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book report: The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery  RSS feed

 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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some of us got copies of this book recently, mine came in the mail yesterday afternoon:

Thought I would do a step by step book report on this wonderful volume. First I was totally shocked at how large this book is..man o man it is big. I am a very fast reader and devour books, but this one is going to take me a while. I'm on page 149 and am totally blown away by the book.

There is a lot of useful links and information, but also a lot practical information for every day. Information about household and cleaning products that I didn't know, and recipes to make your own. Information on buying your first homestead and what to look for. Information on starting gardens, mushrooms, and growing grains (right there right now). funny thing..this is my first year for growing small amounts of grain for my home use and this is the second time this month I've been blessed with a huge amount of good information on grain growing !! Thanks so much.

I've read hundreds of books on homesteading, gardening, recipe books, etc and have a huge library but I already consider this book a great addition to my home library, I'm learning a lot of new stuff for a 60 year old lady..and new stuff is good to learn.

I'll comment more as I read more..but plan on putting a lot of the stuff I've learned so far in to practice this year.

I highly recommend the book. ISBN -10: 1057061-553-5 Sasquatch Books

can't wait to hear from others who are reading or have read the book also.
 
Brenda Groth
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Ok, continuing on I've read the section on each grain and how to grow and use it and all the recipes..wow..fantastic..can't wait to try some of the recipes..

then today I read the vegetable section. She has divided up the vegetables kinda into families, but also has things in categories like leaves and edible shoots or stems..as well as categories like gourds, brassicas, alliums..etc..

each catagory has how to's as well as alphabetical listings with growing info, harveesting info, as well as recipes and uses and cautions, and all that good stuff for each entry..some have no recipes..some have pages of recipes..and some of the recieps really look interesting. There are even craft ideas llike how to make brooms from broom corn, making things from gourds, etc.

I have gotten halfway through the herb section and am about halfway through the book. the herb section is interesting cause it tells you about each herb, how to grow, how to harvest, how to use, recipes for blends..etc.

The next section is one I'm very interested in on Trees, vines, bushes and brambles..probably going to be my favorite categories..as I'm a real tree and bush lover..then after that we'll get into food preservation and then ANIMALS......I don't do animals here but I'm sure there are probably a lot of tasty recipes and maybe it will convince me to get some chickens

OK..I have made a conclusion...I have about 400 to 500 books in the house here or so..but have decided now that IF I had to give up every book but two (cause I'd have to keep my bible) I would keep this one as number 2..it not only has a lot of good growing info etc..but a lot of recipes and how to's..I have a lot of garden books, and cook books, and even several that have both, but this one seems to be the most complete..so I would have to chose it..(I'm serious here).
 
Wilson Foedus
Posts: 43
Location: NW Montana
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Brenda,

I just hooked up with your thread here and have been reading it with great interest. I know that you are pretty far down the homestead path, but is this book not just THE manual for that lifestyle?

It reminded me of a blog that Chaya wrote: http://pantryparatus.com/blog/chronicle-city-girl/

In that blog she describes awaking from the Volvo Wagon Yuppie lifestyle to realizing that there was much more to be had when your hands are in the dirt. Carla Emery's book was the transition from that lifestyle to homesteading and now Permaculture.

We are so happy that you love the book and are enjoying it so much. We too agree about the #2 status on book hierarchy. )

Wilson



BTW: I love Volvo Wagons!
 
Chaya Foedus
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Brenda,

I'm so glad you love this book! It really helped me evaluate what things interested me and what things didn't, beyond my basic understanding at the time I read it (which was minimal, to be sure). I was then able to focus my energy on the small steps I could take at that time towards the self-sufficient lifestyle. Pigs? Neighbors wouldn't have gone for it...but worm bin? SURE!

You feel like she's a friend by the time you're done.

--Chaya
 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1066
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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i JUST bought this at Hastings yesterday night, the only one i could find there on my list so to hte checkout it went!
i only have read through the intro thus far, im busy and only get a few minutes each night to read through the two books im reading right now so its gonna take me forever lol, definately looking forward to reading absolutely all of it though for sure
 
Brenda Groth
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finishing up the chapter on food preservation and realizing what a bad girl I've been..

New info will be very helpful, as most of my canning books are ancient..(1970's and 80's)..and so I've not been processing things according to the NEW info..will do now.

At least I guess I haven't killed anyone.

still learning a lot in every chapter and still in a "hard to put down" reading situation..and am leaving other things around here undone..gotta stop that.

Loved the page on gurillea tree planting..sounds so much like me. I have a tendency to be to sneaky there too, tossing into roadside ditches seeds and berries to try to get things growing along the road. we have a field that my son owns that used to contain nothing but a couple evergreens and alder trees..now it is heavily dotted with trees, a lot of evergreens, and shrubs and I've even planted in some perennials..soon to be a forest..

Every year here on our property I plant about a dozen or so fruit or nut trees and also berry shrubs..expanding and growing food forests
 
Wilson Foedus
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Location: NW Montana
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Brenda,

When Chaya was making her way through the book, I had to remind her to stop and eat something. If you are into 5% into Homesteading you are so easily sucked into the book! What she wrote can never be reproduced.

I wanted to thank you about your kind words regarding our blog. It put a smile on our faces.

Wilson
 
Thelma McGowan
Posts: 170
Location: western Washington, Snohomish county--zone 8b
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I was just reading some pages of this book and I love how she makes everything seem so simple, Her writing really sets aside my concerns or fears, and I feel like I can totally do this too. from gardening to canning to making root beer and raising chicken.

Reading the book is like sitting across the kitchen table from her and chatting. I love that she is sharing all the wisdom from her older neighbors. it is priceless info.

 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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i loved the book totally
 
Wilson Foedus
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Location: NW Montana
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Thelma McGowan wrote:
Reading the book is like sitting across the kitchen table from her and chatting. I love that she is sharing all the wisdom from her older neighbors. it is priceless info.



Thelma,

The best characterization of the book that I have ever heard is, "It is like having your great Aunt Trudy on speed dial." I am not sure who said it, but the proveribialness of the book is priceless.

I will stop gushing now . . .

Wilson
 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1066
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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ive been kinda radin bits and pieces, cant say i agree with everything she has to say but it is quite a useful book as an ENCYCLOPEDIA as it is titled
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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a year later and this book is still # 1 on my bookshelf..I won't lend it out..to valuable to me.

I have read and re read and re read this book over and over in the past year and it will be my go to book

another great set of books that will be a great addition to this one for recipes and info on unusual plants would be the kitchen Garden set (The Kitchen Garden and the Kitchen Garden cookbook by Sylvia Thompson ..Bantam) these have a few plants that the former doesn't include and growing and preparing information ..you'll love these two..I also consider my field Guide..Edible wild Plants of North America to be a standard go to book also
 
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