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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Made from Scratch

Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life is the book I'm reading now.
A lot of it is pretty obvious, and it's not really a guide to living sustainably so much as a collection of ideas of things you can do to live a more sustainable lifestyle and tips for doing them. Not everyone is going to be able to do everything that's in this book. I know that I can't have livestock in my neighborhood for example unfortunately. But there are ideas that anyone can do, and the basic idea of living a life that's made from scratch, built with your own two hands is something that anyone can do at least somewhat, there are suggestions for how to apply some of the ideas in an urban environment as well which is certainly a good thing.
The author, a vegetarian, talks about keeping hens for eggs, beekeeping, sewing your own clothes, what it was like to face the responsibility of having to put an animal down, and training your dogs to be working dogs. She tells about her trials and tribulations in learning how to homestead, and also the satisfaction of eating something that she harvested and cooked herself.
I love the emphasis on buying good used items instead of brand new. A lot of books on living green or more sustainably talk about a lot of the shiny new green stuff out there, but buying vintage is really a lot greener, plus, things were made better 30-40 years ago!
She shows in a no nonsense way how hard it can be to live this way, and explains well why she does it.
There are recipes as well. It's not a cookbook or a how to book though, although it has aspects of both.
If you're looking for information on having a hobby farm, there are better books out there, but if you live in an urban setting and would like ideas for living more of a homestead type life, this is a great book to get ideas to look into further and research more.

If you like Little House in the Suburbs you'll probably enjoy this book. It's the same sort of philosophy.

The author has her own blog. Cold Antler Farm

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