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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Book Review: Country Wisdom and Know-How: Everything You Need to Know to Live Off the Land

I have always had a dream of living on a farm somewhere out in the country. A farm like Old McDonald's with cows and ducks and chickens a plenty and rolling hills for my family to roam. If I ever had a night were it was hard to fall asleep I'd ask my husband Mike to tell me about our future farm and how great it was going to be. It was a beautiful dream but I didn't see how it was ever going to happen until I found this book.

I was on a date with my husband, wandering around a big bookstore, when I happened upon it. I opened it up and was immediately hooked. I made him agree to buy it and I took it home and poured over it's pages. The next day I called my friend Marisa and told her she needed to buy it too - which she did not too long afterward.

This book is a compliation of a series of publicatoins from the 1970's when the movement to get back to the land was having it's first revival after the mechinized 1950's. These little books included step by step instructions on literally EVERYTHING you need to know to live off the land including baking basic bread, braiding rugs, breeding livestock or growing the best tomatoes. It includes 1,887 illustrations, diagrams, and photographs which are easy to understand and totally applicable - the editors updated all of the information for this publication. Each article is easy to read and geared towards people with little or no experience. I have been able to turn to it when I had questions about pests in my garden, chickens, or even for herbal remedies and recipes! The book is divided into 6 sections: Animals, Cooking, Crafts, Gardening, Health and Wellbeing, and Home. This book rarely gets to sit on the bookshelf because even when I don't have questions I just love to read about things and dream that someday I'll get to do them. I've enjoyed articles on how to choose your land when you're in the market to purchase, how to make and use a flower press, or how to build a root cellar. The list goes on and on. So, in the end, if there is a book that every backyard farmer should have - this may be it!



johnpreiss said...

Hi how do you get this book??

Interesting site. My Uncle just bought 500 acres and wants to live off the land..

marisa said...

I just checked amazon.com, they have it for $13.57. Good luck to your uncle, that is great!

Dale said...

Great book review Megan. I look forward to reading this book. And I like your opening because it brings back memories. I was raised on a farm and then my wife and I moved to the city for 14 years where I worked for the University of Maryland. All that time I dreamed of owning a small farm. When I couldn't sleep, I would think about it and I would finally drift off to sleep. In 1998, the University ask me if I want to transfer to the research station out in the country and I jumped at the chance. We found a beautiful 7 acre farm next to Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, Maryland. My dream came true and I live the dream every day. I wish everyone could be as lucky as I am.

Tea Rose said...

I love that you reviewed this book! I thought I was the only person who had ever read it. I bought my copy a little over a year ago and it has since been dog earred many a times! It is a great reference book for any city farmer girl. :-)