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Homegrown and Handmade: A Practical Guide to More Self-Reliant Living Paperback – October 25, 2011
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"Homegrown and Handmade is a wonderful collection of [Deborah's] wisdom, and when it's not propped next to the stove or the milk stand, this approachable reference belongs on the shelf with the homesteading classics." ---Margaret Hathaway, author of The Year of the Goat and Living with Goats
"There's never been a more practical guide written for making the 'simple' life simple." ---Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, founders of Beekman1802.com
"Homegrown & Handmade puts you in the control seat of what is considered fresh and healthy food by offering detailed explanations on providing food and fiber in their purest form for yourself." ---Chris McLaughlin, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Heirloom Vegetables
"It covers all the bases - from the soil to the supper table, and from birth (or hatch) to butchering. This is the perfect book for the conscientious omnivore, or for anyone seeking a practical map to a sustainable, delicious future." ---Terra Brockman, author of The Seasons on Henry's Farm
Our food system is dominated by industrial agriculture, and has become economically and environmentally unsustainable. The incidence of diet-related diseases including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and heart disease has skyrocketed to unprecedented levels. Whether you have 40 acres and a mule or a condo with a balcony, you can do more than you think to safeguard your health, your money and the planet.
Homegrown and Handmade shows how making things from scratch and growing at least some of your own food can help you eliminate artificial ingredients from your diet, reduce your carbon footprint, and create a more authentic life. Whether your goal is increasing your self-reliance or becoming a full-fledged homesteader, it's packed with answers and solutions to help you:
- Take control of your food supply from seed to plate
- Raise small and medium livestock for fun, food and fiber
- Rediscover traditional skills to meet more of your family's needs than you ever thought possible.
This comprehensive guide to food and fiber from scratch proves that attitude and knowledge is more important than acreage. Written from the perspective of a successful, self-taught modern homesteader, this well-illustrated, practical and accessible manual will appeal to anyone who dreams of a simpler life.
From the Author
When I became pregnant with my first child, I honestly believed that a cheeseburger and fries was a good, healthy meal. I had my meat, dairy, bread, and vegetables. Yes, I thought that a piece of lettuce, a couple of pickle slices, and french fries counted as vegetables. I was proud of myself for eliminating caffeine from my two-liter daily soda consumption. After my baby was born, I started reading about nutrition and thought that maybe my poor diet had contributed to my constant illness as a child. Hoping to save my own children from the same sad fate, I started eliminating artificial ingredients from our diet and began baking bread. Over the years, we became more conscientious about our dietary choices, and by 2002, it seemed like moving to the country to grow our own food was the next logical step.
I always say that if we can do this, anyone can, and I'm not joking. Our livestock experience consisted of caring for two cats and a poodle before we moved out here. You don't have to be a master gardener to grow your own food. Our first garden produced only a handful of stringy green beans, but from reading books, finding mentors, trying, and making mistakes, we've learned to do everything we do today.
Top Customer Reviews
A practical Guide to More Self-Reliant living
Published by New Society Publishers
This book starts with a 25 page introduction, valuable information on the whys of eating homegrown. From the Health stance, nutrition differences, the quality of the food, and its sustainability. In addition, she touches on the frugalness of eating home grown and finding pride in ones work. Very good information on chemicals and how much of the food we eat today is extremely unhealthy for us.
The book is divided into 5 parts, each with a Planning, Growing, and Cooking sections.
Backyard gardening is first with helpful hints on planning a garden that fits nicely into the space you have, and not becoming overwhelmed. To plan according to your future needs and utilizing the fruits of your labor.
The orchard is next with the ins and outs of planting, and when and how of harvesting then making delicious jams and other recipes with your fruit.
Caring for poultry for both eggs and meat production. Includes housing recommendations and types of poultry.
Of course my favorite, your home dairy! From planning on which livestock, caring for them, to processing your milk into cheese and soap.
She even includes a section on raising fiber animals!
Covers all the basics and is a great resource for helping someone get started with farming, even in their small backyard.
The only thing I had wished was that the pictures would be in color, but I know that isn't always practical either.
Great book, a great starter, but includes enough depth for even seasoned farmers to utilize the information.
Thanks to the Author for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
The author has a very down-to-earth writing style and she provides valuable hands on experience. The book provides an array of topics on self-reliance and includes information on planning, growing or caring for and then cooking or processing what you grow/raise.
This book was a great find for someone that just moved to the country but would also be helpful to those that live in the city due to information the author provides on how to adapt and be self-reliant even when living in the city.
You may wonder after all the good things I had to say about the book, why I only gave the book four stars? The lady's husband is an engineer and because of that they can afford the cost of setting up and running a homestead. It isn't cheap. She has about twenty of each animal she raises. You can have only a few chickens and a couple of goats, which would make the whole operation much cheaper and more doable. The rest of the information in the book is fantastic.
From the introduction (where Niemann lays out the process that led to their becoming homesteaders in 2002) to the afterward (where she encourages readers to do whatever they can to be more self-sufficient), this book will give you the information you need to live your own homestead dreams.
Each section includes help with planning, resources, recipes (or patterns!) and a step-by-step overview of each topic. Niemann starts out with "The Sustainable Garden" and then moves through "The Backyard Orchard," "The Backyard Poultry Flock," "The Home Dairy," and the "The Home Fiber Flock." Certainly the first three topics are within the reach of most readers, even if they don't have acreage or a "homestead," per se.
But if you are like me--leery of creating a herd of goats or even a cow or two, or didn't know how to accomplish the basics of homegrown to table--this book gives great ideas and encouragement in creating a viable homestead, wherever you live. The chapters on Home Fiber Flocks are fascinating and full of patterns, ideas and nudges to lead you down the garden path of creativity from production and creation. And the Home Dairy chapters break the process down to manageable bites and may give you a longing for fresh milk you never knew you had!
The ideas are practical: "...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really can't say enough good things about this book. We have an acre of land with chickens, I bake my own bread and get raw milk from a farm down the road (and a rabbit and... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Sarah
I did not buy this book (yet) but checked it out from the library. I also do not have a garden or any animals (yet). Read morePublished 9 months ago by lacy
This a good book and I learned alot however I expected more recipes.Published 15 months ago by Anon