Homegrown and Handmade: A Practical Guide to More Self-Reliant Living
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Our food system is dominated by industrial agriculture and has become economically and environmentally unsustainable. The incidence of diet-related diseases, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and heart disease, has skyrocketed to unprecedented levels. Whether you have forty acres and a mule or a condo with a balcony, you can do more than you think to safeguard your health, your money, and the planet.
Homegrown and Handmade shows how making things from scratch and growing at least some of your own food can help you eliminate artificial ingredients from your diet, reduce your carbon footprint, and create a more authentic life. Whether your goal is increasing your self-reliance or becoming a full-fledged homesteader, it's packed with answers and solutions to help you:
- Take control of your food supply from seed to plate
- Raise small and medium livestock for fun, food, and fiber
- Rediscover traditional skills to meet more of your family's needs than you ever thought possible
This comprehensive guide to food and fiber from scratch proves that attitude and knowledge is more important than acreage. Written from the perspective of a successful self-taught modern homesteader, this well illustrated, practical, and accessible manual will appeal to anyone who dreams of a simpler life.
Deborah Niemann is a homesteader, writer, and self-sufficiency expert who presents extensively on topics including soapmaking, bread baking, cheesemaking, composting, and homeschooling. She and her family raise sheep, pigs, cattle, goats, chickens, and turkeys for meat, eggs, and dairy products, while an organic garden and orchard provides fruit and vegetables.
nutrients you give your body, the way you interact with your neighbors and the way you think. I know that one garden at a time we are literally changing the world!” — Jill Green, Phoenix, Arizona on a sunny windowsill or under a grow light. Tomatoes and peppers can be grown in large pots on a balcony or patio. I’ve even heard of people growing potatoes and some varieties of corn in five-gallon buckets. Of course, a large backyard garden is the dream of many who want to become more self-reliant,
where they can grow dozens of different fruits and vegetables. As the months grow colder, you can extend the harvest by using low tunnels and cold frames, or for an even larger winter harvest, a high tunnel or greenhouse. Organic container gardening is much easier today than in the past because it is now possible to find organic seed-starting mixes and potting soils at most garden centers and through plenty of online stores. It used to be more challenging because all of the available commercial
percent of food gardening households. acre in Rock Ridge, North Carolina. They call their little homestead Nigerian Growing the Sustainable Garden 43 Meadows in honor of the Nigerian Dwarf goats that provide their dairy products. They have a mature pecan tree, blueberry bushes, rhubarb, and grape vines as well as semi-dwarf apple, pear, peach, plum and cherry trees. “Oh, and figs!” says Jordana, mother of two. “They are great producers if you can grow them in your locale.” Their vegetable
mouth to an unconscious or convulsing person.” But this product is considered safe to spray on food crops. The irony is that it is an herbicide, which means it will kill plants. With genetic engineering, however, plants are created that can survive being sprayed with glyphosate, such as Roundup Ready soybeans and corn. Genetically modified corn and soybeans account for 80 to 90 percent of the corn and soybean crops planted in the United States today, so if you are buying almost any processed
dairy animals eventually wind up as meat. Although none of these animals are in the food supply as of this writing, the field of “pharming” is growing, and these are questions that will have to be answered in the future. Quality “ I like to cook. I’ve been to culinary school and found that understanding plants as food and how they grow is fundamental to being a good cook. Many of the tastiest varieties of vegetables just can’t be found in grocery stores as they don’t last long. . . . I like