tested--either by the author, the military, doctors, or other homesteaders. The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading is not a storybook or a cookbook. It is a practical guide with nitty-gritty details on everything a homesteader can do, step-by-step with hundreds of color illustrations and pen and ink sketches. You can do it This book can help.
Homesteading: A Backyard Guide To: Growing Your Own Food, Canning, Keeping Chickens, Generating Your Own Energy, Crafting, Herbal
Who doesn't want to shrink their carbon footprint, save money, and eat homegrown food whenever possible? Even readers who are very much on the grid will embrace this large, fully-illustrated guide on the basics of living the good, clean life. It's written with country lovers in mind-even those who currently live in the city. Whether you live in the city, the suburbs, or even the wilderness, there is plenty you can do to improve your life from a green perspective. Got sunlight? Start container gardening. With a few plants, fresh tomatoes, which then become canned tomato sauce, are a real option. Reduce electricity use by eating dinner by candlelight (using homemade candles, of course). Learn to use rainwater to augment water supplies. Make your own soap and hand lotion. Consider keeping chickens for the eggs. From what to eat to supporting sustainable restaurants to avoiding dry cleaning, this book offers information on anything a homesteader needs-and more.
Anyone who wants to learn basic living skills-the kind employed by our forefathers-and adapt them for a better life in the twenty-first century need look no further than this eminently useful, full-color guide. Countless readers have turned to "Back to Basics" for inspiration and instruction, escaping to an era before power saws and fast food restaurants and rediscovering the pleasures and challenges of a healthier, greener, and more self-sufficient lifestyle. Now newly updated, the hundreds of projects, step-by-step sequences, photographs, charts, and illustrations in "Back to Basics" will help you dye your own wool with plant pigments, graft trees, raise chickens, craft a hutch table with hand tools, and make treats such as blueberry peach jam and cheddar cheese. The truly ambitious will find instructions on how to build a log cabin or an adobe brick homestead. More than just practical advice, this is also a book for dreamers-even if you live in a city apartment you will find your imagination sparked, and there's no reason why you can't, for example, make a loom and weave a rag rug. Complete with tips for old-fashioned fun (square dancing calls, homemade toys, and kayaking tips), this may be the most thorough book on voluntary simplicity available.
Small-Scale Grain Raising: An Organic Guide to Growing, Processing, and Using Nutritious Whole Grains for Home Gardeners and Local
First published in 1977, this bookafrom one of Americaas most famous and prolific agricultural writersabecame an almost instant classic among homestead gardeners and small farmers. Now fully updated and available once more, "Small-Scale Grain Raising" offers an entirely new generation of readers the best introduction to a wide range of both common and lesser-known specialty grains and related field crops, from corn, wheat, and rye to buckwheat, millet, rice, spelt, flax, and even beans and sunflowers.More and more Americans are seeking out locally grown foods, yet one of the real stumbling blocks to their efforts has been finding local sources for grains, which are grown mainly on large, distant corporate farms. At the same time, commodity prices for grainsaand the products made from themahave skyrocketed due to rising energy costs and increased demand. In this book, Gene Logsdon proves that anyone who has access to a large garden or small farm can (and should) think outside the agribusiness box and learn to grow healthy whole grains or beansathe base of our culinary food pyramidaalongside their fruits and vegetables.Starting from the simple but revolutionary concept of the garden apancake patch, a Logsdon opens up our eyes to a whole world of plants that we wrongly assume only the agricultural abig boysa can grow. He succinctly covers all the basics, from planting and dealing with pests, weeds, and diseases to harvesting, processing, storing, and using whole grains. There are even a few recipes sprinkled throughout, along with more than a little wit and wisdom.Never has there been a better time, or a more receptive audience, for this book. Localvores, serious home gardeners, CSA farmers, and whole-foods advocatesain fact, all people who value fresh, high-quality foodsawill find a field full of information and ideas in this once and future classic.
The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year-Round Vegetable Production Using Deep-Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses
Choosing locally grown organic food is a sustainable living trend thatas taken hold throughout North America. Celebrated farming expert Eliot Coleman helped start this movement with "The New Organic Grower" published 20 years ago. He continues to lead the way, pushing the limits of the harvest season while working his world-renowned organic farm in Harborside, Maine.Now, with his long-awaited new book, "The Winter Harvest Handbook," anyone can have access to his hard-won experience. Gardeners and farmers can use the innovative, highly successful methods Coleman describes in this comprehensive handbook to raise crops throughout the coldest of winters.Building on the techniques that hundreds of thousands of farmers and gardeners adopted from "The New Organic Grower" and "Four-Season Harvest," this new book focuses on growing produce of unparalleled freshness and quality in customized unheated or, in some cases, minimally heated, movable plastic greenhouses.Coleman offers clear, concise details on greenhouse construction and maintenance, planting schedules, crop management, harvesting practices, and even marketing methods in this complete, meticulous, and illustrated guide. Readers have access to all the techniques that have proven to produce higher-quality crops on Colemanas own farm.His painstaking research and experimentation with more than 30 different crops will be valuable to small farmers, homesteaders, and experienced home gardeners who seek to expand their production seasons.A passionate advocate for the revival of small-scale sustainable farming, Coleman provides a practical model for supplying fresh, locally grown produce during the winter season, even in climates where conventional wisdom says it ajust canat be done.a
Ivanko and Kivirist - innkeepers, authors, and wearers of many other hats - truly walk the green talk, detailing the nitty-gritty of running a green business. - Library Journal I'm not even sure I'd call this a "business book." ECOpreneuring contains plenty of advice on starting a small, eco-conscious business, but the authors focus primarliy on how entrepreneurial efforts can incorporate values and priorities beyond the bottom line. Lifestyle choices trump profit motives, but neither have to be sacrificed in order to create meaning and income. This kind of positive thinking is repeated again and again throughout the book. In addition to sharing their own success, and the stories of others, ECOpreneuring is filled with practical information about starting and running a small green business. A potential ecopreneur will discover ideas on everything from bookkeeping to marketing, and the authors point to numerous other resources that will help you set up your company, and run your business without running afoul of tax codes, licensing agencies, or litigious competitors. I really enjoyed this thoughtful, well-written book - a business book that's inspiring and practical is hard to come by. ECOpreneuring lays out a blueprint for making health, happiness and abundance an integral part of the work we do.Reviewed by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg, Sustainablog Powerful social trends toward green living, relocalization, and self-sufficiency have fanned the fires of would-be ecopreneurs in North America, driving a shift toward prioritizing purpose over profits, and building community over building market share. A nation of nine-to-fivers is giving way to a spirited bunch of innovators, searching for ways to make a life instead of simply making a living. This accessible and inspiring guide includes profiles of successful ecopreneurs and provides an in-depth exploration of: Eco-business basics Purposeful management Marketing in the green economy Running a lifestyle business Ecopreneuring shows how we can earn our daily bread on a local or regional level while saving money, strengthening the economy, and helping restore the planet to ecological health and social stability. Part small business manifesto, part personal finance primer, Ecopreneuring is essential reading for small business owners, prospective entrepreneurs, and anyone who dreams of a livelihood based on independence, creativity, passion, and a commitment to green practices and sustainability. John Ivanko and Lisa Kivirist are innkeepers of the award-winning Inn Serendipity Bed & Breakfast, which is powered by renewable energy. This husband-and-wife duo are national speakers, organic growers, marketing consultants, and authors, whose books include Rural Renaissance and Edible Earth and a number of Global Fund for Children multicultural books.
Put your backyard to work Enjoy fresher, organic, better-tasting food all the time. The solution is as close as your own backyard. Grow the vegetables and fruits your family loves; keep bees; raise chickens, goats, or even a cow. "The Backyard Homestead" shows you how it's done. And when the harvest is in, you'll learn how to cook, preserve, cure, brew, or pickle the fruits of your labor. From a quarter of an acre, you can harvest 1,400 eggs, 50 pounds of wheat, 60 pounds of fruit, 2,000 pounds of vegetables, 280 pounds of pork, 75 pounds of nuts. Praise for "The Backyard Homestead: "Bottom line is, even if you're not ready for complete self-sufficiency, in today's economic climate, it just makes sense to try to produce some of your own food. And this book is a great way to get your feet wet." - "Epicurious.com"
Self-Sufficiency: A Complete Guide to Baking, Carpentry, Crafts, Organic Gardening, Preserving Your Harvest, Raising Animals, and
Now, more than ever, people across the country are turningtoward simpler, greener, and quieter ways of living--whetherthey're urbanites or country folk. Following in the footsteps ofBack to Basics and Homesteading, this large, fully-illustrated bookprovides the entire family with the information they need to makethe shift toward self-sufficient living.Self-Sufficiency provides tips, advice, and detailed instructions onhow to improve everyday life from an environmentally and organicperspective while keeping the focus on the family. Readers willlearn how to plant a family garden and harvest the produce; canfruits and vegetables; bake bread and cookies; design interactiveand engaging "green" projects; harness natural wind and solar energyto cook food and warm their homes; boil sap to make maplesyrup; and build treehouses, furniture, and more. Also included arenatural crafts readers can do with their kids, such as scrapbooking, making potato prints, dipping candles, and constructing seasonaldecorations. Whether the goal is to live entirely off the grid orjust to shrink their carbon footprints, families will find this book athorough resource and a great inspiration.
Francis Thicke, PhD, is a scientist, an expert on sustainable agriculture, and a practicing dairy farmer. He is widely consulted for his clear explanations of the economic and ecological forces that are changing the way we produce food in the modern world. This book draws from his background as an organic dairy farmer, and as a soil scientist who has served at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. as National Program Leader for Soil Science. This introductory book addresses topics from industrial farming (including CAFOs - Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) to the ongoing conflicts between factory farms and family farms, to how family farms can be profitable after peak oil. He also examines industrial agriculture and nature's own ecological methods, and shows how, in his own dairy operation, new sustainable approaches can be less costly, more productive, and return more profits to farmers. Dr. Thicke is an advocate for the systematic improvement of agricultural technology and farming methods, and for the effective use of sustainable, renewable sources of energy to achieve self-sufficiency in food production. His insights have proven increasingly relevant in the development of new public policy for Iowa, with profound implications for the United States as a whole.
"How to be green, save green, grow greens-even turn a thumb green." Self-sufficient living can mean a healthier life, a way to protect the earth, or a way to save money. This guide helps readers find their perfect degree of self reliance in the areas of food, shelter, energy, clothing, and more. For both the urban and rural dweller, it covers gardening, cooking from scratch, preserving food, raising livestock, keeping chickens, generating or supplementing energy, essential tools and equipment, foraging for wild foods, hunting, fishing, and trapping. a Saving money in today's economy and self-sufficiency go hand-in-hand a For the growing number of eco-friends considering self-sufficiency a Existing books focus on either rural or urban self-sufficiency, but this covers both