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The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 40th Anniversary Edition: The Original Manual for 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'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.
There is no way I could read this book cover to cover, so I usually skim through it when I'm in the mood to read up on some new things or when I'm looking for something specific. There are funny stories and interesting notes such as the recipe for camel, and some really good information on soil composition and how to hunt for mushrooms.
Since I raise goats, I jumped over to that section to see how accurate the information is. Most farming or homesteading books tend to give the basics and skip over the details when it comes to goats. Goats in this book are combined under the title Goats, Cows and Home Dairying. I could get into a lot of boring (if you aren't a goat person) details, but suffice it to say, I found most of the information very accurate. And there is a lot of it. Which I was happy to see. There were a few things I do differently, but that doesn't mean that what this person does is wrong. For instance, she writes that she lets her buck stay with her herd year round. This means that female goats will be bred indiscriminately, which most people don't want. Plus, it means that a doe could be bred more often than you like. If you are just raising a bunch of random dairy goats for both meat and milk, then this plan is probably fine for you, but we don't want babies born in the dead of winter and I DON'T want to be milking goats in January where we live. So our boys stay separate. This part could be a little more detailed.
I assume from this that the book is the same throughout. Lots of information, some of it specific to the author or other contributors she notes throughout the book and some could use a little more detail. Some of it has maybe too much detail. (Like, do we really need the recipe camel?)
I like this book because of the variety of information. It is a one-stop shop and has more information than any other book I've read thus far. Plus, I find it very interesting what this author and others do on their farms.
I also have Storey's Basic Country Skills. Between the two, you have more knowledge than you'll know what to do with.
I recommend buying this book if you are seriously thinking about living off your land in the country. It will be something you refer back to time and again.