Skills and Gear for Self Reliance and Homesteading

Book Review Encyclopedia of Country Living

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The Encyclopedia of Country Living

Author: Carla Emery          2008 Sasquatch Books

 This book can take you from City Slicker to Desperado in 922 pages. Using every inch of page in the book, the information is deep and you just have to slow down to absorb it all. The beginning of the book runs through the land purchase, farming, books to read. It then jumps right into the land, plants and everything you wanted to know about plants. I mean the planting section walks you through manure (make sure you have your shoes on) to compost to how to prepare tea… We then jump into grains, how to thresh the grain out and serve em up! Buckweat Pancakes anyone? From building a corn crib to making Tamales in corn husks. Every chapter is thorough and full of useful and not so useful information depending on your tastes.

Information on Gardening is very extensive with insight and recipes right next to each other. You roll into the Herb families and get information on medical use and well as making food tasty when is would not be. One whole section on Tree, Vine, Bush and Bramble also talked about Guerrilla Gardening and how to cook on a woodstove. Tree planting, pruning and harvesting is a great chapter. Talking about Nut Trees, Freestone Trees to processing olives.

We roll into Food Preservation which is a big topic for Preppers today. We need to know this front and back, this book does just that. Topics are Pickling, Water Bath and Pressure canning. Use of a root cellar including building one yourself is very interesting and makes you want to start putting one together. Encyclopedia of Country Living, 10th Edition

Introduction to Animals is well done with both domestic and wild animals, their care and use. This section covers:

  • Butchering. This section will be an eyeopener if you have never done this. It does go into the proper tools and tequinique for home butchering where it be large animals to rabbits.
  • Drying: Good section on drying by jerking meats for later consumption.
  • Canning your meats.
  • Hide softening, tanning and using for clothes gets good coverage.
  • Fish Farming using Talapia and other fast growing fish.

Poultry chapter really has you getting what feels like “Hands-on” commercial room. Basic and Advanced Chicken incubation and raising. Coop construction and how to layout and build your own. Larger birds such as the Turkey are covered. Ducks and Waterfowl are also covered.

We then we move into Goats. Cows and Home Dairying are the focus here Then we have the Cows and goats all line up and now we learn how to mik a cow.  Bee’s and rabbits wrap up the book with just ton’s of information to help you see the next winter. Beekeeping is so important to the future of our food supply and it is well covered as well.

In the end, this book cannot be recommend highly enough. I do think there are area’s that just don’t and won’t ever appeal to me, it will to others. You just cannot buy this amount if information in one book, until now. I have several books that together, do not show this level of scope in the writing. Please pick one up and “keep up the Good Work”.

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