First, the facts:
Published by: Wiley Publishing, 2009
6 Books in 1
1. Country Kitchen Skills
2. Traditional Crafts
3. Edible Gardening
4. Getting Outdoors
5. Raising Farm Animals
6. Natural Health
Pattern Size Range: N/A
The In-Depth Look:
Do you aspire to a country lifestyle?
A lot of knitters and spinners do. We cherish the thought of growing our own vegetables, canning our own preserves, and surrounding ourselves with homemade quilts and blankets lovingly made by our own hands. All while (naturally) we sit and knit as we gaze from the porch at our happy flock of sheep, listening to our chickens clucking to themselves.
Or maybe we just dream of such a lifestyle and want to read about it without having to live it. Or maybe we really do want to live it, but realize how much work is involved and don’t know where to start.
Well, this book is a good place.
You are probably familiar with the “Dummies” books–the bright yellow covers that mark thorough, basic guides to just about everything under the sun, from training your dog, to repairing your car, to, yes, living a country lifestyle.
This one is particularly thorough because it is, in fact, six books in one volume. (You heard me. Six.) Books on raising farm animals, doing traditional crafts, growing and preserving your own food … it’s all in there. Have you wondered how you shear a sheep? Spin the wool? It’s in here. Curious about making a quilt? Thinking about a vegetable garden? Yep, that too. How about making your own pickles and jam? Raising honey bees? What about the skills needed to live outdoors?
Honestly, I’m hard-pressed to think of a topic that’s not at least touched on in this book … that is, one that’s connected to the country lifestyle. Flipping through this book is like leafing through my mother’s old Girl Scout manual–basic first aid rides side by side with everything you need to know to have a winning entry at a 4H fair.
I’m sure the book doesn’t cover everything, of course. How could it? But as a basic reference to get you started, it looks like it lays a good foundation. For a book to browse through while you daydream about your days in your own little house on the prairie, it’s fantastic. I never realized how interested I was in how to lay a campfire, or make my own herbal remedies until I stopped on their pages to read.
Of course, most of the material covered here is information about which I know next to nothing, so I can’t vouch for its accuracy. My experience with the “Dummies” line of books, though, suggests that the information is likely to be accurate, thorough, and at a level a beginner can understand. If you already have a herd of alpaca, this probably isn’t going to tell you anything you don’t know … on that subject. But since there are six, complete books in this volume, there’s bound to be, oh, one or two things you didn’t know already.
This book is available at Amazon.com for $16.58.
This review copy was kindly donated by Wiley Press. Thank you!