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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Urban Homesteading (Complete Idiot's Guides (Lifestyle Paperback)) Paperback – June 7, 2011
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About the Author
Sundari Elizabeth Kraft has been a dedicated urban homesteader for nearly a decade. Currently, she homesteads in Denver with her chickens, goats, and organic front yard garden. She organizes a group of community volunteers to grow vegetables in city yards, then sells and distributes the produce in the neighborhood. She sits on the Denver Food Policy Council and works with a number of local urban sustainability groups. Sundari teaches classes in backyard chicken and goat keeping, urban gardening, canning, and cooking.
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Top customer reviews
The reason I termed it less than perfect is because I wanted more information. A lot more. I'd have been happy to see another 100 to 200 pages to this book. I appreciate the recommendations for books that can give more detail, but I bought this book for that level of detail. Also, the information on rabbits wasn't entirely correct--close but not right. I know this subject well as having owned a pet rabbit for years. That incorrect data means I'll have to do more research to confirm that the author was right about raising goats and gardening. I really don't like that my "Complete" guide has merely pushed me to do research elsewhere. Those two issues where why I couldn't give it five stars, or even four.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Urban Homesteading was quite an eye opener in terms of things I really CAN do, despite not having a lot of land.
First off, the layout of this book makes it very easy to navigate and find the information you are looking for. There is a detailed table of contents that can direct you to the exact topic you are looking for. There are also small icons (pictures) throughout the book that draw your eye to useful tidbits you might want to know about. They are summarized as small steps, definitions, road blocks, and urban info. These are quick snapshots of stuff you need to keep in mind while reading that particular chapter. Each chapter ends with a section called 'The Least You Need To Know' which I LOVE. A quick bullet point summary of what is contained in each chapter. The end of the book contains a glossary, Internet resources, and a garden planning guide to back up what is within the chapters.
I cannot even begin to list all the topics covered in this book. It is not just a gardening book (although there is lots of info on that) but will also tell you how to raise animals, make homemade yogurt, can your food, create your own beauty products and tons of other stuff. I was fascinated with the section on aquaponics...basically having a fish habitat/plant garden that help each other thrive. I told my husband I thought we should try raising our own fish! Of course, my home owner's association may have something to say about that. Homemade cleaning products, wild crafting, and bee keeping are also included. The author discusses issues that may face renters vs. owners and apartment dwellers vs. those who live in a house with a yard.
There is actually an entire chapter that deals with the laws and regulations you will need to investigate before you start your urban homestead. This is my biggest roadblock but there is a ton of information on how you can attempt to change existing legislation.
The writing style is simple and encouraging and titles and subtitles within each chapter make it easy to find the information you are looking for.
Overall, this is an amazing resource for anyone looking to live a more sustainable life. And if you are wondering WHY you should try and live a more sustainable life, the author covers that in chapter one! I highly recommend this book!
Disclaimer: As per FTC guidelines, I received one copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation. All opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone.