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The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 10th Edition Paperback – July 1, 2008
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"If you're dreaming about moving "back to the land" someday, or if you're already there and want to live more self-sufficiently (wherever you may be) you'll want a copy of the ninth edition of The Encyclopedia of Country Living"
“For the suburbanite with just enough space for a little garden to the die-hard homesteaders and everyone in between, The Encyclopedia of Country Living makes for both fascinating reading and a truly essential reference source. You won’t find a more complete source of step-by-step information about growing, processing, cooking and preserving every kind of food—from the garden, the orchard, the field or the barnyard!”
Rodale Book Club
“This book is a monument to the coevolution of a person and an idea. As folk literature. . . this book should be shelved in your collection between the Foxfire books and Alicia Bay Laurel’s Living on Earth.”
Whole Earth catalog
“Urbanites will find the recipes and resources list. . . useful, the trivia interesting. . . and Emery’s personal reflections. . . compelling. Even readers with no plans to raise sheep, sell homemade cheese or plant millet will find this a fascinating cultural document.”
"Packed with old wisdom as well as up-to-date websites and mail-order sources to make country living easier."
“Although mainly a modern individualist’s resource on how to grow and prepare food, this work is much more. As one astonished browser acclaimed, ‘Is there anything this book doesn’t tell you how to do?’”
“Practical advice, invaluable information, and collected wisdom for folks and farmers in the country, city, and anywhere in between.”
Territorial Seed catalog
About the Author
Carla Emery grew up on a sheep ranch in Montana and was educated at Columbia University. In the early 1970s she settled on a farm in northern idaho, where she wrote the first edition of the Encyclopedia of Country Living. Originally produced on a mimeograph machine in her living room, this book launched its author to the forefront of the back-to-the-land movement. She remained a tireless advocate of self-sufficiency and environmental stewardship until her death in 2005.
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Like millions of others, I live by necessity in an urban/suburban environment where I was mostly at the mercy of the grocery stores, my local HOA rules and a stressed schedule with little time in it. When I moved to Virginia, I purposely built a home in a non-HOA location in an underdeveloped part of the city so I could have a shorter commute, no rules on my yard other than city rules and some control over my after-work time. I wanted to incorporate something of natural life into my own.
The problem was I was clueless as to how.
I bought oodles of books for every single aspect of what I wanted to do including gardening, canning (jar'ring/bottling for other countries), dehydrating, cooking from scratch and processing my own food from whole ingredients. That's just to start.
Yes, some of the other oodles of books did help but they were very specific in their reach. And I did spend a great deal on them. Then a friend recommended this book and I almost smacked myself for muddling through without it for so long. This book covers all that I wanted to do and then some. It also covers all those things I dream of being able to do when our city finally removes the bans on suburban/urban chickens (they will).
I can confidently say that this book improved my garden yields and variety produced, VASTLY improved the quality of my home canned items in both single and combination items, saved me tons of money because I can now part out my own meats (like whole fowl and quartered pigs) and create my own quick-cooking items from whole ingredients.
You don't need to own a huge country place to benefit, just be someone trying to do more wherever you are right now. I do have a small farmette in the country that I hope to retire to and I'll get even more use out of it there but it is well worth the shelf space even if I stayed right where I am.
Other books that book-end this anchor book for people with urban/suburban lots are: Square Foot Gardening and the Ball Book of Home Preserving. You don't need anything else so save the bucks I wasted on so many others and just go for those three. You'll get great value and very sound advice!
Just about anything you can think of regarding the "simple life" is noted in this book. She gives TONS of information for outside sources so you can further your knowledge in the vast areas. This books makes a fantastic starting point or reference point to whatever it is you are looking for more information on. Look it up in her book, learn the basics (or sometimes much more than the basics), & then use her references to guide you.
From farm animals, to gardening, to canning, to flowers, to recipes, to you name it! It's here! Even giving birth alone! Outhouses, water issues...on and on it goes!
This truly is a must have! You will find yourself picking it up often. It's like curling up to read the letter of a long distance friend...sort of!
This includes sections on canning, planting, raising animals, country crafts, and a lot more. Since my family have been candle makers for over 45 years, I checked that section very closely and found it to be accurate but with dated references and a defunct provider. I also checked the section on raising small livestock like rabbits and chickens since we have years of experience doing that as well and the practical information was top rate.
This makes a good addition to my back to basics bookshelf!
Recommended, with the understanding that not all of the references and web sites are current.