I went to the library today and got three books on something that I desperately want to try as soon as I’m not moving every year: urban homesteading. We’re talking a vegetable garden, a couple of hens and a bee hive, all in my (nonexistent) backyard. And that’s just the beginning – you can keep pigs and goats and rabbits, oh my! But what I really want is a vegetable garden, a couple of hens, and a beehive. It’s the American dream, no?
I’m most familiar with gardening, as relatives on both sides of the family are way into it, so I didn’t pick any books that focus on it. I’ve already got that background. I can make things grow – it’s one of those things I know I can do. I’d want all of the normal things: potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, peas… Ooo, and some sort of squash and corn! I could do that magic trio thing! But I also want, oh so much, an artichoke plant. They’re one of my favorite foods and my aunts have a couple of plants and I’m just so jealous! I’d also a fruit tree, but which kind? Not avocadoes – I love them, but it would be too much for me. I need something I can preserve. Not apples or lemons, either. Maybe plums or pears?
I’m digressing. My dream is just so captivating! But let me tell you about the books I got:
Made from Scratch by Jenna Woginrich is the one I’ve already started. Woginrich spends most of each chapter with narratives about her own journey and ends them with some basic information about getting started on your own, so I thought it would be a good primer.
The Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen is completely a guide – no narrative – and is more focused on the urban lifestyle. (Woginrich eventually would like to be completely self-sustaining, quitting her day job and everything. Her idea of paradise is getting away from it all in the country; I don’t share that dream.) I’m excited for the book, except for one huge drawback – there are NO page numbers! … Yeah, I have no idea who made that decision.
The last book I got isn’t about urban homesteading, but is instead “an intimate history of bees, honey, and humankind”. At least according to the subtitle. The book is Letters from the Hive by Stephen Buchanan. I figure that if I’m going to keep bees (someday), I should know a bit of their history!
One last book I really wanted, but was checked out: The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan. It looks totally awesome.