Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living

Rachel Kaplan & K. Ruby Blume

Language: English

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

Published: Apr 27, 2011


The urban homesteading movement is spreading rapidly across the nation. Urban Homesteading is the perfect "back-to-the-land" guide for urbanites who want to reduce their impact on the environment. Full of practical information, as well as inspiring stories from people already living the urban homesteading life, this colorful guide is an approachable guide to learning to live more ecologically in the city. The book embraces the core concepts of localization (providing our basic needs close to where we live), self-reliance (re-learning that food comes from the ground, not the grocery store; learning to do things ourselves), and sustainability (giving back at least as much as we take). Readers will find concise how-to information that they can immediately set into practice, from making solar cookers to growing tomatoes in a barrel to raising chickens in small spaces to maintaining mental serenity in the fast-paced city environment. Full of beautiful full-color photographs and illustrations, and plenty of step-by-step instructions, this is a must-have handbook for city folk with a passion for the simple life. 



“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.” (Booklist)

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 reality check for dreamers…            ” (Chicago Tribune)

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

“This book is ridiculously good, a stunner. The authors outdid themselves, and everyone else who touches upon this field. 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. You have my thanks and unconditional praise for what you have accomplished--a masterpiece where there has never been one before.” (Paul Hawken, Founder of Smith & Hawken)

“Provides a wealth of information about actual projects you can 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. And they remind us that you don’t need to be an expert to simply get started living more sustainably. Even apartment dwellers can do the majority of these projects, and many are 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.” (Christian Science Monitor)

“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… 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.” (Vancouver Sun)

“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. . . . A great addition to the genre.
” (Wendy Priesnitz - *Natural Life*)

About the Author

* *Rachel Kaplan is the lead author of Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living. She is an eco-somatic therapist, educator, and widely published author. Her work has appeared in local and national papers and magazines, and includes Moving Toward Life: Five Decades of Transformational Dance (with Anna Halprin), The Probable Site of the Garden of Eden, and Diaspora: Stories from the Cities. She and her family live on a small homestead called Tiny Town Farm, in Petaluma, California.  

* *K. Ruby Blume is the visual wizard of Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living. She is the founder of The Institute of Urban Homesteading in Oakland, California. With more than twenty years of experience with gardening, beekeeping, canning, and other homesteading skills, she is a respected authority in the self-sufficiency field. She has been featured on CNN, ABC, and the Hallmark Channel, and her articles have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Magazine, and other publications.