The Practical Homestead

October already!  Where did September go?  I know I have to update you on what’s been going on around the farm. But first I want to tell you about a book, an excellent book called The Practical Homestead, by Paul Heiney.

I first saw this book at my public library years ago.  It was published as Country Life in 1998.  Sadly the book went missing from the library.  But I found it at Chapters!  I was browsing one day and picked up this book, was I surprised when I opened it to see the same book I loved and read many times.

I’ve started reading it from cover to cover, whenever I can find time, that is.  Usually at bedtime, if I’m not too tired.

Here’s a few excerpts:

Home Farming starts with a dream, and it takes many steps to change the dream into a reality.  This is a book for those who want to turn their fields, plots, gardens ~ real or imagined~ into working home farms.  It is also a source of information for those who are already farming, whatever the acreage.  Some of the steps you have to take will seem huge, but you need be afraid of none of them, for each brings you closer to that deep satisfaction that can come only from living and working on the land.

Food production today is a huge mechanized industry.  But it was not always so and does not have to be.  From the time of the earliest settlements, people all over the world have used the land around their homes to grow crops and raise animals for the family’s use.  Through history, their houses have been farm workshops, accommodating the diverse businesses of dairying and preserving, pickling and brewing, milling and baking, all these crafts being carried out on a domestic scale.

It can still be done.  The wisdom of those centuries is still available for us to use.  What I call “home farming” is a celebration of that wisdom; it is interesting, fun, wholesome and gentle on the earth’s resources.

This book is about how, in the midst of modernity, we can add a measure of home farming to our lives and enjoy living and eating better.

It has practical information and tons of beautiful colour photographs, drawings and charts.

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday, hosted by GNOWFGLINS, A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa, Sustainable Eats, and Culinary Bliss.


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