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Interest in local, sustainable food is at an all-time high. Devotees of farmers market and community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs, backyard homesteaders, and community gardeners all want to know more (much more) about how our food is raised. Now, seventh-generation farmer and author Forrest Pritchard introduces us to 18 heroes of the sustainable food movement.
Author: Forrest Pritchard
Homesteading from Scratch is for people who want to do things differently: the type of people who want to eat real food, grow herbs, make cheese, raise baby animals, hunt mushrooms, pick blackberries, can jelly, ferment kraut, farm organically, connect to nature, live intentionally, and more.
Guiding readers from desire to full-blown off-the-grid living (and everything in between), this book covers farming, animal husbandry, food preparation, homeschooling, fiber arts, and even marketing. It provides inspiration from homesteaders who have made a go of it with operations large and small, and outlining their successes and failures. The book helps to democratize the homesteading movement, by providing “ins” for nearly every level of dedication, from the container gardener to full-time farmer. It provides the knowledge necessary to discover homesteading as a movement and as a lifestyle.
Inspired by From Scratch Magazine, an online publication devoted to homesteading and intentional living, this book provides readers with continued support and community for information and resources online. Homesteading from Scratch serves as a reference, as well as a cheerleader, for those who want a bit more control and responsibility over where their food comes from, what they consume, and how they live their lives.
Author: Steven Jones
In today's high-tech society, even the most advanced devices and systems are not fail-safe. Tools can break or wear out, batteries can go dead, and all sorts of malfunctions can render the modern conveniences we rely on totally useless. If quick replacements of failed items are not readily available, the ability to improvise and adapt in the workshop suddenly becomes very practical.
James Ballou, author of the best-selling Long-Term Survival in the Coming Dark Age, dramatically expands on the popular home workshop material in his first book to present a "makeshifter's" way of building and repairing things with only a pile of raw or salvaged materials, your hands and your mind. In this fascinating new book, he presents a wide range of unconventional, remarkably creative home workshop skills, including:
Ballou also gives extensive instruction in makeshift metalworking, practical calculating skills, resourceful salvaging, plus dozens of practical tips for the craftsman or handyman who might need this information in an emergency or who simply enjoys learning about alternative ways to handle home workshop projects.
Author: James Ballou
Here is a holistic approach to small-area farming that will show you how to produce 85 percent of an average family's food on just one-quarter acre — and earn $10,000 in cash annually. This is not back-to-the-land utopianism, but a tested and pragmatic method that can be applied in small lots in rural, suburban and even urban areas. Even if you have never been a farmer or a gardener, Brett Markham's advice will teach you what you need to know:
More than just a how-to guide for self-sufficiency, Mini Farming teaches you the underlying principles of mini-farming so you will have the knowledge to make your own unique applications. Materials, tools and techniques are detailed with over a hundred photographs, tables, diagrams and illustrations.
Author: Brett L. Markham
The 1970s classic has been out of print for years. Now, updated for today's readers and back in print, its information is as useful as ever. It contains instructions and illustrations for everything from harnessing solar energy to cultivating a sustainable garden to learning how to keep bees. Simply put, Mother Earth News Almanac is designed to empower readers to be self-sufficient.
Author: Mother Earth News
Have you ever wanted to build your own chicken coop, cider press or herb-drying rack? How about a clever two-bin composter, horse-blanket washing machine or genuine Langstroth beehive? In Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency, you'll find these projects and a couple dozen more to help you develop and grow your self-reliant lifestyle. Most self-sufficiency books give you pages of words and a couple of small drawings for an explanation, but this book shows you exactly how to do things, employing beautiful photos and complete plans. The projects are organized into four categories: Food Prep & Preservation, Homestead, Garden and Animals. Among the projects are a simple brooder box for chicks, a jumbo cold frame, a basic loom, a large-capacity soil sifter, fencing, trellises and even a solar oven. So, whether you're a longtime do-it-yourselfer looking to complete your skill set or a newcomer taking your first step toward sustainability, Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency is the book to get you there.
Author: Chris Peterson
With Projects to Get You Off the Grid, the Instructables community of do-it-yourselfers have pooled their knowledge into a compact book focused on a series of projects that will get you thinking creatively about thinking green. This collection of 20 projects illustrate just how simple it can be to make your own backyard chicken coop, or turn a wine barrel into a rainwater collector.
Author: Edited by Noah Weinstein
Now, more than ever, people across the country are turning toward simpler, greener, and quieter ways of living, whether they’re urbanites or country folk. This large, fully illustrated book provides the entire family with the information they need to make the shift toward self-sufficient living.
Self-Sufficiency provides tips, advice, and detailed instructions on how to improve everyday life from an environmentally and organic perspective while keeping the focus on the family. Readers will learn how to plant a family garden and harvest the produce; can fruits and vegetables; bake bread and cookies; design interactive and engaging “green” projects; harness natural wind and solar energy to cook food and warm their homes; boil sap to make maple syrup; and build treehouses, furniture, and more. Also included are natural crafts readers can do with their children, such as scrapbooking, making potato prints, dipping candles, and constructing seasonal decorations. Whether the goal is to live entirely off the grid or just to shrink their carbon footprints, families will find this book a thorough resource and a great inspiration.
Author: Abigail R. Gehring
Shelters, Shacks and Shanties, Second Edition presents lively, step-by-step tutelage on building all types of temporary and long-term accommodations from both natural and man-made materials. Originally published in 1914, this practical classic is as essential a guide for today's modern homesteader as it was at the turn of the 20th century.
Included are instructions for dozens of worry-free shelters for you to choose from, including a sod house for the lawn, a treetop house, over-water camps, a bog ken and much more. Satisfying the builder's need for the creature comforts of home, it also provides tips on how to build hearths and chimneys, notched log ladders, and even how to rig a front door with a secret look. Illustrated throughout with a bounty of helpful line drawings, Shelters, Shacks and Shanties, Second Edition harkens back to the can-do spirit of the American frontier that still thrives today.
Author: D.C. Beard
With just a quarter acre of land, you can feed a family of four with fresh, organic food year-round. This comprehensive guide to self-sufficiency gives you all the information you need to grow and preserve a variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts and grains; raise chickens for eggs and meat; raise cows, sheep and goats for meat or milk; raise pigs and rabbits; and keep honeybees. Simple instructions make it easy to enjoy canned, frozen, dried and pickled produce all winter; use your own grains to make bread, pasta and beer; turn fresh milk into delicious homemade yogurt, butter and cheese; make your own wine, cordials and herbal teas; and much, much more. It truly is possible to eat entirely from your backyard.
Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, Mother Earth News is recommending books and products to readers. For more than 40 years, Mother Earth News has been North America's "Original Guide to Living Wisely," creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.
Author: Carleen Madigan
Homesteaders, gardeners, small farmers, and outdoor living enthusiasts will love these 76 DIY projects for practical outdoor items designed to help you live more sustainably and independently. Expert woodworker Spike Carlsen offers clear, simple, fully illustrated instructions for everything from plant supports and a clothesline to a potting bench, a chicken coop, a hoop greenhouse, a cold frame, a beehive, a root cellar with storage bins, and an outdoor shower. Most of the projects are suitable for complete novices, and all use just basic tools and standard building materials.
Author: Spike Carlsen
Every woodworker will want to own this colorful, information-packed, mammoth resource for weekend crafting. It's filled with 150 classic projects and features an introductory section that walks readers through the various planning stages. It's all covered: selecting the right wood, working with patterns, gluing and finishing. Novices can effortlessly make simple mirrors, shelves, clocks and jewelry boxes, while those with slightly more advanced skills can try the small cupboard, blanket chest or side table. For outdoors, there are whimsical weather vanes, whirligigs, plant stands and trellises. Some of the sweetest items are just for kids, such as animal pull toys, wheeled cars, puzzles, a winged rocking chair, and vintage-style doll accessories. Every project includes finishes or surface decoration options, plus drawings and patterns.
Author: John A. & Joyce Nelson