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The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency Paperback – November 13, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

As food self-sufficiency awareness grows, books appear to support such efforts. Hess is unique in her recognition of the practicality of weekend-only attention to these pursuits. A 12-month structure helps a variety of readers, from multiacre farm dwellers to suburbanites and high-rise residents, start with short projects. Springtime planning includes acreage, backyard and urban container plantings, rooftop and community gardens via mapping, record-keeping, and planting tips (okra, squash). Hess segues to summer and fall plantings (leaf lettuce, turnips, carrots), advising on seed and food preservation and season-extension using hoop-supported protection. Colder weather means planning crop rotation, soil testing, and planting fruit trees and berries, and March allows the planting of cold-tolerant veggies (beets, onions). Hess provides a list of goals, costs, times, levels of difficulty, and kid-friendliness for each project, and illustrations, photos, charts, and diagrams throughout. --Whitney Scott

Review

“As food self-sufficiency awareness grows, books appear to support such efforts. Hess is unique in her recognition of the practicality of weekend-only attention to these pursuits. A 12-month structure helps a variety of readers, from multiacre farm dwellers to suburbanites and high-rise residents, start with short projects. Springtime planning includes acreage, backyard and urban container plantings, rooftop and community gardens via mapping, record-keeping, and planting tips (okra, squash). Hess segues to summer and fall plantings (leaf lettuce, turnips, carrots), advising on seed and food preservation and season-extension using hoop-supported protection. Colder weather means planning crop rotation, soil testing, and planting fruit trees and berries, and March allows the planting of cold-tolerant veggies (beets, onions). Hess provides a list of goals, costs, times, levels of difficulty, and kid-friendliness for each project, and illustrations, photos, charts, and diagrams throughout.” (Booklist)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; 1 edition (November 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616088826
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616088828
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 7.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Anna Hess enjoys writing about her adventures, both on her blog at www.WaldenEffect.org and in her books. Her first paperback, The Weekend Homesteader, helped thousands of homesteaders-to-be find ways to fit their dreams into the hours leftover from a full-time job. Hess is also the author of The Naturally Bug-Free Garden, Trailersteading, and several ebook-only titles. She lives with her husband in the mountains of southwest Virginia.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Weekend Homesteader, written by Anna Hess, stands out by presenting the building blocks of a real world homestead lifestyle, one weekend at a time. With a whopping forty eight homesteading activities, there is plenty for DIYers of all experience levels to wrap their heads and hands around.

Hubby and I first became acquainted with Anna and her husband Mark when we bought their chicken waterers about three years ago. I've been a faithful follower of their back to basics exploits ever since. The Walden Effect is one of the best homesteading reality shows not on television. Anna has done an amazing job of translating their seven years of hands on experience into a monthly guide of frugal activities to help you reach your personal self-sufficiency goals.

This book is loaded with homesteading fundamentals from composting and sourcing urban and rural biomass, building rain barrels, optimum soil temperatures for spring gardens, succession planting, canning and freezing your harvest, to assembling a respectable homesteader tool kit.

As an experienced, but `lazy-faire' home gardener, the 10 juiciest homesteading tidbits we'll examine and practice over the next year include:

1. Do-it-yourself oyster mushroom propagation using corrugated cardboard;

2. The necessity of team building for sustainable homesteading;

3. Diversifying your income (and figuring out your real hourly pay);

4. The pros and cons of buying food in bulk for building an emergency food stash (Folks who are getting into `Prepper' movement should take a hard look at this and other sections dealing with emergency preparedness before investing in their SHTF and bug out supplies);

5. Strawberry and bramble growing tips;

6.
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Format: Paperback
First, I love the book's size and the large font size. You can read it while it sits open on the counter and from a distance away with your hands full like you might find yourself if you were doing one of the projects she writes about. The month to month approach will have me glancing often for reminders of what seasonal activities I may be forgetting.

She covers the basics: growing, preparing, and preserving food, using space, considering weather, and being observant to your own life patterns. Her goal of financial independence is felt throughout. I like where she starts with it, a definition of homesteading, creating a better life than you could have afforded. Her success may have to do with being able to keep it simple, like her lesson on drying fruits and veggies in the car. She scours the waste stream for treasure and pays attention to details that lead to organizing stored food into labeled containers placed in time order with corresponding chart. Ya, a geek.

Anna's apprenticing tips contain the details that matter, like listening more than you talk. With similar frankness her staying warm without electricity plan starts with wearing the right clothes. Her belt-tightening tips show what is to be gained for what's given up, homemade bread and a carrot you can taste are worth a few sacrifices.

In both of our books we take a close look at time and we agree that we need more of it if we're going to be successful. Those jobs may have to go. Anna points to the problem. She suggests consuming less media like TV in order to gain time. Thoughtfully she reminds us that the media changes the way we feel about ourselves. It shapes our experience of having enough.
Though I've been homesteading for six years I learned new things from Anna's book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever thought about becoming more self-sufficient- not only as a homesteader, but also as an individual striving to build & understand one's own identity. Anna has captured the essence of all the labors and bountiful pleasures of having done it yourself. Her book not only is a how to, but a WHY to. It is thought provoking and may have you asking yourself why not? A "guide" book does not figure to be one that will be hard to put down, but I found it to be so engaging, laden with beautiful photography of her adventures and nature. And finally, now that I have read it -I find it is a must have reference for my library!
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Format: Paperback
Anna Hess believes in the values of living off the land. This guide to homesteading is divided into months (12) and weekends (48) to take you one step at a time through the homesteading year. I was pleased to see that it had prepared for those who are not in this country (for instance, those "down under"), by mentioning that December in USA is the June growing season in Australia. Since this reviewer has gardening friends worldwide, it is nice to see what they are up to now (when it is December here) and how their gardens grow.

The book starts with April, the beginning of a gardener's year. As a homesteader, gardening is one of the key elements to a homesteading life. Hess says, quite tongue-in-cheek, "To folks over the age of fifty, I usually describe homesteading this way: 'Remember the back-to-the-land movement of the sixties and seventies? Homesteading is the same thing...without the drugs and free love.'" Each of these weekend sub-chapters has five sections: Goal, Cost, Time, Difficulty and Kid-Friendly. In the very first section, for example, she also covers urban homesteading and rooftops. So, wherever you are on your homesteading journey, Hess will provide you with some good basics for exploring the nature and meaning of homesteading.

Interested in voluntary simplicity? Hess has a section for that. Interested in an apprenticeship, to learn a new homesteading skill (bee-keeping, for example) Hess can give you some guidelines--all within the parameters of the sub-chapter sections, so you will know how much time it might take, or how much it might cost. If you are a total novice at animal husbandry, there are good examples and ideas in this manual of homesteading concepts.
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