Testimonials

Fully illustrated, this is a user-friendly guide with visual appeal and lots of detailed information, making it a truly useful resource for those curious about or participating in today’s resurgent interest in “small is beautiful” ex/sub/urban homesteading.   Whitney Scott, Booklist

This book is ridiculously good, a stunner. The authors outdid themselves…. It is a manifesto, a guide, a book of prayers, a much-needed tutorial. It has goodness on every page and light throughout, yet it is erudite, exact, definitive, and practical. What a rare thing…a masterpiece where there has never been one before.”   Paul Hawken, Entrepreneur and Author                                   

A reality check for dreamers…             The Chicago Tribune

A how-to guide for city folk on everything from growing your own food to building your own composting toilet (“…think of all those quiet hours you could have…at your outdoor toilet, listening to the sirens go by…”)         New York Post

…a glossy bible for self-sufficiency in the city, urban Homesteading weill have you tearing out your driveway to sow a garden and diverting greywater to irrigate it… It’s hard to read without feeling the itself to grab a sledgehammer and replace your pavement with parsnips.         Yes! Magazine

Kaplan and Blume’s manual for farming your yard is part master’s thesis, part philosophy text and part manual for living with creatures and plants in a confined space. The book is heavy with tips for space management — likely your biggest obstacle in the city — and traditional skills such as canning, animal husbandry and beekeeping. Kaplan is long on making it work and leaving a light footprint on the earth. If you are pondering a more sustainable lifestyle, Urban Homesteading is a good way to survey the possibilities.   The Vancouver Sun

Urban Homesteading is perfect for the beginner seeking inspiration and information, or for the established homesteader wishing to deepen her craft.  Common Ground Magazine

Urban Homesteading is especially useful for the way it details so many aspects of the process of going green in the city in a practical way — everything from home gardening to greening up your attitude to experimenting with composting toilets to slaughtering chickens to powering down — even if you’re in a small home or apartment. So, no excuses now! These pioneers have paved the way for the rest of us.  Linda Buzzell, Huffington Post

… provides a wealth of information about actual projects you may like to take on, to green your footprint and increase your self-reliance. While none of the chapters will make you an expert, they give just enough information so you can figure out which projects will be most likely to be a good fit for you. Even apartment dwellers can do the majority of these projects, and many would be fun to do with children. The entire book is packed full of diagrams and dense information that will help you live closer to the land.    Genevieve Schmidt, Christian Science Monitor

A guidebook that on the surface is a manual about growing food, but at its core is a deeply uplifting guide to experiencing a more comforting, fun and abundant life, from self-care to spinach beds… Not just a set of instructions, but rather a sensible and soul-nourishing guidebook for our times.          Juliane Poirier, North Bay Bohemian

A deep understanding of where we are as a culture, how we got here, and ways to get ourselves out of this mess! As if knitting a sweater with recycled needles using home-spun yarn, the authors keenly perceive what resources are truly available in an urban setting, then give us a feel for how to use them to transform the mundane into the Earth healing garden. These folks have an intense and powerful understanding of our current crisis, yet remain hopeful for positive change. Their approach puts food on the table while planning for the health and happiness of our children’s children. Brass tacks methods of raising plants and animals in small spaces. Zero waste. Quitting hydrocarbons cold turkey. Animal husbandry in small spaces. Feeding and keeping bees. Converting alleyways to garden paths. This book enthralls me.        Richo Cech, Horizon Herbs Catalog

From chicken coops to composting toilets, beekeeping to greywater, and rammed-earth to unguents, Urban Homesteading has something for everyone, shining a light on sustainability through personal stories, detailed instructions, and a heaping helping of philosophy.            Stephanie Kalem, East Bay Express

Rachel Kaplan is a lyrical and politicially informed writer with a passion for permaculture and its applications in the city. She and co-author Ruby Blume has assembled 100 DIY projects and several dozen inspiring stories of urban homesteaders from just-getting-started gardeners to backyard goat farmers to rebuild-the-house-from-the-inside-out-architects. The result is impressive, and in its all-color format, even glamorous… If you did 10% of the projects in your first year after starting, you’d be a Hero of the Revolution. Peter Bane, Permaculture Activist

The book is illustrated and packed with great ideas for sustainable gardening, lowering water usage, using homegrown herbs to make simple medicines, and ways to turn any small space into a productive food source. This publication includes age-old wisdom and common sense practices for living in a modern world while retaining and cultivating the flavor of the earth.  Kim Haworth, National Gardening Association

Rachel Kaplan and K. Ruby Blume write about turning our concrete urban environs into useful green landscapes.  They imagine a world of de-paved driveways sprouting vegetables and neighbors trading backyard produce and home-raised eggs over the fence, and write about various methods of using human waste to water and fertilize the plants we use for food. But while some of their practices…might seem a bit extreme to the average backyard warrior, the authors advocate for starting simply.    Rebecca Ditmar, New Times Broward-Palm Beach

With an ever-growing awareness of our planetary challenges, more and more people are searching for sustainable solutions, and discovering new ways to live.  Urban farmers are turning their homes and properties into fruitful gardens, and living more responsibly. In Urban Homesteading readers will find the information they need for self-sufficiency, from how to make solar cookers, to growing their own food in some unconventional places — or even raising chickens on a small plot of land.  Learn how to change your life and lives around you, and better the world.  Nuvo, Indianapolis Alternative Weekly

One of the strengths the pair draws upon is an ability to make the urban homesteading movement an intensely personal one, in which we are each able to define our own reasons for being where we are.  The truth is that the entire book is focused on personal exploration and the importance of finding our place on this planet.  Informative without teetering too close to being preachy, Kaplan and Blume cover everything from peak oil to biodiesel, growing it yourself, buying locally and even remembering how crucial it is to take care of our spirits as well as our bodies.           Michael Nolan, myearthgarden.com

An information-packed and visually interesting guide to transforming your urban or suburban house and plot of land (no matter how small) into a hub of eco-friendly, healthful, community-minded goodness…poised to become one of those must-have how-to books for those wanting to live the light-footprint, homesteading lifestyle.  Christine LaPado, Chico News and Review

… a good book geared towards city dwellers. Great for sparking new ideas and for looking at your own homestead afresh.  Jim Ewing, The Clarion Ledger

An inspiring introduction to urban homesteading and city-based permaculture, with lots of practical ideas and information on how to actually do it yourself!  Starhawk, Author

As urban homesteaders ourselves, my wife Janet and I have found the endeavor at turns challenging, inspiring, frustrating, and hilarious. What a delight to find our experience mirrored in the lives of so many others, and to see the lessons being learned cataloged and shared so artfully in this book.         Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute and Author of Peak Everything

 

We’ve recently passed the threshold where more than half the people on the planet live in an urban setting–and here’s a great resource to support city dwellers and their progeny into a generative future.  A pragmatic eco-vocational treatise richly written for the urban DIY movement, this book embodies the excellence of what I call the TIY process—Think It Yourself. Too much doing without enough thinking has shown itself to be dangerous, and this book propels the phrase “planning is best done in advance” forward into a tasty vision of abundance, beauty and convivial collaborative communities. There is good medicine here for the head, the heart and the hands. Read it – Think It – Do it – Love it!Brock Dolman, Director, Occidental Acts and Ecology Center

 

People have been living self-reliantly in cities and towns for a very long time, so this movement isn’t new. But it’s taken off over the past few years as the recession, concern for food quality, and worries about global warming have converged. There are many resources, but a new book Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living, is a great addition to the genre. This comprehensive guide is full of beautiful full-color photos and practical information about self-reliance and green living, as well as inspiring stories from people already living the urban homesteading life. It embraces the core concepts of localization, self-reliance, and knowledge of where our food comes from, as well as basic sustainability.  Wendy Priesnitz, Natural Life Magazine

an incredibly detailed, color illustrated, photo-packed encyclopedia of everything we need to know to be inspired to take the first, second or more intricate steps toward sustainable living…
 It would stand us all in good stead to take at the very least, a leaf or two out of this book. Starting today.  Frances Rivetti, Argus Courier

This book will interest just about anyone, from a complete novice to a moderately experienced homesteader. All will be motivated by the creative projects, thoughtful interviews and beautiful photos, and will eagerly identify a new project to undertake… If you are an urbanite looking for a fun and inspirational introduction to the art of homesteading, this book is a good option.   Andrea Maxie, Green Book Reviews

This book is clearly destined to stay in my shelf for a long, long time. If you want to buy just one book on how to live lightly on the land even with limited money or space, this is the book to start with.   North Coast Gardening

Just as urban and suburban dwellers can fit a lot of products and production into their modest spaces, Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living packs many ideas and examples into a modest and accessible book, dispelling the notion that such an approach is hostile against society or isolationist in its flavor. Instead, the authors reveal how such an approach strengthens ties within communities… With a little reskilling in key domestic areas, anyone can take the urban homesteading approach and find success.     Holly Parker, Transition Voice

Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living is a deep green treatise on becoming indigenous, living in place and having a rich life to show for it. This book is so rich in useful information and inspiration that it almost oozes rich compost from its the pages–and I mean that as the ultimate compliment! The authors have provided a manifesto for the city dweller to become an empowered agent of one’s own destiny. I hope that every urban resident on the planet has access to this book.  Bruce Horowitz, Amazon review

Urban Homesteading is an easy to read introduction to dozens of topics that every beginning homesteader is interested in, all told with an urban flare. This is the perfect book for a budding urban homesteader to pore over for ideas, or for the established homesteader to put on her coffee table (if she has one) to subtly influence more mainstream guests.         Anna Hess, The Walden Effect

While many of the homesteading guides available are geared toward people in rural places, this one’s for those of us who spend most of our days on concrete rather than grass. The book is divided into five sections, each of which covers a different aspect of urban homesteading — from the practical (raising chickens, rabbits, or bees in an urban setting) to the lofty (building community through caring for common resources). With this comprehensive guide, the Northern California based authors make a case for self-sufficient living as the basis for a “global re-imagining of culture.”   Zoë J. Sheldon, “The Green Life”/Sierra Club

Urban Homesteading is a whole bookshelf in a book…Other books on green living are full of grand ideas and pie-in-the-sky plans that you either can’t afford or need to hire a contractor to fulfill. This one is a true hands-on manual for living sustainably on a working class budget.        Bonnie Allen, editor and writer

Urban Homesteading runs the gambit from food preservation to solar energy solutions for your home. Written by Rachel Kaplan with K. Ruby Blume, I like the philosophy behind the book as well as its practical how-to’s… This book is a valuable resource for anyone already raising or foraging their own food (or wishing they could), as well as folks seeking ways to go as off-grid as possible when it comes to providing their own power. Kaplan and Blume’s book provides an abundance of practical advice for anyone trying to live an environmentally sustainable lifestyle in an urban environment.  Leda Meredith, Leda’s Urban Homestead

 

 

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