252nd out of 265 books — 182 voters
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Extreme Simplicity: Homesteading in the City
Homesteading in LA? Off-the-Grid in Tinseltown? Take Scott and Helen Nearing, translate them from the rockbound coast of Maine into Southern California, and you start to have a picture of Christopher and Dolores Nyerges.Here is an upbeat, unabashedly outrageous book about applying the principles of self-reliance, more often associated with rural back-to-the-landers and ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 1st 2003 by Chelsea Green Publishing Company
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This is about a lifestyle, not an experiment. People who have spent years developing the practices, habits, stockpiles, and soil to be self-sufficient share their stories and advice. There are a lot of good ideas here, and some interesting anecdotes. It's not a memoir and there's not a plot. Chapters stand alone pretty well, so if you are only interested in water conservation & collection, you can zero in on that. FWIW, I enjoyed the gardening section a great deal. There wasn't a ton of new ...more
Chis and Dolores Nyerges share a great many of their successes and their failures in trying to live well within the otherwise unsustainable suburban sprawl. As with anything so personal in nature, there are some techniques that will appeal to the reader and others that may repel them. The greater point, however, is that they took nothing for granted and questioned every manner in which they interacted with their environment, finding opportunities to reduce/reuse/recycle while also consuming less ...more
inspiring on many levels *except* for the sections on using/reusing things like styrofoam meat trays and carpet scraps. That really stuck out to me. I'm still conventional enough (and frankly, health-minded) enough to say "ewww" to the idea of using styro meat trays for serving toast or laying out a permanent stretch of carpet in the backyard for my yoga practice. Hello, permanent mildew land. On the other hand, this book was written in the late 90s early 2000s, and quite a lot has changed since ...more
I recently re-read this book. When I first read it many years ago, it seemed full of revolutionary ideas. But now, it no longer seems very informative. Like my criticism of Ruppenthal's "Fresh Food from Small Spaces" (the reading of which motivated me to re-read Nyerges), it is high on motivation and short on practical information.
Not quite a memoir, not quite a handbook, I started this but didn't bother finishing it. I was hoping for a compelling narrative, perhaps with ideas for increasing self-sufficiency, but the book doesn't really have either. I found it to be maddeningly vague all around.