Monday, July 25, 2011

Urban Homesteading by Rachel Kaplan and K.Ruby Blume

Urban Homesteading.. Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living

Rachel Kaplan with K. Ruby Blume
Published by SkyHorse Publishing
Source: Review Copy

I often hear people mention they can’t wait to get out into the country to start homesteading. With the information in this book, you can start homesteading right where you are living now.

The first 4 chapters are much like a text book on topics like global warming, your carbon footprint and resources. A good lead in to urban farming but I wanted to get in the dirt. Urban Homesteading says “a Can-do attitude is the most important resource for a homesteading attitude” and I feel that is so true. The authors encourage you to start small, in reasonable bite size pieces. Gather your tools and evaluate what spaces you may have available to you. Whether you live on a lot in in your own home, rent, or even in apartments there are spaces around you available for planting and growing food. In addition there are opportunities available for community gardens, co-ops and school gardens. The paradigm is to think outside of the box, to think beyond acres and acres of land, and utilize what is right outside your doorstep. Think raised garden beds, barrels, depaving a driveway and using that space, vertical gardening.

The book walks you through soil development and getting the land ready for planting, including ideas on composting. It discusses seed types and plants with charts on the best times of year and places to plant them. Included are veggies, herbs and fruits for a complete guide to all grown plants.

The book goes a step further once you have the plants under foot to add in honey bees, chickens, ducks and possibly even a goat. Much information on caring for the animals in small spaces and suggestions and ideas on making it work for you.

I could easily think of many friends and family members who could benefit from the ideas in this book and agree that if you start small and work up from there you can indeed have an urban homestead.

I received a copy of this book from SkyHorse Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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