Monday, April 1, 2013

Plowing WIth Pigs and Other Creative, Low Budget Homesteading Solutions- A Book Review

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Book: Plowing with Pigs by Hank Will
When I first received the book, Plowing with Pigs and Other Creative, Low-Budget Homesteading Solutions, by, Hank and Karen Will ,I felt a bit silly, considering we do live on a quarter-acre lot, we don't have pigs, and we certainly don't plow with pigs. But truth-be-told, I was captivated by the beautiful cover and was eager to see what creative and low-budget homesteading solutions the book had to offer. I must say that I was PLEASANTLY surprised! So don't let the title fool you my friends, there is something in this book for everyone! The information that the authors provide in this book is intelligent, to the point, and covers every homesteading topic you can think of, ranging from how to have your animals work for you to setting up your very own food business.
Do you recall the time when you decided you were going to become more self-sufficient? That chilly spring day when you purchased your first chicks, built a raised garden bed, began introducing more natural and organic foods into your kitchen? For us, this decision started not too long ago with a trip to the library and a quick Google search for local farmers selling chickens. Looking back, I can remember the feelings that came to me when we began our trip down the rewarding road to self-sufficiency. Our journey has taken a lot of hard work, and looking around us, I have noticed that it is not something that everybody is doing. There have been many unanswered questions that have sometimes been a bit overwhelming. With so much information out there on the internet but very little hands-on learning, it is easy to get wrapped up in the details and confusion of the many contradicting opinions out that are out there.
Just eighteen pages into this book, however, the authors state, "We encourage you to try the methods that make sense in your particular setting rather than blindly following some lists of rules from some expert."
Of course because I am bit biased, I was most impressed by the amount of fantastic information that was presented regarding chicken and poultry keeping. Starting our backyard chicken adventure was by far the scariest thing we have done so far in terms of homesteading, and man...I wish I had this book when we were starting out because I probably would have been a lot calmer about things! Everything you REALLY need to know about keeping poultry in your backyard is in this book and I would recommend it to anyone who is just starting out.
Besides chicken-keeping, the book contains helpful information about keeping sheep, goats, and cattle -- which is unfortunately not something that applied to us, but was an interesting read nonetheless! Kevin loved the chapters that explored harvesting nearby trees and using them for woodworking and building, as well as the chapter explaining DIY projects constructing everything from rakes to fences!
The authors also discuss row crops that can be grown by hand, how to cook from scratch and keep a well-stocked pantry (love it!) and RECIPES!... an abundance of amazing recipes, using wholesome ingredients that I am dying to try: maple icing, homemade mozzarella, and brown bread ice cream just to name a few! Yum!
This really is a great book that covers all of the bases and did I mention that it doesn't leave you feeling overwhelmed!? I think this is what homesteading is all about: It's about reconnecting with the earth, relaxing at the end of a hard day’s work and marveling at what amazing things you can accomplish with what is around you.
With spring lurking right around the corner, reading this book kicked up my motivation and drive reminding me why we are doing what we are doing and to keep doing what we are doing here at Our Little Coop.
Whether you are beginning or furthering your homesteading journey, I encourage you to grab your copy of Plowing with Pigs, and Other Creative, Low-Budget Homesteading Solutions and be inspired. "You can't buy this life. You can only live it!"

Pick up your copy HERE!  

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