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The Urban Homestead (Expanded & Revised Edition): Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City (Process Self-reliance Series) [Kindle Edition]

Kelly Coyne , Erik Knutzen
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $17.95 What's this?
Print List Price: $17.95
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Book Description

The expanded, updated version of the best-selling classic, with a dozen new projects.

"A delightfully readable and very useful guide to front- and back-yard vegetable gardening, food foraging, food preserving, chicken keeping, and other useful skills for anyone interested in taking a more active role in growing and preparing the food they eat."—BoingBoing.net

"...the contemporary bible on the subject."—The New York Times

This celebrated, essential handbook shows how to grow and preserve your own food, clean your house without toxins, raise chickens, gain energy independence, and more. Step-by-step projects, tips, and anecdotes will help get you started homesteading immediately. The Urban Homestead is also a guidebook to the larger movement and will point you to the best books and Internet resources on self-sufficiency topics.

Written by city dwellers for city dwellers, this copiously illustrated, two-color instruction book proposes a paradigm shift that will improve our lives, our community, and our planet. By growing our own food and harnessing natural energy, we are planting seeds for the future of our cities.

Learn how to:

  • Grow food on a patio or balcony
  • Preserve or ferment food and make yogurt and cheese
  • Compost with worms
  • Keep city chickens
  • Divert your grey water to your garden
  • Clean your house without toxins
  • Guerilla garden in public spaces
  • Create the modern homestead of your dreams



Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen are creators of the blog homegrownrevolution.org, a green living and self-sufficiency resource for urbanites. They contribute regularly to Daniel Pinchbeck's new online magazine, realitysandwich.com. They live in Los Angeles.

Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen are creators of the blog homegrownrevolution.com, a green living and self-sufficiency resource for urbanites. They contribute regularly to Daniel Pinchbeck's new online magazine, realitysandwich.com. They live in Los Angeles.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2337 KB
  • Print Length: 339 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1934170100
  • Publisher: Process; Revised Edition edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003YCPD8U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,488 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
292 of 296 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading because it is different July 31, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read various books on self-sufficiency in the past ten years, but this one is different. First, it doesn't tell you how to recreate a 19th-century homestead, which is beginning to seem to me like another version of faux chateaux, but which also is not going to work very well if it is not surrounded by other 19th-century homesteads. And it doesn't describe what you can do "some day" when you get your five acres and independence. Instead, it focuses on what you can do right now in your own city to become more self-sufficient and sustainable. That makes it unique.

The reviewer who said that this is not a compendium of how-tos is right. It is more of an idea book, although there are many references to sources of detailed info about, for instance, raising ducks. But the problem with other self-sufficiency books I have run across is precisely that they are NOT idea books--that they become absorbed with one particular way of growing food, for instance, or one particular way of heating your (19th-century farm) house. There is nothing about woodstoves or woodlots in here.

This is the first book on self-sufficiency I have seen that directly addresses the fear that underlies the desire many people have to become more independent of the economy--the fear of some apocalypse, social collapse, disaster, etc., which they here dub "when the zombies come." I loved that they use humor to address that fear. There is a LOT of humor in this book; it's almost worth reading just for that.

Other books on self-sufficiency focus on being isolated and seeing other people as the enemy. I read one that recommended you get a house in a dip that no one can see from the road. They'll tell you how much ammunition to squirrel away with your self-heating lasagne rations.
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325 of 360 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I was so excited to receive this book-- as someone who has had some experience farming and who hopes to continue in the future BUT who will be living in a city for the foreseeable future, I couldn't wait to get my hands on my guide to sustainable homesteading in the city.

While this book is full of great concepts, it fails to deliver on the instruction side of things. This is not a Guide Book as the cover proclaims-- it is an Ideas book. The authors suggest planting fruit trees in your yard, and to save space, prune them into "an espalier". How do you do that? The authors kindly refer you to another book.

I understand that covering all the skills involved in Urban Homesteading in-depth would require a tome many times the length of this paperback. But an Urban Wild Edibles section with no pictures? Seriously?

This is a great tool for people who haven't gardened before and who have the motivation to seek out the actual technique elsewhere. But this is nowhere close to a guidebook, and most of the sections were wildly uninspiring, under-explained, and uninformative. If you had the foresight to seek out this book, you can probably figure out on your own that you can bake bread even in the city (!), red lettuce and green lettuce look pretty together in your garden, and composting may help reduce some of your soil woes.

To be fair, the cooking section and home cleaning supplies section, while not very enlightening in terms of ideas, has a slightly more complete informative style.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I've been reading the authors' blog, HomegrownEvolution.com for more than a year, so I had a pretty good idea what to expect from this book, and I was not in the least disappointed. I think perhaps even more than all of the practical advice and specific directions in The Urban Homestead, Coyne and Knutzen's perspective and approach are what I value most. There's an overriding attitude--almost philosophy, really--that the authors convey so well. It's positive yet somehow never sappy. They recommend doing what you can and doing what you like.

They also warn: "Work makes work" in the gardening section, and to me that perspective is more valuable than knowing how frequently to water my sweet peppers once they've flowered. (Which brings up another thing I've enjoyed so much about reading this book and the H.E. blog: The blog pointed me to Pat Welsh's Southern California Gardening for more specific and advanced gardening advice.)

The Urban Homestead is laid out in a way that makes it easy to pick up and read a little bit here and there. And I've been picking up my copy every chance I get, rereading sections, too, both for knowledge and enjoyment. It's really oriented toward people with a new or recent interest in living more like their great-grandparents did, more engaged in the world around them, even if that world is a major metropolis. It's less about preparing for disaster than thwarting it.

If you want to ditch your TV, buy less crap at the supermarket, learn how to use a bicycle to transport your self and your stuff, conserve, reuse, bake, make and otherwise reject so many things that until recently our society believed were progress, this book will get you going on the right path.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars good information
This book has some great information. I'm slowly trying to improve the quality of my small little corner of the world by not consuming as much... or at least wasting as much. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Audrey N Dellinger
5.0 out of 5 stars good read
had lots of good suggestions for gardening and cooking. made the yeast bread and it was great . lady bug
Published 2 months ago by sue clay
5.0 out of 5 stars Great beginner book
This book is highly informative and easy to read. It allows the reader to decide what they wool like to learn more about while getting a great grounding in the basics.
Published 2 months ago by Hegartyte
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reference book
Good tips and suggestions for the urban homesteader. It gives resources and many ideas on self subsistent living. It's a good additional resource to those that are out there.
Published 5 months ago by P. Dang
3.0 out of 5 stars Starting out
This is a good beginners book. Most of the information is basic but useful to a person just starting out. Some of the gorilla gardining advice is interesting. Read more
Published 5 months ago by The Liberian
5.0 out of 5 stars Why didn't I get this book sooner?
So much great info on getting back to basics while living in an urban setting. From growing veggies on your window sill, to saving valuable resources. Read more
Published 5 months ago by tlpeace
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for beginners to experienced homesteaders!
I really enjoyed this book! It has a lot of viable ideas that I never would have thought of. I especially liked the ideas for seed bombs and the tips for foraging in urban areas. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ashlyn Gorse
5.0 out of 5 stars A little bit of everything!
This book has so much information, easy to understand, and full of great ideas! It's empowering to know what you can do regarding agriculture in an urban environment!
Published 6 months ago by joan vorderbruggen
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, extensive
Well written guide for those wanting a piece of the country life in the city. Many gems, tips and tricks.
Published 6 months ago by Karaitiana
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of information
I borrowed a copy of this book from a friend and liked it so well I ordered one for myself.
Published 7 months ago by carmin
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