Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Reading

books to be outdoors with

The siren call of summer keeps us outdoors almost constantly, but that doesn't mean I put my books away! Here are the three I am reveling in this month:

I was browsing urban homesteading books at my favorite local outdoor store, and none of them measured up to The Backyard Homestead.  Did you know that on a 1/4 acre lot you can raise 50 lbs of grain, 280 lbs of pork, 120 cartons of eggs, 100 lbs of honey, 25-75 lbs of nuts, 600 lbs of fruit, and 2,000+ lbs of vegetables? Amazing! Most of us don't want to do that, of course, but I am glad to know how to maximize the outdoor space I do have. The Backyard Homestead gives sound advice on year-round gardening, crop rotation, landscaping to maximize yield and look pretty too, raising fowl, pigs, cattle, sheep, and goats. What sets this book apart is that being comprised of excerpts from books published by Storey Publishing, it is based on the experience of many writers and not just one jack-of-all-trades. Though I grew up involved in gardening and raising animals, I have learned something new on almost every page. 

This book is a nature journal divided by month with suggestions on what to observe in each season, and guidelines on how to do it. Learn about stars, clouds, rocks, plants, and animals. If you loved Last Child in the Woods but aren't sure how to facilitate outdoor learning in your family or classroom, this book is an approachable place to start! Although my kids are (barely) too young to keep records by themselves, the monthly formula gives me prompts for helping them enjoy nature as I eagerly await the time when I can give them the book and watch them go! 

The next time you want to lose yourself in a fantasy world in which you live in a tidy English cottage surrounded by pastoral scenes, reach for this gorgeous book. It bursts with cleaning and housekeeping wisdom mainly utilizing vinegar, baking soda, lemons, and herbs. It also touches on seasonal gardening, companion planting, propagating plants, and preserving food. Responsibility has never looked more appealing. If a picture is worth a thousand words, A Guide to Green Housekeeping is equivalent to a library of persuasive speeches on stewardship.  

Guide to Green Housekeeping

1 comment:

Asher's Mom said...

very cool. :-) I got a book from the library on desert gardening (since much of the advice in books on backyard gardening doesn't apply to the desert)...soon realized i need to buy the book. Too much great info! We're starting our back yard garden in the fall.


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