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The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-sufficient Living in the Heart of the City (Process Self-reliance Series) [Paperback]

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Item description for The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-sufficient Living in the Heart of the City (Process Self-reliance Series) by Kelly Coyne...

The Urban Homestead is the essential handbook for a fast-growing new movement: urbanites are becoming gardeners and farmers. Rejecting both end-times hand wringing and dewy-eyed faith that technology will save us from ourselves, urban homesteaders choose instead to act. By growing their own food and harnessing natural energy, they are planting seeds for the future of our cities.

If you would like to harvest your own vegetables, raise city chickens, or convert to solar energy, this practical, hands-on book is full of step-by-step projects that will get you started homesteading immediately, whether you live in an apartment or a house. It is also a guidebook to the larger movement and will point you to the best books and Internet resources on self-sufficiency topics.

Projects include:

  • How to grow food on a patio or balcony
  • How to clean your house without toxins
  • How to preserve food
  • How to cook with solar energy
  • How to divert your grey water to your garden
  • How to choose the best homestead for you

Written by city dwellers for city dwellers, this illustrated, smartly designed, two-color instruction book proposes a paradigm shift that will improve our lives, our community, and our planet. Authors Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen happily farm in Los Angeles and run the urban homestead blog

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Item Specifications...

Pages   330
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   1.1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2008
Publisher   Process
ISBN  1934170011  
ISBN13  9781934170014  

Availability  0 units.

More About Kelly Coyne

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KELLY COYNE and ERIK KNUTZEN grow food, keep chickens, brew, bike, bake, and plot revolution from their 1/12-acre farm in the heart of Los Angeles. They are the keepers of the popular DIY blog, Homegrown Evolution, and the authors of "The Urban Homestead," which the "New York Times" describes as "home economics as our greatgrandparents knew it the contemporary bible on the subject.""

Kelly Coyne has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Process Self-Reliance

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Home & Garden > Home Design > Remodeling & Renovation > Energy Efficiency
2Books > Subjects > Home & Garden > How-to & Home Improvements > Household Hints
3Books > Subjects > Outdoors & Nature > Conservation > General
4Books > Subjects > Outdoors & Nature > Environment > Conservation

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-sufficient Living in the Heart of the City (Process Self-reliance Series)?

Not bad, but lots of grammatical/spelling errors.  Sep 8, 2008
This book contains plenty of useful information and unique approaches to home gardening that I have never heard of before. While it isn't strong on the instructional side of things, it is fairly packed with ideas that one can research more fully on their own time. My biggest beef with this book is the sheer number of spelling and grammatical errors. I find it hard to read a book that has a significant number of such errors. It is ridiculous in some cases, like they didn't even bother running the book through a spell-checker before printing. I think it is worth reading, regardless, but be prepared if that sort of thing bothers you.
Great ideas, little detail, really poor editing  Sep 2, 2008
I love the breadth of topics in this book. It gave me some great ideas. But it's only a starting point.

For the topics I really wanted to know more about, I felt the detail was really lacking. For other topics that are really too ambitious for me to tackle (like recycling shower water to use as "graywater"), there was WAY too much detail. And when the detail lacked, there really weren't suggestions for further reading or research.

But most troubling to me was the many, many spelling and grammatical errors, and the many sections that seemed like they could use the help of a good editor. I caught a spelling or grammatical error on perhaps 1 out of every 4 or 5 pages, which is really not acceptable. I generally expect that a book in the mass market would have been checked over better than this, and I almost want my money back.

The Urban Homestead gave me some great starting points for more research, but I was really hoping it would be more of a "how to" guide than what it offered.
Worth reading because it is different  Jul 31, 2008
I've read various books on self-sufficiency in the past ten years, but this one is different. First, it doesn't tell you how to recreate a 19th-century homestead, which is beginning to seem to me like another version of faux chateaux, but which also is not going to work very well if it is not surrounded by other 19th-century homesteads. And it doesn't describe what you can do "some day" when you get your five acres and independence. Instead, it focuses on what you can do right now in your own city to become more self-sufficient and sustainable. That makes it unique.

The reviewer who said that this is not a compendium of how-tos is right. It is more of an idea book, although there are many references to sources of detailed info about, for instance, raising ducks. But the problem with other self-sufficiency books I have run across is precisely that they are NOT idea books--that they become absorbed with one particular way of growing food, for instance, or one particular way of heating your (19th-century farm) house. There is nothing about woodstoves or woodlots in here.

This is the first book on self-sufficiency I have seen that directly addresses the fear that underlies the desire many people have to become more independent of the economy--the fear of some apocalypse, social collapse, disaster, etc., which they here dub "when the zombies come." I loved that they use humor to address that fear. There is a LOT of humor in this book; it's almost worth reading just for that.

Other books on self-sufficiency focus on being isolated and seeing other people as the enemy. I read one that recommended you get a house in a dip that no one can see from the road. They'll tell you how much ammunition to squirrel away with your self-heating lasagne rations. This one tells you to get to know your neighbors, because there is strength not in isolation but in community, where we can trade not only stuff like food, but our skills. In that way, it is similar to Food Not Lawns, but much as I admire the ideas in that book, this one offers ideas that are much more doable, I think, for most people.

It is a bit strange that this site is bundling this book with Gardening When It Counts, since that book recommends using extra-wide spacing to grow vegetables in situations where you do not have irrigation, and space is a real problem when you are growing on a city lot. Gardening that is a bit more intensive works better in that situation. But Gardening When It Counts is good in the way it ranks veggies by growing difficulty.
Fun, easy to read guide  Jul 26, 2008
I bought this book after reading about it on [...] and really enjoyed it. It is written in a casual, easy to read style but full of information. There are some subjects that you might want to research further, as this book is only a general guide, but for the most part they give a great overview of techniques necessary to grow your own food within the city. They even tell you how to raise chickens and other animals! There are several easy projects with detailed instructions, like making a self-watering container out of found buckets. I especially liked the idea of making a potato garden out of cast-off tires. Even if you only do one or two things suggested in the book, you'll be on your way to being more in control of your own food supply. I'm recommending this book to several of my friends.
The Urban Homestead  Jun 8, 2008
My wife and I were delighted to get our hands on The Urban Homestead. We have been following the Urban Homestead journey via the authors' blog and we have enjoyed the projects, the experiments, the successes and the failures. Most of all, we have enjoyed a shift in our consciousness as we began to evaluate our relationship to our home, our community and our environment.

And so, with book in hand, we can now leave the computer, go for a walk, sit and read and contemplate the future and the route we'd like to take in getting there.

This book is a great value, even if you never set out to garden or raise chickens. The conservation and home ec projects alone have given us great pleasure.

The authors challenge the reader to live less as a consumer and more as a producer. The Urban Homestead is an effective and inspirational guide to making that journey a successful reality.


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