Monday, December 6, 2010

Coming Soon to a Bookstore (Very) Near You...

A few months ago I was presented with a wonderful -- and unexpected -- opportunity. Thanks to a referral from my friend and fellow (formerly urban, now rural) homesteader Everett, I was contacted by an editor with Penguin Publishing about writing a book. Specifically, they asked me to write "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Urban Homesteading."

As an aside, I've always been a big fan of the Idiot's Guides. I like the way they're formatted, I like their humor, and I find them approachable and informative. In fact, a few years ago I had some sort of a homesteading question and thought it would be a good excuse to purchase an urban homesteading book. So, I went online to try and find the Idiot's Guide on the subject. I did a search and came up short. I remember thinking, "I can't believe they haven't published that book yet. Someone should write it!"

Well, hold on to your hats, because "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Urban Homesteading" will be available in June 2011. It will include all kinds of information for those that are trying to live more sustainably and self-sufficiently in the city, including biointensive gardening (on your land, on someone else's land, or on no land at all), and food-producing animals (chickens, dwarf goats, rabbits, bees, and fish). It also covers how to make your own natural soaps, body care products, and cleaning supplies; canning, preserving, and storing your harvest; making homemade cheese, yogurt, and butter; energy- and water-wise living; recycling, composting, foraging, alternative currencies, and much more! There's even a "how-to" section on changing your city's zoning code to make it more homesteading-friendly. Every part of the book contains suggestions both for those who have a yard and for those who live in apartments, and there are lots of tips for beginners who are interested in homesteading but want to start small.

The process began in late August and the draft was completed in mid-November; it's now being edited by the publishing folks. The book will contain several pictures from our urban homestead, lovingly photographed by the wonderful Brian Kraft Photography. There have been so many people in our local sustainability community who generously contributed their knowledge to the book, and for their help I am forever grateful. I also owe a debt of gratitude to the wonderful farmers of Heirloom Gardens, who kept the NSA running during the later part of the season while I was preoccupied with writing. Thank you! 

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