From instructions on making your own composting toilet to trimming the toenails on your llamas, this back-the-land guide offers a vast wealth of resources for the eco-minded, twenty-first-century homesteader. The crowded chapters cover growing and harvesting food; keeping livestock (and building structures to house them); incorporating renewable energy technology, such as solar panels, into existing homes; making crafts, household items, and toys; homemade health remedies; and earth-friendly interior design. With so many topics introduced in such a limited space, it’s inevitable that some subjects are treated more superficially than others; for example, a spread on stress management, which includes tips such as “take a walk,” seems out of place in a title filled with so much targeted, useful advice. Best are the practical specifics, and even city dwellers with no interest in taking up beekeeping or basket weaving will enjoy browsing this for recipes, gardening ideas, and, as the introduction states, other accessible ways to “take a few steps closer to a healthier, happier, and more responsible lifestyle.” --Gillian Engberg
About the Author
Abigail R. Gehring
is the editor of Back to Basics, Homesteading
, and Self-Sufficiency
, and author of Odd Jobs
and Dangerous Jobs
. She’s practiced living self-sufficiently since her childhood in Vermont, being home-schooled, home-canning jams and jellies, and enjoying natural crafts. She lives in New York City and Windham, Vermont.