The Weekend Homesteader

By Susan Littlefield

Are you ready to move your food gardening up a notch, cut your grocery bills, and have a healthier diet? You can do all this with advice from Anna Hess in her new book, The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency (Skyhorse Publishing, 2012, $17.95). Whether you have acres of land or only a small urban plot, you can put Hess's suggestions to use, devoting only a few hours each weekend to projects that will help you decrease your reliance on the grocery store and create a thriving garden ecosystem -- and you'll have fun in the process!

The book is organized by month, with seasonal projects to try throughout the year. From ″Plan your summer garden″ in April to ″Building a worm bin″ in June, ″Building a chicken coop or tractor″ in August, ″Storing vegetables on the shelf″ in October, ″Planting a fruit tree″ in December, and ″Growing edible mushrooms″ in March, there is a wealth of accessibly presented information that will let you either dip just a toe or dive right into homesteading. Each project lists the cost, time involved, and difficulty; has its ″kid-friendliness″ rated; and contains a list of supplies and tools needs. Helpful diagrams and color photographs enhance the text.

Hess writes from long personal experience. The former field biologist has put all her recommendations to the test on her fifty-eight acre homestead she shares with her husband in Virginia.

For more information on The Weekend Homesteader, go to: Skyhorse Publishing. Read more about Anna Hess's homesteading adventures on her blog, The Walden Effect.

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