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.
Author: Cam Mather, Michelle Mather
In a hectic world of mass-produced food, clothing, and entertainment, it’s easy to miss out on the simple pleasures of doing things for yourself. Meet Jenna Woginrich, a 26-year-old web designer who decided to take control of her life — what she ate, what she wore, and how she spent her free time. Learn a few basic country skills, she reasoned, and she would be able to produce at least some of the food and other resources she used every day. Made from Scratch tells the story of Woginrich's hilarious, heartbreaking, soul-satisfying journey, inspiring and entertaining readers who dream about a more self-sufficient lifestyle. Discover the joys of homesteading with Woginrich as she experiences the satisfaction of making bread, keeping chickens, keeping bees, sew clothing, grow vegetables and more!
Author: JENNA WOGINRICH
In 2010, Cody and his Wranglerstar family decided to turn their backs on a comfortable city life and become modern-day homesteaders. Their adventure starts in the rugged mountains of the Pacific Northwest. They are now popular pioneers in a growing movement of people seeking independence from debt, freedom to raise their family with values and faith, and the peace of a simpler, more meaningful approach to life.
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
In the 1970s, Dolly Freed lived off the land dirt cheap and plum easy. Living in her own house on a half-acre lot outside of Philadelphia for almost five years, Dolly and her father produced their own food and drink and spent roughly $700 each per year. Thirty years later, Dolly Freed's Possum Living is as fascinating and pertinent as it was in 1978. This reissue of the survivalist classic has a foreword by David Gates and an afterword by the author.
After discussing reasons why you should or shouldn't give up your job, Possum Living gives you details about the cheapest ways with the best results to buy and maintain your home, dress well, cope with the law, stay healthy and keep up a middle-class facade — whether you live in the city, in the suburbs or in a small town. In a delightful, straightforward style, Dolly Freed explains how to be lazy, proud, miserly and honest, live well and enjoy leisure. She shares her knowledge for what you do need — your own home, for example — and what you don't need — such as doctors, lawyers and insurance. Through her own example, Dolly hopes to inspire you to do some independent thinking about how economics affects the course of your life now and may do so in the coming "age of shortages." If you ever wondered what it would be like to be in greater control of your own life, Possum Living will show you — and help you do it for yourself.
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 to readers. For 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: Dolly Freed
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
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
Award-winning author Temple Grandin is famous for her groundbreaking approach to decoding animal behavior. Now she extends her expert guidance to small-scale farming operations. Grandin’s fascinating explanations of how to analyze herd animals’ behavior and of how to understand how they think — (describing their senses, fears, instincts, and memories) — will help you handle your livestock more safely and effectively. You’ll learn to become a skilled observer of animal movement and behavior, and detailed illustrations will help you set up simple and efficient facilities for managing a small herd of 3 to 25 cattle or pigs, or 5 to 100 goats or sheep.
Author: TEMPLE GRANDIN
Wild meat, hunted in a responsible way, is one of the most healthful, sustainable foods possible. Depending on how it is done, hunting can be as local, intimate and humane as it gets. And aside from this, it demands the hunter enter a world of awareness, wildness, life and death that we have lost connection to as a culture.
The Compassionate Hunter's Guidebook is a guide for those that come to the act of hunting with pure intentions, motivated by a desire for healthy food that comes directly from the land where they live. This practical manual suggests that hunting is not a "sport" and the animals whose lives are taken are not "game." It combines a deep, philosophical exploration of the ethics of killing with detailed instructions on every step of the process including:
A unique and comprehensive, fully illustrated guide to the complexity, ethics and spirit of the hunt, The Compassionate Hunter is a must-read for beginning and experienced hunters alike. It will appeal to anyone who wishes to delve more deeply into the complex, humbling and ultimately profound reality of our relationship with the food that nourishes us.
Author: Miles Olson
In barnyards and backyards, on rooftops and in alleyways, a movement is happening: the modern homesteading movement. Whether it’s turning a lawn into a vegetable garden, getting a flock of chickens, or transforming cucumbers into pickles, people everywhere are taking charge of their own food supply. Ashley English, a major figure in the return to homesteading, gives newcomers her time-honored tips for successfully overseeing food production in their own homes. Completely updating material from her phenomenal homesteading books (Keeping Bees, Keeping Chickens, Canning & Preserving, and Home Dairy), this collection covers everything from preserving jams and jellies to whipping butter and keeping a hive of honey bees. English provides entry points, troubleshooting tips, and inspiration for putting the food your family consumes back in your own hands.
Author: Ashley English
Christophe Pourny learned the art of furniture restoration in his father’s atelier in the south of France. In this, his first book, he teaches readers everything they need to know about the provenance and history of furniture, as well as how to restore, update and care for it—from antiques to midcentury pieces, family heirlooms and funky flea-market finds. The heart of the book is an overview of Pourny’s favorite techniques—ceruse, vernis anglais and water gilding, among many others—with full-color step-by-step photographs to ensure that readers can easily replicate each refinishing technique at home. Pourny brings these techniques to life with a chapter devoted to real-world refinishing projects, from a veneered table to an ebonized desk, a gilt frame to a painted northern European hutch. Rounding out this comprehensive guide is care and maintenance information, including how to properly clean leather, polish hardware, fix a broken leg and replace felt pads, as well as recipes to make your own wax, shellac, varnish, stain, and more.
Author: Christope Pourny
The New Farmer’s Almanac, Volume 3 contains 360 pages of original agrarian content, essays, cartoons, imagery, and historical snippets, ?harnessed from more than 120 contributors to the Greenhorns (a nontraditional grassroots organization made up of young farmers and ranchers). Farmers hold space in many interwoven commons, and possibilities for our shared future rests on how these intersecting commons are governed?particularly at the juncture of humanity and ecology, where farmers make their workplace. In re-visiting the almanac format, this volume asserts a version of Americana and addresses how to equip ourselves for the challenges of rebuilding the food system and restoring a more democratic, more diverse, and more resilient foundation for society. In the face of a dystopian future where the weather is unpredictable, the fossil fuel economy is on the point of collapse, monopolies are endlessly consolidating, and the country is, for the first time in our history, majority urban, this publication provides a utopian voice. It reminds today’s farmers about the foundational concepts of an agrarian democracy?concepts that are themselves utopian. This almanac also rejects the self-propelling logic of techno-utopia?dependent upon extraction economies and enclosure of common resources. Instead, the book orients itself toward the words of Ursula Le Guin, who reminds us that the intent in utopian thinking should not be “reactionary, nor even conservative, but simply subversive. It seems that the utopian imagination is trapped, like capitalism and industrialism and the human population, in a one-way future consisting only of growth.” This tidy volume holds a civil, lived testimony from people whose work, lifeworld, and behavior patterns beamingly subvert the normative values of the macro economy called America.