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Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living

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Overview

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), ...

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Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“Fully illustrated, this is a user-friendly guide with visual appeal and lots of detailed information, making it a truly useful resource for those curious about or participating in today’s resurgent interest in “small is beautiful” ex/sub/urban homesteading.”
New York Post

A
how-to guide for city folk on everything from growing your own food to building your own composting toilet (“…think of all those quiet hours you could have…at your outdoor toilet, listening to the sirens go by…”).

Chicago Tribune
“A reality check for dreamers… ”
Common Ground Magazine
“Urban
Homesteading is perfect for the beginner seeking inspiration and information, or for the established homesteader wishing to deepen her craft. ”
Christian Science Monitor
“Provides a wealth of information about actual projects you can take on to green your footprint and increase your self-reliance. While none of the chapters will make you an expert, they give just enough information so you can figure out which projects will be most likely to be a good fit for you. And they remind us that you don’t need to be an expert to simply get started living more sustainably. Even apartment dwellers can do the majority of these projects, and many are fun to do with children. The entire book is packed full of diagrams and dense information that will help you live closer to the land.”
Vancouver Sun
“Kaplan and Blume’s manual for farming your yard is part master’s thesis, part philosophy text and part manual for living with creatures and plants in a confined space… Kaplan is long on making it work and leaving a light footprint on the earth. If you are pondering a more sustainable lifestyle, Urban Homesteading is a good way to survey the possibilities.”
Wendy Priesnitz - Natural Life
“This comprehensive guide is full of beautiful full-color photos and practical information about self-reliance and green living, as well as inspiring stories from people already living the urban homesteading life. It embraces the core concepts of localization, self-reliance, and knowledge of where our food comes from, as well as basic sustainability. . . . A great addition to the genre.
Natural Life
This comprehensive guide is full of beautiful full-color photos and practical information about self-reliance and green living, as well as inspiring stories from people already living the urban homesteading life. It embraces the core concepts of localization, self-reliance, and knowledge of where our food comes from, as well as basic sustainability. . . . A great addition to the genre.
”— Wendy Priesnitz
Paul Hawken
“This book is ridiculously good, a stunner. The authors outdid themselves, and everyone else who touches upon this field. It is a manifesto, a guide, a book of prayers, a much-needed tutorial. It has goodness on every page and light throughout, yet it is erudite, exact, definitive, and practical. What a rare thing. You have my thanks and unconditional praise for what you have accomplished--a masterpiece where there has never been one before.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616080549
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/27/2011
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 445,468
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 8.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Rachel Kaplan is the lead author of Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living. She is an eco-somatic therapist, educator, and widely published author. Her work has appeared in local and national papers and magazines, and includes Moving
Toward Life: Five Decades of Transformational Dance (with Anna Halprin), The Probable Site of the Garden of
Eden, and Diaspora: Stories from the Cities. She and her family live on a small homestead called Tiny Town Farm, in Petaluma, California.

K. Ruby Blume is the visual wizard of Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living. She is the founder of The Institute of Urban Homesteading in Oakland, California. With more than twenty years of experience with gardening, beekeeping, canning, and other homesteading skills, she is a respected authority in the self-sufficiency field. She has been featured on CNN, ABC, and the Hallmark Channel, and her articles have appeared in the San
Francisco Chronicle, Oakland
Magazine, and other publications.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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(5)

4 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 14, 2011

    Preachy and self-righteous

    This book is horrible. The first 100 pages or so tout the wonders of collectivism (i.e. communism) and how humanistic social rights trump indivudual rights. Ugh! Just tell me how to raise my chicks and plant a darn potato.

    11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 12, 2012

    HORRIBLE!! I have many other books by Skyhorse Publishing and th

    HORRIBLE!! I have many other books by Skyhorse Publishing and they are great.

    Want to build a chicken coop? This book just tells you that chickens lay eggs (in case you were wondering). Want to build a composting toilet so you can dump raw sewage on your edible plants? This book just tells you that it can be done (and of course all of the dangers of this practice are not discussed).

    I wouldn't want to even put this trash in my compost pile. But then again I don't know how compost because it isn't in this book.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 25, 2011

    Farming for City Dwellers at it's Best!

    Urban Homesteading.. Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living

    Rachel Kaplan with K. Ruby Blume
    Published by SkyHorse Publishing
    Source: Review Copy

    I often hear people mention they can't wait to get out into the country to start homesteading. With the information in this book, you can start homesteading right where you are living now.

    The first 4 chapters are much like a text book on topics like global warming, your carbon footprint and resources. A good lead in to urban farming but I wanted to get in the dirt. Urban Homesteading says "a Can-do attitude is the most important resource for a homesteading attitude" and I feel that is so true. The authors encourage you to start small, in reasonable bite size pieces. Gather your tools and evaluate what spaces you may have available to you. Whether you live on a lot in in your own home, rent, or even in apartments there are spaces around you available for planting and growing food. In addition there are opportunities available for community gardens, co-ops and school gardens. The paradigm is to think outside of the box, to think beyond acres and acres of land, and utilize what is right outside your doorstep. Think raised garden beds, barrels, depaving a driveway and using that space, vertical gardening.

    The book walks you through soil development and getting the land ready for planting, including ideas on composting. It discusses seed types and plants with charts on the best times of year and places to plant them. Included are veggies, herbs and fruits for a complete guide to all grown plants.

    The book goes a step further once you have the plants under foot to add in honey bees, chickens, ducks and possibly even a goat. Much information on caring for the animals in small spaces and suggestions and ideas on making it work for you.

    I could easily think of many friends and family members who could benefit from the ideas in this book and agree that if you start small and work up from there you can indeed have an urban homestead.

    I received a copy of this book from SkyHorse Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2014

    Madi

    Lets talk here

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2014

    Bline

    I was nervous

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2014

    Useful

    It wont tell you exactly how to do stuff but it will give you good ideas and inspiration

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2013

    I have a siggy hahaha

    Before you insult somebody, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you insult them, you're a mile away from them and you have thekr shoes.

    Take a guess. Shiny Shoes. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 2, 2012

    Urban dwellers rejoice

    This book will inspire you to grow where you are planted, with huge ideas for small garden spaces. There is a good bit about Community involvement and basic life changes for the better as well. I gave this book as a gift to a city girl friend and it was well received.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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