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The Homesteading Handbook: A Back to Basics Guide to Growing Your Own Food, Canning, Keeping Chickens, Generating Your Own Energy, Crafting, Herbal Medicine, and More (The Handbook Series) Paperback – May 25, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

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  • The Homesteading Handbook: A Back to Basics Guide to Growing Your Own Food, Canning, Keeping Chickens, Generating Your Own Energy, Crafting, Herbal Medicine, and More (The Handbook Series)
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  • The Ultimate Self-Sufficiency Handbook: A Complete Guide to Baking, Crafts, Gardening, Preserving Your Harvest, Raising Animals, and More (The Self-Sufficiency Series)
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  • The Back to Basics Handbook: A Guide to Buying and Working Land, Raising Livestock, Enjoying Your Harvest, Household Skills and Crafts, and More (The Handbook Series)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Abigail R. Gehring is the editor of Back to Basics, Homesteading, and Self-Sufficiency, and author of Odd Jobs and Dangerous Jobs. She’s practiced living self-sufficiently since her childhood in Vermont, being home-schooled, home-canning jams and jellies, and enjoying natural crafts. She lives in New York City and Windham, Vermont.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Handbook Series
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; Fourth edition (May 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616082658
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616082659
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 7.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I received this book as a gift, after having heard great things about it. After owning it for a few months, I've come to the conclusion that this is an excellent example of when not to buy a book based on online reviews alone. (ironic that I should be writing that in just such a review, isn't it?)

The summary is right there in my title, "Lots of information, TERRIBLE editing". there are typos on nearly half the pages, several captions are switched, the insets refer to pictures as being below when they're above and vice versa, and some images were clearly simply cut from websites and scaled out of proportion without any regard to their quality. (the entire alternative energy section springs to mind)

If you have any experience with canning whatsoever, then before you buy this book you should know that a disproportionate percentage of the book is devoted to canning your food. While some topics get a single page worth of text, canning alone apparently warrants forty seven.

If for some reason you already own this book and are reading this, please pay attention when reading the edible poisonous mushroom section. Although its caption is accurate, the VERY POISONOUS wild amanita mushroom is featured in a picture without its own heading.

And finally, a note to Ms. Gehring:

My apologies if the above comes off as harsh. It is readily apparent that a lot of work went into gathering the information contained in your book, but it's just as apparent that little to no work went into the editing process. I realize that things like typefaces are important. But text that relates accurately to the illustration, and illustrations that are legible are just as important, if not more so.
As this is the first printing, I hope my criticism can be considered constructive, and your next edition will be greatly improved.

Sincerely,
A Homesteader
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Format: Paperback
I just purchased this book and haven't had time to go through it all...but being a small dairy goat/poultry farmer, I decided to check out the 'Backyard Farm' section first. It became shockingly apparent that this person has little to NO first hand knkwledge in this area. Facts were not facts at all!! The picture of the lamancha goat described as having no external ears (which isn't actually true anyways) VERY clearly has long white ears in the included picture. Not even close to a lamancha. Also...please educate me on what mathre goat weighs 20 lbs!? I used to raise pygmies and know MANY breeders of nigerian dwarvs and have never heard of one. Pygmies are not a dairy breed either...fyi. As for the poultry section....that's aovely goose in the duck section...and I had never even heard of the Aylesbury duck....with gkod reason! It is NOT a common breed at all! There is 1 pure flock in the UK and it is a critcally endangered species in the US. I could truly go on and on but I believe you get the picture. Please do not buy this with great expectation or hopes it will guide you on your homesteading journey.
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Format: Paperback
This book is chock full of information about several subjects. Most are what people want to learn and do more of now to help the Earth and keep our families healthy. Very well written and detailed. The softcover version is easy to handle and I think it has even more pictures than the hardcover. I'm reading the book for the third time now and am starting to incorporate what I've learned into our new garden and can't wait to do the same with livestock soon.
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Format: Paperback
This book is totally practical, and also totally fun to read!

Whether you're just looking to save a little money during the Great Recession by growing and preserving some of your own food-- or racing to cultivate the survival skills that will keep you alive during the coming zombie apocalypse (me)-- this book will teach you how to grow and store food, avoid poisonous plants, and generally figure out how to live off the land. Awesome! Very few books can be said to be literally invaluable (as opposed to figuratively invaluable), but this one DEFINITELY is.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Before ordering this book, I noticed most reviews were very 'glowing' and 'positive'. So I agreed to pay international shipping to order this book.

The book covers the following topics

Part 1: The home garden (planting the garden, improving the soil, conserving water, mulching, organic gardening, terracing, start your own veggie garden, start your own flower garden, planting trees, container gardening, rooftop gardens, raised beds, growing plants without soil, pest and disease management, harvesting your garden)

Part 2: Pantry (canning, drying, and freezing, edible wild plants and mushrooms, make your own foods)

Part 3 The backyard farm (chickens, ducks, turkeys, beekeeping, goats, sheep, llamas,

Part 4: Simple structures for your land (doghouses, birdhouses, simple stables, poultry houses, fences, gates, pens, tool sheds, smoke houses, root cellars)

Part 5 Energy

Part 6 Crafts

Part 7 Well being

Although the book covered a lot of topics, it did so only in a cursory way. No ordering information or contact information was provided if we wanted to order or buy any of the things discussed.

Under "Simple structures for your land" there was no mention of housing for rabbits which are probably the easiest and cheapest farm animal to raise. However, I found another book on rabbit housing which is excellent:
...Read more ›
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