Read for Free
with Kindle Unlimited

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Storey's Basic Country Skills: A Practical Guide to Self-Reliance [Kindle Edition]

John Storey , Martha Storey
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $18.95 What's this?
Print List Price: $24.95
Kindle Price: $11.99
You Save: $12.96 (52%)
Kindle Unlimited Read this title for free and get unlimited access to over 700,000 titles. Learn More

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $11.99  
Hardcover --  
Paperback $17.82  
Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Book Description

This is the book for anyone who wants to become more self-reliant, from suburbanites with 1/4 of an acre to country homesteaders with several. The information is easily understood and readily applicable.

More than 150 of Storey's expert authors in gardening, building, animal raising, and homesteading share their specialized knowledge and experience in this ultimate guide to living a more independent, satisfying life.

Readers will find step-by-step, illustrated instructions for every aspect of country living including:

  • Finding country land
  • Buying, building, and renovating a home
  • Developing water sources and systems
  • Understanding wiring, plumbing, and heating
  • Using alternative heating and energy sources
  • Vegetable, flower, and herb gardening
  • Traditional cooking skills such as baking bread and making maple syrup
  • Preparing and preserving meat, fruits, and vegetables
  • Building and maintaining barns, sheds, and outbuildings
  • Caring for common farm and ranch animals, and pets

Editorial Reviews


“This big, comprehensive book that covers everything from land to animals; from vegetables to country cooking.  The book encompasses more than 40 years of writing and includes the expertise of many experienced authors.  It’s like having a whole community of seasoned gardeners, farmers and homesetaders living next door to you.” – Star Beacon


From the Publisher

A Selection of Country Homes & Garden Book Club

Product Details

  • File Size: 20253 KB
  • Print Length: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (November 11, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004HFR1QK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,931 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
235 of 236 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The bible (small-b) of rural living February 29, 2004
We bought this tome just a few weeks before moving from the city where we'd lived our entire lives to a 20-acre rural country place miles and miles from any city limits.
For the first year especially, we kept this book out. You would be astonished at its contents. It describes the pros and cons of water wells, reusing dirt, planning land for gardens and barns, chicken problems, keeping goats, arranging around weather, tanning leather, insect control, tree problems to watch out for and their solutions, energy in places where the lines don't run, getting water from point A to B, storing grains and other foods, and... you NAME IT!
This made our lives so much better. We didn't even use all the advice we read simply because one family can only do so much the first year they move into the country for the first time but this book was our comfort book in knowing that if we had problems, we'd find the solutions here.
Was this review helpful to you?
72 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little bit of EVERYTHING! August 24, 2005
If you are looking for one book to serve as a comprehensive guide to nearly every aspect of living in the country and fending for yourself, then you atleast owe it to yourself to browse through this book atleast once; at a minimum, you should borrow it from the library for a peek. This book takes you from start to finish; dawn to dusk; season to season. It may not be as detailed in some areas as you may prefer but you can always find a book dedicated to areas in which you require more information. As a general resource, this book won't be perched on your bookshelf long enough to collect dust since you'll be picking it up on a regular basis.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Storey's Basic Country Skills March 31, 2000
By A Customer
This is a GREAT resource book. It contains a little bit of info on just about anything you could want to know about. It is amazing how much it covers--and how well. It is full of very good advice, techniques, and practical skills and solutions for not only country dwellers, but for anyone interested in being able to rely on themselves--inside the home (covers anything from electrical help to help in the kitchen with recipes and canning/freezing) to the great outdoors (covers decks, gardening & tree houses to caring for livestock). I just recently moved to the country, and I will be using this book as a primary reference and guide for many of the projects I have planned. Thank you, John and Martha Storey!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
130 of 145 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing lack of detail August 7, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because of the high review rating, and for the first time was very let down by a highly rated book. I already have a whole bookshelf of books dedicated to small farming/homesteading/sustainable living and thought this would be a comprehensive addition. Unfortunately, this would be an excellent book for someone who has grown up in the city, never been to a working ranch/homestead, and has absolutely no knowledge of the subject. If you already have such knowledge and/or experience you will find this book woefully deviod of useful information. It has a WIDE range of topics (most of which I was not interested in, such as how to install hardwood floor and how to build a treehouse) and each topic is only touched on in the most superficial way. For example, the chapter on treehouses only shows you how to build one kind, assuming that's the only kind you would want to build, and the whole chapter is 4 pages. I suppose the best use for this book would be for a novice to purchase in order to BEGIN a library on the subject, and then use this book to decide what topics to invest in more books on so as to get better information and more detail. If you are looking for real information on specifics such as how to keep a healthy and productive meat flock of chickens, or detailed food preservation techniques, find a specific book on the subject.
Was this review helpful to you?
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite resource for homesteading April 17, 2005
This has been such a great help. It gave me lots of ideas for things I want to do, and gives me encouragement for what I am currently trying. I like the simple illustrations. All I would like more in this book is ... more. It's a great book to get started trying different things, although I do find other books with more detail after I get started. For example, making soap - great practical first-timer information in this book. Once I tried it, I went to the library and found more detailed books on soapmaking. But the Storey book is my best starter.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a FANTASTIC reference book December 26, 2001
I bought this book for my husband who owns and operates a saw mill. He also raises bees. This book has sections on his interests and mine as well. There is information on gardening, canning, animal care, herbs and so much more. There are wonderful recipies and literally hundreds of tips and ideas. This is a book will we read and read again. It has very clear illustrations and clear, useful directions. A real find.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
116 of 132 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book in the "Storey" series December 11, 2002
Storey, for me, is quickly becoming my reference book of choice, as far as "how to live on a farm if you weren't born on one" goes. This book was my jumping off point. It contains sections on how to buy land, how to build your home, how to raise chickens, sheep, goats, pigs, and cows. I should note, however, that this book is more like a "compilation" of works by other authors. The Basic Country Skills (BCS) extracts information from many other books, and puts them in one reference text. There are a few parts where I think the editors forgot to re-lable diagrams (specifically in the "how to butcher a cow" section) but if you're planning on slaughtering your own animals, you should probably buy a reference manual specific to butchering to compliment this one. BCS is a great book for people like me who are planning to buy a little patch of earth somewhere far away from the hubub of city life, but who can only dream about it for the present. BCS is a great primer for those who want to get closer to where our food comes from than waxed supermarket produce, or shrinkwrapped beef. I'm not a vegetarian, but it doesn't seem fair for meat eaters to eat something that they didn't have to feed and care for, and finally, to come to terms with the fact that this animal you've had for 9 months is going to be the beef for your family for the next year. Taking its life, so that you can continue yours.. that should be each of our (meat-eaters anyway) responsibility. To treat our food with dignity, and kindness, and thank it for nourishing and providing for us.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Search Customer Reviews

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category