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Homesteading & Self-Reliant Lifestyle Resources

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homesteadingWhether you’re interested in disaster preparedness, going off the grid, creating a more sustainable lifestyle or just cutting back on your household expenses, here are some resources to start you on the path to self-sufficient living.

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Homesteading/Self-Reliance Guides

Thomas Fox. Urban Farming: sustainable city living in your backyard, in your community, and in the world.

It doesn’t take a farm to have the heart of a farmer. Now, due to a burgeoning sustainable-living movement, you don’t have to own acreage to fulfill your dream of raising your own food. Hobby Farms Urban Farming, from Hobby Farm Press and the same people who bring you Hobby Farms and Hobby Farm Home magazine, will walk every city and suburban dweller down the path of self sustainability. Urban Farming will introduce readers to the concepts of gardening and farming from a high-rise apartment, participating in a community garden, vertical farming, and converting terraces and other small city spaces into fruitful, vegetableful real estate. This comprehensive volume will answer every up and coming urban farmer’s questions about how, what, where and why?a new green book for the dedicated citizen seeking to reduce his carbon footprint and grocery bill.

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Lisa Taylor. Your Farm in the City: an urban dweller’s guide to growing food and raising livestock.

The most complete book on urban farming, covering everything from growing organic produce and raising chickens, to running a small farm on a city lot or in a suburban backyard. Eating locally and growing one’s own food is a rapidly evolving movement in urban settings – Hantz Farms in Detroit has transformed 70 acres of abandoned properties into energy-efficient gardens, and Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, a 6,000-foot vegetable farm in Brooklyn, New York, yields 30 different kinds of produce, while private square-foot farms are cropping up in cities all over the country. Created by Lisa Taylor and the gardeners of Seattle Tilth, Your Farm in the City covers all of the essential information specific to gardening and farming in a city or town.  Clear, easy-to-follow instructions guide and inspire even the most inexperienced urbanite in how to grow and harvest all types of produce, flowers, herbs, and trees, as well as how to raise livestock like chickens, ducks, rabbits, goats, and honeybees.  Important information particular to gardening in a city or town is included, such as planning and maximizing limited space, building healthy soil, managing irrigation, understanding zoning laws, outwitting urban pests, and being a considerate farming neighbor. With 100 two-color instructional illustrations throughout and dozens of vital resources, Your Farm in the City is the most practical, comprehensive, and easy-to-follow guide to the burgeoning trend of urban farming.

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Brett Markham. Mini-farming: self-sufficiency on a ¼ acre.

Mini Farming describes a holistic approach to small-area farming that will show you how to produce 85 percent of an average family’s food on just a quarter acre — and earn $10,000 in cash annually while spending less than half the time that an ordinary job would require. Even if you have never been a farmer or a gardener, this book covers everything you need to know to get started: buying and saving seeds, starting seedlings, establishing raised beds, soil fertility practices, composting, pest and disease problems, crop rotation, farm planning, and much more. Because self-sufficiency is the objective, subjects such as raising backyard chickens and home canning are also covered. Materials, tools, and techniques are detailed with photographs, tables, diagrams, and illustrations.

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Rachel Kaplan. Urban Homesteading: heirloom skills for sustainable living.

The urban homesteading movement is spreading rapidly across the nation. Urban Homesteading is the perfect “back-to-the-land” guide for urbanites who want to reduce their impact on the environment. Full of practical information, as well as inspiring stories from people already living the urban homesteading life, this colorful guide is an approachable guide to learning to live more ecologically in the city. The book embraces the core concepts of localization (providing our basic needs close to where we live), self-reliance (re-learning that food comes from the ground, not the grocery store; learning to do things ourselves), and sustainability (giving back at least as much as we take). Readers will find concise how-to information that they can immediately set into practice, from making solar cookers to growing tomatoes in a barrel to raising chickens in small spaces to maintaining mental serenity in the fast-paced city environment.Full of beautiful full-color photographs and illustrations, and plenty of step-by-step instructions, this is a must-have handbook for city folk with a passion for the simple life.

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Scott Meyer. The City Homesteader: self-sufficiency on any square footage.

Whether you’re on a mission to bring some old-fashioned skills to your urban apartment or put your stamp on a home in the suburbs, The City Homesteader will lead the way. “Homesteading” is earthbound skills in a digital age, and authenticity in a mass-produced world. From small or large-scale gardening to composting, harnessing solar energy, and food preservation, author Scott Meyer reinterprets yesterday’s necessities for today’s enthusiast, For those who have already discovered the pleasures of gardening, the clear step-by-step instructions to building a bee house, raising small livestock, making cheese, cellaring produce, and smoking fish provide s reliable starting place for a new hobby or lifestyle. Put your lawn, windowsill, or spare closet to work as your own personal homestead in the city, and reap the rewards.

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Liz Wright.  Natural Living: the 21st century guide to a sustainable lifestyle.

In today’s society we’re all conscious of the way our actions affect our planet. Many of us still aren’t aware, however, that with only a few alternations to our lifestyles we could really make a difference. Natural Living proves this with an in-depth look at the way we live and comprehensive guidance on the crucial changes we can all make. Whether you simply want to grow your own vegetables or intend to go the whole hog and relocate to the country, this invaluable handbook will expertly guide you through every aspect of sustainable living in the 21st century. With ideas for both house and garden, advice on planning which food to grow and which animals to raise, photographs throughout and step-by-step practical instructions for everything from beekeeping, to composting, to spinning raw wool into yarn, Natural Living has everything you need to start living a more self-sufficient and environmentally responsible life.

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Carleen Madigan. Backyard Homestead.

Put your backyard to work! Enjoy fresher, organic, better-tasting food all the time. The solution is as close as your own backyard. Grow the vegetables and fruits your family loves; keep bees; raise chickens, goats, or even a cow. The Backyard Homestead shows you how it’s done. And when the harvest is in, you’ll learn how to cook, preserve, cure, brew, or pickle the fruits of your labor. From a quarter of an acre, you can harvest 1,400 eggs, 50 pounds of wheat, 60 pounds of fruit, 2,000 pounds of vegetables, 280 pounds of pork, 75 pounds of nuts.

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Eric Toensmeier. Paradise Lot: two plant geeks, one-tenth of an acre, and the making of an edible garden oasis in the city. 

When Eric Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates moved into a duplex in a run-down part of Holyoke, Massachusetts, the tenth-of-an-acre lot was barren ground and bad soil, peppered with broken pieces of concrete, asphalt, and brick. The two friends got to work designing what would become not just another urban farm, but a “permaculture paradise” replete with perennial broccoli, paw paws, bananas, and moringa—all told, more than two hundred low-maintenance edible plants in an innovative food forest on a small city lot. The garden—intended to function like a natural ecosystem with the plants themselves providing most of the garden’s needs for fertility, pest control, and weed suppression—also features an edible water garden, a year-round unheated greenhouse, tropical crops, urban poultry, and even silkworms. In telling the story of Paradise Lot, Toensmeier explains the principles and practices of permaculture, the choice of exotic and unusual food plants, the techniques of design and cultivation, and, of course, the adventures, mistakes, and do-overs in the process. Packed full of detailed, useful information about designing a highly productive permaculture garden, Paradise Lot is also a funny and charming story of two single guys, both plant nerds, with a wild plan: to realize the garden of their dreams and meet women to share it with. Amazingly, on both counts, they succeed.

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Purdue Extension Publications

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Vegetable Gardening/Foraging

Greg Marley. Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares: the love, lore, and mystique of mushrooms.

Presents an introduction to edible mushrooms, describing their characteristics, the regions where they are found, and how to avoid poisonous varieties, along with a collection of recipes and cooking techniques.

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Robert Gough. The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds: 322 vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruits, trees, and shrubs.

This colorful large format guide provides a wealth of information for home gardeners and small farmers on the science and best practices of seed saving. Beginning with general chapters on seed biology, growing plants for seed, harvesting and cleaning methods, storage and germination, the bulk of the volume provides plant by plant information on the best methods of seed saving. Each entry includes information on the plant, times and methods of seed collection, cleaning and storage and specific information on seed germination and growing starts for transplanting. The work includes numerous color photographs, illustrations, tables and sidebars as well as appendices on the history of seed saving in North America and a glossary of important terms.

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Stephanie Davies. Composting Inside & Out.

Hundreds of millions of tons of solid waste are produced in the U.S. annually, and the landfills simply store it, not eliminate it. Recycling diverts significant amounts of waste, but the fact remains that the majority of landfill space is occupied by organic material. The good news is composting is a natural and beneficial way to eliminate this waste, and anyone can do it. Whether you live on a farm, in the suburbs or a city apartment, composting is possible. Composting Inside and Out will introduce you to the essentials and explore various methods of indoor and outdoor composting to help you find the perfect fit for your lifestyle.

Inside you’ll find:

    • A compete overview of the composting process
    • Advice on finding the right equipment
    • Step-by-step instruction for fourteen different composting methods
    • Ideas for using the soil you produce
    • Quick answers to common problems

Whether you create a compost heap, bury your scraps, ferment them, tumble them or feed them to the worms, you too can be successful with composting. Use the fruits of your labor on you houseplants, your lawn, your flowerbeds or your garden. Put your waste and your energy to good use. Reclaim the benefits of participating in the planet’s health through composting?its rewards are simply miraculous.

Carol Deppe. The Resilient Gardener: food production and self-reliance in uncertain times.

Presents advice for growing vegetables that can help families survive financial, health, dietary, and weather challenges, including author’s experiences, gardening and storage techniques, and recipes for five crops with storage and nutritional values.

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R.J. Rupenthal. Fresh Food From Small Spaces: the square inch gardener’s guide to year-round growing, fermenting, and sprouting.

Creating a food system for your space — Deciding what to grow in your garden space — How to buy or build productive vegetable containers — Using vertical space and reflected light — Starting transplants and cycling your crops — Growing fruit and berries in your spare space — Sprouting grains, beans, wheatgrass, and salad sprouts — Making yogurt, kefir, and fermented foods — Cultivating mushrooms — Raising chickens and honeybees in the city — Making compost and partnering with worms — Survival during resource shortages — Helping to build a sustainable future.

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Marta Teegan. Homegrown: a growing guide for creating a cook’s garden.

Swap the annuals for edibles, creating attractive beds and containers that both beautify the yard and provide a bounty of fresh produce. As a trained chef-turned-professional kitchen garden designer, Marta Teegen knows what a difference freshly harvested vegetables can make to a meal—and how easy it is to ensure seasonal vegetables are always available when you need them. She touts the joys creating front yard–friendly raised beds and container gardens that take up only a small amount of space and look beautiful to boot, and shares ideas for tucking productive gardens in other small nooks and corners. Teegen’s unique cuisine-based planting methods mean herbs, vegetables, and edible flowers grow next to each other in comingled plots—quickly, reliably, and efficiently. You’ll find more than 40 top picks for small-space vegetables that yield big and are trouble-free, plus a variety of menus and 50 recipes for fresh and delicious summer dishes. With food prices on the rise and concern over pesticide residues on produce ever present, the number of home owners growing vegetables nearly doubled in the last year. Homegrown shows that even urban and suburban dwellers can grow their own vegetables in easy-to-tend plots and spaces.
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Tama Wong. Foraged Flavor: finding fabulous ingredients in your backyard or farmer’s market.

Forage for wild food and discover delicious edible plants growing everywhere—including your backyard—and how best to prepare them to highlight their unique flavors, with this seasonally organized field guide and cookbook. While others have identified in the past which wild plants are edible, Tama Matsuoka Wong, the forager for Daniel, the flagship restaurant of renowned chef Daniel Boulud, and Eddy Leroux, its chef de cuisine, go two steps further, setting the bar much higher. First, they have carefully selected only the wild plants that are worth seeking out for their fabulous flavors. Second, after much taste-testing, they have figured out the best way to prepare each ingredient—a key in getting to know these exciting new foods. In Foraged Flavor, they reveal their seventy-one favorite plants, which are easy to identify and can be harvested sustainably across the country (including at farmers’ markets for those without access to nearby fields and forests). Tama helps readers uncover bright lemony oxalis growing in patches of their lawn or creeping jenny, with its unmistakable leaves and delicate green-pea flavor. Eddy then gives simple recipes to showcase the foraged finds, including Cardamine Cress with Fennel and Orange Vinaigrette; Braised Beef, Dandelion Leaves, and Clear Noodles; and Purslane Eggplant Caponata. With twenty-five botanical illustrations, fifty color photographs of the plants, and tons of field- and kitchen-tested know-how, Foraged Flavor will be an indispensable guide for cooking enthusiasts.

Horticulture

Indiana Gardening

Mother Earth News

Organic Gardening

Urban Farm

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Livestock/Game/Bees

Robert Litt. A Chicken in Every Yard: the Urban Farm Store’s guide to chicken keeping.

Robert and Hannah Litt have dispensed advice to hundreds of urban and suburban chicken-keepers from behind their perch at Portland’s Urban Farm Store, and now they’re ready to help you go local and sustainable with your own backyard birds. In this handy guide to breeds, feed, coops, and care, the Litts take you under their experienced wings and share the secrets to: Picking the breeds that are right for you • Building a sturdy coop in one weekend for $100 • Raising happy and hearty chicks • Feeding your flock for optimal health and egg nutrition • Preventing and treating common chicken diseases • Planning ahead for family, neighborhood, and legal considerations • Whipping up tasty egg recipes from flan to frittata With everything that first-timers will need to get started—along with expert tips for more seasoned keepers—this colorful, nuts-and-bolts manual proves that keeping chickens is all it’s cracked up to be.

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Cheryl Smith. Raising Goats for Dummies.

Raise goats and reap the rewards. Raising Goats For Dummies provides you with an introduction to all aspects of owning, caring for, and the day-to-day benefits of raising goats.

Raising Goats For Dummies is your How-to guide for:

    • Breaking down the complicated process of choosing and purchasing the right goat breed to meet your needs and getting facilities for your goat set up.
    • Providing in-depth information on proper grooming, handling, feeding, and milking
    • Covering the basics of goat health and nutrition
    • Offering tips and advice for using your goat to produce milk, meat, fiber, and more

Understand what makes these useful and delightful creatures so popular and gain the knowledge and skills to properly care for and utilize their many offerings.

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Ashley English. Keeping Bees with Ashley English: all you need to know to tend hives, harvest honey & more.

Heard the buzz? Beekeeping is back! Neighborhoods across the country have embraced it as a source of sustainable food and environmental goodness. For those who want to join the ?hive” of keepers, Ashley English has the lowdown on the key issues, from space and time considerations to local ordinances to the basics of acquiring, housing, maintaining, and caring for bees year round. Plus, get 10 tested honey-centric recipes!

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Teresa Marrone. Dressing & Cooking Wild Game.

Explains how to skin, butcher, portion, dress, and freeze wild game, and offers recipes for cooking big and small game, as well as waterfowl.

John Mettler. Basic Butchering of Livestock & Game.

Monte Burch. Field Dressing and Butchering Deer: step-by-step instructions, from field to table.

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Cooking/Food Preservation

Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning: traditional techniques using salt, oil, sugar, alcohol, vinegar, drying, cold storage, and lactic fermentation.

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Sherri Vinton. Put ‘Em Up! : a comprehensive home preserving guide for the creative cook, from drying and freezing to canning and pickling.

Preserving is back and it’s better than ever! Flavors are brighter, batch sizes are more flexible, and modern methods make the process safer and easier. Eating locally is on everybodys mind, and nothing is more local than Heirloom Salsa made from vine-fresh tomatoes or a quick batch of Ice-Box Berry Jam saved from the seasons last berries. Even beginners who never made peach jam or dill pickles in their grandmothers kitchens are eager to pick up preserving skills as a way to save money, extend the local harvest, and control the quality of preserved ingredients. The step-by-step instructions in Put ‘em Up will have the most timid beginners filling their pantries and freezers with the preserved goodness of summer in no time. An extensive Techniques section includes complete how-to for every kind of preserving: refrigerating and freezing, air- and oven-drying, cold- and hot-pack canning, and pickling. And with recipe yields as small as a few pints or as large as several gallons, readers can easily choose recipes that work for the amount of produce and time at hand. Real food advocate Sherri Brooks Vinton offers recipes with exciting flavor combinations to please contemporary palates and put preserved fruits and vegetables on dinner-party menus everywhere. Pickled Asparagus and Wasabi Beans are delicious additions to holiday relish trays; Sweet Pepper Marmalade perks up cool-weather roasts; and Berry Bourbon is an unexpected base for a warming cocktail. The best versions of tried-and-true favorites are all here too. Bushels of fresh-picked apples are easily turned into applesauce, dried fruit rings, jelly, butter, or even brandy. Falling-off-the-vine tomatoes can be frozen whole, oven dried, canned, or made into a tangy marinara. Options for pickling cucumbers range from Bread and Butter Chips and Dill Spears to Asian Ice-Box Pickles. Something delicious for every pantry!

Sylvia Bashline. Cleaning & Cooking Fish.

Tells how to pan-fry, deep-fry, broil, poach, bake, barbecue, and smoke fish and includes recipes for appetizers, salads, soups, main dishes, and sauces.

Ken Forkish. Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast: the fundamentals of artisan bread and pizza.

There are few things more satisfying than biting into a freshly made, crispy-on-the-outside, soft-and-supple-on-the-inside slice of perfectly baked bread. For Portland-based baker Ken Forkish, well-made bread is more than just a pleasure—it is a passion that has led him to create some of the best and most critically lauded breads and pizzas in the country. In Flour Water Salt Yeast, Forkish translates his obsessively honed craft into scores of recipes for rustic boules and Neapolitan-style pizzas, all suited for the home baker. Forkish developed and tested all of the recipes in his home oven, and his impeccable formulas and clear instructions result in top-quality artisan breads and pizzas that stand up against those sold in the best bakeries anywhere. Whether you’re a total beginner or a serious baker, Flour Water Salt Yeast has a recipe that suits your skill level and time constraints: Start with a straight dough and have fresh bread ready by supper time, or explore pre-ferments with a bread that uses biga or poolish. If you’re ready to take your baking to the next level, follow Forkish’s step-by-step guide to making a levain starter with only flour and water, and be amazed by the delicious complexity of your naturally leavened bread. Pizza lovers can experiment with a variety of doughs and sauces to create the perfect pie using either a pizza stone or a cast-iron skillet. Flour Water Salt Yeast is more than just a collection of recipes for amazing bread and pizza—it offers a complete baking education, with a thorough yet accessible explanation of the tools and techniques that set artisan bread apart. Featuring a tutorial on baker’s percentages, advice for manipulating ingredients ratios to create custom doughs, tips for adapting bread baking schedules to fit your day-to-day life, and an entire chapter that demystifies the levain-making process, Flour Water Salt Yeast is an indispensable resource for bakers who want to make their daily bread exceptional bread.

Sandor Katz. The Art of Fermentation: an in-depth exploration of essential concepts and processes from around the world.

The Art of Fermentation is the most comprehensive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation ever published. Sandor Katz presents the concepts and processes behind fermentation in ways that are simple enough to guide a reader through their first experience making sauerkraut or yogurt, and in-depth enough to provide greater understanding and insight for experienced practitioners. While Katz expertly contextualizes fermentation in terms of biological and cultural evolution, health and nutrition, and even economics, this is primarily a compendium of practical information-how the processes work; parameters for safety; techniques for effective preservation; troubleshooting; and more. With illustrations and extended resources, this book provides essential wisdom for cooks, homesteaders, farmers, gleaners, foragers, and food lovers of any kind who want to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for arguably the oldest form of food preservation, and part of the roots of culture itself. Readers will find detailed information on fermenting vegetables; sugars into alcohol (meads, wines, and ciders); sour tonic beverages; milk; grains and starchy tubers; beers (and other grain-based alcoholic beverages); beans; seeds; nuts; fish; meat; and eggs, as well as growing mold cultures, using fermentation in agriculture, art, and energy production, and considerations for commercial enterprises. Sandor Katz has introduced what will undoubtedly remain a classic in food literature, and is the first-and only-of its kind.

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Energy/Landscaping/Home Projects

Michael Phillips. Holistic Orchard: tree fruits and berries the biological way.

Many people want to grow fruit on a small scale but lack the insight to be successful orchardists. Growing tree fruits and berries is something virtually anyone with space and passionate desire can do – given wise guidance and a personal commitment to observe the teachings of the trees. A holistic grower knows that producing fruit is not about manipulating nature but more importantly, fostering nature. Orcharding then becomes a fascinating adventure sure to provide your family with all sorts of mouth-watering fruit. The Holistic Orchard demystifies the basic skills everybody should know about the inner-workings of the orchard ecosystem, as well as orchard design, soil biology, and organic health management. Detailed insights on grafting, planting, pruning, and choosing the right varieties for your climate are also included, along with a step-by-step instructional calendar to guide growers through the entire orchard year. The extensive profiles of pome fruits (apples, pears, asian pears, quinces), stone fruits (cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums), and berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, gooseberries, currants, and elderberries) will quickly have you savoring the prospects. Phillips completely changed the conversation about healthy orcharding with his first bestselling book, The Apple Grower, and now he takes that dialogue even further, drawing connections between home orcharding and permaculture; the importance of native pollinators; the world of understory plantings with shade-tolerant berry bushes and other insectary plants; detailed information on cover crops and biodiversity; and the newest research on safe, homegrown solutions to pest and disease challenges. All along the way, Phillips’ expertise and enthusiasm for healthy growing shines through, as does his ability to put the usual horticultural facts into an integrated ecology perspective. This book will inspire beginners as well as provide deeper answers for experienced fruit growers looking for scientific organic approaches. Exciting times lie ahead for those who now have every reason in the world to confidently plant that very first fruit tree!

Betsy Matheson. DIY Projects for the Self-Sufficient Homeowner: 25 ways to build a self-reliant lifestyle.

Build your way to a more self-sufficient lifestyle with step-by-step projects for backup and supplementary utilities–including independent water, heat, and electricity–growing and storing food, raising small livestock, beekeeping, and more. Many of the projects require basic materials available at your everyday home center, but this book also provides valuable DIY resources for solar, hydro, greenhouse, and gardening needs. This book will help you build security with utility backup systems and become more sustainable, resulting in less dependence on city systems for basic needs. Whether you have a city plot or simply pots, this book includes all of the information needed to plan, build, and succeed with greater self-sufficiency.

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Paul Scheckel. The Homeowner’s Energy Handbook: your guide to getting off the grid.

Are you looking for creative ways to lower your energy costs, generate more of your own power, or become less reliant on the grid? Energy expert Paul Scheckel offers practical advice for taking matters into your own hands. Understand the fundamentals of solar, wind, water, and biofuel energy production as you make your home ready for renewables. Each chapter of Homeowner’s Energy Handbook provides a comprehensive discussion of renewable energy sources along with “green guides” for building your own energy-saving — and energy-producing — equipment. Step-by-step instructions show you how to build a bicycle-powered generator, a biodiesel processor, a thermosiphon solar hot-water collector, a biogas generator, a smokeless wood-gas camp stove, and more. Whether you want to button up your house to be more energy-efficient, find deep energy savings, or take your home entirely off the grid, this guide has the knowledge and skills you need to reduce your use, then produce!

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Edible Gardens.

Turn good eats into a gorgeous garden! Featuring everything from easy-to-grow annuals to long-fruiting perennials, this encyclopedia of edible plants offers colorful profiles highlighting each plant’s ornamental attributes, origins, use as food, and cultivation requirements. A portfolio of garden designs-including a home orchard, American potager, children’s garden, container gardens, and school garden-provides inspiration for home and professional gardeners alike. Additional information on organic care and sustainable techniques (slow gardening, permaculture, building soil) completes this hands-on guide.

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Daniel Chiras. Green Home Improvement: 65 projects that will cut utility bills, protect your health, help the environment.

In a tight economy, this book offers clear financial benefits: Helps homeowners immediately cut their utility bills. Fits with the trend toward smaller home improvements most of the projects require only a modest investment. Gives readers an edge when they sell their homes buyers are especially looking for energy-efficiency, but they’re also tuned into green health and environmental concerns. The books projects range from quick, easy, low- or no-cost tasks like insulating a water heater, sealing foundation cracks, or painting with insulating paint to bigger-ticket items such as installing a new energy-efficient heating system, windows, or green flooring. For each project, readers will learn: the steps required; material and installation options; what the improvement will cost; payback in savings on utility bills; health, comfort, and environmental benefits. More than 65 Go Green tips highlighted throughout the book give readers ideas for quick, easy, and often low- or no-cost things they can do, right away, to make their homes and lifestyles greener.

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Housekeeping

Fix It, Clean It, and Make It Last: the ultimate guide to making your household items last forever.

Kitchen — Household — Home interior — Furniture — Plumbing, heating and cooling — Laundry — Clothing — Valuables — Home exterior — Home workship — Automotive — Lawn and garden — Pets — Travel and recreation — Personal care — Health and first aid.

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Sophie Uliano. Do It Gorgeously: how to make less toxic, less expensive and more beautiful products.

Explains how to be green, smart, and thrifty by reusing old household items and using low-cost materials to make things instead of buying them, including common condiments and foods, beauty products, and home-repair items.

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Rodale’s Book of Practical Formulas: easy-to-make, easy to use recipes for hundreds of everyday activities and tasks.

Presents natural alternatives to toxic products featuring formulas for cleaning, gardening, home repair, car care, and beauty aids.

Merilyn Mohr. The art of soap making : a complete introduction to the history and craft offine soapmaking, complete recipes for hand soaps, herbal shampoos, natural toothpaste, vegetarian soap, laundry soap and many rich andfragrant homemade soaps.

Family Handyman

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Skill-building

Dave Miller. Dave Miller’s Homebrewing Guide: everything you need to know to make great-tasting beer.

In this comprehensive guide to homebrewing, Miller clearly explains the best techniques for every step of the entire brewing process. Clear enough for the novice but thorough enough to earn a home in the libraries of brewmasters, this is the essential volume on brewing great-tasting beer at home.

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Homer Hardwick. Winemaking at Home.

Alexander Weygers. The Modern Blacksmith.

Cheryl Sobun. Basic Woodworking: all the skills and tools you need to get started.

The history of woodworking spans cultures and millennia, and each year more and more people take up this exciting and challenging craft. Illustrated with hundreds of full-color photographs, Basic Woodworking helps beginners learn the fundamentals of working with wood and avoid frustration and injury in the process. Following a complete introduction to both hand tools and woodworking machines, the book guides readers step-by-step, from start to finish, through several simple projects–including a cutting board, peg shelf, and step stool–and, along the way, builds a foundation of knowledge by teaching the essential skills that will serve them in future woodworking endeavors.

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William Spence. Home Carpenter & Woodworker’s Repair Manual.

A do-it-yourself expert presents a definitive guide to hundreds of major and minor carpentry and woodworking jobs around the house, furnishing detailed instructions, along with more than 1,600 photographs, diagrams, tables, and illustrations to help homeowners install a wall, replace wainscoting, update a kitchen or bathroom, install lighting and appliances, and repair furniture, among other tasks.

Needlecraft.

Introduction — Embroidery — Needlepoint — Patchwork, quilting and appliqué — Knitting — Crochet — Basic sewing.

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Additional Resources about Disaster Preparedness

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Memoirs

Kurt Timmermeister. Growing a Farmer: how I learned to live off the land.

A former Seattle urbanite and restaurateur describes the realities of establishing a profitable farm on Vashon Island, promotes awareness between what we eat and where it came from and discusses the specifics of making cheese, raising cows and slaughtering pigs.

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Janice Cole. Chicken & Egg: a memoir of suburban homesteading.

Chicken coops have never been so chic! From organic gardens in parking lots to rooftop beekeeping, the appeal of urban homesteading is widespread. Chicken and Egg tells the story of veteran food writer Janice Cole, who, like so many other urbanites, took up the revolutionary hobby of raising chickens at home. From picking out the perfect coop to producing the miracle of the first egg, Cole shares her now-expert insights into the trials, triumphs, and bonds that result when human and hen live in close quarters. With 125 recipes for delicious chicken and egg dishes, poultry lovers, backyard farmers, and those contemplating taking the leap will adore this captivating illustrated memoir!

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Barbara Kingsolver. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: a year of food life.

With characteristic poetry and pluck, Barbara Kingsolver and her family sweep readers along on their journey away from the industrial-food pipeline to a rural life in which they vow to buy only food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Their good-humored search yields surprising discoveries about turkey sex life and overly zealous zucchini plants, en route to a food culture that’s better for the neighborhood and also better on the table. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle makes a passionate case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life and diversified farms at the center of the American diet.

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