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The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-sufficient Living in the Heart of the City

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The Urban Homestead is the essential handbook for a fast-growing new movement: urbanites are becoming gardeners and farmers. Rejecting both end-times hand wringing and dewy-eyed faith that technology will save us from ourselves, urban homesteaders choose instead to act. By growing their own food and harnessing natural energy, they are planting seeds for the future of our c The Urban Homestead is the essential handbook for a fast-growing new movement: urbanites are becoming gardeners and farmers. Rejecting both end-times hand wringing and dewy-eyed faith that technology will save us from ourselves, urban homesteaders choose instead to act. By growing their own food and harnessing natural energy, they are planting seeds for the future of our cities.If you would like to harvest your own vegetables, raise city chickens, or convert to solar energy, this practical, hands-on book is full of step-by-step projects that will get you started homesteading immediately, whether you live in an apartment or a house. It is also a guidebook to the larger movement and will point you to the best books and Internet resources on self-sufficiency topics.Projects include: How to grow food on a patio or balcony How to clean your house without toxins How to preserve food How to cook with solar energy How to divert your greywater to your garden How to choose the best homestead for you Written by city dwellers for city dwellers, this illustrated, smartly designed, two-color instruction book proposes a paradigm shift that will improve our lives, our community, and our planet. Authors Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen happily farm in Los Angeles and run the urban homestead blog www.homegrownrevolution.org.


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The Urban Homestead is the essential handbook for a fast-growing new movement: urbanites are becoming gardeners and farmers. Rejecting both end-times hand wringing and dewy-eyed faith that technology will save us from ourselves, urban homesteaders choose instead to act. By growing their own food and harnessing natural energy, they are planting seeds for the future of our c The Urban Homestead is the essential handbook for a fast-growing new movement: urbanites are becoming gardeners and farmers. Rejecting both end-times hand wringing and dewy-eyed faith that technology will save us from ourselves, urban homesteaders choose instead to act. By growing their own food and harnessing natural energy, they are planting seeds for the future of our cities.If you would like to harvest your own vegetables, raise city chickens, or convert to solar energy, this practical, hands-on book is full of step-by-step projects that will get you started homesteading immediately, whether you live in an apartment or a house. It is also a guidebook to the larger movement and will point you to the best books and Internet resources on self-sufficiency topics.Projects include: How to grow food on a patio or balcony How to clean your house without toxins How to preserve food How to cook with solar energy How to divert your greywater to your garden How to choose the best homestead for you Written by city dwellers for city dwellers, this illustrated, smartly designed, two-color instruction book proposes a paradigm shift that will improve our lives, our community, and our planet. Authors Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen happily farm in Los Angeles and run the urban homestead blog www.homegrownrevolution.org.

30 review for The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-sufficient Living in the Heart of the City

  1. 5 out of 5

    AJ

    I have to say that I was initially very skeptical of this book; as I perused the table of contents I was nearly convinced that this was just another book for yuppies with yards (YWYs). As I live in a tiny 200 sq. ft. (at best) studio apartment with no land space, no balcony, and only north facing windows, I was certain this book wouldn't have anything useful for me in it. However, it does have some really great projects and ideas, from growing food to composting, that can be accomplished even by I have to say that I was initially very skeptical of this book; as I perused the table of contents I was nearly convinced that this was just another book for yuppies with yards (YWYs). As I live in a tiny 200 sq. ft. (at best) studio apartment with no land space, no balcony, and only north facing windows, I was certain this book wouldn't have anything useful for me in it. However, it does have some really great projects and ideas, from growing food to composting, that can be accomplished even by those of us who are almost entirely bereft of space. Although I skipped over the portions of the book not pertinent to me (keeping chickens, I'm a vegan; installing solar power, I'm a renter) there was still a lot of ground to cover in this book, and I'm eager to start composting. When I move to a new place I will look for south facing windows and (maybe) a balcony so that I can start growing some indoor vegetables. I also enjoyed the section on how to can, and how to make your own starter for sourdough bread. In all, this book seems to have something for everyone. Time and space deprived renters such as myself who want to minimize our daily impact (and costs) as well as YWYs who feel like making a difference.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michael the Girl

    The book radically changed they way I see green spaces in New York, and I have become shocked that so many people have small green spaces and grow no food. For that alone, I consider the book valuable in spite of its flaws. I gave this book four stars, and I've been talking it up to a lot of people, but honestly I'm still a bit concerned. This book has many grammatical errors. And I know that Process is a really small press, and some of the errors might be typesetting (you get what you pay for) The book radically changed they way I see green spaces in New York, and I have become shocked that so many people have small green spaces and grow no food. For that alone, I consider the book valuable in spite of its flaws. I gave this book four stars, and I've been talking it up to a lot of people, but honestly I'm still a bit concerned. This book has many grammatical errors. And I know that Process is a really small press, and some of the errors might be typesetting (you get what you pay for) but it makes me hesitant to recommend the book. However, I like their 'you will fail and that's okay' ethos. I like that they scale the book between easy reasonable projects and crazy lunatic projects. I like that they believe things should be 1) cheap and 2) easy. I bought the book after reading their website and would really have liked more background on the two of them, where did they grow up, what sorts of childhoods do they have, do they work at home, make a lot of money, make no money, what convinced them to do all this (they give lots of reasons one might want to grow one's own food, but I never really felt I knew why they started, though I get why they do it now), and while early in the blog they talk about not having children, they really don't get into how kids could radically effect your urban homestead. Also, I found it weird that they didn't research green cleaning methods for granite counter tops. They just sort of said, we don't know and threw up their hands. My mom researched the same thing when she got new counter tops and she cleans hers with vodka. (Also worth pointing out - they are always going on and on about how much smarter our grandparents/great-grandparents were when it comes to being harmonious with the world around us, well both my grandmother and her mother used gasoline to clean soapscum. Works a treat, but I've gotten first degree chemical burns, so I wouldn't EVER do it again.) Finally while I'm very glad their dog ignores their chickens, our miniature dachshund did in about ten of our neighbor's pullets. Yet they recommend dachshunds as dogs that will keep critters out of your garden, without mentioning any conflict of keeping animals. Their are numerous other places (in the heating and cooling your house section) where their advice is also conflicting. It just seems as though, no matter how good the tips, projects and ideas are, that the book lacks personal information, while being from a personal (and weirdly not researched enough) point of view. But I'm definitely building self watering containers! And maybe doing the worm composting if I can convince my boyfriend. And I really want to grow a box of mixed greens for salad. And start biking... and....

  3. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    A quick look through this book told me I already am familiar with most of it. We have a small urban garden and already do some of the things recommended. What won’t we do? Dumpster diving, eating weeds and giving up our cars. Overall a good primer on ho to be more self-sufficient and use your city land to provide food, energy and also help the environment.

  4. 5 out of 5

    jess

    Finally, a book about the crisis of our world that doesn't make you feel shitty and hopeless! This book is not the be-all-end-all on any one subject, and it cannot save the world. Rather, it is an organized way of thinking about your urban home as a site to support and sustain your family, rather than a place to sleep & keep the things you buy. This book has answers to problems. This book is chock full of solutions. From keeping livestock to gardening to generating your own power and baking your Finally, a book about the crisis of our world that doesn't make you feel shitty and hopeless! This book is not the be-all-end-all on any one subject, and it cannot save the world. Rather, it is an organized way of thinking about your urban home as a site to support and sustain your family, rather than a place to sleep & keep the things you buy. This book has answers to problems. This book is chock full of solutions. From keeping livestock to gardening to generating your own power and baking your own bread, the basics of the long-lost domestic arts are revised here in a basic, tangible text. The sections are clear. The directions are brief and concise. You will not become an expert on anything, but the resource section will definitely point you in the right direction for each subject. The idea is that we have lost our domestic arts. But you can take a habit that irritates you the most, and change it, or chose the practice that seems easiest to implement into your life, and start there. If you try one thing, it fits well into your lifestyle and you like the results, try another. And another. Within a short period of time, your lifestyle can be vastly improved. I've already renewed my interest in urban chickens, which has long been on the backburner of my mind. My biggest problem is convincing my wife - "if you don't want to eat them or their eggs, why have them?" she asks. so far, "to watch chicken tv and compost their poop" has not been an adequate response. I wanted to get this book from the library, but the wait was long and I really wanted to read it. However, I try really hard not to buy books, ever. My wife, Krista, surprised me one day and picked it up downtown. She delivered it to me, "I know you wanted it." And I am so happy I own it. I'm spoiled. Kelly & Erik manage to be inspirational and instructive without being pretentious or intimidating. It felt like their intention was genuinely to get me off my ass and get a sourdough starter and get my compost heap working. They were honest about things that are a waste of money, and what is worth spending on. Their own limitations were right there, spelled out, like "there's not time to explain this whole thing, but here is someone's book who can explain it perfectly." The sections are: Start Your Own Farm Essential Projects Urban Foraging Livestock in the City Revolutionary Home Economics Be Your Own Utility: Water and Power for the Homestead Transportation

  5. 4 out of 5

    Haley

    when the energy grid shuts down and we all have to re-learn how to survive in an agrarian society I'll be glad I have this book with me when the energy grid shuts down and we all have to re-learn how to survive in an agrarian society I'll be glad I have this book with me

  6. 4 out of 5

    Naomi Toftness

    Pretty good! I don't live in an urban setting but I think I'll gift this to a friend who does! Pretty good! I don't live in an urban setting but I think I'll gift this to a friend who does!

  7. 5 out of 5

    HeavyReader

    I wrote this review for the Feminist Review blog, where it appeared on March 5, 2009. Subtitled "Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City," this volume in the Process Self-Reliance Series bills itself as "a project and resource book, complete with step-by-step illustrations and instructions to get you started homesteading right now." It really delivers, both to absolute beginners and to folks who have already ventured into the world of urban homesteading. The authors start wit I wrote this review for the Feminist Review blog, where it appeared on March 5, 2009. Subtitled "Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City," this volume in the Process Self-Reliance Series bills itself as "a project and resource book, complete with step-by-step illustrations and instructions to get you started homesteading right now." It really delivers, both to absolute beginners and to folks who have already ventured into the world of urban homesteading. The authors start with growing food. Chapter One offers guidance on the four general strategies for growing food in an urban setting, followed by directions for making seed balls. This chapter gives basic yet useful information about permaculture, then goes into helpful detail about the seven guiding principles of successful urban farming. Chapter Two gives step-by-step instructions for five projects the authors deem essential for growing food, including starting a compost pile, composting with worms, mulching, building a raised bed, and building self-watering containers. The second half of the chapter includes guidelines for a variety of undertakings, including staring seeds, transplanting, making fertilizer tea, container gardening, installing drip irrigation, controlling insect and animal pests, and rotating crops. The directions are comprehensive; it is not assumed that the reader already has a lot of gardening knowledge and experience, which is beneficial to both novices and folks needing a refresher course. Urban foraging is the topic of chapter three, and everything from eating acorns to dumpster diving is covered. Six things to know about eating wild are explained in the feral edibles section, along with a list of "some of the most liked, most widespread edible weeds in the continental U.S." There are also sections on invasive edibles, fruit foraging, and reviving day old bread. Chapter Four focuses on keeping livestock in the city. It includes ample advice about chickens, including where to get them, what to feed them, and how to house them. Other livestock considered include ducks, rabbits, pigeons, quail, and bees. "Revolutionary Home Economics" is an extensive chapter dealing with the "indoor arts." The first part of the chapter is about food. There are instructions about preserving food through canning, pickling, and drying, as well as by other means. There are also directions for making yogurt, ricotta cheese, and butter. The second half of the chapter is all about cleaning and includes formulas for making DIY cleaning supplies using baking soda, distilled white vinegar, and liquid castile soap. There’s also a short section on dealing with household pests. The chapter ends with valuable tips on what to look for and what choices to make if choosing a new urban homestead. Chapter Six is about water and power for the homestead and includes information about conserving and harvesting rainwater. There are several projects pertaining to greywater, including running a greywater source directly outside and making a greywater wetland. Topics in the energy section include using insulation and solar heat to increase energy efficiency, alternatives to gas-heated showers, solar cookers, and wind and solar power. The last chapter, "Transportation," is rather short. It touches on walking but basically emphasizes cycling. The book ends with a comprehensive resource list, including websites, books, and magazines. Disappointingly, there is no index. The Urban Homestead is a fantastic introduction to living off the land, even when there’s not much land available. It's not meant to be read once, cover to cover. It’s meant to be kept on hand as a resource, a book to refer to again and again in the garden, in the kitchen, in the workroom. There’s a lifetime of information packed in to these 308 pages, and the time to start using that information is now.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Inder

    I really enjoyed this little book, despite the huge number of typos (even for an independent press, it was a bit extreme). Great information to get you started gardening vegetables on your patio or in your yard, keeping a few animals, making your own bread, yogurt, and beer, and even dumpster diving (ahem, "urban foraging"). So many fun projects! The authors' can-do attitude and eagerness really come through. However, be aware that many of the suggestions for graywater systems and the like are de I really enjoyed this little book, despite the huge number of typos (even for an independent press, it was a bit extreme). Great information to get you started gardening vegetables on your patio or in your yard, keeping a few animals, making your own bread, yogurt, and beer, and even dumpster diving (ahem, "urban foraging"). So many fun projects! The authors' can-do attitude and eagerness really come through. However, be aware that many of the suggestions for graywater systems and the like are definitely NOT up to code. I think the authors minimize and gloss over the potential for getting slapped with serious code violations! Perhaps because they live in Los Angeles, where code enforcement staff are notoriously overworked. But don't assume that this will be true in your nice suburb. But of course, you can safely grow vegetables and make your own yogurt even in nice suburbs, so there is still a lot of helpful information in this book, even if you're not in a permissive. And I loved the part about looking for a new house or apartment - they specifically recommend that you move to an area where things aren't too neat or "nice" so that you can get away with turning your front yard into a farm. Well, our neighborhood definitely has that going for it! Awesome.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Miranda

    I have been reading a few books in this genre recently (Food Not Lawns, The Backyard Homestead...) and this is my favourite so far. The style is accessible but intelligent, and the book covers a wide range of topic from growing food to cleaning. I was also pleased by the lack of doom-mongering and the emphasis on community rather than heading to the hills to save yourself in the upcoming apocalypse that some books (not the above mentioned) seem to lean towards. However what I liked best about it I have been reading a few books in this genre recently (Food Not Lawns, The Backyard Homestead...) and this is my favourite so far. The style is accessible but intelligent, and the book covers a wide range of topic from growing food to cleaning. I was also pleased by the lack of doom-mongering and the emphasis on community rather than heading to the hills to save yourself in the upcoming apocalypse that some books (not the above mentioned) seem to lean towards. However what I liked best about it was that it manages to provide concrete and useful projects that are also original and do not simply repeat the basics of, eg, vegetable growing. So we are given step-by-step instructions on how to make a self-watering container, cleaning product recipes, simple grey water plumbing strategies, and more. I got this book out of the library but now I really want my own copy! And I am looking forward to their next book, which I believe is called "Making It".

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chloe

    A rather handy book and one that I'll likely remain reading for quite some time. It's definitely whetting my appetite for getting out of the desert and back into a climate where I'm capable of growing something (note to desert lovers: I'm not saying that things are incapable of growing in the desert, just that I'm not capable of making things grow). From handy ideas for growing potatoes to how to can and preserve various crops this is a nice fount of information for someone like me who has little A rather handy book and one that I'll likely remain reading for quite some time. It's definitely whetting my appetite for getting out of the desert and back into a climate where I'm capable of growing something (note to desert lovers: I'm not saying that things are incapable of growing in the desert, just that I'm not capable of making things grow). From handy ideas for growing potatoes to how to can and preserve various crops this is a nice fount of information for someone like me who has little experience in most of these arenas but would like to change that. I'm sure as the years go by and I get more familiar with the techniques that I'll put this down and move on to more advanced homesteading lit, but for now this helps spark my imagination and get me excited about the possibilities for living self-sufficiently in that most unsustainable of environs, the city.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    I think that this is one of the best and most comprehensive guides to urban homesteading/sustainability that I have read to date. The format of this book is great with entertaining sidebars that tell of the experiences of other urban homesteaders with lots of projects and great instructions and graphics. I learned a lot about innovative gardening methods especially designed with the urban gardener in mind. This book covers A LOT and still remained entertaining and insightful. A few things that t I think that this is one of the best and most comprehensive guides to urban homesteading/sustainability that I have read to date. The format of this book is great with entertaining sidebars that tell of the experiences of other urban homesteaders with lots of projects and great instructions and graphics. I learned a lot about innovative gardening methods especially designed with the urban gardener in mind. This book covers A LOT and still remained entertaining and insightful. A few things that they didn't touch on that REALLY would have made this a 5 star: sprouting, growing mushrooms but if you want that information you can read "Fresh food from small spaces." This is definitely a book that I would recommend someone buy who is wanting to make the most of their small urban spaces.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kim G

    I dug this one. I came to this book looking for a couple of easier things I could add to my list of hippie crap I already do (I garden, I have eliminated most chemicals from my cleaning, I compost) and it was exactly what I wanted. It gave me a few ideas for projects that are relatively simple to implement, and also gave me a few ideas that I can add to my maybe someday list. I also liked the general tone of this book, it's laid-back and the authors seem to actually understand that many people a I dug this one. I came to this book looking for a couple of easier things I could add to my list of hippie crap I already do (I garden, I have eliminated most chemicals from my cleaning, I compost) and it was exactly what I wanted. It gave me a few ideas for projects that are relatively simple to implement, and also gave me a few ideas that I can add to my maybe someday list. I also liked the general tone of this book, it's laid-back and the authors seem to actually understand that many people are limited by their living spaces (not always common in this genre, so very much appreciated), yet there's a lot of enthusiasm and ambition. But as other reviewers have noted, the typo situation is off the chain. Holy smokes.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Melody

    A lovely book. There's nothing much new for the die-hard old hippie, but it's ALL in here. This is a book a person would like to have on her shelf come the revolution. Or the end of the world as we know it. Organized in an easy to use fashion, written in a breezy but serious style and full of very high-quality information. Lots of additional suggested reading, lots of small but useful tips. This one's on my wish list for the permanent collection. I'll shelve it right next to my Mother Earth News A A lovely book. There's nothing much new for the die-hard old hippie, but it's ALL in here. This is a book a person would like to have on her shelf come the revolution. Or the end of the world as we know it. Organized in an easy to use fashion, written in a breezy but serious style and full of very high-quality information. Lots of additional suggested reading, lots of small but useful tips. This one's on my wish list for the permanent collection. I'll shelve it right next to my Mother Earth News Almanac.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Abilouise

    I really enjoyed reading about how some people keep goats in the city, among other things. This book is actually a seriously good reference: having read the chapter about fruit trees, I finally understand the principles behind pruning, and why you might prune differently for a city garden fruit tree than a commercial-production orchard tree. This book gives a really nice mix of why with the what, and uses metaphor and nice descriptive writing to help you understand how to do new things. This is I really enjoyed reading about how some people keep goats in the city, among other things. This book is actually a seriously good reference: having read the chapter about fruit trees, I finally understand the principles behind pruning, and why you might prune differently for a city garden fruit tree than a commercial-production orchard tree. This book gives a really nice mix of why with the what, and uses metaphor and nice descriptive writing to help you understand how to do new things. This is a much higher quality of writing than I've seen in pretty much any other gardening book, and I really enjoyed it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This is book is rad. I want to buy it though. I got it at the library, and now I want it as a resource for the "homestead." It makes me want to plant stuff, and move so I can have chickens. I keep reading about the fascinating world of chickens, providing their own kind of "chicken t-v" and I am most intrigued. PS - I am REALLY enjoying the cleaning section of this book. I made my own soft scrub from their "recipe" and I'll never go back! Delightful. Mine smelled like peppermint. As promised, it This is book is rad. I want to buy it though. I got it at the library, and now I want it as a resource for the "homestead." It makes me want to plant stuff, and move so I can have chickens. I keep reading about the fascinating world of chickens, providing their own kind of "chicken t-v" and I am most intrigued. PS - I am REALLY enjoying the cleaning section of this book. I made my own soft scrub from their "recipe" and I'll never go back! Delightful. Mine smelled like peppermint. As promised, it made me want to find more things to scrub.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    A lot of the non-fiction that I read, in terms of books on cooking / food preservation / gardening / self-sufficiency, etc. are really heavy-handed with the "this is why you should do this" backstory philosophy stuff before they get into how to actually do it. What I really liked about this book was its uber-practical tone - very straightforward. I also really got the sense from this book that the authors are way more interested in encouraging people to try new things, and do the best they can, A lot of the non-fiction that I read, in terms of books on cooking / food preservation / gardening / self-sufficiency, etc. are really heavy-handed with the "this is why you should do this" backstory philosophy stuff before they get into how to actually do it. What I really liked about this book was its uber-practical tone - very straightforward. I also really got the sense from this book that the authors are way more interested in encouraging people to try new things, and do the best they can, than they are in trying to twist peoples' arms into doing "the right thing".

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tráese

    TUH is filled with endless possibilities and basic down-to-Earth reconnections to get anyone interested in the applications of Urban Homesteading a go. Not revolutionary nor new, but wisely refocusing and offering up ideas and information that anyone can apply with even the most basic of backyards. Check out Kelly & Erik's daily/weekly progress-blog of the Urban Revolution: www.homegrownevoltuion.com : Happy Planting-Harvesting-Eating : TUH is filled with endless possibilities and basic down-to-Earth reconnections to get anyone interested in the applications of Urban Homesteading a go. Not revolutionary nor new, but wisely refocusing and offering up ideas and information that anyone can apply with even the most basic of backyards. Check out Kelly & Erik's daily/weekly progress-blog of the Urban Revolution: www.homegrownevoltuion.com : Happy Planting-Harvesting-Eating :

  18. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    oh how i hate myself for liking this book, really i feel dirty ashamed and embarrassed, i am NOT a hipster... well at least i dont try to be... anyway enough embarassing myself, part of what i like beyond the crazy nasty things they tell you to do (like poop in a bucket and then use it a year later for fertilizer) they drop all these casual zombie references, crazy sweet good info... so embarassed

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jaimie Franchi

    This is a fun book. Unfortunately it is absolutely riddled with typos, so I can't really give it over a three. I did find it inspiring, though, and it made me want to read more. They just needed to put more time and/or money into the proofreading. This is a fun book. Unfortunately it is absolutely riddled with typos, so I can't really give it over a three. I did find it inspiring, though, and it made me want to read more. They just needed to put more time and/or money into the proofreading.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Andee Marley

    Great book. Useful information. Makes me proud to live in a small, efficient house. I think its a matter of time before we have chickens and bee hives. I'm taking Earth Mama to the next level.. Great book. Useful information. Makes me proud to live in a small, efficient house. I think its a matter of time before we have chickens and bee hives. I'm taking Earth Mama to the next level..

  21. 5 out of 5

    N.N. Light

    I didn't care for this book for the most part. The premise was appealing but it didn't come across right. My Rating: 3 stars Reviewed by: Mrs. N I didn't care for this book for the most part. The premise was appealing but it didn't come across right. My Rating: 3 stars Reviewed by: Mrs. N

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    In my experience with books about gardening/homesteading/living a more sustainable life, this book stands out. For one thing, its focus on urban living and the specific challenges and opportunities in that setting. Most if not all of the topics and ideas they address are appropriate for city dwellers, particularly those without a lot of space. For a second thing, it doesn't just focus on gardening and husbandry, aka feeding oneself, but also devotes a lot of space to off-the-grid living techniqu In my experience with books about gardening/homesteading/living a more sustainable life, this book stands out. For one thing, its focus on urban living and the specific challenges and opportunities in that setting. Most if not all of the topics and ideas they address are appropriate for city dwellers, particularly those without a lot of space. For a second thing, it doesn't just focus on gardening and husbandry, aka feeding oneself, but also devotes a lot of space to off-the-grid living techniques that can be used in a urban setting. It introduced me to a number of ideas that I hadn't encountered in other more narrowly focused books, like grey water and rocket stoves. I especially liked how they tried to cover different levels for each project from the easy (gathering the shower water in a bucket while you wait for the water to get hot and using it to water plants or even flush the toilet) to the more elaborate (like rigging up a pipe system to take the grey water directly outside). And thirdly, I loved the writing style and tone of the book. It's well organized and is written in a very conversational and humorous style that made me laugh out loud a couple times. There are numerous references to how useful these techniques will be during the coming zombie apocalypse. I also liked how the two authors balanced each other with one of them being way more into elaborate DIY constructions with found objects and the other being a little lazier and less rigid about these things (not that I resemble the latter...). In the end, I really loved this book and am glad that I own it and therefore can refer back to parts of it when needed.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dymphy

    In "The Urban Homestead", Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen cover various topics in and around the house/homestead in order for one to become more self-sufficient. Raging from topics of farming to transport, many tips, tricks and projects are brought to the readers' attention. This book is easy to read and to follow. Projects range from simple to extensive, making it a book for every level. Where the project goes above the authors' "skill level", still, the experiences of the authors are given and mo In "The Urban Homestead", Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen cover various topics in and around the house/homestead in order for one to become more self-sufficient. Raging from topics of farming to transport, many tips, tricks and projects are brought to the readers' attention. This book is easy to read and to follow. Projects range from simple to extensive, making it a book for every level. Where the project goes above the authors' "skill level", still, the experiences of the authors are given and more reading is given. I also enjoyed many experiences from their blog readers. All and all, this is a book that I have found quite helpful. I might attempt some projects from the book myself.

  24. 5 out of 5

    mairead

    Quick read — appreciate that some stuff is easy and some stuff is definitely more serious. Took notes re the canning and recipes for own cleaning products (no lemon furniture polish!). Oh! And self watering containers. Also re inspired by the biking argument (cargo bucket bike planning and dreams, y’all!). Great solid and amusing resource. Reminders: * “wherever you are now — that’s your homestead.” * “its a great art to saunter” — Thoreau * read “how to not get hit by cars” at bicyclesafe.com

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alaura

    This book was good but also, I’m worried about the advise given in the book because it basically goes against what farmers say/do. It had some great ideas, I just worry that some of their advise won’t actually work or could harm my garden. The book was written by someone who is still learning (which is fine) but they have zero educational background in gardening and have only recently started their own garden. So my advise: take what they say with a grain of salt until you find another source to This book was good but also, I’m worried about the advise given in the book because it basically goes against what farmers say/do. It had some great ideas, I just worry that some of their advise won’t actually work or could harm my garden. The book was written by someone who is still learning (which is fine) but they have zero educational background in gardening and have only recently started their own garden. So my advise: take what they say with a grain of salt until you find another source to back up what they claim.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This is a fantastically curated book of projects that will catapult budding homesteaders into action. Each section is concise and well-explained to empower you to jump in with both feet. Anyone from beginners to advanced homesteaders will find a fun and useful project to take their homesteads to the next level.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Isha Erskine

    I really enjoyed it, as an avid gardener there was a lot of repeat info for me. But I really liked the info on Greywater and urban farm animals. This book is more a how to guide then a story or memoir which I prefer because it humanizes it more. I’d keep it around as a reference book for homestead projects.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sam Kroll

    Pretty good for newbies getting into homesteading. I wish they had gotten into container farming and dumpster diving, as they mention it a bit in their book but don't go too into it. Lot's of book recommendations in here for further research. Pretty good for newbies getting into homesteading. I wish they had gotten into container farming and dumpster diving, as they mention it a bit in their book but don't go too into it. Lot's of book recommendations in here for further research.

  29. 4 out of 5

    BookBec

    Lots of good stuff here, for the newbie or the more experienced.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    This has a lot of helpful information given in a fun way.

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