is full of short projects that you can use to dip your toes into the
vast ocean of homesteading without getting overwhelmed.
If you need
to fit homesteading into a few hours each weekend and would like to
have fun while doing it, these projects will be right up your alley,
whether you live on a 40 acre farm, a postage stamp lawn in suburbia,
or a high rise.
You'll learn about backyard chicken care, how to
choose easy mushroom and berry species, and why and how to plant a
no-till garden that heals the soil while providing nutritious food.
Permaculture techniques will turn your homestead into a vibrant
ecosystem and attract native pollinators while converting our
society's waste into high quality compost and mulch.
enjoy the fruits of your labor right away as you learn the basics of
cooking and eating seasonally, then preserve homegrown produce for
later by drying, canning, freezing, or simply filling your kitchen
cabinets with storage vegetables.
As you become more
self-sufficient, you'll save seeds, prepare for power outages, and
tear yourself away from a full-time job, while building a supportive
and like-minded community.
You won't be completely deleting your
reliance on the grocery store, but will be plucking low-hanging (and
delicious!) fruits out of your own garden by the time all 48 projects
If you want to stay up
to date on the progress of Weekend Homesteader, just click on the RSS
button below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be added to my
very low traffic email list. Thanks for reading!
Weekend Homesteader by Anna Hess, subtitled A Twelve-Month Guide to
Self-Sufficiency, is one of my new favorite books on homesteading. I
don't say that lightly.... What's so great about this book? In a
word, organization.... The best part about the book being
organized this way is that it takes a huge endeavor - becoming more
self-sufficient - and breaks it into manageable chunks."
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
Publishers Weekly thinks
I'm naive (and they're probably right), but at least they printed a
More a grab bag than
comprehensive guide, this collection of 48 weekends' worth of
self-sufficiency projects gives wanna-be homesteaders who have more
curiosity than time a taste of modern homesteading. Hess describes this
process as starting where you are-whether a high-rise or suburban
neighborhood or "where supplies have to be helicoptered in"-to "use
sweat equity to grow nutritious, delicious food, create sustainable
heat from locally grown wood, and use free organic matter to rebuild
the soil." Hess draws on her own six years of trial-and-error
homesteading, extensive reading, and contributions from her blog
readers to teach skills that include mapping your yard and
neighborhood, planting a garden and a fruit tree, saving seeds,
budgeting your time and money, finding collaborators, preparing for
power shortages, and even weaning yourself from the media. Some readers
may question the need for instruction in simple
common activities like hanging laundry or roasting a chicken, and
Hess's focus tends more toward her own rural milieu than that of urban
apartment dwellers. On the whole, however, the book enthusiastically,
if sometimes naively, helps readers succeed at dipping "into the vast
ocean of homesteading without being overwhelmed."
"As food self-sufficiency awareness grows, books
appear to support such efforts. Hess is unique in her recognition of
the practicality of weekend-only attention to these pursuits."
You can read the whole
Booklist review here. Apparently, being one
of the 8,000 books reviewed each year by this publication of the
American Library Association will help The
get on library shelves across the country.
Now for the bad news ---
I'm afraid that the general public is going to have to wait a bit
longer than expected to get a copy. The release date has been
pushed back to November 13 to give Skyhorse time to lay the groundwork
(and to take advantage of holiday sales).
If you don't want to
wait quite so long, my publicist has a solution. He's able to
send out free copies to bloggers to review and/or give away, so now's
the time to email me if you're interested (and
haven't contacted me previously). I'm not sure how many copies
that offer encompasses, so be sure to include the URL of your blog and
any relevant statistics in your email --- I suspect my publicist will
choose bigger blogs first.
Thank you all for your
enthusiastic support of the book!
I have to admit that I
just wasn't sure when I saw The
Weekend Homesteader's front cover for the first time. But
those yellow boots grew on me, and I liked the way many of the same
images worked their way into the meat of the book.
Today my editor emailed
me the full jacket (front and back cover with spine) and all
ambivalence is gone! I love it! What do you think?
of exciting news! First, early presales have kicked The Weekend
Homesteader up into the top 100 in Amazon's Sustainable Living
category a few times during its first week. Thanks to everyone
who preordered (and be aware that the price dropped to match that of
Barnes and Noble, so you'll be paying less than you thought for the
my editor send me a rough draft of the layout for the first few pages,
and I love the way the white space and simple formatting draw the
eye. What do you think?
I also learned that I
will probably have at least a few copies of the book in my hands by
early September and may be able to send out some copies to be
reviewed. Anyone interested in reviewing an early copy?
My publisher reminded me
that Weekend Homesteader is already available at
retailers. That's one of the perks of going with a publisher ---
I don't have to figure out the nuts and bolts of several different
websites. (Yes, pure laziness is the reason I've only sold at
Amazon in the past.)
While poking around on Amazon, I noticed that the paperback version of
Homesteader is already available to preorder!!! What an
exciting Sunday morning surprise.
The release date is
October 7, but you can order now and the book will
ship when it's in print. You'll be doing me a favor by ordering
early since your "vote" for the book will send it up the Amazon
rankings chart and help it reach new eyes.
(Please ignore the line
"A woman, her husband, cats, chickens, rabbits
and honeybees taking a stab at urban
farming one weekend at a time—now
you can join her!" --- I've asked my editor to correct the obvious
My editor just sent me an
email to let me know that the design team has
come up with a classy cover for Weekend Homesteader! Since the cover is
white, I've changed the background color on this post so you can see it
I promised myself
wouldn't be an authorial diva as I embarked on the publishing process,
so I'm holding my tongue about the fact that half the pictures aren't
my own. When I take a step back, I suspect the publishing house
is right to add in pretty things like yellow boots (even if I wouldn't
be caught dead in them) and tomatoes that are obviously storebought to
my eye. I'm also sad not to see photos of non-garden topics like preserving that are well represented in the book, but I figure there's only so much space and some things are easier to visualize than others.
Mark says he likes
so I suspect the cover is good. What do you think?
In November, I signed on with
Skyhorse Publishing so that Weekend Homesteader could become a full
color paperback, available in bookstores throughout the U.S. and Canada
in fall 2012. This week, I finally turned in the manuscript.
Now that Weekend Homesteader has stretched her wings and is ready to
fly on her own, I figured she was old enough to have a designated news
feed. Click on the RSS button here if you want to be sure to hear
about the print book's progress. Or drop
me an email and ask
me to add you to my low traffic (an email every month or two) email
list to stay up to date on book news.
While you're waiting,
don't forget to complete your set of Weekend Homesteader, first
edition. Each month is just 99 cents in Amazon's kindle store!