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The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency Paperback – November 13, 2012
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Hubby and I first became acquainted with Anna and her husband Mark when we bought their chicken waterers about three years ago. I've been a faithful follower of their back to basics exploits ever since. The Walden Effect is one of the best homesteading reality shows not on television. Anna has done an amazing job of translating their seven years of hands on experience into a monthly guide of frugal activities to help you reach your personal self-sufficiency goals.
This book is loaded with homesteading fundamentals from composting and sourcing urban and rural biomass, building rain barrels, optimum soil temperatures for spring gardens, succession planting, canning and freezing your harvest, to assembling a respectable homesteader tool kit.
As an experienced, but `lazy-faire' home gardener, the 10 juiciest homesteading tidbits we'll examine and practice over the next year include:
1. Do-it-yourself oyster mushroom propagation using corrugated cardboard;
2. The necessity of team building for sustainable homesteading;
3. Diversifying your income (and figuring out your real hourly pay);
4. The pros and cons of buying food in bulk for building an emergency food stash (Folks who are getting into `Prepper' movement should take a hard look at this and other sections dealing with emergency preparedness before investing in their SHTF and bug out supplies);
5. Strawberry and bramble growing tips;
6.Read more ›
She covers the basics: growing, preparing, and preserving food, using space, considering weather, and being observant to your own life patterns. Her goal of financial independence is felt throughout. I like where she starts with it, a definition of homesteading, creating a better life than you could have afforded. Her success may have to do with being able to keep it simple, like her lesson on drying fruits and veggies in the car. She scours the waste stream for treasure and pays attention to details that lead to organizing stored food into labeled containers placed in time order with corresponding chart. Ya, a geek.
Anna's apprenticing tips contain the details that matter, like listening more than you talk. With similar frankness her staying warm without electricity plan starts with wearing the right clothes. Her belt-tightening tips show what is to be gained for what's given up, homemade bread and a carrot you can taste are worth a few sacrifices.
In both of our books we take a close look at time and we agree that we need more of it if we're going to be successful. Those jobs may have to go. Anna points to the problem. She suggests consuming less media like TV in order to gain time. Thoughtfully she reminds us that the media changes the way we feel about ourselves. It shapes our experience of having enough.
Though I've been homesteading for six years I learned new things from Anna's book.Read more ›
The book starts with April, the beginning of a gardener's year. As a homesteader, gardening is one of the key elements to a homesteading life. Hess says, quite tongue-in-cheek, "To folks over the age of fifty, I usually describe homesteading this way: 'Remember the back-to-the-land movement of the sixties and seventies? Homesteading is the same thing...without the drugs and free love.'" Each of these weekend sub-chapters has five sections: Goal, Cost, Time, Difficulty and Kid-Friendly. In the very first section, for example, she also covers urban homesteading and rooftops. So, wherever you are on your homesteading journey, Hess will provide you with some good basics for exploring the nature and meaning of homesteading.
Interested in voluntary simplicity? Hess has a section for that. Interested in an apprenticeship, to learn a new homesteading skill (bee-keeping, for example) Hess can give you some guidelines--all within the parameters of the sub-chapter sections, so you will know how much time it might take, or how much it might cost. If you are a total novice at animal husbandry, there are good examples and ideas in this manual of homesteading concepts.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I currently live in the suburbs with a backyard garden, and have plans to move out to the country in a few years. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Lauren Paolini
Great for organizing projects and best for establishing timelines. Very useful.Published 1 month ago by Mel
This is written so well that even an adult with add can follow it very easily. Concise, clear and very helpful.Published 2 months ago by Grace's mom
Loved it! Best part was on food preservation. The tips on solar drying alone make this a worthwhile read.Published 3 months ago by Jenn Adele K
Nice book. Plenty of ideas with clear instructions. Glad I bought it.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I received this book as a gift and I love it. It's broken down month by month and you can start anywhere in the book to suit your own needs. Read morePublished 5 months ago by A. Carrow