The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 50th Anniversary Edition: The Original Manual for Living off the Land & Doing It Yourself

The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 50th Anniversary Edition: The Original Manual for Living off the Land & Doing It Yourself

by Carla Emery
The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 50th Anniversary Edition: The Original Manual for Living off the Land & Doing It Yourself

The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 50th Anniversary Edition: The Original Manual for Living off the Land & Doing It Yourself

by Carla Emery


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The 50th anniversary edition of the original sustainable living manual of basic country skills, preparedness, and wisdom for living off the land.

This essential homesteaders’ encyclopedia will keep your family healthy, safe, and self-sufficient, no matter what's going on in the world.

From homesteaders to urban farmers, and everyone in between, there is a desire for a simpler way of life: a healthier and self-sufficient natural lifestyle that allows you to survive and thrive—even in uncertain times. Carla Emery's classic guide will teach you how to live off the grid, be prepared, and do it yourself. 

This comprehensive, 1000-page Encyclopedia of Country Living will show you how to: 

• Can, dry, and preserve food
• Plan your garden with a beginner's guide to gardening
• Grow your own food
• Make 20-minute cheese
• Make your own natural skincare products
• Bake bread
• Cook on a wood stove
• Learn beekeeping
• Raise chickens, goats, and pigs
• Create natural skincare products
• Make organic bug spray
• Treat your family with homemade natural remedies
• Make fruit leather
• Forage for wild food
• Spin wool into yarn
• Mill your own flour 
• Tap a maple tree

And more!

The Encyclopedia of Country Living has been guiding readers for more than 50 years, teaching you all the skills necessary for living independently off the land. Whether you live in the city, the country, or anywhere in between, this is the essential guide to living well and living simply.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781632172891
Publisher: Blue Star Press
Publication date: 12/03/2019
Edition description: Anniversar
Pages: 928
Sales rank: 31,320
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 10.80(h) x 2.10(d)

About the Author

Carla Emery lived on a farm in Idaho for more than thirty years as a wife, mother of seven, home-schooler, goat-keeper, garden-grower, writer, and country-living instructor. She wrote and self-published the first editions of The Encyclopedia of Country Living during the early 1970s and also ran her "School of Country Living." Carla sold nearly 90,000 copies of her self-published editions, traveling the country to promote it and appearing on such shows as The Mike Douglas Show, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, The Phil Donahue Show, and Good Morning America, where she demonstrated country-living skills such as goat-milking, bread-making, and butter-churning.

When Sasquatch Books published the 9th Edition of Encyclopedia in 1994, Carla continued to travel the country promoting and selling the book, and teaching the timeless skills of country living. Carla cultivated a large and loyal following across the country. Carla passed away in 2005.

Read an Excerpt

What This Book Is
This book has been written—and rewritten—over a span of 32 years. Like a geological deposit, it has layers. The first layer was the ambitious 12-page table of contents I started compiling back in 1969. That’s when I first got to thinking about this book. I wanted to put into one work everything someone would want or need to know about family food production. I wanted it to be a complete reference, an encyclopedia of information and skills, a practical resource anyone could use.

The “back to the land” movement had started happening then—a tremendous out-migration from cities to country. I was living in a tiny town in northern Idaho, and the newcomers were everywhere, full of urgent questions about growing plants and raising animals. So the next layer of the book got written as I tried to answer their questions, encourage them in the hard moments, and help them adapt to the harsh realities of country living. I was struggling to create for them an affordable, single-volume reference work on raising and preparing food—every kind of food, every step of the way—from planting a seed in the garden or mating animals to preparing a meal.

I was also trying to preserve the precious knowledge of an older generation of homesteaders—knowledge that was rapidly disappearing as that generation passed on. It seemed that traditional, “old-time” technologies were being cast aside as people flocked to petroleum-based technologies and centralized supply systems. I wanted to help record and preserve the traditional methods. They offer a workable alternative to petroleum-dependent technologies, and as we continue to deplete the earth’s oil deposits, the old, self-sufficient methods will become more and more important to know

Mrs. Harless and Imogene Kepford were among the first old-timers I talked to. I visited their homes—where they always made me feel welcome—and listened to them, enjoying their blunt, charming, pioneer language. Their amazing knowledge about every aspect of home food production humbled me. I began trying out what they told me—and writing it down. Then I’d return to their homes to ask more questions, and I’d write those answers down too. When Mrs. Harless died unexpectedly about a year after I met her, I felt as though I’d lost a mother. And I realized how much harder and faster I needed to work on my project.

Today, a general ignorance about food production— as well as the lack of land on which to grow plants or raise animals—makes most people captive consumers. Unlike their great-grandparents, the urbanized members of today’s society are almost totally dependent on other people to produce their food, clothing, and shelter—and they’re subject to the market prices for those essential commodities. Many people spend their lives a paycheck away from hunger or homelessness—because they must pay other people to supply their most basic needs.

I love education and books because they empower people. That’s what this book is all about: providing you with the information you need to do things on your own, instead of paying someone else to do them for you.

Another layer of this book comes from the many people who have contributed to it. I’ve been helped by an army of persons who have shared recipes, advice, and information gained from years of experience. And every time I finished another edition of this book, people wrote to me with corrections, or with more information, or with important questions I hadn’t answered. The book grew and improved edition after edition, prodded by those interactions with readers. So this isn’t only “Carla’s Book.” Often I just had the humble task of stitching together information from other people, guided by the knowledge and experience I do have.

It took me four years to complete the first edition of this book. During that time, I was a lonely rural housewife, grateful for my pen pals from all over the country—wonderful people who read early parts of the book and shared with me recipes, advice, and encouragement. As I continued writing the book, I kept thinking about those faraway but precious friends, and I began including personal thoughts and memories in my book, sharing with my readers stories about myself, my past, my life. Thus, another layer emerged.

I added several more layers. I described mushroom cultivation and aquaculture, and updated the book to give advice on problems such as killer bees, global warming, and pesticide contamination in food. Because the international swapping of seeds has made a multitude of non-native, exotic plants available, I added extensive instructions for growing and cooking those plants. This information is useful to city folks as well, now that so many “new” fruits, vegetables, and herbs are appearing in supermarkets. I also added websites and e-mail addresses for over 1,500 mailorder sources. In fact, as this book has evolved, I’ve thought of more and more ways it could be useful to city- as well as country- dwelling people. I’ve begun to think of it as—and have strived to build it into—a basic kitchen reference work, so packed with reliable, practical information that any family, urban or rural, would want to own it. Is that the final layer? If the last 32 years are any indication, probably not!

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