Paperback: 576 pages
Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (September 1, 1999)
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.2 x 11 inches
Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #44,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #24 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Home Repair #38 in Books > Reference > Encyclopedias & Subject Guides > Gardening #43 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Reference
We bought this tome just a few weeks before moving from the city where we'd lived our entire lives to a 20-acre rural country place miles and miles from any city limits. For the first year especially, we kept this book out. You would be astonished at its contents. It describes the pros and cons of water wells, reusing dirt, planning land for gardens and barns, chicken problems, keeping goats, arranging around weather, tanning leather, insect control, tree problems to watch out for and their solutions, energy in places where the lines don't run, getting water from point A to B, storing grains and other foods, and... you NAME IT! This made our lives so much better. We didn't even use all the advice we read simply because one family can only do so much the first year they move into the country for the first time but this book was our comfort book in knowing that if we had problems, we'd find the solutions here.
If you are looking for one book to serve as a comprehensive guide to nearly every aspect of living in the country and fending for yourself, then you atleast owe it to yourself to browse through this book atleast once; at a minimum, you should borrow it from the library for a peek. This book takes you from start to finish; dawn to dusk; season to season. It may not be as detailed in some areas as you may prefer but you can always find a book dedicated to areas in which you require more information. As a general resource, this book won't be perched on your bookshelf long enough to collect dust since you'll be picking it up on a regular basis.
This is a GREAT resource book. It contains a little bit of info on just about anything you could want to know about. It is amazing how much it covers--and how well. It is full of very good advice, techniques, and practical skills and solutions for not only country dwellers, but for anyone interested in being able to rely on themselves--inside the home (covers anything from electrical help to help in the kitchen with recipes and canning/freezing) to the great outdoors (covers decks, gardening & tree houses to caring for livestock). I just recently moved to the country, and I will be using this book as a primary reference and guide for many of the projects I have planned. Thank you, John and Martha Storey!
I bought this book because of the high review rating, and for the first time was very let down by a highly rated book. I already have a whole bookshelf of books dedicated to small farming/homesteading/sustainable living and thought this would be a comprehensive addition. Unfortunately, this would be an excellent book for someone who has grown up in the city, never been to a working ranch/homestead, and has absolutely no knowledge of the subject. If you already have such knowledge and/or experience you will find this book woefully deviod of useful information. It has a WIDE range of topics (most of which I was not interested in, such as how to install hardwood floor and how to build a treehouse) and each topic is only touched on in the most superficial way. For example, the chapter on treehouses only shows you how to build one kind, assuming that's the only kind you would want to build, and the whole chapter is 4 pages. I suppose the best use for this book would be for a novice to purchase in order to BEGIN a library on the subject, and then use this book to decide what topics to invest in more books on so as to get better information and more detail. If you are looking for real information on specifics such as how to keep a healthy and productive meat flock of chickens, or detailed food preservation techniques, find a specific book on the subject.
This has been such a great help. It gave me lots of ideas for things I want to do, and gives me encouragement for what I am currently trying. I like the simple illustrations. All I would like more in this book is ... more. It's a great book to get started trying different things, although I do find other books with more detail after I get started. For example, making soap - great practical first-timer information in this book. Once I tried it, I went to the library and found more detailed books on soapmaking. But the Storey book is my best starter.
I bought this book for my husband who owns and operates a saw mill. He also raises bees. This book has sections on his interests and mine as well. There is information on gardening, canning, animal care, herbs and so much more. There are wonderful recipies and literally hundreds of tips and ideas. This is a book will we read and read again. It has very clear illustrations and clear, useful directions. A real find.
Storey, for me, is quickly becoming my reference book of choice, as far as "how to live on a farm if you weren't born on one" goes. This book was my jumping off point. It contains sections on how to buy land, how to build your home, how to raise chickens, sheep, goats, pigs, and cows. I should note, however, that this book is more like a "compilation" of works by other authors. The Basic Country Skills (BCS) extracts information from many other books, and puts them in one reference text. There are a few parts where I think the editors forgot to re-lable diagrams (specifically in the "how to butcher a cow" section) but if you're planning on slaughtering your own animals, you should probably buy a reference manual specific to butchering to compliment this one. BCS is a great book for people like me who are planning to buy a little patch of earth somewhere far away from the hubub of city life, but who can only dream about it for the present. BCS is a great primer for those who want to get closer to where our food comes from than waxed supermarket produce, or shrinkwrapped beef. I'm not a vegetarian, but it doesn't seem fair for meat eaters to eat something that they didn't have to feed and care for, and finally, to come to terms with the fact that this animal you've had for 9 months is going to be the beef for your family for the next year. Taking its life, so that you can continue yours.. that should be each of our (meat-eaters anyway) responsibility. To treat our food with dignity, and kindness, and thank it for nourishing and providing for us.
Storey's Basic Country Skills: A Practical Guide to Self-Reliance Ham Radio: Ultimate User Guide 2016 (Survival, Communication, Self Reliance, Ham Radio, ham radios, ham radio for beginners, self reliance) Making Natural Milk Soap: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-199 (Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin, a-199) Improving Your Soil: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-202 (Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin) Grafting Fruit Trees: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-35 (Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin) Grow the Best Tomatoes: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-189 (Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin) Easy-to-Build Adirondack Furniture: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-216 (Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin) Pruning Trees, Shrubs & Vines: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-54 (Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin) Natural & Herbal Family Remedies: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-168 (Storey Publishing Bulletin, a-168) Gardening in Clay Soil: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-140 (Storey Publishing Bulletin) Gardening in Sandy Soil: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-169 (Storey Publishing Bulletin, a-169) Grow the Best Peppers: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-138 (Storey Publishing Bulletin) Self-Discipline: Achieve Unbreakable Self-Discipline: How To Build Confidence, Willpower, Motivation, Self-Belief And Master Your Life!: Self control, ... Self-Confidence, Self-esteem, Organizing) Self-Love: The 21-Day Self-Love Challenge - Learn how to love yourself unconditionally, cultivate self-worth, self-compassion and self-confidence (self ... happiness) (21-Day Challenges Book 6) Self Help: How To Live In The Present Moment (Self help, Self help books, Self help books for women, Anxiety self help, Self help relationships, Present Moment, Be Happy Book 1) Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks, 2nd Edition: Breeds, Care, Health (Storey's Guide to Raising) Storey's Guide to Raising Poultry, 4th Edition: Chickens, Turkeys, Ducks, Geese, Guineas, Game Birds (Storey's Guide to Raising) Storey's Guide to Raising Dairy Goats, 4th Edition: Breeds, Care, Dairying, Marketing (Storey's Guide to Raising) Grow the Best Blueberries: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-89 (Country Wisdom Bulletins, Vol. a-89) The Urban Homestead (Expanded & Revised Edition): Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City (Process Self-reliance Series)