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HANDMADE GATHERINGS

 

A YEAR OF PIES!

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: HOME DAIRY

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING BEES

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: CANNING & PRESERVING

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING CHICKENS


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Encyclopedia of Country Living (+ Giveaway!!!)


Carly Emery has been doing for decades what I’ve only become completely transfixed by in the past 5. A back-to-the-land proponent of the 1960′s and 1970′s, this wise woman has been homesteading since before it was fashionable, has been living a “country” life long before Country Living came along (which, by the way, is great lately), and is seriously the person you want beside you when the power fails, or a hurricane strikes, or when the Zombiepacalyse happens (I kid. I’m a kidder).

In all seriousness, Carla Emery invokes nothing short of profound and enduring respect from me. This mother to 7 created what is quite possibly the defining tome of DIY and homesteading skills, whether where you hang your particular hat is a brownstone or a barnyard, and you’re wearing a fedora or a 10-gallon wide brim. Her book, The Encyclopedia of Country Living, just celebrated 40 years in print. The 40th Anniversary Edition is no shrinking violet. Emery managed to pen over 1 million words in her 928 page guide to living simple while living well. Here’s a little sampling of what her book can teach you:

How to cultivate a garden, buy land, bake bread, raise farm animals, make sausage, build a barn, grown mushrooms, can peaches, plant a tree, milk a goat, churn butter, mill your own flour, grow herbs, tap for maple syrup, store food for winter, butcher animals, keep beehives, cultivate a rice patty, make 20-minute cheese, build irrigation systems, pickle vegetables, forage for wild food, build a chicken coop, catch a pig, and cook on a wood stove.

Whew. And I thought I stayed busy! I’ve had a copy of The Encyclopedia of Country Living for years. When Tami Fairweather, a publicist at Sasquatch Books, contacted me several weeks ago about receiving a review copy of the 40th Anniversary Edition, I was all over it. And thankfully for you, I asked if the possibility for a giveaway copy existed, in addition to my complimentary copy. The answer was yes.

So, for this giveaway, I’d love for you to leave a comment about the homesteading skill you’re currently in possession of that you’re the most proud of. It can be anything from sewing popped-off buttons back onto trousers, to butchering your own hogs. I’ll go first: I really love canning. It never gets old, and having all of those lovely provisions stored up in my pantry come wintertime, or gift-giving time, or, hell, any old time, makes me perennially pleased.

I’ll run the giveaway for one week, concluding next Thursday, November 22nd (Thanksgiving for us here in the U.S.!) at midnight EST. The contest is open to U.S. and Canadian residents. In your comment, please remember to leave a means of contacting you, should you be the (randomly chosen) winner. You can do that via either a link back to your own blog or website in your comment or by leaving your email address in your reply. If you’d rather comment anonymously, just send me a private email after doing so, letting me know your information. I can be reached at: ashleyadamsenglish(at)gmail(dot)com.

Even if you don’t win, you should own this book. Whether you want to know about off-grid living, or how to live (comfortably) without air-conditioning, or make your own soap, or birth babies by yourself (!!!), there’s something here for everyone. And with over 750,000 copies sold, clearly Mrs. Carla Emery was on to something good.

116 Responses to Encyclopedia of Country Living (+ Giveaway!!!)

  • Sarah M says:

    One skill that I have, that I’m proud of, is knitting clothing for my kids & family. It never gets old to see beautiful items that will be passed down to my grandchildren!
    Sarah M

  • Yasmin says:

    I’m proud that I can now (thanks to you and your books) can throughout the year and regularly make my own butter (my husband doesn’t even like the store-bought variety anymore)!

  • mckee Cox says:

    I am proud to say that cooking from scratch and preserving food is one of my best homesteading skills, I can make bread, rolls, mayonnaise, any kind of condiment, buttermilk, cheese, just about anything! And it’s all thanks to my mama and all the new homesteading books out there!

  • Trish says:

    I’m pretty proud of making my own laundry soap! What I’m working hard on right now is quilting and knitting :)

  • Linda says:

    I love baking bread. Making homemade bread is a skill I learned from my grandmother and mother, and I’m passing it down to my kids as well.

  • Kelli says:

    What a beautiful new cover?!

    I just learned how to make my own yogurt. It’s easy and I’m obsessed. I’ve been making a batch a week and even make it thick enough to use for sour cream so I’ve eliminated two store bought products in one sweep!

  • Kristin says:

    I love baking and canning, both of which I learned from my Gran and Mom. There’s no better feeling that seeing my cold cellar stocked and the how excited people are to receive my canned goods as gifts!

  • BJ says:

    I also love canning. But recently I learned to knit and I’m enjoying it a lot. I want to make felt slippers as Christmas presents.

  • Meg says:

    love this book – it taught me how to make curtains and butcher a chicken – I recently passed my original copy on to a friend who is building a timber frame house – and starting their own adventure- the new version would be great – thanks for the chance

  • Cole B. says:

    This book looks very informative. I already know many home remedies, but would like to know even more! Also, this summer will be my first as a beekeeper, so I am researching and preparing for that right now.

  • This looks like a wonderful book! I’ve got a small flock of hens in our suburban backyard and a decent sized garden (both in the ground and container gardens) but I would like to expand in so many ways! Beekeeping has become something I’m really interested in, and I’d love to see what I could learn from this book

  • Melissa Marx says:

    I love beekeeping. We just finished our 1st season with 3 hives, all are still alive so far and we got about 40lbs of honey. I even made a small batch of mead. I so hope our ladies make it through our WI winter.

  • Lindsay L says:

    I have gotten my first chickens!

  • while I’ve been getting my feet wet in the world of beekeeping and keeping hens these past couple years, the thing that fills me up most is making (and canning) our jam and baking our bread….. I often lose touch with it during the summer, only to find the comfort of it again as the weather cools. There have been many loaves made these past couple months, and many many more to come. I’d love to get into some cheese making as well! thanks for the chance to win this great book~

  • Kira says:

    Well, I’m not certain you could say I’m in “possession” of this skill yet, but since this past June I’ve been caring for and learning about two young goats and am planning to breed my doe this January which will result in adorable kids and plenty of goat’s milk for cheese, soap, etc. So, while I”m still in the learning process, I guess this is what I”m most proud of – and the goats are happy, healthy, and growing. And I harvested my first batch of honey from my Italian bees in early September and I’m pretty proud of that too!

  • Barbara Ellingsen says:

    Lately, I have been honing skills in gardening and canning. I am thankful to my dad for teaching me how to plant and harvest. I hated “slaving away” in his garden as a child, but now I realize how much of a gift that really was.

  • Jacey says:

    I’m an urban dweller who cans and knits and dreams of owning some land to cultivate. I would love to broaden my perspective with such an interesting book!

  • Leah says:

    My girls live my homemade yogurt with homemade jam stirred in. I heard yogurt making s the gateway to activities like keeping chickens and bees. I’m ready to expand my skills.

  • KC says:

    I really love making my own sourdough bread. I’ve had the culture going for over two years now. It took me six months to perfect my bread. I love, love growing my own veggies. I make my own clothing.

  • Heather says:

    I’m proud to say I now have chickens. 5 lovely layers reside in my backyard. It’s been just one month, but so far, so good. I would love a copy of this book.

  • Jessica LS says:

    What a fabulous guide! My proudest homesteading feat thus far is maintaining our small chicken coop. Collecting those couple eggs every day still feels plain thrilling!

  • cynthia says:

    I love to knit blankets and crochet slippers for my little ones! This past summer we built 15 garden boxes and had a great variety of wonderful fruits and vegies growing! We canned our first pickles – using the Refrigerator Pickle recipe from Ashley’s awesome canning book! Love sharing fresh eggs from our ladies out back…….Oh there is just so much more I want to learn!!
    Thanks for the opportunity for the “giveaway”! itsablast@comcast.net

  • Dawn says:

    I checked this book out of the library years ago but, for some reason, never got my own copy although its always been on my list to buy. Would love to win a copy but am now committed to buying one if not. The skill I am most proud of is extending our vegetable growing season throughout the winter. Growing up, we always had summer gardens but, after reading another great book, The WInter Harvest, by Elliot Coleman, I was inspired to keep my garden here in the NC Sandhills going all year round and have been so pleased. There is nothing like cutting your own spinach or digging up a few turnips in January! Thanks for the giveaway and your blog, which is my favorite. Love from a fellow NC chick!

  • Diane E says:

    I also can everything I can get my hands on! Fortunately, I sell at Farmer’s Markets so I have plenty of fresh produce available!! I also raise dairy goats and use their fresh milk to make soap and cheese. And I love to make homemade bread. I would love to get a copy of her book! Thank you for offering this giveaway!

  • John says:

    This seems like a pretty awesome book. I think I’ll check out a copy from the library if I don’t win. I’m also quite proud of my canning abilities, which have been steadily improving and diversifying over the last 10 years. For some reason there’s few other things more satisfying that looking at the pantry with all the sauces, pickled items, jams, jellies, peaches, and pears sitting there in their glass jars. It’s such a rewarding feeling.

  • Hikergurl says:

    I am constantly trying to learn homesteading skills. Last fall was soapmaking (it is so much fun)! During the Winter I taught myself to knit (just a scarf so far) and this Summer was canning. I have put up many jars of yummy goodness. I have been an avid organic gardener since childhood (learning from my Grandpa in Southern Ohio). I even started up a CSA in East Texas but moved to West VA and am now growing berries, asparagus, planted a peach tree, and cache rain water. Next on my list this Spring is build a cob oven and learn the art of outdoor bread making and cooking in a earth oven. :o)
    hippycas@yahoo.com

  • Dana Nagle says:

    Heads up, Carla Emery passed away in 2005, leaving behind a remarkable legacy.

  • Melissa says:

    We are into everything. Bees, chickens, turkeys, goat milking and now husbandry but our *man goat* is not quite man enough yet! Ha! Making our own gardens, but someone should have told me that turkeys and chickens would eat your whole garden.. Who knew! Lesson learned there. Must buy fencing before next spring. I canned hardcore for the first time this year. I am thankful that my Grandma is still here and able to teach me. Love to make cheese, but I think my husband is better at it than me. Slowly converting the family to eat local and seasonal, and I wish I could sew. I was always scared of sewing machines, seriously. I am asking santa for knitting items. I am determined to learn, and maybe one day quilting. That would be awesome. Loved your blog and now your website Ashley! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  • Laura says:

    I love working in my garden. It’s quite small, but still important to me.

  • Jennifer says:

    This book looks great! I’m most proud of my growing and canning skills. I haven’t found anything else as empowering as growing and cooking my own food.
    jalley22@hotmail.com

  • ~JackieVB says:

    As I’m still stuck in the suburbs I’ve been limited in what I can do, but I have really expanded my gardening. I’m trying to see how much of my own food I can grow, i’d say I’d be pretty close to starving if it weren’t for grocery stores :)

  • Michelle says:

    Making bread and yogurt from scratch are my big things so far. My husband gathering all our firewood to heat the house from the woods out back is his thing, we work together!

  • kaizen says:

    Milking a cow or goat and raisng chickens. Nothing like bottles of fresh milk with cream rising to the top and freshly washed brown, blue, and speckled eggs.

  • Doug says:

    Never in a million years would I ever think that I could have raised and processed meat chickens. The raising part isn’t too hard to think of, but actually being able to kill, scald, pluck and eviscerate a chicken was beyond my wildest dreams. Now we do 2 batches a year, and have a freezer full of “free” chicken. I say “free”, because we sell part of them to pay for all our expenses, so our chickens are “free”. It doesn’t get better than this. Or does it? I can hear a couple pigs in my future!

  • Amanda says:

    What a fabulous book… I’d love to have it!! I am very proud of my knitting, especially since I’m mainly self-taught!

  • Katie Brown says:

    I have been learning many new skills lately, but I think I am most proud of pressure canning. It has opened up many new opportunities for putting up food and is no where near as difficult as I thought it would be.

    Of course, canning was preceded by the gardening for sure. That is what led me to canning in the first place. And the gardening started with the birth of my first child – when I realized I wanted to be more of a producer and less of a consumer. So really it all goes back to my kids. And they are what I am most proud of for sure!!!

  • Rachel Wertheimer says:

    Last weekend I went to a canning class here in the Piedmont of NC run by This and That Jam. We made a delicious beet jam — I love beets but I have to admit I was skeptical. I ate it this week on polenta and it was so good! I plan to get more into canning at home very soon.

  • Kelly says:

    Canning! I started last year, but love learning more each time I do it. This was passed on from my parents and I love the process.

  • Ashley says:

    I have had a veggie garden for the last few years and have experimented with making cheese, but I always want to learn more. Thank you for doing the give away.

  • Megan says:

    I’ve really been trying to hone my homesteading skills. In the past few years I’ve been gardening (I handle the veggies, my fella handles the flowers), canning, sewing and making all our cleaning supplies. The skill I am most proud of is making my own deodorant. I love it so much, it keeps me from getting stinky and my armpits are happy. I’ve managed to turn a few friends onto the homemade deodorant option, too :)

    This book looks amazing! Someday, when we stop renting in ‘burbs and buy a place further out, I can’t wait to learn how to do so many more things for ourselves! In the meantime, small steps.

  • erica says:

    We currently raise chickens, make our own yogurt and have a vegie garden. I would love this book! Thank you for the chance. We are are trying our best to start a self sufficient urban farm including flowers to sell! Keeping our fingers crossed to make this come true.

  • Valerie says:

    I am trying to cultivate my homesteading skills in our apartment, while dreaming of a farm. I love all things DIY (your column on Design*Sponge is great!). I have one beehive (hopefully expanding to 2 or 3 next year). Two of my favorite things are quilting and baking bread.

  • Jade says:

    I am proud of my quilting–I am half way through my first one! I am a suburban girl with country dreams. This book is definitely one I have to own to bring me closer to fulfilling them.

  • Alicia says:

    Canning, baking bread, and herbalism – gardening and wild foraging of the plants, as well as making my own teas, tinctures, and more….

  • Brie says:

    Quilting! I find it incredibly relaxing and there’s such an amazing sense of accomplishment when you’ve completed a quilt.

  • Jackie says:

    I love baking! I’m working on getting some land so I can get some chickens and do a lot of gardening.

  • Erin V says:

    I learned to make jam two years ago. I enjoy making my own recipes for jam now. It’s lots of fun to combine new flavors!

  • Erin Friesen says:

    I suppose my best homesteading skills are twofold: first, I am getting pretty good at spinning wool, which makes knitting much cheaper and more interesting; second, I very deftly acquired a husband who doggedly cultivates his garden, builds beautiful furniture out of wood, bakes glorious sourdough, ferments vegetables aplenty, and turns free apples into wild cider. Getting a man like that is a skill, right? If nothing else, keeping up with him is a skill!

  • Heather B says:

    For me, it’s splitting wood. My grandfather bought me my own, slightly smaller ax when I was younger, and I perfected my technique every day after school. I still feel a great sense of accomplishment and self-reliance every time I visit the family farm and my grandmother needs me to find a lightered stump for the winter.

  • Peggy says:

    I have canned most of our families food for the past 30 years, thanks to my mother and greatgrandmother. I try to learn something new daily.

  • jodi says:

    While I’m excited about my more recently acquired skills in canning and knitting, the thing that stands out for me is my skill with the axe. I’ve been heating my home w/a woodstove for almost 20 years now, so learned long ago how to properly split wood. It feels kind of primal and good… and I’m left with the most satisfied exhaustion when I’m done.

  • Hannah says:

    I’m proud that I can identify and forage for mushrooms, berries, nettles and other local foods. And it’s fun!

  • indio says:

    When I first saw your post, I was at a loss to figure out what I was most proud of having accomplished. I’ve been gardening since I was able to walk, keeping chickens and bees in suburbia for several years but my most recent foray was into home grown and homemade medicines. I’ve been making detergent from soap nuts, treating common injuries and scratches, colds and other ailments with products grown in the 1/4 acre backyard. I’m thrilled that we don’t need to rely on the local pharmacy for cures as often as we did in the past.

  • abisuz says:

    As the morther of a seven-month old, I am most proud of the fact that he has eaten nothing but stuff produced within a five-mile range. The squash he gobbles down was grown in the backyard, as were sweet potatoes. The rest has been purchased from a local farmer right down the road, frozen and stored for winter. And breastmilk, hey, that’s a local product too, right?

  • Tracy says:

    I am most proud that I have learned how to knit. I now knit my own socks and make other warm things to wear.

  • marissa says:

    I love gardening & canning! I want to expand to chickens & bees, reading up on it.

  • abisuz says:

    As the morther of a seven-month old, I am most proud of the fact that he has eaten nothing but stuff produced within a five-mile range. The squash he gobbles down was grown in the backyard, as were the sweet potatoes. The rest has been purchased from a local farmer right down the road, frozen and stored for winter. And breastmilk, hey, that’s a local product too, right?

  • Kelly says:

    Out of everything I have learned the skill I’m most proud of is not wasting anything! I take my kitchen scraps to the compost, those that are edible go to the chickens and rabbits. I use fallen leaves for my chicken coop floor which eventually ends up in the compost! All my animals poop ends up in the compost, and then the compost ends up in the garden! My heart swells from re-purposing things. Waste not want not ☺
    daveandkelly1@cox.net

  • Britt T. says:

    Baking, most definitely!

    brtucker89(at)yahoo(dot)com

  • Ashley says:

    I made the most perfect ricotta this week after making the most perfect mozzarella! I was so proud of myself! Then I made lemon ricotta cookies that were PERFECT for tea! This book sounds AMAZING, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE a copy!

  • I am proud of my ability to see an outdated, seemingly useless household items and bring it back to life. Sometimes it takes repairing, but often all it takes is a coat of paint.

    Also, feeling not too shabby about cooking from scratch, making my own yogurt, jam and pesto.

    Zombie-pocolypse, bring it on!

  • Jaimie says:

    The skill I think I am most proud of right now is my knitting. I’m currently working on knitting my son a toy bunny with a set of clothes!

  • amber myers says:

    The skill I am most proud of is beekeeping. We harvested honey for the first time this year and gathered a whooping 55 lbs. of liquid gold! The whole process was amazing and beautiful, something that I will never forget! Also, growing and preserving our own fruits and veggies!

  • I’ve always been a bit of a cook, so canning was the first homesteading ‘activity’ that I tried. I’ve been hooked ever since! I feel so fulfilled when I look at my pantry and see the rows of jars, all sporting a different color or texture! Crocheting is next on my list – I’m okay at it, but I’m still slow and have little patience for such intricate work!
    This book looks fantastic.
    justinecnavarro@gmail.com

  • Jamie says:

    I’m pretty proud of raising my chickens and making my own cleaning supplies. There’s a growing list of skills I want to fine-tune, but those two are tops as they were the first skills I mastered and gave me a taste of independence and self-sustainability. Now I’m hooked!

    This book would be a GREAT addition to my library :) Thanks Ashley!

  • Beth says:

    Bread baking! I am obsessed with it. But, next I to learn soapmaking. . . There’s so much to learn!

  • cynthia says:

    Oh my Gosh! I have loved this book forever- seriously I bought the original paper back book in the 80′s and read it cover to cover and was obsessed with learning about all these skills, and with my life
    on the farm, it was like a good grandma teaching me things , ( I was in like 16 when I bought it). I would just be SO happy to get this anniversary copy. It is such a lovely down-home book with lots of practical and sage advice. Thanks so much for sharing and giving Carla a high five. She’s terrific!

  • Sarah R. says:

    Cooking and baking from scratch is probably the skill I’m most proud of overall. That’s the area where I feel like I’ve really got things covered. Everything else (gardening, knitting, sewing, canning) I feel like I’m still making baby steps on.

  • cyndi says:

    I would have to say my dad showing me how to garden when I was little, and learning about
    preserving food from my mom and our neighboring farm wives. The whole process of growing your
    own food and making things from the garden to eat later (and was way better than anything you could
    buy in the store) and cheaper, it was a revelation to me, and started me on the whole self-sufficiency
    kick that I had for a couple decades. Now, it’s so funny (and cool) that it’s now in vogue to grow and make artisinal products. Here Here!

  • Katie B. says:

    This year I’ve tackled two new homesteading skills……learning to can and raising chickens. I love to can all the goodness from each season and seeing the jars in my pantry make me feel good about what we are eating. And with 2 chickens in our small backyard, I am teaching the kids where their food comes from. Would love to add this book to my library of references! Thanks! katiebdesignscharleston@gmail.com

  • Kelli says:

    I love to knit, and I can also sew a bit. It’s nice to know that, given the right raw materials, I can clothe and keep my family nice and warm. Thank you so much!

    kellileanne[at]hotmail(dot)com

  • Heather S says:

    My latest is making button art on canvas for my kiddos rooms. They are turning out amazing! So happy with them!

  • Kendra K says:

    I am starting to get better at cooking from scratch but by far the thing I am proudest of is my worms. I love composting with red wigglers, it gets rid of my kitchen scraps and turns them into that black gold I get to use on my garden. (kknaggs@hotmail.com)

  • Jessalyn says:

    I wish I could say that my favorite homesteading skill is keeping chickens. Alas, I don’t have any chickens. One day… Each year I have tried to take on more and more skills towards self-sufficiency: gardening, baking bread, DIY home cleaners and laundry soaps, and more. Probably my favorite skill is canning because I learned how to do it so that I could make jam for wedding favors at my wedding! I still enjoy it!

  • Katie says:

    I don’t want to enter because I already have a copy of her book, but I did want to post. This book is my bible. I learned so much from it. Between her and the locals here, I learned everything about ‘country living’. And that was a lot for a Jersey girl to learn. She was my hero.

  • Teri Reynhout says:

    Oh my gosh. I am itching to get my hands on this book. Just moved onto our own little piece of land in CT and we are ready to get our hands dirty!

  • Roisin says:

    Milking goats! Sore, sore hands in the beginning though…

  • In tribute to the book, Radical Homemakers, I’m most proud of my ability to live for the past four years without owning a car, riding my bike or walking for most errands, and overall living in simpler, less consumerism-focused ways that includes growing and preserving my own foods in standard size lot here in the city.

    PS – A Year in Pies is also featured at New Seasons Market here in Stumptown, whoop whoop!

  • Julie says:

    Now that my husband and I have conquered our first step in urban homesteading (laying hens), he’s trying to convince me of a second (rabbits). We’re still in the researching faze of this…

  • Mary Ann Cauthen says:

    I amnow a grandmother & mother of four grown children. I have worn the original of this book out, & I would love to have this new copy to pass on to one of my sons who is following this path. I renewed my interest in gardening & canning this summer. I canned almost 100 qts. of our green beans, put many qts. of okra & fruits in the freezer, made relishes, jellies, etc. I am passing these skills along to grandchildren as well as sewing, recycling & just living a simple country life. Thanks for this offer. Mary Ann (nanamacc@aol.com)

  • Lindsey says:

    Canning!

    dorking(at)orcasonline.com

  • Ted S. says:

    Wood working.

    Tsponsel(at)alaska.net

  • Alexandra says:

    I’m a knitter, but really I dont see that so much as a homesteader skill – I would love to care for some lovely wooly animals and learn how to humanely use their fleece to support my knitting hobby. Then I would feel more home-steady. This book looks amazing though – if I win I will gift it to a good friend who just bought a farm! (after thumbing through it cover to cover) :)

  • Cindy says:

    I am proud of our hens – I still get a thrill when I scoop up a warm egg. I am also excited for the blueberry patch we have started and the rewards we will receive in a few years.

  • Jennifer Brinkman says:

    OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was so excited when I saw the name Carla Emery!!! I inherited a bunch of ‘cookbooks’ and such when my grandma passed 4 years ago. My absolute favorite book is Carla Emery’s ‘Old Fashioned Recipe Book’….what a great find!!!! It is such a delightful book on instructing you in the various aspects of homesteading….a great way to learn and enjoy the memory of my grandmother :) Thanks for offering this giveaway!!! And P.S…..I am an amateur baker and canner but I desperately love both!!!!!

  • Eleanor says:

    I can sew clothes, toys, curtains, blankets – anything my family needs!

  • rebecca says:

    Looks like a great book! I am proud I learned to can and also homebrew!

  • Missy says:

    Oh, this looks like a fun book! Lots to dream and learn about!

  • Aimee says:

    This past year my husband and I jumped head first into lots of new-to-us skills, including gardening, canning, sewing and hard cider making. A small step for homesteaders indeed, but a giant leap for us! Thanks for the lovely books and blog.

  • Teri S. says:

    I’ve always been interested in homesteading and just haven’t been able to square it with living in a town. But I’ve got some components down: I taught myself to spin, weave, and knit. I’ve got a cow share and have access to raw milk and am learning how to clabber milk, make yogurt cheese, and cultured butter (my latest experiment). I’d like to explore making aged cheese from raw milk. By the way, grocery store milk, even the cream-line type from the health food store, is but a shadow of real, raw milk. It’s like drinking a milkshake! Yum!

    P.S. I came to your blog by way of Squam.

  • megan says:

    I have begun to learn about soapmaking, and am incredibly excited about the upcoming holidays to make wonderful gifts!
    mailmegster@gmail.com

  • Tia Bednar says:

    Knitting items for my home and future gifts!
    tiabednar@gmail.com

  • sarah says:

    I’m pretty proud of my bees :) Next: chickens!

  • Angie says:

    I’m most proud of learning how to really make our garden work for us throughout the year- fresh produce in summer and into fall, cans of jams, sauce, pesto etc in the winter. I also learned how to finally do a cold storage so we’ve been enjoying going out and “picking” root veggies, all while the snow is flying! : )

  • Gina says:

    I’m pretty proud that I have been making my own house cleaning supplies for the past few years. From tile scrub to all-purpose spray and even glass cleaner, I’m proud to say that nothing toxic sits under my sink and homemade concoctions work wonders!

  • Francesca says:

    Knitting, making bread, home remedies, and gardening.
    skylarknme @ gmail. com

  • Jenn says:

    I’ve been working on many skills recently! This Summer I started using my pressure canner. I canned jam, carrots, pickles, green beans and applesauce! Today, I made my very first batch of soap! Hope it comes out good! I have a serious love of those ” old world” skills and I can’t wait to learn more!

  • Jody says:

    I am very proud of the fact that I learned how to sew enough to make some lovely window treatments for our home. This book looks lovely–I’m so inspired by your Keeping Bees right now as well!

  • Annie says:

    I am proud of the dishes my family (and extended family) uses everyday. I threw, on the potters wheel, almost all of the utilitarian dishes we eat on in my home. I like using clay as a material in my kitchen. This book looks like a terrific resource!

  • Cool!

  • Beth says:

    My favorite things to do right now are grow herbs and make quilts. I have very fond memories of making beeswax candles with my kids long, long ago and how the house smelled so deliciously of all that melting beeswax! Thanks for a wonderful giveaway.

  • shawna says:

    ok, I have done a lot of homesteading from milking my own goats, to cooking on a wood cookstove to soapmaking to cheesemaking to fermenting to living off grid. But my most recent proudest moment is finishing our wood fired pizza and bread oven in the back yard!! What an undertaking. We envision many happy nights of outdoor eating and gathering with family, friends and loved ones……..

  • Sara says:

    I’m totally proud of my knitting at the moment!

  • kara says:

    I’m not sure if I’m proudest, per se, of this one, but my most homesteaddey thing is what I call my “Amish Washer” (https://www.lehmans.com/p-2398-lehmans-own-laundry-hand-washer.aspx)…. I do all of my laundry by filling that baby up, swishing the handle until the clothes are clean, and then running them through the wringer. It uses very little water, and the water it does use drains into my hydrangea bushes, and it actually does a really good job of cleaning!

  • Barbara says:

    Considering any “skills” I have kind of skipped a generation (or two), I’m pretty proud of the limited skills I’ve acquired. I did a bunch of canning for the first time this year, all on my own. We’re raising chickens again after a couple year break. And I’m working on some sewing skills. Many more skills to learn, though!

  • Stasi says:

    Baking Bread is the thing others are most impressed by. I guess i see too much I DON”T know how to do to be too proud of the skills i have.

  • Paula M says:

    I have gain so many skills in the past 6 years that I only wish I had more time to really nourish them and let them grow to their full potential. More recently I started to ferment and I think that it’s the skill I am most proud of acquiring. I make a wicked sauerkraut and this year I made kimchi for the first time. A pretty big accomplishment considering I did not know what either of those fermented foods were 3 years ago (I’m Portuguese, we do not really eat those things)!

  • oukay says:

    I think it relates to wanting to always make sure the kids can be fed, but I am proud of my foraging skills, and my sourdough bread for which I captured my own starter yeasts! Oh, and the fact that I can make a better fire in the fireplace than my husband (but he is better at campfires)!

  • Candi says:

    I checked this book out at the library a couple of years ago and since then have asked for it for Christmas yearly, but my city dwelling family doesn’t think it would make an interesting gift. WRONG!! Anyway, I asked my husband what my best homesteading skill was. He said sewing. I mostly mend things and make the occasional quilt. My most recent sewing experience was in the parking lot of a funeral sewing the button back on my husband’s suit with a Walgreens sewing kit! I also can food, cook from scratch, and garden, among other things.
    candiseifer(at)gmail(dot)com

  • shelli says:

    This year I am proud to say I finally built and planted our box gardens with all recycled materials, leaf hummus and organic heirloom seeds, so being able to forage for dinner all summer and fall long has been healthier and better for the wallet too!

  • Cece says:

    Oh, I love the old, battered copy of this book I currently have! My skill I’m most proud of is canning. I grew up in the LA suburbs so a skill like this was akin to a foreign language. And the family loves the products :)

    cartercam at gmail dot com

  • Elizabeth says:

    Heating with wood!

  • Jennifer says:

    What I love is gardening but I still have way too many failures to say that’s my best skill. My best is probably sewing and knitting.

  • Cindi says:

    Loving my chickens and eggs. Best “country tv” going!