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Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World [Kindle Edition]

Kelly Coyne , Erik Knutzen
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)

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Book Description

If you have ever wondered how to grow vegetables in an apartment, build a chicken coop, homebrew beer, or make your own soap from scratch—this book is for you.

The essential guide to becoming a producer instead of a consumer, Making It is full of simple, ingenious projects for your home, your garden, and even your fire escape. With projects ranging from the simple to the ambitious and easy, step-by-step instructions, you'll build all the skills you need to do everything from making your own laundry soap to becoming a beekeeper in your backyard.

The projects are divided into five categories, based on the amount of time they take: day to day, weekly, monthly, season to season, and big projects you'll need to do only once. You can start with an oil lamp that will just take a couple of minutes, and before you know it, you'll be making vinegar, setting up grow lights, and keeping a worm composter under the sink. No matter how skilled (or unskilled) you might be, the activities in this book are fun, inexpensive, and eminently doable. Making It brings a sense of adventure to the most ordinary activities around the house and garden, reshaping domestic chores into part of a more creative, sensible, and sustainable way of life.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

KELLY COYNE and ERIK KNUTZEN grow food, keep chickens, brew, bike, bake, and plot revolution from their 1/12-acre farm in the heart of Los Angeles. They are the keepers of the popular DIY blog, Root Simple, and the authors of The Urban Homestead, which the New York Times describes as "home economics as our greatgrandparents knew it...the contemporary bible on the subject."

Product Details

  • File Size: 3921 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale (April 26, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004XJG5VW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #550,349 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
387 of 395 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally stuff that works April 30, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
By any chance, have you, like me, wanted to be able to make truly useful things for years? Intended to convert to cleaning in a cheap, responsible way? But just kept finding books of recipes and tips that didn't deliver, were overly complicated, called for such a wide variety of ingredients, many obscure and expensive, that you started to doubt it'd save any money at all, even if you didn't botch a single thing? I mean, what's the point of trading out my very long domestic shopping list of items I can find at Target with an equally long list of items that have to be gathered from the far-flung corners of the globe?

This is not one of those books. This is brilliant in its simplicity. The recipes and ingredients are so elemental, the authors might be the Prometheus of Home Ec. I've had the book for five days. Not only do I not need to buy half that domestic list anymore (and I imagine that will only grow as I work my way through more projects), but I don't know what I'm going to do with the stuff -the shaving cream, the detangler, the toilet cleaner, the windex- that's already in the house because this homemade stuff is BETTER than the store bought junk. What I like best about this book might be how it's changed the feel of my whole place. There's life and processes everywhere: soap is curing, the hair rinse is steeping, seedlings are sprouting, herbs are growing. I look at things around my home and see new uses for them. I see something I typically buy and think "I could make that." There's something peacefully reassuring about this but more so it's a loud humming of anticipation, excitement, and almost manic creativity. After about 8 projects, I started thinking "There needs to be a recipe for solid perfume! I'd really love a recipe for throat lozenges! With honey!
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143 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Consumerism is Hollow July 5, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are even slightly interested in becoming self-sufficient in your household you need to purchase this book. It's the best I've seen on the subject - for newbies or veterans.

I happen to be a bit of a veteran in this area, for years having made my own laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, toothpaste, kombucha, gardening, canning, you name it. I've flipped through many books on this subject and have never been impressed - it's all either extremely rudimentary to the point of stupidity, or overly complicated and expensive. This book is neither: it's simple but not without explanation, inexpensive and accessible, and even projects that should be a little more difficult are explained clearly and in great detail. Nearly half of the projects I've already done variations of or do on a regular basis, yet there was still material I learned a great deal from. Soapmaking is one thing I will specifically mention.

Soapmaking books tend to be focused on making "pretty" or scented or "exfoliating" or some other stupid fancy complicated things. I've wanted to make bar soap for years - just basic, simple, easy, practical. This book contains a recipe for "blender soap" - 3 ingredients and a blender. And the lye they recommend using? Common drain opener available in most hardware stores. To borrow from the extensive reviewer Auntie Claus... it is "brilliant in its simplicity." That's really an accurate description of this entire book. I already have two batches of soap curing and this information alone was worth its purchase.

(I will also add that they include the "hard way" of making soap via the traditional method of lard and homemade lye from wood ash.
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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Far - So Good June 23, 2011
By Liisa
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book about a month ago and just yesterday made the "Herbal Stick Deodorant" for my husband. He has tried a few of the store bought "natural" brands and they all gave him a rash. I'm happy to say he loves the home made herbal stick deodorant. No rash and it really works!
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80 of 85 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For newbies only, if even January 15, 2012
Nothing new here folks. I think these topics have been covered just as well or better in a slew of books that started with The Nearings "The Good Life", and maybe even earlier in Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management (circa 1861). As others have mentioned, the text design is difficult to read, but I doubt that the authors picked it. I also know after 30 years of homesteading (both urban and rural) that there are better ways to do a lot of this stuff. For one thing ladies, don't make your own menstrual pads, buy yourself the reusable Keeper or Diva Cup (search on-line for sites) and you will never have to buy a tampon again. Olive oil lamps are useless, invest in an Aladdin brand lamp for easy reading and working - it will last a lifetime with proper care. I did find there was something sweet and genuine in the goal of this book and it's actually why I gave it three stars. Each generation seems to feel the tug to go back to the "simple life", and each seems to think they are the first to invent the concept. I wish anyone interested in this topic and lifestyle have a chance to explore and experience it. I would suggest you take this book out of the library and actually buy The Encyclopedia of Country Living: An Old Fashioned Recipe Book by Carla Emery to really get back to basics.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book!!!!!!
This book is so cool!! I have already started to make some of the recipes. A great read even when you're not creating. Highly recommend! Love it!
Published 1 month ago by Frequent Flyer
5.0 out of 5 stars DIY awesomeness!
A wealth of information. Have already tried some of the ideas and they worked well for me.
Published 2 months ago by donna
5.0 out of 5 stars So helpful!!
Coyne and Knutzen have delivered exactly what I was looking for - a real compendium of recipes and guides for a more self-sufficient home, involving ingredients and supplies that I... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lilly
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very informative.
Published 4 months ago by Eastcoast Girl
I received this at Christmas and can't wait to try out many of the ideas! All the projects look to be pretty simple and our goal is to be more self sufficient, organic and "off... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Annie Laney
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 5 months ago by Linda McCormick
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
Good when I was interested in survival.
Published 6 months ago by Nadia Aronson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good information.
Published 7 months ago by Cynthia
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for the DIY person
This is a great book that if FILLED with practical DIY projects that almost anyone can do at home. I highly recommend it!
Published 9 months ago by Ray L
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a terrific book with many homemade products the authors have...
This is a terrific book with many homemade products the authors have tested themselves. Very good ideas from beginning to end, some you've heard of, and other probably not. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Michael
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