- Copertina flessibile: 262 pagine
- Editore: Lightning Source Inc (30 novembre 2013)
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 0989711102
- ISBN-13: 978-0989711104
- Peso di spedizione: 458 g
- Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon: n. 351.583 in Libri in altre lingue (Visualizza i Top 100 nella categoria Libri in altre lingue)
5 Acres & A Dream the Book: The Challenges of Establishing a Self-Sufficient Homestead (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – 30 nov 2013
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Leigh Tate homesteads five acres in the foothills of the southern Appalachian Mountains with her husband Dan. Their goals are simpler, sustainable, more self-reliant living, and a return to agrarian values. In addition to critter keeping, gardening, food preservation, cheese making, and woodstove cookery, Leigh loves to write about homesteading. She is the author of the popular 5 Acres & A Dream The Book: The Challenges of Establishing a Self-Sufficient Homestead, an eBook series entitled The Little Series of Homestead How-Tos, and Critter Tales : What my homestead critters have taught me about themselves, their world, and how to be a part of it. Her ongoing homestead adventures can be read at her blog, 5 Acres & A Dream The Blog.
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When I first got a hint that maybe a book was in the works I was excited and also a bit curious. Would it just be another book about how to homestead? How much of Leigh and Dan would be in the book? Would it simply be a collection of posts from the blog?
Alas, I had nothing to worry about. The book is outstanding!
Sure, the book talks a lot about homesteading, and there are even some recipes included. The footnotes and reference section provide a wealth of further reading and information.
But where the book shines best is where the author talks about their mindset and relates their thought process -- what brought them to each decision they made.
I did not buy this book strictly as a "how to" manual for homesteading. Rather, I wanted to know more about Leigh and Dan's experience, more about the road that brought them here. But don't get me wrong, you could certainly do worse for homesteading information -- the book is stuffed full of hints, tips, and handy references for everything from cheesemaking to forestry. Often, Leigh includes alternatives or options for other ways to produce, grow, fix, or care for various components of the homestead.
And where other books can come across as preachy or condescending, 5 Acres and a Dream: the Book has a friendly, helpful tone. The author talks about why they made the decisions they made, but does not chastise those that haven't made the same choices.
She talks about what worked and what did not. She mentions their failures, rather than painting the whole experience in the rosy "DIY" light that we get on television and most other books on the subject.
I loved this book! And it's a beauty, certainly worthy of your bookshelf. Leigh packed the book with dozens and dozens of photos, really bringing their homestead to life. The writing's concise and the layout is so well done. Often, self-published books fall victim to layout/structural issues, but Leigh (as usual!) did her homework and devoted a year to getting it right. Yes, true to her philosophy, she did everything herself rather than hiring out the various parts of production. That meant learning many new opensource software programs and diving into self-publishing head first. The results speak for themselves.
I highly recommend this book.
Unlike the majority of "homesteaders" who are young and, perhaps, more affluent, this book sets forth a work in progress which seems to move forward despite a huge lack of capital, a shorter time horizon than the young possess, and a husband who still engages in substantial off-premises work. Although the homestead is in the Appalachians the book as a certain New England flavor.
Swirling through this memoir are thoughts about the various philosophies and motivations felt by others and those of the authors. In particular the chapter on "Obstacles" is a nice discussion on the couple's foundational values and our consumerist society in general.
This is not a do-it-yourself manual, at least in so far as it describes establishing a homestead. The author is candid about her and her husband's limitations and mistakes. It is hard not to second guess a few of their decisions. That is not to say that they don't accomplish a lot and do some very smart things in a relatively short period.
However, they tend to sort of lurch into some situations. One I found sadly funny is their decision to raise animals. The author recounts the old farm saying that you should never name animals you may have to eat or kill. Yet, all the edible animals seem to have names. She recounts their nerves and misgivings regarding dispatching a rooster and the great deal of wasted effort to save a goat. She sort of proves the point to not giving them names, by suffering accordingly.
Nevertheless, I agree with all these rave reviews. The book is a well-written, easy read with a number of black and white pictures to "put you in the place." It is filled with a lot of interesting facts which would be useful to any other homesteader. The author's ruminations on their view of society and their own reasons for homesteading are very personal yet food for anyone's thought. On balance, I find this one of the best reads on homesteading if you are not searching for a "manual." Also, the book includes a plethora of references and suggested readings plus a short appendix of "country" recipes that look worth trying.