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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Book Review- Modern Homestead

Renee Wilkinson is the author of the blog Hip Chick Digs and of a book on homesteading in urban areas called Modern Homestead : Grow, Raise, Create

There are a lot of books out there about getting started in homesteading in urban environments now, and the truth is, I don't think you can have too many because a lot of them offer different approaches and information.
This book is great for beginners. It's easy to get overwhelmed when you're first getting interested in trying to grow more produce for your dinner table or when you're considering taking the next step in homesteading.Renee writes in an easy and clear way. It's so easy to read that I spent a day in the sun with a choice between this book and a trashy novel I was reading and wound up happily reading this.

It's in bits and bites, and she recommends that you start with what you think you can realistically handle, then lays out methods to handle it. Where to go to get information, how to set up a garden club to exchange ideas and seeds, and how to start planning and planting. She offers practical suggestions for planting in very limited spaces and how to find the best areas for sunny plants in those spaces.

Then she gets into livestock. Are you able to have chickens? She gives plans for a minicoop that will fit on some balconies. It's sized for bantam sized chickens and includes a worm bin for compost. She gives lots of practical advice about how to raise chickens and care for them. Then gets into other things like ducks, goats and beekeeping,what kind of space, time and supplies you'll need to raise those.

The final section of the book is recipes, for cooking seasonally out of your garden or farmer's markets, jams and other food preservation methods, non-toxic cleaning supplies and beauty items.

One of the things I love about this book is how down to earth it is. It's fun to read, with great photos and lots and lots of information. She gives ideas for having a party with friends to make jams or bath salts. I really recommend this one, and it's one that I'm going to have my husband read as well.

You can get this book directly from the publisher, Fulcrum Publishing You can get more information about my review policy here.

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