- Paperback: 928 pages
- Publisher: Sasquatch Books; 40 Anv edition (October 30, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1570618402
- ISBN-13: 978-1570618406
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.6 x 10.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (493 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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
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“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."
“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?’”
"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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Top Customer Reviews
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. Besides, the more times we revisit information, the more we make it our own. What could be more profitable or more fun than going back to school with Carla and the Old Fashioned Recipe Book family?
Speaking of what I like to think of as the Old Fashioned Recipe Book Family, one of the criticisms I have read in reviews of other editions is that Carla's style is too "chatty" or some such similar adjective; that she brings in too much information brought to her by her vast correspondence over the decades. I most heartily disagree. Yes, she's chatty, just as though you had sat down for a cup of tea and a conversation with her, her correspondents, her friends and her family. That is precisely the traditional way of transmitting culture, knowledge and tradition, all the things this book and Carla's life's work is all about. What I'd give for the time again to talk with my almost-Amish grandmother; I lost her far, far too early. This book is the closest I am ever likely to come and I am grateful for the heart-transmission of this age-old, priceless, information and tradition not only from Carla, but from her vast network of correspondents.
I only have one teeny-tiny complaint about this book: Carla totally ignores all of the vast tradition of brewing of beers, ales, (hard) ciders and such and the making of liqueurs, and wines, and traditional distillates. I kind of suspect that Carla herself didn't hold with the uses of the various alcoholic preparations, but it's just a guess based upon nothing at all save intuition and the vast silence in her book on the subject. My complaint is that this leaves a gaping, ragged hole in the tradition of agricultural product preservation and in the tradition of medicine-making and traditional healing works. However, given that the rest of what Carla covers is so broad and deep, I am willing to make allowances for this one (pretty large), deficiency and go find that information elsewhere. Sadly, that subject is so huge that I am unable to give just a single reference (or even ten) on it like I can with most other self-sufficiency issues by just referring to this, Carla's book.
Sometimes, when I get to about this point in other product's reviews, I say to myself "yes, I know you liked it, but what's IN it?" To that, about this book, I can answer, "Everything between the end of Hunter/Gatherer and the beginning of Earl "Get Big or Get Out" Butz (Nixon's Secretary of Agriculture); everything but the alcohol! Ok, so that's probably an exaggeration... so here's something I know to be completely true: Everything between raising, killing and butchering a hog, through raising and preparing almost all plant foods, to the ancient, authentic, Mid-Eastern recipe for Marzipan complete with rose water (more authentic than all I have found on a recent extensive search of the internet!)
Once I complete my revisit of the University of Carla with all the upgrades, I will revisit this review and edit it if I think there's anything productive or interesting to add.
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.
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.
>Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition, also great reference for all things homesteading.
>Traditional Breads of the World: 275 Easy Recipes from Around the Globe
Like The Encyclopedia of Country Living, these books have also stood the test of time.