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source: Sasquatch Books
Publisher: Sasquatch Books

Summary

The bestselling resource for modern homesteading, growing and preserving foods, and raising chickens, The Encyclopedia of Country Living includes how to cultivate a garden, buy land, bake bread, raise farm animals, make sausage, can peaches, milk a goat, grow herbs, churn butter, build a chicken coop, catch a pig, cook on a wood stove, and much, much more. This comprehensive resource is the most authoritative guide available to a sustainable lifestyle and living off of the land.

Carla Emery started writing The Encyclopedia of Country Living in 1969 during the back-to-the-land movement of that time. She continued to add content and refine the information over the years, and the book went from a self-published mimeographed document to a book of 928 pages.

This 40th Anniversary Edition reflects the most up-to-date resource information and the most personal version of the book that became Carla Emery's life work. It is the original manual of basic country skills that have proved essential and necessary for people living in the country, the city, and everywhere in between.

Carla Emery's The Encyclopedia of Country Living contains 1,000,000 words, 2,000+ recipes, and 1,500+ mail-order sources (for everything she tells you how to do, she also tells you where to get the supplies to do it). This book is so basic, so thorough, so reliable, that it deserves a place in every home.

Where to Get It

Amazon.com
Amazon.uk
Amazon.ca
Amazon.au
Sasquatch Books

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book report: The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery

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gardener
Posts: 1176
Location: Eastern Tennessee
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My first time ever putting up a 10 out of 10 acorns.

This book isn't a page-turner. It isn't even one you can really read cover to cover (I know, I tried). Instead, it truly is an Encyclopedia. This thing is packed so densely with information that you may never manage to consume it all. I spent countless days pouring over it, learning new things, reminding myself of others. I was devastated when it became lost somehow in a move a few years ago.

For your dollar, I don't think you are going to find a book full of more useful and all-encompassing information that you will find in this book. Seriously, why doesn't everyone already have a copy of this in their personal library?
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Posts: 542
Location: North-Central Idaho, 4100 ft elev., 24 in precip
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9 out of 10 Acorns....
This is an exhaustive reference for the homesteader or small farm owner.  Just so many good references and resources listed a guy can't even name them all.  Just a quality resource for any of us who like this sort of thing....
 
gardener
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Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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I give this book 9 out of 10 acorns.

Encyclopedic, interesting, fun to return to and read for a while, skipping around. I return to it frequently. I bought the kindle edition from Amazon; maybe the print edition would have more or better quality illustrations. I like informative books that give practical tips about gardening and food preservation, and this book really satisfies.
 
pollinator
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Location: Virginia
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Not only is this an awesome reference with all of her material and knowledge, but I enjoy her personal stories and the tips she includes from other people.  This book really does have information on everything. Including how to prepare a groundhog!
 
gardener
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Location: Western Washington
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I give this book 10 out of 10 acorns.

Growing up, this was probably THE book that introduced me to the ideas, practices, and principles of sustainable farming (however you define it). While some sections are stronger than others, I feel that more than any other book I've come across, this encyclopedia is capable of teaching a new homesteader how to take care of themselves, their family, and their land. I think this book is truly a gift to the world. And while some sections won't the reader an expert, they're certainly enough to get started and find more information.
 
steward
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Location: United States
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I give this book 10 out of 10 acorns!

I skimmed around some of this book, and I am impressed with how exhaustive it is, along with its formatting and organization! The Encyclopedia of Country Living contains boat loads of information! I especially like the information and organization about foodstuffs, like crops, because the entries include what it is, when to plant it, recipes for serving it, and how to preserve it! And I like all the drawings in the book and the commentary from the author! I like how the book makes tons of references to other books and websites for more information!
 
master steward
Posts: 6468
Location: southern Illinois, USA
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I give this book 9 out of 10 acorns.

The Encyclopedia generally accomplishes what is sets out to do.  It is a great resource for most things homesteading.  It is a solid reference book for beginners and experienced homesteaders.   To expand upon what was pointed out in another review, one of its strengths is the long list of books and articles it makes reference to. It serves as an excellent guide.  This, in itself, would be enough. But the material it provides on a wide variety of topic are valuable in their own right.  This volume is well worth the investment.
 
pollinator
Posts: 247
Location: KY - Zone 6b (near border of 6a), Heat Zone 7, Urban habitat
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10 out of 10 acorns

I think this was originally called "The Massive Tome of All Homesteading Knowledge". Just kidding.

Not only is this book amazing, Carla's life story was as well. She was absolutely a dynamo. This was the first homesteading book I bought years ago. I'd seen it mentioned in a Plowboy Interview in a back issue of The Mother Earth News (https://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-environment/carla-emery-zmaz75mjzgoe) and I always saw ads for it. That's where I also learned about her “School of Country Living" which she also ran. I jumped in and on my meager wages bought it. LOVE this book. The breadth of topics is astounding. That's one huge reason the book has been around this long. Seriously. Pick a topic...it's probably in there and accompanied by step-by-step instructions and tips. The stories make this so much more than encyclopedia. She passed away in 2005 but her reach has far exceeded her life. She's immortal.


I've given away several copies of the book over the years. All of us still have them. Urban or rural, this book is useful.

BTW, the archive of her site is at:

https://web.archive.org/web/20051227195231/http://www.carlaemery.com/
 
pollinator
Posts: 169
Location: northern lower peninsula of Michigan
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I give this book 9 or 10 acorns.
 
It's a comprehensive book with lots of material in it. It can be difficult to find what you are looking for in it. This is why I won't give it 10 acorns. But the book covers so much territory that it is very useful to anybody who wants to do for themselves rather than buying it ready made in almost any catagory imaginable.

It also contains an interesting sprinkling of autibiographical material which is at times inspiring and at others somewhat of a tearjerker since her life was full of bumps and bruises. The attempt she and her husband made to open a school of country living for example is a sad tale which ended with the closing of the school. And ulitmately the couple divorced which is also a sad aspect. Carla continued to write and to travel doing workshops for those who would like to hone their writing skills. I attended one of her workshops. It was very good!
 
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paul's patreon stuff got his videos and podcasts running again!
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