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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Have you ever thought it possible to wean yourself from the grocery store? If I was asked this question 5 years ago I would have said no way, not possible in the city. But the last 2-3 years I have been working toward that end. This book will take me even farther into making it a reality and that excites me! I am about half way through the book and can't seem to put it down. I even took the book to my local Kinkos to have it made in to a spiral bound so that I can read it hands free, while drying my hair, cooking, nursing baby etc. You will learn about bulk buying, grinding your own grains, composting, gardening, preserving, keeping animals on your city lot and oh, did I mention recipes? Yes, there are those too. Don't think you have time? Both the authors have young children and I have three young ones of my own & home school. This book will inspire you to make the time commitment to your health. The authors also give different examples of how you can implement to compliment your family dynamics and time. I have met both the authors through our local bulk buys. They are as inspiring in person as they are in print. Their real life stories of how they are living this life is written with humor and experience. You will not be disappointed with this valuable purchase!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book arrived a week ago, and since then I've been trying to soak in all the useful information. It's a beautiful book - great photos, well organized. You might think from the title that it mostly covers gardening, but it's not limited to that...it's a collection of closely related subjects that, added together, helps people move toward a more sustainable lifestyle (mostly food-related, but there are some recipes for soaps and such)...eg growing food, composting, recipes for what to do with all that food you grow (including preserving, and not just through canning), how to organize a buying club to support local farmers and get large quantities of food for storing and preserving. It also covers other food topics, like chickens and bees and dairy (including cheesemaking) and meat. Lots on grains: grinding flour (easy, and not a crazy as it sounds - trust me!), and then what to do with that flour. The authors have small kids, so there is some commentary on involving kids in all of this. There are also a number of profiles of various folks engaging in sustainable food-related activities...small farmers, cheesemakers, and such; it's interesting and inspiring to read about these folks who are working on changing our food system. All in all, a great book; I'm glad I bought it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
I won a copy of this book from a GoodReads give away. Had I explored it a bit more before signing up for the raffle, I probably would have had second thoughts. Upon receiving it, I thumbed through it quickly to browse the photographs and was surprisingly shocked at the instructional pages on how to slaughter chickens and pigs. That extremity aside, the rest of the book is a plethora of good information when it comes to urban gardening.

There is a ton of basic information for the small avid gardener like me which includes planting and tending to a year-round vegetable garden, making your own compost, maximizing small spaces, raising backyard animals for eggs and milk, and preserving foods (canning, drying, freezing, pickling, and fermenting).

For those on a higher level, there is information about creating a direct farmer-to-consumer connection, setting up "buying clubs" with other local farmers, creating cold storage for roots and squashes, learning about city farming permits, and making your own soaps and cleaners.

The book itself caters to the Pacific Northwest when it comes to locales and resources, but its wealth of lists, photographs, and home-production recipes makes it a good resource for anyone living in the city with even a flower box reserved for vegetables or herbs. There truly is something here for everyone - young or old, novice or experienced. If you have an interest in at-home sustainable living, this handbook is for you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
A most amazing book on urban farming. Whether you have experience or not it is a wealth of information. Not only do Joshua and Annette give you tips and guidance in the outside world, the recipes and techniques for in the kitchen are fantastic. I love recipes that are tried and tested by real people not distant test kitchens. I have made a number of cheeses from this book and they have always turned out delicious. This book has lead me further into the realm of urban farming/homesteading and I must say that I have happily boarded that crazy train. I plan on getting into raising rabbit and chickens for meat this year and have planned extensive work on my fledgling garden with the hopes of making my household far more self sustained. Thanks to the Urban Farm Handbook I have complete confidence that all of that will be possible!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm enjoying this book so much! it's fun and easy to read, and the photos are gorgeous. It's neat to read about people I've known for years. I'm inspired to try some new things, like grinding my own grains, raising meat chickens, getting bees, and maybe one day, goats. lots of nitty-gritty info about backyard farming questions that plague us on a daily basis. Buy this for all your farmer wanna be buddies!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book pulls you in, and takes you on a journey, all the while showing you how much an urban dweller can do, right now, to take control of his or her food choices. You will want to do some of these things because they are the right thing. They may help your body or nurture the earth. But others are just downright fun, and throw you into communities and ways of life that are sadly scarce, but that are within reach even in the city. Even if you just enjoy the stories, it's worthwhile, but there are many helpful instructions, the best garden planning table I've seen yet, and much guidance on sourcing and enjoying local, healthful, organic foods, whether you produce them yourself or discover farmers who are closer than you think.

You might want a copy for your nightstand and one for your kitchen, so you can keep one volume tidy while dragging the other one out in the garden, or splattering it with bread dough, or otherwise putting it to work for you.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
What do growing mealworms and making homemade ice cream have in common?! In this unique book, seemingly diverse topics flow effortlessly together to provide a connected view of living in touch with reality. It is an amazing combination of practical advice, philosophy, and wisdom. If you purchased a whole library of books on sustainable living, you couldn't have more information at your fingertips than just holding this one book! It's packed with information, explanations, diagrams, and even recipes (the ones I've tried are great!). The topics are broad...everything from sourcing food and growing it yourself to making soaps and toiletries, but the coverage is not superficial. The treatment of each subject is not sketchy, but concise. Its like the best of all the do it yourself books in one package...all the info without the fluff! If you live in the Pacific Northwest, much of the sourcing and growing information is tailored to your needs, though the information could easily be adapted for other areas. The book is both entertaining to read and great as a reference. It's definitely worth having on your shelf, but put it where you can reach it easily, because you will be opening it often! (The answer to the link between mealworms and ice cream is that one is what you feed to your chickens and the other is how you use their eggs...as you will find on pages 69 and 70!)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I got the book a week ago and have enjoyed reading it. I really like how the book takes the reader through the process of making a small property productive. The two authors talk about their choices and levels of commitment to home grown and local food sources. Annette is a planner and shares her process while Joshua is more reflective. The book outlines several steps in each chapter to becoming less reliant on processed food and to growing and cooking more nutritiously without being preachy. There is a lot of information packed in this book plus it lists resources to help me create my own urban farm.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed this book, in spite of the fact that I am more Central US than Pacific Northwest. I wish I would have known this was geared toward those few who do live in that area. Otherwise 5 stars. The information is helpful, presented well and overall quite well written. I enjoyed the Producer Profiles and the seasonal format. It's a good starter book for the urban farmer in all of us.
I don't mean to harp on it, and it may be entirely my fault as to the description, I just wish I would have known BEFORE I bought the book that it was geared toward a select area.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
The information in this book is tremendously helpful for those interested in growing their own healthy food while living in an urban area. But even better,
it is a great read.....humorous and engaging. And the photos are great!
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