Searching for the perfect Christmas gift for that wannabe homesteader in your life?
Does your New Year’s resolution involve learning new skills?
Are you ready to embark on a challenge?
Check out my book – 52 Homestead Skills.
You may have noticed that I haven’t been active on my blog. After working with Mother Earth News to turn my “52 Homestead Skills in a Year” challenge into a book, I have been travelling across the United States to speak about homesteading at the Mother Earth News Fairs.
I wrote this post when my book was first published, but decided to wait to send out this announcement until the book was available in Canada. Although it is not on Amazon.ca in printed form, you can get a kindle editon in Canada here. It is also available in both formats at Amazon.com or at Mother Earths News.
Inside my book you’ll find all the deets on every one of the 52 homesteading skills I naively committed my family and I to undertake in a 12-month period, including all the “behind the scenes” stories on how easy and smoothly it all went.
Okay, maybe it didn’t go that smoothly. This book could have easily been titled “52 Homesteading Debacles!”. So why would you want to read all about my great farming flops?
If you’ve ever been afraid of making mistakes or have ever felt intimated by your lack of farming know-how, this book is for you.
“The hardest hurdle to starting (homesteading) is that people want to be perfect at everything out of the gate. When in reality, the fun and sense of accomplishment is not in being perfect, but in trying and learning, and celebrating that! You did in one year what it took me some 20 years to work my way through.”
– Jennifer Kleffner, Miles Away Farm
Although I had read many gardening, farming and homesteading books, up until I started this challenge, I hadn’t done anything more than learn how to kill a bunch of plants in our small vegetable garden.
I had no idea what the heck I was doing. I had no idea where to begin or what to learn first.
If you feel this way too, you’re not alone. The important thing is that you don’t let these uncertainties stop you from living out your own homesteading dreams.
So grab a copy of 52 Homestead Skills, a pen and paper and begin mapping out your own journey.
If I can go from knowing absolutely nothing to learning how to preserve my own foods, keep bees, spin wool, raise chicks, use a scythe, plant fruit trees, compost, garden and so much more, I know you can too.
52 Homestead Skills is divided into months and projects so you can follow along week by week or use the book as a jumping point to begin your own homesteading adventures.
Why should you set out to learn so many new skills?
As a beginner homesteader who didn’t grow up on a farm, I knew next to nothing about farming.
So how would I know what I would be good at or what I would truly enjoy doing without trying out a bunch of skills? So I set out on this challenge to get a taste of all kinds of homesteading endeavors. What did I discover?
I admit I have not knit a single thing since I took a course on knitting. Not only was I terrible at it, but I also didn’t enjoy it as much as I loved spinning wool, a skill I continue to try and perfect today.
Through this challenge I also discovered that I am not interested in selling vegetables so I only keep enough for our family. But I love to sell eggs and honey and am in the process of expanding my bee business.
After milking a goat and talking to farmers about the commitment involved, we decided to hold off on the purchase of a dairy animal. But I still enjoy making my own yogurt.
I learned so much. Not only about homesteading, but about myself and my capabilities. I know that you too will benefit from a similar challenge especially if you are also new to the homesteading game.
Is this book any good?
I know you’re wondering. Well, here are the reviews I’ve received to date on Amazon.com.
#1 – Great information, well written and presented.
I bought this book because I am planning to retire to a twenty six acre farm in about five years and I thought I would find it helpful to get some advice from someone who had done the same. I found the book to be well written, the information well presented and over all an enjoyable read. Not all of the skills need to be learned in the order presented and some may not be relevant to your unique situation but generally most are completely relevant to new off the grid homesteaders. I recommend this book to anyone interested in starting a small farm or just wanting to increase their self sustaining skill set.
#2 – Common sense but good reminder you have it?
A lot of common sense stuff but also, “why didn’t I think of this ” too!
#3 – Awesome read
I was pleasantly surprised with this book. I was expecting a matter of fact book, yet what I received was a wonderful narrative of a real person learning how to master homesteading. The book is funny, honest and informative. It is now my favorite book.
#4 – Skills and humour
This book was a totally delightful read! Teaching homesteading skills with an honest been there, done that, learned something and survived it sense of humor! She did an AWESOME JOB with this book. I hope she will do a Volume 2 with some more of the skills she’s learned that’s sprinkled with down to earth humor!! I would snap it up in a heartbeat!!
#5 – Disappointing
Wasn’t much there. I was hoping for details and they were lacking.
#6 – Practical and basic homestead skills.
Love the projects and the author’s sense of humor.
#7 – Fun!
Almost all the skills are skills that I already do, or want to learn. Nice job.
So there you have it. What do you think? Will you give it a read? If you do purchase a copy, please leave me a review. I would love to hear what you think. Thank you so much!
PS. Thank you to these readers who took the time to enter a review on Amazon.
How to use this book
Start by thinking about and writing down your goals. Make a list of when and what you want to accomplish as well as the resources you’ll need to make it happen.
We focused on skills that would save us money like making our own bread, yogurt and soap, for example, as well as starting a garden and growing our own food. We also took on skills that could potentially bring in an income like raising chickens and selling eggs or beekeeping and producing honey.
Yes, planning is time consuming, but without taking this step, you are at risk of overwhelming yourself with too many homesteading projects. My long time readers know that I speak from experience.
By writing down your goals and organizing them by season and month and week, you can achieve more (and save your sanity) by spreading your projects throughout the year and not just in the busiest of farming seasons.
So now it’s your turn. I am so excited for you to begin your adventure. I hope your 2020 New Year’s resolution will involve learning a few new skills.
Your support means THE WORLD to our family.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
We appreciate each and every sale.
Thank YOU, my dear reader, for supporting and encouraging me along the way.
I would also like to thank the many, much more skilled and talented farmers, friends and family members, who helped me write this book:
George Wheatley of Doré Products, beekeeper extraordinaire who never tires of my 1,001 questions. Right, George?
Cindy Cormier of Nirvana Nutrition, my dear friend, amazing baker and faithful recipe tester.
Rachel Dalton of Brigadoon Fiber and Alpaca Farm, for teaching me to spin wool and sharing her wisdom.
Shannon Jones of Broadfork Farm for taking the time to read every gardening related excerpt in this book despite the fact that it was one of the busiest times of year for their organic vegetable and cut flower farm.
Guy Goguen, for saving my trees from my poor pruning habits and sharing his 40 years of experience trimming trees at Le Verger Goguen.
Tiffany Thorne of Thornehill Farm for allowing me to try my hand at milking her goats and for not laughing when I wasn’t successful.
Rebecca Martin, Christian Williams, Jean Denney and Jean Teller of Ogden Publications who believed I could write this book before I even believed it myself. Thank you for putting your trust in me, bringing this book to life and letting me be part of your amazing and talented team.
And last, but certainly not least, my partner in crime, Jérémie Bastien, and my two favourite helpers, Ella and Jack Bastien, for not only putting up with my crazy ideas, but jumping in with both feet right alongside me – always supporting, and cheering me along the way. I will forever be grateful.
PIN IT FOR LATER!
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Thank you for your support! You can find the full disclosure here.