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The Essential Book of Homesteading















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Making It (+ Giveaway!!!)

Residing smack dab at the intersection of “walk” and “talk” are Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen. Creators of the popular DIY and sustainable living blog Root Simple (formerly ‘Homegrown Evolution’) and the book The Urban Homestead (described by the New York Times as “the contemporary bible on the subject”), Kelly and Erik have, in short, got it goin’ on, strong.

By their own description, the couple “grow food, keep chickens, brew, bike, bake, and plot revolution from their 1/2-acre farm in the heart of Los Angeles.” I approached them several years ago, while I was working on my book “Keeping Chickens” with a solicitation as potential candidates for profiling (to which they willingly obliged). Truly kind, generous individuals, when I found out they were working on another book, I knew I wanted to promote it as much as possible.

Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World is their newest publication. The book is packed with projects that’ll move you from being a consumer to a producer. From building an oil lamp to creating laundry soap, from fermenting to wild foraging, this book contains all you need to know about keeping a sustainable house, from seasoned folks living the life. Perhaps the most genius aspect of the book is that it’s arranged by “time spent on a project and how frequently that project is done over the course of one year” (as detailed by its press release). That way, you know from the onset just how much of a time commitment a project requires.

Kelly and Erik’s publisher, Rodale, has generously provided me with a copy of Making It for my own use as well as one to give away to a small measure reader. To enter the giveaway, just leave me a comment describing something you currently purchase that you’d love to someday make. For me, it’s cat litter. With 5 geriatric cats, we go through a lot of litter (What I wouldn’t give to get them to use the 11 acres of forest just beyond the front door! Only one of them currently does this. Sigh). I’d love to learn to make my own biodegradable cat litter. It’ll happen. It’s only a matter of time.

I’ll leave the contest open to U.S. residents through next Monday, May 23rd, midnight EST. Whether or not you win, or even enter the contest, do take a peek at Kelly and Erik’s books and blog. They’re clever, compassionate, creative folks that you’ll want to get to know.

187 Responses to Making It (+ Giveaway!!!)

  • Mina104 says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Sara says:

    Ketchup and mustard!

  • Leslie says:

    With natural hair, I am quite frequently purchasing a lot of shampoos, conditioners and leave-ins for my hair. I would love to some day make my own.

  • Heather says:

    I am starting to replace all my cleaning supplies with homemade solutions as they run out. I hope to do the same with the laundry detergent.

  • Mina104 says:

    I just put this book in my wishlist, it looks awesome! I'd really like to start making some clothes for myself and my family, there just never seems to be the time (or maybe it's my lack of patience, me and my sewing machine don't have the best relationship!).

  • DarcC says:

    I would love to make my own clothes. I started quilting some years ago, so I should expand on that to sew beyond straight lines and attempt a nice tailored blouse.

  • Lisa says:

    Definitely cleaning supplies. I keep saying I'll just use vinegar and lemon juice or something but I honestly have no idea what to use for what surface if the bottle doesn't tell me so.

  • I'd love to read a post about DIY/sustainable cat litter.

    My current goals are homemade candles, clothes and skin lotion.

  • Ashley says:

    dairy products like cheese and butter, and creative hand made presents for friends.

  • Courtney says:

    Soaps and shampoos–I used to use a great natural bar shampoo, but then I moved to a different state and couldn't get it anymore. :(

  • katie says:

    Cat litter, brilliant! I'd love to be able to make that.

  • Gina says:

    I definitely want to make more household cleaning products. I would also love to find a local dairy source so I can make my own butter and possibly cheese!

  • I don't drink, but I really enjoy a good craft root beer. I would love to learn to brew root beer myself using honey as a sweetener from my own bee hives that I will be starting this Friday.

  • Anne B. says:

    I'd love to sew my own clothes. I have a sewing machine and know how to sew a bit beyond the basics, but somehow clothing projects just never turn out quite right. Maybe I just need to lower my standards. 😉

  • cindy says:

    I want to get over my fear of making homemade yogurt (w/o a yogurt maker or crock pot).
    abaco1966 @ gmail dot com

  • elisa rathje says:

    looks great! it is heartening to see books like these being published. i live in a couple of countries, but your is not one of them – so just looking on in envy. x elisa

  • Jen says:

    I'd like to learn how to make my own clothes! I'm currently trying to convert a ripped pair of jeans into a skirt but would love to start from scratch!

  • an says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Melissa says:

    I just ordered this book! I have their first book and it was the first thing I came across validating that there are others out there doing exactly what I wanted to do. My next thing to make is my own laundry detergent!

  • an says:

    Chicken broth/stock for all the soup I make in the fall/winter. It seems like such a simple process, but why does it scare me so much?!? It is just one of those silly things for me, like attemping to cut an artichoke.

  • Meg says:

    I want to make everything! From food and condiment (like Sara's ketchup and mustard idea), to clothing and cleaning supplies. I want to make my own linens and butter and shoes and furniture and electronics. Ok. I'll go with that. I want to make a beautiful floor lamp for my living room.

    There is something so exciting and satisfying about making something that you've formerly had to buy. This book looks awesome.

  • GardenFresh says:

    I'd love to make my own facial moisturizer. I use a lot of it in the fall / winter and would really like to have full control over what goes into it, unfortunately I have very sensitive skin so I'm nervous about messing with what I put on my face. Another reason to make my own, I know, but I don't know where to start.

  • heather says:

    oh the list is long – but household cleaners would definitely be at the top. thank you, ashley! what a great, fun giveaway!

  • Denise says:

    Cat litter definitely. I'm lucky cause a couple of my cats will go outside but the other two wont and in the winter they dont want to go outside much. Wish I could teach mine to go in the toilet…

  • Alison says:

    Ginger beer. Really, really gingery ginger beer. But let me know if you figure out the cat litter. That would be great, too!

  • Anonymous says:

    I currently buy laundry detergent but I am planning on making my own someday soon. my email: christinaclover at

  • jodi says:

    Indian pickle! At last I feel confident with my water bath canning skills & am now ready to try making some of the staples we buy that come in jars, cans, and other packaging. We love the spicy mango pickle, but I'm curious to try and find something more local than a mango or lime to spice up our Indian meals.

  • I want to start small, like making my own salad dressings, then work up to bigger things like beauty products (deodorant, soap, shampoo).

  • melissa says:

    I'd like to make my own soap, shampoo and bath salts. I also would like to make my own jams and preserves.

  • melissa says:

    I'd like to make my own shampoo, soap and bath salts. As well as, preserves and pickles.

  • Rebecca says:

    Laundry detergent is on my short list- hoping to figure that out this summer.

  • holly says:

    I am always looking for great books like this!

  • Anonymous says:

    I'd like to make bar soap. Thus far I've been too intimidated, but I know I have it in me.

    htebazil at hotmail dot com

  • susie Q says:

    Baby clothes. I'm just about to embark on my very first sewing projects (so far I'm a knitter and crocheter) but I have several pregnant people in my life right now — and hope to follow suit one day myself — so imagine not having to give in to all those adorable (and expensive) store-bought baby clothes? I'd prefer to make my own, thanks.

  • Mama Bird says:

    I've been working on this – making more & buying less – in baby steps. Next on my list… I want to make bread that my kids will like (the “kids liking it” being the challenge) and I'd like to start making my own personal care/beauty products.

    I'm reading The Urban Homestead right now. I'd love tohave this book qued up next!

  • Molly says:

    Jams, Jellies and Pickles are on my to-do list this year. Also finding a good sock yarn and pattern for fall/winter socks.

  • kendall says:

    Hair care products!

  • equisetaceae says:

    glutenfree bread. It's sad- I garden, cook/bake everything else from scratch and yet glutenfree bread terrifies me. So I continue to drive to the specialty food store halfway across town so that I can have a piece of toast.

  • Cheese! I love cheese and I'd love to make my own someday. I think the only things holding me back are A) it seems like kind of an expensive hobby and I'm a poor graduate student, and B) I have way too many hobbies as it is!

  • El Gaucho says:

    I'd love to learn to make my own laundry and dish soap, and am actually kind of ashamed I haven't done it already. I think it could be the gateway to making all my own soaps, detergents, etc.

  • What wouldn't I like to make?!! Definitely this summer, it's canning my own food. Dairy products run a really close second, followed by beer and champagne.
    I just bookmarked this video yesterday on making wood pellets, which are a replacement for the expensive feline pine cat litter I'm currently buying. Hope this helps!

  • LopsidedMom says:

    Funny, I have The Urban Homestead in front of me right now…I'm making butter for the first time using their shaking tips!

    Let's see…next on my list are various vinegars and pickles. Yum.

  • I'd love to learn how to make all natural soaps and skin
    care items. I'd also love to learn how to brew our own beer ..I know my hubby would enjoy that!!
    We already make a few things at home, but I do love learning new things to make instead of buying.

  • The Q says:

    This past weekend I decided I need to make my own cloth, pre-moistened swiffer sheets. Now to find towels w/the right nap that are destined for the rag pile.

  • Alicia says:

    I have two cats, so litter is up there on my list.


  • Samantha says:

    Hair care products that truly work as well as the chemical-laden options!

  • Marianne Skarupa says:

    I currently buy clothes detergent and want to make my own with the hopes that it will have fewer chemicals. I've just started researching different recipes so soon I will begin experimenting.

  • Krista says:

    I would love to learn more about wild foraging.. this is something I would love to teach my daughter!


  • This sounds right up my alley. What a great giveaway!

  • macyp says:

    making laundry detergent is very high on my list of things to make…

  • Hillary says:

    I'm with you on the cat litter. We have four and all we seem to do is change it. Hate weeks like this when it's raining and they can't go outside.

  • Ericabee says:

    I would love to make my own sunblock and discover a recipe for hair conditioner that doesn't make my thick, curly hair feel like straw!

  • Sarah says:

    I've been making all kinds of things lately – yogurt, goat's cheese, diapers, chicken coop, laundry detergent and just recently deodorant. If I don't win, I am definitely getting their book! love their blog.

  • Ella says:

    Ketchup and cheese!

  • Chppie says:

    I see I'm not original in my quest. I also would like to make all of my own cleaners including something that works in our dishwasher and a something to clean our carpet stains.

    I love these kinds of books so thanks for presenting it. Nice to see others lives.

  • fliermail says:

    We are currently working our way through your “Home Dairy” book and loving it! Next on our list is homemade body care products..shampoo, deodorant, lotion, lip balm, etc. the “Making It” book looks fantastic!

  • Stef says:

    I'd like to do DIY laundry soap and cleaning items. That would be great. The homemade bio-degradable kitty litter would be amazing too and it would be a huge money saver. I'd love to learn how to do that someday as well. One step at a time :)

  • Stacie says:

    what wouldn't I like to make myself is the real question! Definitely a lot of household goods I'd like to make myself (laundry soap, bath and body products, cleaning products) since they eat up so much of our budget and contain so many harmful chemicals. Thanks for the contest, really hoping I win but even if I don't I will definitely be picking this book up in the near future. I love these guys!

  • iamredmeat says:

    I would love to make my own clothes and beer. I'm saving for a sewing machine.. One day!

  • Krissy says:

    Laundry detergent, I have all the ingredients, just need to find the time to experiment…

  • Liz says:

    I want to make all of my own cleaning supplies – I'm working on it, one at a time, but I need to perfect some of the concoctions! My big-time goal is to nail down some sewing skills – then I'll make bags, blankets, you name it.

  • Terry says:

    I'd like to make furniture ~ from taking my tree to the sawmill to the final sanding. …but I would settle for making one of those cool sculptures out of limbs.

  • free indeed says:

    I think I'd like to learn to make my own sausage…like summer sausage and breakfast sausage etc. I don't think hubby wants to keep pigs anymore so it may have to start with store bought meat…

  • Jessica says:

    I would LOVE to make my own shampoo and dish soap. I love making things that one normally buys. I did make that deodorant that you posted a while ago and it really works well.

  • { T G L } says:

    I would love to have a small garden on our balcony that makes us self-sufficient in herbs and small vegetable potted plants, like tomatoes. This is a short-term goal. A long-term goal may be to develop some more serious urban homesteading skills.

    Also: make more of my own beauty and cleaning agents and develop my sewing skills. I made my homemade scrub once, easy and simple!

    – Get brown sugar and olive oil. An essential oil is optional for scent.
    – Mix equal parts brown sugar and the oil. Scrub. (You can make a tiny amount just as a one-off, so you won't have to worry about it going bad).

    I'd love to win this Give Away! :)

    This Good Life

  • Elle Ross says:

    Cloth Diapers!

  • sherrie says:

    Pickles! Specifically, properly perfect and delicious garlic dills. Mmmm.

  • Stephanie G. says:

    Hmmm. Can you you make your own gasoline? I just filled up my van….ouch!!

    Thanks for the chance!

    Stephanie :)

  • Grace says:

    Pet food, cleaning and personal care supplies. Cat litter? I had never even considered it but you had better believe I am now! Love Kelly and Erik and I would love to have this book!

  • Rachel says:

    I'd love to make my own comfy undies. I got a big ol booty and most undies ride up, around, all over town. A good sewing machine with a serger could really do the trick…Also shampoo, yoghurt, and hard cider. If I don't win, I'm definitely buying this book!

  • Andrea says:

    Ooo, I just made my mayo today, which was something that I'd been thinking of doing for a long time. Also, a homemade cleaning solution that helps with soap scum a bit better than vinegar or baking soda!

  • Shannon says:

    Yogurt and sourdough.

  • Wendy says:

    I'd like to learn how to make a really good dish soap!

  • Jessica says:

    I would love to make some jams, jellies, and preserved food in general. Can't wait to have a kitchen big enough to do that in!

  • Amy says:

    Laundry soap. I've been pondering it for a while…

  • Diana says:

    Furniture…I can never find just the right piece and it can't be that difficult to make completely unadorned pieces. But I'll settle for refinishing pieces I found in mom's basement this weekend! As my fanciest tool is currently an electric sander.

  • Meredith says:

    make stuff yourself- i love it. just re-reading little house on the prairie with my daughter… hmmm…

  • Faye says:

    I'd like to make my own toothpaste!

  • ciara. says:


    I am trying to give up on plastic and most packaged goods, but I still find myself sneaking a bottle of seltzer water every now and then into my shopping cart.

    I've been looking at seltzer/soda makers online. One day, I will purchase one…

  • Theensta says:

    Capers, yum.

  • April says:

    Yogurt. I want to make my own yogurt. Thankfully, there is a wonderful book out there that will guide me through the process (wink wink). Thanks for writing such amazing and very helpful books Ashley!

  • abby says:

    Is “everything” an option? Whenever I complete a project I get so satisfied and inspired to make even more things at home. This week it was bread, pasta, washcloths, and almond butter along with planting chamomile and lavender. What could it be next week?

  • More than anything else, I'd really like to learn how to make my own soap – store-bought is terrible for my skin, and I imagine I could do loads better.

  • I want to learn to make my own laundry detergents, and shampoos that smell wonderful , but don't leave a film of yuck in my hair :)
    This book looks wonderful! thanks for the opportunity.

  • Someday I plan on reverting the plumbing to a greywater system, recycling all the household water to the garden!

  • Mary says:

    I want to learn to make my own laundry soap and dairy products (need to get over my fear of raw milk).

  • Wendy says:

    I would love to do my own cleaning supplies, esp dryer sheets and kitchen staples. I tried ketchup and it didn't seem like ketchup but it was a great sauce.

  • rmlrhonda says:

    I'd like to make a homemade life. I do it here and there, knit, crochet, I have made crock pot soap, my own deodorant, some lotions and potions. But I'm spotty at best at doing it in an organized and ongoing fashion. I would love your book!

  • someday, i'd like to learn to sew and make clothes. more immediately, though, i really want to start putting food up for the winter! i think this is the year it's going to happen. thanks for the chance to win!

  • Geraldine M says:

    I would love to make soaps and shampoos!

  • Emily says:

    Compost. I hate having to buy potting soil for my container garden but constantly having temporary living arrangements kind of precludes compost-making!

    I also want to start making my own ice cream….we go through a lot of it in our house…

    Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  • Soap, dairy products, and clothing. Learning to make those three are high on my summer projects list. Thank you for the introduction to this book- love their first one!

  • Annie Mac says:

    Would love to make soaps and household cleaners.

  • they do all that on a 1/2 acre in LA? unbelievable! I'm with you on the cat litter thing, plus i would love to perfect my own laundry detergent, shampoos, other cleaners…

  • Jane says:

    Candles and soap.

  • Angela says:

    I've started to gather equipment to make my own cheese…I love cheese, but I would love it even more if I could make it myself. That and I'd like to make my own cleaning products.

  • I want to make mustard. I bought a batch of seeds so that I can grow the plants myself this fall, then harvest my own seed and turn it into a delicious grainy mustard!

  • tammy says:

    I want to start making my own tortillas and ice cream. 😉 I know it isn't hard…but it's next on the list.

  • brittney says:

    Laundry soap!

  • oukay says:

    Cheese, butter and anything chicken related!

  • Liz says:

    I would love to make my own beauty products

  • I would LOVE to learn how to make me own eyeglasses cleaner. My local grocery store stopped carrying the big bottles of cleaner and I'm not willing to pay $5 for a teensy tiny bottle!

    -Crystal of Flint Handmade

  • redhott says:

    I put in tomato plants this year and want to turn them into canned goods to last through the winter. I buy sauce and stewed tomatoes all the time. I have only a glimmer of how to do this.

  • Mel says:

    Soap/Body Wash. I have switched over to a Baking Soda wash/ACV hair rinse and I'd love to green up and simplify the rest of my body care routine.

  • ashtree says:

    I would love to start making laundry detergent. Homemade cat litter would also be awesome! I shudder to think of the money I've spent on cat litter over the years!

  • EcoGrrl says:

    mozzarella! i want to learn to make it by late summer so i can TRULY have a homemade caprese with my basil and tomatoes :)

  • Dawn says:

    I just got my first two hives of bees about a month ago so I can't wait to use honey as our main sweetener and come up with as many uses for beeswax as I can. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • jen says:

    i'd love to learn how to make my own beauty products – lotion, toner, face wash – that will work for acne prone skin like mine. Can't stand all the toxic chemicals, but also can't stand the acne!!

  • donna rae says:

    Oh, so many things I'd like to make for our family: soap, cloth napkins, rag rugs… the list goes on!

  • cool, thanks for the tip on the book!

  • Heather says:

    Dishwasher soap.

  • Beer. That's the next frontier, for sure.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • kristen says:

    Hooray! I really need to make some of my own beauty products, like hand lotion and lip gloss.

  • i already make a lot of my own stuff, but I am DING to make my own wine! I have a huge glass fermenter, but no time to learn how!

  • Fernleaf says:

    I would love to learn more about making natural shampoos and conditioners, I hate the residues and scents of most commercial stuff, but can't afford the more 'natural' products. Cleaning supplies as well, I hate having chemicals in the house.

  • Molly says:

    Homemade body care products: lotion, shampoo, soap, etc….

  • sloejennfizz says:

    Shampoo & soap. By the fall, this year, not just any fall!

  • dayodestin says:

    yogurt with a cream top.

  • Darcey says:

    always room in my brain to learn how to do more, and always room on the shelf for one more book!

  • Allison says:

    I would like to make my own soy yogurt, my own cleaning supplies, and my own candles.

  • I'd love to make my own cleaning supplies and soap, and while I already make my own bread, one day I'd like to make it from the wheat I grow myself.

    Oh, and cheese, too.

  • Anonymous says:

    Buying a pressure canner so I could expand my canning this summer! Thanks for the great giveaway!
    Wendy A.

  • Cat K. says:

    Hmmm…That's a tough one. I've made mustard and mayonnaise, started to replace my cleaning products–mainly with that AWESOME stuff you posted on D*S a while back, and we recently made a foray into handkerchiefs instead of Kleenex. My biggest challenge is sticking with these things rather than giving in in a moment of weakness.

    I would love to make some of my own clothes and knit more of my own socks. And this season I'm hoping to dry my own herbs–it's the little things, right?

  • Brooke says:

    Laundry detergent, clothes, cheese

  • Jolene says:

    I would love to make my own cleaning products and soap. I currently make my own laundry soap and softener and love it!

  • Sarah says:

    Cat litter would be huge! I tried the all-natural-bio-friendly stuff and it was awful- cats wouldn't pee in it, and even though it claims to be flushable, apparently no one told my plumbing.

  • Katie says:

    Cat litter, dog food, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, shampoo/conditioner, soap, pretty flowing dresses, etc. etc. If I had my way, and the knowledge and time to do it, I would try to make almost everything!

  • sk says:

    woooo hooo! I definitely want to read their new book. Sounds great!!

  • Tammy B. says:

    I am working on making my own pesto–I'd love to stop buying it!!!

  • Kate says:

    I've been making my own cleaning products and shampoo for the past year with unexpected success. The idea of cat litter never even crossed my mind – I'd love to try that!

  • CallieK says:

    I'm in Canada so out of the running but if you ever figure out teh cat litter solution please post it!

  • miriam says:


  • s says:

    I would love to make my own cheese!

  • Christine says:

    Beer, of course! I would love to learn about small-batch brewing. I'd also like to learn how to make my own lip balm and maybe other cosmetic/beauty products.

    Thanks for offering this giveaway :) Loved The Urban Homestead and am looking forward to the new book!

  • Amy says:


  • wolfandfinch says:

    Well last year I “conquered” yoghurt, candles, beer and pickled eggs. This year I'd like to do pickles, goat's milk soap, tomato sauce and ketchup. I grew paste and sauce tomatoes spefically for the job :)

  • Kate says:

    Oooh! I'd love a copy of this book. Please count me in. I would love to someday “make” my own dairy products from miniature dairy goats. Thanks for the chance to win.

  • Kim says:

    Yogurt! And soap. But obviously using different mixing bowls.

  • JizzleK says:

    solar oven, chicken and rabbit feed, laundry detergent for colors,……

  • jules says:

    I'd love to be able to sew. And make my own laundry soap and cleaning supplies. And so many other things. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Angie says:

    There are lots of things I want to make but right now I'm inspired by the dirt on my coat sleeve. We mix up potting soil ourselves for starting seeds (I spent the last half hour mixing up a batch for transplanting seedlings out of flats) but right now we use the same ingredients that go into the commercial stuff. Vermiculite (bad for the environment), perlite (also bad), peat moss (really bad), and compost (at least we got one right). I would love to “make” our own peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite but the last time I checked I couldn't find a lot of options for replacement. Of course, that was quite a while ago….

  • Sarah says:

    man, i'd love this book… i don't even know what i'd want to make. everything, i think!

  • Dee says:

    Facial cleanser and moisturizer – I want to stop spending $$ on fancy cleanser with chemical names I can't pronouce.

  • Wendy says:

    I've always wanted to make paper (the kind with flower petals in it) …. and I hate buying toilet paper. Never thought about that connection before! Flower petal toilet paper!

  • brandi says:

    Soap, lotion and shampoo. We have cut down drastically on chemicals

  • Hollins says:

    Ooh an oil lamp huh? Sounds up my alley. Thank you!

  • Michelle says:

    I'd like to make my own shampoo…make my own cleaning products already. Also, ricotta cheese…pretty hard to get decent stuff

  • L. KIM says:

    I'd love to sew some of my own clothes and make more cleaning detergents.

  • Land of Lisa says:

    I would love to make a sweater I could wear. I am learning to knit but so far I have only completed small projects.

  • Mimi says:

    I would love to learn how to make soap, ketchup, soda and most of all I would love to learn how to can….love your blog…nice to see NC rep for the homesteaders…I'm in Winston-Salem

  • Victoria says:

    my own hand sewn goods, whether it's curtains, clothes, or grocery bags.

  • Kira says:

    My clothes! I'm new to sewing and can make a mean pillowcase but when it comes to garments, finding a class in my town has proven to be rather difficult. I'll keep at it though.
    Oh, and I've love to make my own dishes, cups, bowls, etc. but my pottery skills leave much to be desired.

  • I need to spend more time “making it” for our family. I already make our floor cleaner (hot water, vinegar, lavender, lemon juice), but would love to make our laundry detergent. I'm hooked on a spendy bath salt, and need to quit that habit and learn how to make my own.

  • RidingStar says:

    I already make my own hair care products (no shampoo, occasional vinegar-based conditioner) and facial cleanser (oil washing — check it out!), and use vinegar for most cleaning applications. I also can fruit and tomatoes, make jam and yogurt, and am trying to keep a strain of sourdough alive.

    I've been meaning to learn pickling, make chocolate syrup, and amass more sewing skills. I spin, quilt, and crochet, but three-dimensional design eludes me and is thus a major stumbling block in clothing production.

  • Sweaters, scarves, mittens. . .
    Basically, I like to learn how to knit.

  • kelley says:

    we've been slowly switching over all of our cleaning and bath products & ive done some basic sewing and knitting, curtain panels, pillow covers, scarves but i'd love to work on my own clothes, quilts etc.

  • Elisabeth says:

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  • Jen says:

    So many things I would like to embark on making.
    However, I am looking at fingerprints all over my computer screen and a natural, all-purpose cleaner should probably be the first item on my “to-make” list. (and probably the simplest)…

  • TraciFree says:

    Bread. I know, I know…this should be easy, right? But I'm scared.

  • Victoria R says:

    Honey. (Well I can't really make it, but I could keep the bees to make it.) I'd love to have this book!

  • elizabeth says:

    I would love to learn to make my own lip balm and lotions.

  • Mary says:

    Cleaning products and laundry detergent! I'm using things up before transitioning, but definitely not buying any more conventional cleaning products from the store…

  • k a t says:

    I knit my own clothes, but I'd love to be able to sew some pants and skirts to have completely home made outfits. I've sewn a simple skirt, so I'm working on it!

  • Linn says:

    Kombucha! I know it's not hard, but somehow I just cannot get around to making it…and kefir!

  • Jenny says:


  • CJ says:

    I already make my own laundry detergent, but I want to expand this to dishwasher detergent and hand soap. Love this post!

  • Sarah C says:


  • Christine says:

    I checked out their blog and found an herbal recipe from plantain for itching. Perfect!!! It's just what I needed!

  • Yogurt! I have tried but so far failed :(

  • K. says:

    I'm gluten intolerant (not majorly so, but enough for it to be a problem) and I currently buy gluten free waffles. Problem is, they have soy in them and I'm allergic to that as well.

    I'd like to transition to making my own waffles and pancakes. I've done it with wheat flour, but not with the gluten free stuff yet. Still apprehensive about trying and failing…

  • I really want to try making my own vanilla extract. I've read instructions and it seems quite simple, but I have yet to actually attempt it. Soon!

  • Jennifer says:

    Does electricity count?

  • Katie says:

    I have so many things that I want to shift from buying to making but we're in the middle of a cross state move so I'm a little preoccupied. I think the first thing on the list once life settles down is I'd really like to make my own soap.

    I took a class last summer to learn the basics and I really can't wait to give it a try on my own.

  • aliciaeakins says:


  • Ashley says:

    Cheese! Soap! Wine! Ginger beer! The list goes on and on. I'm reading The Urban Homestead now, actually, and it's amazing. I'd LOVE to check this one out!

  • jen says:

    Laundry detergent!

  • Carissa says:

    I would love to learn how to make facial moisturizer. And I would LOVE to win this amazing book!

  • PamG says:

    Not sure this qualifies…but I want to make my own electricity (so to speak). I am just dying to convert to solar for my mobile home. I am sure I could get by with only 1 or MAYBE 2 panels, but I just can't afford to buy the panels. So I am researching making my own solar panels or something similar.

  • Sue Sullivan says:

    My own laundry detergent.

  • Jaimie says:

    Moisterizers, lipbalm, pickles, good gluten free bread…The list goes on and on! This book is on my wishlist, thanks for the chance to win!

  • Esther says:

    I think weed killer, (lord knows whats in that!) and limescale remover here in the uk our water is really hard and lime scale is the bain of my life! :)

    Also Ashley as a quick p.s. one of my cats took to using the garden straight away but the other was a really slow learner, but it's great when they do it the way nature intended, I'd be happy to share the how to of getting your 4 felines to poop outside if you'd like?..

  • artmajorese says:

    Maybe this is weird? But I would love to make my own shoes. I already sew many of my own clothes, but do not know what to do for DIY shoes.

  • Kitty litter, definitely. We pay so much for kitty litter…!

  • Jennifer says:

    there are so many things i am currently trying to make, or want to make in the future – food, clothes, bedding, cleaning supplies, toiletries. love that another poster said electricity – how awesome is that!

  • Rebecca says:

    Soap! This book looks fantastic!

  • Amanda says:

    I'm working on switching over our household cleaners but end up busy and in need and break down and buy some cleaning spritz – but this summer I'm going to take a Saturday,get some containers and make some cleaners so that they're ready to go when I need them!

  • victoria says:

    This looks like a great book! I'd love to read it.
    It would be great if I could make my own lathery, grease removing dishsoap!