Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

76 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
I briefly met Carla Emery years ago. She was a very warm, giving, and likeable person (sadly I later learned she died shortly after I met her), and she was the real deal. She had grown up on a farm, homesteading, and living and learning from her relatives many of the skills she writes about in her book (she admitted some parts of the book were researched--not surprising given this book is truly encyclopedic). But for her the skills she writes about was a way of life.

There's a good reason this book is a classic with multiple editions. It includes more information on country skills than most of us will ever use. It boogles my mind how she put it all together. Back to Basics is another classic in this genre, but that was written by a whole team of writers. This was all Carla.
Reading this is like spending time in a room full of homesteaders and listening to them chat and swap stories. Of course, you probably won't need to know how to give birth to a baby without a doctor around or how to midwife/husband a baby calf into the world in a snow storm, but it's comforting to know you could find out how if necessary, even if the power is out. Most likely you'll need if for things like mending a fence or growing grain. Yep, it's in here. And Carla's likeability comes through in print. This book is a classic.

Other books likely of interest:
>Your Cabin in the Woods, which is a great starter book for anyone thinking about getting their own place in the country, as it is a very helpful combination of both practical and philosophical.
>Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition, also great reference for all things homesteading.
>Traditional Breads of the World: 275 Easy Recipes from Around the Globe
Like The Encyclopedia of Country Living, these books have also stood the test of time.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
112 of 116 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
In 1998 my husband, our four year old son and I moved from the city to 11.93 acres in the middle of nowhere. We lived for two years without running water or electricity. From my first copy of The Encyclopedia of Country Living I learned how to milk a goat and raise my hogs. I learned how to dress out a large animal and brooder chicks with kerosene lanterns. Not that I read this book a lot or anything, but I literally wore the covers off of the copy that I ordered from Lehman's Non-Electric Hardware Store.

I'm on my second copy now, which my husband had drilled with a three hole punch to give it more staying power. I highly recommend this book to learn the life-style of self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency is a mind set and a life-style. I highly recommend it.

My son is 18 years old and a freshman in college now. I am an old woman of nearly 55. I wouldn't give up my memories or skills for anything. This is a fantastic reference book, and really, the only one you'll ever need.

One other note: I wrote Ms. Emery about some health problems I was having and she wrote me back! I'll never forget her kindness to a stranger. One of my deepest regrets is I did not get to meet her. As a struggling author here on Amazon I find her achievements amazing. I hope her family reads this and knows how much her writing meant to our family. God bless you, Ms. Emery. I hope you can know how much your postcard meant to me.
44 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
I just got the Kindle version of this 40th Anniversary Edition of what I know as Carla Emery's Old Fashioned Recipe Book.

I own one of the first actually bound-book editions (vs. the loose leaf, three-ring binder, subscription editions.) From what I understand, Carla numbered that one, the first completed, professionally printed, and bound edition, the second edition. I bought it in the late 70's... probably 1977, would be my guess and I carried it all over the world with me for all these years, unbelievably it's still bound like new and every page is in place! Granted, I treasured it and was careful of it, but that's still a testament to its hardiness and my care over the years.

I also own an Encyclopedia of Country Living version from a couple of years ago.

And now this Kindle, 40th Anniversary Edition.

Money well spent; all of it. This book, all editions, is an entire University of Self-Sufficiency in one fat volume (928 pages) all for only, ONLY, $14.99! This book represents the work and learning of an entire lifetime well-spent, if curtailed too early. We are all poorer for the loss of Carla back in 2005. I miss her, there's a Carla shaped hole in my Universe; and I never even got to meet her.

I read my first copy, front to back, several times and referred back to it over and over, over the last many decades. I skimmed the more recent Encyclopedia version once, maybe twice--I can still get sucked in when consulting for one particular piece of information... and surface hours later. Tonight, I decided to read this new Anniversary Edition again, front to back. I want to see what's new. I know there's updated information, in particular source information, and that should be interesting. Besides, the more times we revisit information, the more we make it our own. What could be more profitable or more fun than going back to school with Carla and the Old Fashioned Recipe Book family?

Speaking of what I like to think of as the Old Fashioned Recipe Book Family, one of the criticisms I have read in reviews of other editions is that Carla's style is too "chatty" or some such similar adjective; that she brings in too much information brought to her by her vast correspondence over the decades. I most heartily disagree. Yes, she's chatty, just as though you had sat down for a cup of tea and a conversation with her, her correspondents, her friends and her family. That is precisely the traditional way of transmitting culture, knowledge and tradition, all the things this book and Carla's life's work is all about. What I'd give for the time again to talk with my almost-Amish grandmother; I lost her far, far too early. This book is the closest I am ever likely to come and I am grateful for the heart-transmission of this age-old, priceless, information and tradition not only from Carla, but from her vast network of correspondents.

I only have one teeny-tiny complaint about this book: Carla totally ignores all of the vast tradition of brewing of beers, ales, (hard) ciders and such and the making of liqueurs, and wines, and traditional distillates. I kind of suspect that Carla herself didn't hold with the uses of the various alcoholic preparations, but it's just a guess based upon nothing at all save intuition and the vast silence in her book on the subject. My complaint is that this leaves a gaping, ragged hole in the tradition of agricultural product preservation and in the tradition of medicine-making and traditional healing works. However, given that the rest of what Carla covers is so broad and deep, I am willing to make allowances for this one (pretty large), deficiency and go find that information elsewhere. Sadly, that subject is so huge that I am unable to give just a single reference (or even ten) on it like I can with most other self-sufficiency issues by just referring to this, Carla's book.

Sometimes, when I get to about this point in other product's reviews, I say to myself "yes, I know you liked it, but what's IN it?" To that, about this book, I can answer, "Everything between the end of Hunter/Gatherer and the beginning of Earl "Get Big or Get Out" Butz (Nixon's Secretary of Agriculture); everything but the alcohol! Ok, so that's probably an exaggeration... so here's something I know to be completely true: Everything between raising, killing and butchering a hog, through raising and preparing almost all plant foods, to the ancient, authentic, Mid-Eastern recipe for Marzipan complete with rose water (more authentic than all I have found on a recent extensive search of the internet!)

Once I complete my revisit of the University of Carla with all the upgrades, I will revisit this review and edit it if I think there's anything productive or interesting to add.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I bought the 40th anniversary of this book, after using my library's copy of an older version of this book, for many years. The 40th anniversary edition basically has updated web links and updated addresses. In this day and age of change, I suggest having the updated version. Its huge and has more info than you will probably ever need but its enjoyable reading excerpts on how to deliver a baby to how to care for your own dead relatives.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
I had to buy another one because I wore the covers and several pages off the book I bought in the 70s. It was used for reference many many times.

I don't always agree with Carla Emery's advice. I think bathing more often is essential. I think I want to wear boots that match when I go out to eat. And I don't think a nice green lawn is a waste of yard space. BUT, I learned how to do some of the lesser known country arts. One of her by scratch root beer recipes was a family favorite and high in demand, and I had a sour dough starter that kept me in home made bread yeast for years. Raised livestock on her advice. Grew grand gardens. Raised healthy children.

For me, it was great to have a book on the shelf that has just about all the info you would ever need to deal with anything involving country living.

The book is my favorite. There is more in the book than you will likely ever try, but it is amusing and folksy and a great read even if you don't try everything.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I have purchased several editions of this book, I actually met the author once, and just missed being able to attend her country living school. She was an amazing person- I hadn't heard she had passed away until I got this book. If you have hopes of living out in the country, off the land, and want to learn all the old-time ways of doing things, this is the book you want. The bread-making section is my favorite.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
An all inclusive guide to homesteading. If it's not in the book, a referral to finding it is. Love it
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is the must have reference book for just about any grid-down situation. Guaranteed to contain any topic you can possibly think of relating to living off the land, growing your own food, raising farm animals, canning, making cheese, delivering a baby, the list goes on and on. This book is also one hell of a bargain, at over 900 pages it's the size of a large phone book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I had the original and got this for my daughter and family. Couldn't resist a read! So much info and more organized than the first one! I will never forget my husband going out to butcher a rabbit with book in hand and then coming in with rabbit (still wiggling it's nose) and book, saying, this just doesn't work! He did not have the heart to twist it's neck like she said to do!! I suggested he turn it loose and shoot at it like he did the wild rabbits, he was appalled! We wore that book out!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is great in the sense that it covers a little of everything. While it covers a lot in great depth, for the items it doesn't Carla provided references where you can obtain more information.

I bought this book because I was interested in a more self sufficient lifestyle and wanted to know more. This book is a great reference I see getting a lot of use.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre
Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre by Brett L. Markham (Paperback - April 1, 2010)
$10.70


The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It
The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It by John Seymour (Hardcover - August 17, 2009)
$22.79
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.