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Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures…
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Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life (2008)

by Jenna Woginrich

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A nice overview for first time homesteaders. Woginrich covers the basics for growing your own food, raising chickens, and other DIY undertakings. She has a whimsical style and a down to earth realist approach to the ups and downs of being a farmer. I would have liked more in depth coverage, particularly about beekeeping, which she touches on briefly - but overall this was a great primer for adopting a simple agrarian lifestyle. Recommended for anyone who is tempted to go that route. ( )
  emilyingreen | May 28, 2014 |
Read this as an advance reader copy. Shows how one gal who works in corporate America, who owns no land made some small steps to more sustainable living. Her chapters talk about a subject and then are followed up by a do-it yourself section. Topics include: raising chickens, knitting and sewing (with angora from her rabbit), thrift shopping, and playing a musical instrument.

Good resource guide in the back. ( )
  dms02 | Feb 27, 2014 |
5 out of 5 stars

Summary:
A young single woman finds the bliss of self-sufficiency and urban farming while working in an office 9 to 5. She quickly gets the bug and moves to the country. It's part memoir, part how-to, and is chock full of life lessons, practical tips, and down-home humor and humility.

Review:
The really cool thing about this book -- besides the author's voice, and the fascinating content -- is the structure. I really dig the lay-out. First, the sections fall under standard themes like, Chickens: the most exciting accessory since lawn darts, and Growing Your Own Meals: I get cocky with my hoes. But also some less mainstream ones: Packing Dogs, Homemade Mountain Music, Angora Rabbits as Livestock, and Old Stuff.

Then, within those thematic sections, Jenna starts with a personal chapter -- an essay on the most private thing she learned about her process in this area, or why she made a certain decision, or just some quirky little story about her friends -- and then follows it up with a practical how-to for those of us that want to try it out ourselves.

This is pure brilliancy. How many times have I read a memoir that inspired me, but then didn't have a clue how to set myself up to start? Or the reverse is true, too. Sometimes I'll pick up a permaculture book, say, because it's an subject that interests me, but I don't end up reading it because it's all text-booky. And I want more character. More humanity.

Made From Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a handmade Life is that book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. ( )
  inhalelife | Apr 12, 2013 |
While this book only touches on the most basic of homesteading life, it was a great primer to what a modern (and rented) homestead might look like. And despite the pitfalls that the author describes in her own endeavors, her story inspires one to, if not up and move to Idaho to raise chickens, rabbits, bees and vegetables (not to mention making her own clothes, bread, music, etc), then to at least do something from scratch and take pride in what can come of your labors.

Each chapter contains a short account of a different activity at which Woginrich tries her hand, followed by a section of more detailed how-tos on the topic. I found this akin to Barbara Kingsolver's [b:Animal Vegetable Miracle|25460|Animal, Vegetable, Miracle A Year of Food Life|Barbara Kingsolver|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1167733922s/25460.jpg|1582285], and just as delightful. But what [b:Made from Scratch|3421541|Made from Scratch Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life|Jenna Woginrich|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51cES-ZLrqL._SL75_.jpg|3462049] adds is an invaluable resource section ("Research, Son" to use her own words) full of information on where to go, clubs to join and other sources to look at for all of the activities she writes about.

I recommend this book to any twenty-something homesteader-wannabe; just know that this is just one of many books to look to when taking the plunge into a more self-reliant and sustainable lifestyle. ( )
  tbeck | Mar 31, 2013 |
This read quickly, because there are lots of little sections that string together pretty nicely. Although I understand that now the author is doing a lot of homesteading, one of the reasons the book worked for me is that it was like 'homesteading lite.' I appreciated her offering up her foibles and miscues to learn from - it's nice when someone doing something good doesn't take themselves too seriously. I also liked the information in the back - some books to reference, websites to view, and some interesting recipes and things to try. ( )
  sriemann | Mar 30, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 160342086X, Hardcover)

Starting off as a young, single woman with a desk job and a city apartment, Jenna Woginrich set out to build a more self-sufficient lifestyle by learning homesteading skills. She didn't own land or have much practical experience beyond a few forays into knitting and soap making, but she did have a strong desire to opt out of what she saw as a consumer-driven culture. After moving across the country to a rented farmhouse in northern Idaho, she learned to raise chickens, keep bees, and grow her own food.

This is the story of her joyful, dramatic, and sometimes sorrowful journey toward self-reliance. Along the way, she learned that an abundance of enthusiasm and a willingness to experiment could make up for a lack of knowledge, and that reaching out to others for mentoring and guidance could help her reconnect with her community.

From the satisfying work of starting a new garden and installing honeybees, to the bliss of gathering fresh eggs to be baked into a quiche served with warm-from-the-oven bread and hand-churned butter, Made from Scratch shares the deep satisfaction that comes with providing for oneself. In an encouraging and entertaining voice, Woginrich weaves into her narrative easy-to-follow instructions for making your own clothes, teaching yourself to play a musical instrument, and much more.

In any setting — urban, suburban, or rural — with any level of experience, it's possible to take small steps toward self-reliance. Windowbox vegetable gardens, a batch of homemade strawberry jam, a handknit sweater, or a small flock of backyard chickens all satisfy the craving to homestead. It's not about having a rustic cabin on five acres, complete with a pickup truck and a barn full of livestock. For Woginrich, it's about being more receptive to learning the simple skills most of us have forgotten, and finding joy in the process.

Praise for Made from Scratch
"The book...is simultaneously a lighthearted fish-out-of-water, city-girl-turns-homesteader memoir, and a more serious primer on making a lifestyle change. Perfect for environmentally conscious, do-it-yourself readers." —Booklist 

"This fine, simple book is the real deal — and it will come as a great relief to people feeling some silent dread in a time of rising gas prices, food shortages, and the like. Much can be done -- in your home!" —Bill McKibbon, author of Deep Economy  

"A delightful introduction to the simple (and not so simple) life." —William Alexander, author of The $64 Tomato

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:50 -0400)

Starting off as a young, single woman with a desk job and a city apartment, Woginrich set out to build a more self-sufficient lifestyle by learning homesteading skills. This is the story of her joyful, dramatic, and sometimes sorrowful journey toward self-reliance.… (more)

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