Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition by Food Drying Books
Updated on 5-8-2013.
- Hardcover: 464 pages
- Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; 3rd edition April 17, 2008
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1602392331
- ISBN-13: 978-1602392335
8.8 x 10.7 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
Anyone who wants to learn basic living skills—the kind employed by our forefathers—and adapt them for a better life in the twenty-first century need look no further than this eminently useful, full-color guide. Countless readers have turned to Back to Basics for inspiration and instruction, escaping to an era before power saws and fast food restaurants and rediscovering the pleasures and challenges of a healthier, greener, and more self-sufficient lifestyle.
Now newly updated, the hundreds of projects, step-by-step sequences, photographs, charts, and illustrations in Back to Basics will help you dye your own wool with plant pigments, graft trees, raise chickens, craft a hutch table with hand tools, and make treats such as blueberry peach jam and cheddar cheese. The truly ambitious will find instructions on how to build a log cabin or an adobe brick homestead.
More than just practical advice, this is also a book for dreamers—even if you live in a city apartment you will find your imagination sparked, and there's no reason why you can't, for example, make a loom and weave a rag rug. Complete with tips for old-fashioned fun (square dancing calls, homemade toys, and kayaking tips), this may be the most thorough book on voluntary simplicity available. 2,000 color photos and 200 black-and-white illustrations.
Until I checked this book out of the library, I had rarely given a thought to getting "back to basics," that is learning how to be more self-sufficient. After I read the book, I soon bought it, because it opened my eyes to the many ways that I am almost entirely dependent upon others for my basic needs. "Back to Basics" is a helpful guide for those who want to get away from it all and live totally independently on a farm, and even those like myself that live in town, but that want to become more self-sufficient, and less dependent on expensive fossil fuels and foods that someone else has raised or grown."Back to Basics" is a colorful, easy-to-understand encyclopedia of basic skills. There are hundreds of color photos, and most lessons are laid out step-by-step, making the concepts very easy to learn. The book is divided into six basic parts:I. Land: Buying It - Building on it (how to choose land, build a home, develop a water supply, create a sauna, etc)II. Energy from Wood, Water, Wind, and Sun (making your home more efficient, how to use wind energy, setting up a solar-powered house, etc)III. Raising Your Own Vegetables, Fruit, and Livestock (how to properly grow all sorts of fruits, vegetables, and grains, how to farm fish, beekeeping, butchering an animal, etc)IV. Enjoying Your Harvest Year Round (canning, preserving all kinds of foods, making cheese and wine, etc)V. Skills and Crafts for House and Homestead (making natural dyes, weaving, woodworking, stenciling, soapmaking, making homemade perfumes, etc)VI. Recreation at Home and in the Wild (camping, canoeing, kayaking, celebrating holidays, etc)This book definitely has the potential to help all of us live more self-sufficiently, learning to do the things that our grandparents probably learned growing up. However, one possible drawback is that becoming self-sufficient takes a lot of work, and in the case of switching your home over to some type of alternative energy, a lot of money as well. Most readers are probably not going to have the land, time, and money to make some of the more significant changes suggested. However, the book still offers a lot for the rest of us, and at the least, educates us as to what it takes to live in a self-sufficient manner. Another possible drawback is that the book tries to squeeze a lot of information into 456 pages. This means that while you are getting a very concise, and surprisingly detailed, overview, you may need to consult more detailed sources if you need more help than what the book offers.Overall, this is an interesting and useful book that offers practical ways to become more self-sufficient, something that is highly relevant in these times of rising energy and food prices. My family has already used some of the ideas, starting our first garden this year.
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Updated on 5-8-2013.