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Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Rachel Kaplan , K. Ruby Blume

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Amazon.com: 4.4 von 5 Sternen  58 Rezensionen
77 von 79 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A thorough primer on everything related to living lightly and making your own 29. Mai 2011
Von Gen of North Coast Gardening - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
I'm a landscaper, and so come to most gardening books from a design perspective - I look at the photos and read some of the text, but not all. This book is different. While the photos are attractive and appropriate, the text is so packed full of intense tutorials and ways of re-thinking our relationship with, well, everything, that I had to slow down and read carefully to get the most from this book.

While the philosophical sections are non-preachy and inspiring, the meat of the book is in the suggestions and simple how-tos that make all aspects of homesteading seem doable, fun and attractive. You can learn to:

garden vertically
make and plant a seed ball
create your own self-watering container
plant an herbal medicine chest in your garden
grow potatoes in a barrel or trash can
grow mushrooms
make your own cultured butter or cheese
attract pollinators to your garden
make your own natural, safe pesticides
keep rabbits
choose and keep goats
harvest edible weeds
build a solar drying rack
ferment your own sauerkraut and make your own naturally-bubbly sodas
figure out your soil type
build a composting toilet
harvest rainwater

This book is clearly destined to stay in my shelf for a long, long time. While none of the articles will make you an expert on the topic, after trying a few of these projects, you'll realize you don't need to become an expert in order to live lightly on the land, make your own healthy foods and simple medicines for basic ailments, and become more independent and self-reliant. Each of the how-tos is simple enough to get you started successfully on a new path and give you confidence to do things in a new way.

If you want to buy just one book on how to live lightly on the land even with limited money or space, this is the book to start with. I was blown away by how thorough it is. And while my political beliefs may be different from that of the authors, I didn't find their philosophies overbearing or preachy. Their genuine desire to see us all become confident, productive people able to take care of our own needs is evident, and makes their writing attractive for people from any background.
77 von 80 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Good for bare beginners, but only in some regions 19. August 2011
Von Nicole - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
First, the good:

The layout of the book is very well done and aesthetically pleasing, the photographs are exceptional and the quality of the book is top notch for a large-format paperback. There are no cut corners here.

When it comes to content, I appreciated the authors' non-judgmental style, optimism and happy encouragement. Many other authors have talked about these issues without such restraint and acceptance of the beliefs and ultimate goals of their readers. I also especially liked that nowhere did the author advocate any illegal activity (unlike many other sources on the subject.) They attempted to address a broad width of topics and succeeded in hitting all the major components of urban homesteading.

So, why the 3 stars?

It is inevitable that the numerous topics would lack depth, but this puts the book squarely in the raw beginner market. After reading the other reviews, I expected more. The gardening chapters have advice that is very specific to Northern California's climate (I used to live there) but would be an disastrous failure in many other regions. They also missed some important components of biointensive gardening, particularly the need for a large amount of organic inputs. A better source for this kind of gardening is to go back to the original, Jeavons' "How to Grow More Vegetables."

At least one of their food preservation recipes can kill you -- not a good sign. And not all urban areas are the kinda of high density environments they envision.

Finally, I felt the last two chapters were particularly off-putting even though I was barely skimming the book by then. If gardening doesn't nurture your soul, than no amount of art projects and personal alters are going to make homesteading the right choice for you, and have nothing whatsoever to do with homesteading. They were, however, very evocative of a certain "hippy dippy" No Cal crowd, to borrow a phrase from another reviewer.

In summary: if you are interested in a broad review of the topic, are a beginner, and live in VERY urban area with forgiving oceanic climate like Northern California, this book will be a great choice for you. For the rest of us... not so much.
29 von 29 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Giddy with excitement when reading this book 3. Mai 2011
Von Charles Frederick - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
I only bought this book as a protest against the Dervais family's copyright of the phrase Urban Homesteading (I also bought another wonderful book here - The Urban Homestead. Anyway, as I began to read this book, I was really sucked in by the wonderful photos and ideas about things I can do here on my own homestead. I highly recommend this book. Lots of great info and ideas. I have never been so invigorated and excited.

The only negative I would give this book is not really a negative at all. With so much information, and so many ideas, it's hard to know "where do I start", but that's what I have ThoughtOffice for, right?

I was inspired by the section which teaches us how to transform our ornamental or boring yards into food production area - starting with bringing life to the soil.

Just this week I made the ricotta cheese with organic whole milk. Best. Ricotta. Ever. Absolutely MADE the lasagna (although it was an amazing recipe - (Google: "World's Best Lasagna"). I am looking forward to making the cultured butter (I now make regular, non-cultured butter from organic whole cream, which is delicious). The nice thing about cultured butter is that the buttermilk, which is a byproduct, can be used to culture cheese, make buttermilk pancakes, bread, dressing ect. Non-cultured buttermilk cannot.
I have the 2 specialty ingredients for feta cheese on order and cannot wait to stop paying for store bought, bland feta. Our household goes through a lot of feta - this is going to be a very good thing. Tomorrow I make mozzarella cheese (not in the book, but it's easy to find directions online, and it uses much of the same things you use to make the dairy recipes in the book).

I have been rereading the section on bee-keeping, raising rabbits, preserving and storing food, and many others which I won't bore you with. Bottom line - get this book. You'll be happy you did.
16 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Not the best book on this subject 31. März 2012
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
This was not a bad book, and if it is the first book you have read on this subject it probably won't be nearly as disappointing for you as it was for me. My problem was that there are just so many books out there that are better than this. Most of the time when I am interested in a subject I can breeze through any book about it in a day or so, but this took almost a week for me to get through.

This is a decent 'ideas' book on urban homesteading, but The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre! or The Complete Idiot's Guide to Urban Homesteading are both much better, and they both contain a great deal more substance too. If you get interested in one of the projects in these books there is enough information most of the time to get you started. And if you decide to raise livestock then The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals: Choose the Best Breeds for Small-Space Farming, Produce Your Own Grass-Fed Meat, Gather Fresh ... Rabbits, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Cattle, & Bees is a great book to learn about your options and decide what kind you want, although you would still need more information than it provides for the specific animals you want to raise.

If you want a 'project' book, then Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World and DIY Projects for the Self-Sufficient Homeowner: 25 Ways to Build a Self-Reliant Lifestyle are both much more complete, and the first one is also a good 'ideas' book.

If you just want the 'why' of it, which is what this book's main aim seems to be, then Little House in the Suburbs: Backyard farming and home skills for self-sufficient living is much better, and is also a pretty good project and ideas book. Their blog is also informative.

All of these are also more organized, as in you can actually find things when you go to the table of contents without having to keep paging forward and skimming until you find what you want. There are all also a great deal less self-righteous and well... goofy. I don't mind philosophy, but I like it to be evenly balanced with science. I even agree with most of the philosophy in this book (although not all). I just don't need to pay for a lecture. I wanted information, and while there is some, as one reviewer noted, you will have to find it. And what information there is in one or all of these other books too. For me, this one was a waste of time.
17 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Motivating, beautiful and informative 2. Juni 2011
Von Tiffani Beckman-McNeil - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a great book. It is simply, a great book. It's also a great book if you need motivation or information on moving toward self and community sustainability. Or if you need to see that people are actually doing the sustainability things you only hear about. I already make much of my own food, have a CSA farm share, milk from a cow share, I ferment my own veggies, grow a garden, etc. I really didn't think this book would teach much. After all, I'm already ahead of the curve when it comes to sustainability...(or so I thought).

Well, I was wrong. Thankfully and delightedly wrong!! Not only did I learn about things I had no idea about before (composting toilets? rainwater systems? companion planting?) but she gives diagrams and instructions on how to actually go about it. I was SO excited to start new projects and keep going on my current ones. Keep moving towards one-ness with self, community and environment. Keep learning more and more about how to grow things in my area. Keep talking to others in my community to improve relations. Keep bees!

As the industrial food system keeps plugging away, creating more and more disease and pollution and public outcry, we can STILL MAKE A STAND by bucking the system and doing it ourselves. Who says you have to purchase food at a huge chain grocery store? Who says you can't see how your meat becomes meat? Who says you have to stay ignorant about food safety and storage? Who says you can't feed yourself??? It's down right un-American to assume we have to have others do it for us! We are smarter than that!!!

And this book gently, beautifully and lovingly explains it all. The pictures alone are worth the price of admission.

I'm (im)patiently waiting for the second book to come out....
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