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The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 40th Anniversary Edition: The Original Manual of Living Off the Land & Doing It Yourself Paperback – October 30, 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 404 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“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

"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 Encyclopedia of Country Living."
Organic Gardening

“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.”
Publishers Weekly

"Packed with old wisdom as well as up-to-date websites and mail-order sources to make country living easier."
Country Almanac

“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?’”
Library Journal

"If you’re thinking about ditching the city and reconnecting with a simpler, more direct way of life, living the self-sufficient lifestyle full-bore, or just living more directly and simply where you are right now, The Encyclopedia covers a wealth of information to keep you on target."
Lehman's Country Living

"If I could only have one comprehensive how-to book on self-reliant living (and I think I've read them all), this would be it. As a matter of fact, I have two copies of this book myself... It has gotten better and better since it was first printed 40 years ago. And the massive book is filled with personal stories and anecdotes, making it a friendly and easy read — not at all like a textbook."
Backwoods Home Magazine

"The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery is one of my favorite finds. It is a guide to all things country and, for those of us that don’t get down on the farm as often as we would like to, it is a mini vacation from the asphalt jungle. Emery offers practical advice on everything from gardening and canning to raising animals and churning butter. ...The Encyclopedia of Country Living is a warm and inviting trip to your Grandmother’s kitchen table and that, alone, is reason enough to pick up a copy for your own library."
The Jefferson County Post

"While it is impossible for one book to have everything you need, 'The Encyclopedia of Country Living' does an exceptional job of giving you the most bang for your buck when it comes to needing a single resource where you are likely to find the answer to your country living questions."
Outdoor Self Reliance

"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 lived on a farm in Idaho for more than thirty years as a wife, mother of seven, home-schooler, goat-keeper, garden-grower, writer, and country-living instructor. She wrote and self-published the first editions of The Encyclopedia of Country Living during the early 1970s and also ran her "School of Country Living." Carla sold nearly 90,000 copies of her self-published editions, traveling the country to promote it and appearing on such shows as The Mike Douglas Show, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, The Phil Donahue Show, and Good Morning America, where she demonstrated country-living skills such as goat-milking, bread-making, and butter-churning.

When Sasquatch Books published the 9th Edition of Encyclopedia in 1994, Carla continued to travel the country promoting and selling the book, and teaching the timeless skills of country living. Carla cultivated a large and loyal following across the country. Carla passed away in 2005.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 928 pages
  • Publisher: Sasquatch Books; 40 Anv edition (October 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570618402
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570618406
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.6 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (404 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I briefly met Carla Emery years ago. She was a very warm, giving, and likeable person (sadly I later learned she died shortly after I met her), and she was the real deal. She had grown up on a farm, homesteading, and living and learning from her relatives many of the skills she writes about in her book (she admitted some parts of the book were researched--not surprising given this book is truly encyclopedic). But for her the skills she writes about was a way of life.

There's a good reason this book is a classic with multiple editions. It includes more information on country skills than most of us will ever use. It boogles my mind how she put it all together. Back to Basics is another classic in this genre, but that was written by a whole team of writers. This was all Carla.
Reading this is like spending time in a room full of homesteaders and listening to them chat and swap stories. Of course, you probably won't need to know how to give birth to a baby without a doctor around or how to midwife/husband a baby calf into the world in a snow storm, but it's comforting to know you could find out how if necessary, even if the power is out. Most likely you'll need if for things like mending a fence or growing grain. Yep, it's in here. And Carla's likeability comes through in print. This book is a classic.

Other books likely of interest:
>Your Cabin in the Woods, which is a great starter book for anyone thinking about getting their own place in the country, as it is a very helpful combination of both practical and philosophical.
>
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Format: Paperback
In 1998 my husband, our four year old son and I moved from the city to 11.93 acres in the middle of nowhere. We lived for two years without running water or electricity. From my first copy of The Encyclopedia of Country Living I learned how to milk a goat and raise my hogs. I learned how to dress out a large animal and brooder chicks with kerosene lanterns. Not that I read this book a lot or anything, but I literally wore the covers off of the copy that I ordered from Lehman's Non-Electric Hardware Store.

I'm on my second copy now, which my husband had drilled with a three hole punch to give it more staying power. I highly recommend this book to learn the life-style of self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency is a mind set and a life-style. I highly recommend it.

My son is 18 years old and a freshman in college now. I am an old woman of nearly 55. I wouldn't give up my memories or skills for anything. This is a fantastic reference book, and really, the only one you'll ever need.

One other note: I wrote Ms. Emery about some health problems I was having and she wrote me back! I'll never forget her kindness to a stranger. One of my deepest regrets is I did not get to meet her. As a struggling author here on Amazon I find her achievements amazing. I hope her family reads this and knows how much her writing meant to our family. God bless you, Ms. Emery. I hope you can know how much your postcard meant to me.
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Format: Paperback
I just got the Kindle version of this 40th Anniversary Edition of what I know as Carla Emery's Old Fashioned Recipe Book.

I own one of the first actually bound-book editions (vs. the loose leaf, three-ring binder, subscription editions.) From what I understand, Carla numbered that one, the first completed, professionally printed, and bound edition, the second edition. I bought it in the late 70's... probably 1977, would be my guess and I carried it all over the world with me for all these years, unbelievably it's still bound like new and every page is in place! Granted, I treasured it and was careful of it, but that's still a testament to its hardiness and my care over the years.

I also own an Encyclopedia of Country Living version from a couple of years ago.

And now this Kindle, 40th Anniversary Edition.

Money well spent; all of it. This book, all editions, is an entire University of Self-Sufficiency in one fat volume (928 pages) all for only, ONLY, $14.99! This book represents the work and learning of an entire lifetime well-spent, if curtailed too early. We are all poorer for the loss of Carla back in 2005. I miss her, there's a Carla shaped hole in my Universe; and I never even got to meet her.

I read my first copy, front to back, several times and referred back to it over and over, over the last many decades. I skimmed the more recent Encyclopedia version once, maybe twice--I can still get sucked in when consulting for one particular piece of information... and surface hours later. Tonight, I decided to read this new Anniversary Edition again, front to back. I want to see what's new. I know there's updated information, in particular source information, and that should be interesting.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought the 40th anniversary of this book, after using my library's copy of an older version of this book, for many years. The 40th anniversary edition basically has updated web links and updated addresses. In this day and age of change, I suggest having the updated version. Its huge and has more info than you will probably ever need but its enjoyable reading excerpts on how to deliver a baby to how to care for your own dead relatives.
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