Book Review: Creating Your Off-Grid Homestead: Radical Inspiration and Practical Advice

After buying my copy of the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2018 this week, I was going through the Gardening and the homesteading sections – which have 16 products in the bundle!

I started reading Creating Your Off-Grid Homestead: Radical Inspiration and Practical Advice by Teri Page. I have read her blog for some time now, and her book is part of the super bundle, and at $9.95 on Amazon, it makes buying the super bundle a deal – which is $29.97 through Monday night (tonight!). So if you have considered the bundle, don’t hesitate.

Now then, why would a homesteader need a book about homesteading? To learn more! I have found that learning from others mistakes can save me time, money and a lot of frustration. It’s also a comforting feeling knowing others have gone through similar situations.

What Teri and her family have done is more than we will (most likely) do with our land. It is though interesting to see how they went from homesteading in Oregon for 14 years, with a well, to moving to raw land in Missouri, and going fully off-grid – and doing this with small children, while homeschooling them.

Teri covers:

Why go off-grid, getting started (the planning phase), how much it can cost, and then chapters on water, shelter, outbuildings, heating and cooling, food storage and preparation, outdoor kitchens, how to cook and bake without electricity, root cellars, dealing with setting up off-grid electricity such as solar and generators, and then fun stuff of toilets, laundry, communications and animal care, and gardening and kids.

Yes, it is a lot she covers, but it is well broken down and easy to read.

Pick up her book – or pick up the bundle. You won’t regret it!

~Sarah

Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2018

In My Homesteading Book Pile Currently

Kirk and I drove down to Oregon to attend the Mother Earth News Fair this past weekend, and unlike past times, this year I brought books back with me to read. As crazy as it is, I prefer paper copies of books over digital. I like having a permanent copy that I can go back to.

My focus on the books I picked up were berries and medicinal herbs, which are a huge part of our farm. To say I have a lot of reading coming up is taking it lightly. It might end up being till winter till I can sit and read deeply, and take notes, but I will get there.

Hopefully you might see one or two books that pick your interest and help you in your gardening!

Homegrown Berries

When I saw this book I impulse bought it. Berries are my life as a farmer – and I need all the education I can get. The book is like a manual on the how to’s and how to go farther with my work. One of our goals is having a lot more raspberries, so yeah, winter reading!

The Medicinal Herb Grower: A Guide For Cultivating Plants That Heal

After attending two of author Richo Cech talks I finally picked up this book. I have a lot to learn about growing medicinal herbs, and while I can grow most of them, some are quite tricky, so why not learn from an expert?

Making Plant Medicine

Another classic from Richo Cech, I finally picked up a copy. Let us see where it takes me.

I picked up a couple of Mother Earth News book-magazines (seriously affordable at the fair – they do these 3 for $10, and I had a 20% off coupon on top).

Mother Earth News Guide to Unusual Herbs Magazine

Mother Earth News Guide to Growing Herbs

Mother Earth News Guide to Super Herbs

And a few more books I am currently reading, that were sent to us for review:

Organic Gardening Techniques

While I may not have any aspirations to have a certified organic farm, our techniques on our farm are all done this way. I love learning new methods and ideas, which this book does have in spades. It might also have the best idea I have seen for where to put your potatoes while you wait for them to sprout.

Attracting Wildlife To Your Backyard: 101 Ways To Make Your Property Home For Creatures Great And Small

We don’t suffer a lack of birds and wildlife here, however I’d like more knowledge on making life easier for them. And who doesn’t have room to improve?

Wood Pallet DIY Projects

Because pallets are often free, and if you mess it up? Not a huge loss. Learn fun projects. Some are way above my skill set, but I have tucked it into Kirk’s reading pile!

~Sarah

Book Review: Home Gardener’s Specialist Guides

Two newly released titles this spring, out for gardening time. Each book is full-color, easy to flip through, and packed with a lot of information.

Home Gardener’s Annuals: The Complete Guide to Growing 37 Flowers in Your Backyard

Flowers. Until we became bee keepers I looked down on annuals. After all, wasn’t a berry producer more favorable? Well, I learned that lesson that the more annuals I planted, the happier my pollinators were, and oh the gardens were so much prettier. Now, I plant many types, sprinkled throughout the gardens and yard.

Home Gardener’s Perennials & Bulbs: The Complete Guide to Growing 58 Flowers in Your Backyard

Bulbs I was weird about as well until the past few years, which oddly enough garlic was cool to grow, but not flowers. A friend gave me a birthday gift a few years back of bulbs. She has moved across the country now, but every year the bulbs flower – and Regina’s gift keeps giving. If you haven’t tried out growing bulbs, be sure to take a look.

Butcher Box Review

We had a chance to check out The Butcher Box recently: A monthly subscription to quality 100% grass-fed beef, and also choices that include heritage pork, and organic/pastured chicken.

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While we don’t eat a lot of meat, I try to buy quality over quantity, for my family. With our youngest son’s severe food allergies, I read up carefully on everything we purchase – including meat. It isn’t something most think about, but meat in a grocery store isn’t always just meat! It is scary what is added to plump up chicken, or tenderize it. I don’t want that. I want it with a very short ingredient list, and to know the animals ate a better diet as well. And with how we cook, with meat as an ingredient and compliment, the portion sizes work well for us.

The monthly box starts at $129, and contains 7 to 10 pounds meat. If you know your prices per pound at your local grocery store and do the math, this comes out very comparable, and often less. In many places it is hard to even find grass-fed beef for sale.  The packaging itself was very well done. It is shipped in a cooler, with dry ice. My box was in transit for 3 days, and was so cold when opening, I had to go get my Oven Glove to handle it. There was still half a bag of dry ice inside. The meat is individually sealed, with the air pulled out, and frozen. I found it very easy to thaw: either leave in the refrigerator overnight, or do a quick thaw in a sink of cold water.

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The thinly cut steak included was a favorite. It worked perfectly in a stir fry, and cooked up in a snap. I fried it in coconut oil, set it aside, stir fried the vegetables, then added it back in. Dinner was ready in the time it took to cook up a pot of Jasmine rice.

One thing I really, really loved was this package of Pederson’s Uncured No Sugar Added Smoked Bacon. Bacon doesn’t need to be sweetened! It was so delicious.

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If you are looking for an easy way to buy cleaner meat, without the need to buy ¼ of a cow, or a chest deep freezer on hand, this is a wonderful addition to your monthly meal planning. It also would be an awesome gift to gift (they have a great deal on gifts!) during the holidays.

FTC Disclaimer: We received product in exchange for potential review. All views are ours.