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The Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency Used by the Mormon Pioneers

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  145 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Many people dream of becoming self-reliant during these times of fluctuating prices and uncertain job security. Using truly simple techniques, you can cultivate the pioneer's independence to provide safety against lost wages, harsh weather, economic recession, and commercial contamination and shortages. Strengthen your family's self-reliance as you discover anew the joy of ...more
Paperback, 145 pages
Published August 8th 2011 by Bonneville (first published June 28th 2011)
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This book is a beautiful personal memoir written with the intent of
preserving a pioneer heritage of knowledge on living self-sufficiently and gardening year-round. Much of the information in the book was handed down to the author by his ancestors and he is preserving it in this book to be passed on to his own
descendents and other interested readers such as myself. I only wish
I had an acre of land to experiment with this information. I would
love to own chickens and raise a year-round garden. I fe
This isn't a large book, and had large glossy pictures pertaining to the subject at hand, but I found it very informative. It's mostly a beginners to intermediate level of homesteading, with a few pro tips tossed in; it's not hard to read or understand.

What I liked the most was the author put in quotes of journals and personal writings of the early pioneers, and he experimented with the ideas put forth. The book is part his personal journey and part the teachings of generation long gone and most
Has some interesting historical wisps, but nothing too substantial. A few times there is page filler not easily related to current content. Pretty light on instruction, very anecdotal and the beginning seems like an ad for the seed exchange...and yet...I read it all in one sitting. Guess I'm a sucker for the topic. :) I am unable to forgive the proofreading though. In addition to a few minor problems, this book stands as a reminder that no text should EVER make it to publishing with a your/you'r ...more
I've attended so many gardening & self-sufficency classes over the years and was worried that this book wouldn't have much to offer....nothing new that I hadn't heard before. But, so far, I've learned some really interesting things! Especially the winter garden stuff. I have always wanted a greenhouse, but can't afford one. This book gave some great ideas on a winter garden.
I also love the stories, history, and photographs in this book. I just might have to buy it!

This is a book of what the author can do, not what you can do. There is little teaching of how to use the forgotten skills.
This book focused more on Chickens than I would have preferred, but overall quite interesting.
Just two weeks ago, the residents of Utah celebrated Pioneer Day in honor of the arrival of the Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. I appreciate the hard work and sacrifices these determined people showed throughout their lives. It seems such a shame that so much of their knowledge and work ethic has disappeared over the generations.

I was surprised to read that our ancestors harvested nearly all year long, including during the winter. I am several generations removed from my farming
This is a great book for beginners looking to see what's available for living a more self sufficient lifestyle. It is basic, and I would not recommend it to someone who already strives to do that, since many details are not contained therein, but book titles for where to find them are. Ideas like, what food to grow and how to store it, about backyard chickens, growing a perennial border. This would be great for a true beginner.
Michelle Denna
Although it wasn't exactly what I had in mind and didn't contain all the material I was hoping for it was still enjoyable and easy to read. I was interested in learning about winter gardening and pioneer yeast, and in terms of those two areas I would consider it more of a motivational book than a how-to, although I did walk away with some pointers and a few fruit/vegetable varieties that I want to try. I believe the author is going to be writing two separate books on these subjects (winter garde ...more
This book is a great primer on how to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle, with handy tips for keeping a year-round garden, obtaining and growing open-pollinated plants, and keeping chickens. It's more of an overview book than an in-depth set of instructions, but it's definitely got a lot of interesting and unconventional ideas. I can't wait to try some of them out!
Liked it except for thechickensection. It was quite long. We've had chickens for about a year now and I've read a lot of articles and blogs and backyard chicken websites- the author's practices/information seemed heavily influence by the fact that both sets of grandparents had commercial egg businesses. His advice for any blemished/imperfect/dirty egg is to feed it to the dogs. Also advises to scrub all eggs which actually shortens the shelf-life of eggs by removing a protective coating from the ...more
Great little starter book about self-sufficiency. I'd say it's about 60% gardening/cellaring, 30% chicken keeping, and 10% natural yeast baking and recipes. If one of your pioneer ancestors read this book they would probably be shocked that we need a book to teach us these things, but it is basic stuff that has been lost over the years. How did the pioneers store their fresh vegetables for winter? (cellars!) How did they water their chickens in winter with no heated water container? (Chickens ea ...more
I enjoyed reading this book, but it wasn't as helpful as I anticipated. Mostly because we are already doing many of the things he talks about and don't have the land to be able to do some of the others. The book does a good job of introducing self-reliance concepts and getting you to think outside of our "modern-day box." I really liked that. There are many lost skills we could (should?) still be doing to be more self-reliant. The book doesn't go into great detail, so more learning would need to ...more
Kerri Simpson
It had some referencing points. But alot of it was gardening memories and things the author had done. Gives an ok reference.
Elise Swenson
Well - I don't think I would have made it as a pioneer, (in case anyone would have ever thought I would). A quarter of the book was devoted to "hen-keeping", not going to happen in my backyard. There were some useful suggestions, none of which I plan to implement. He did leave out the two most practical tips:

1. Identifying which neighbor has the best food-storage supply and becoming their new and best friend.
2. The art of trading for whatever you need, ie: diet coke and chocolate bars (and meds,
Seed exchanges, perennial flowers and vegetables, raising chickens, what has become of the great variety of plants and vegetables and animals that used to abound on the earth--all these topics, and more, are covered in this book. I enjoyed the format of the book. It is a nice size, the pages are heavy and glossy, the pictures are colorful, and I even like the sidebars that act like illustrations made of words rather than pictures. I will check it out again from the library, or at least look it u ...more
This was a good book, but not what I was suspecting.

Pros: I really enjoyed the history of the pioneers and their stories as they entered SLC and started their farms and gardens.

Cons: I was wishing for information on how to actually do something. He kept saying, do this, and if you want to do that, read this other book because they explain it better than I do. Didn't learn anything about gardening or raising chickens, but did learn about some books to read to learn something.
Interesting and reasonably useful, though I would have liked more procedures and less stories of the author's 4 year old grandson.
3.5 stars
I have read many urban farming and self sufficiency books, so when I found this on the library shelves I wasn't expecting much. I was surprised that the author included a few practices (pioneer yeast and extending the gardening harvest to name some) that I had not read about previously. I enjoyed the color photographs the book included and the fact that the author included several books I could read to pursue certain topics more deeply.
Roseanne Wilkins
I've grown a few tomatoes and peas but haven't done much more than that. Caleb's book is an excellent book for someone interested in feeding their family on their garden. He has advice on what seeds to get and where to get them as well as how best to store your produce so it can last through the winter. He also discusses how to raise chickens. This is an excellent resource for the home gardener.
Mostly about growing a garden and saving seeds, using pioneer yeast instead of store bought, and raising chickens. Just a general overview, although I will probably join because of this book (I already get their catalog) and I've ordered some beans from that I will save seeds from. So, a good intro.
This book is really great for giving ideas on how to be self-sufficient. It doesn't go into too much detail about how to implement most of those ideas, but it gives you enough to get started, and the key words you need to search this stuff on the internet. It's a very fast read, and I really enjoyed how personal it was.
Robyn Porter
I liked it for the gardening advice, but mostly for the pioneer memories of Sevier county.
Ginger Churchill
Informative yet poetic. Read it to smell spring in the dead of winter and to whet your appetite for hoeing the garden. You may even be inspired to invest in a flock of chickens. Well done, but left me wanting even more.I am personally hoping for a more in-depth book covering each and every chapter.

Wow I read this in one night. There wasn't really a whole lot I didn't already know except some of the seed strains and about raising chickens but it was very informative, well written, and interesting. Couldn't put it down!
Great ideas and things to practice!
A neighbor let us borrow this book. This was an informative book with some interesting ideas. Some I think I might try, others I will not. We're thinking about getting some chickens and it had 3 good chapters about raising hens.
Lots of great ideas - I wish he would have included more on how to do some things, but I guess I just need to improve my gardening knowledge. Also makes me want to move somewhere we can have chickens!
Great beginner self sufficiency book including topics like year around gardening, storage, fruit trees, pioneer yeast, and backyard chickens. After reading this I have quite a few things I'd like to try.
I love books like this. It was very informative about gardening, recipes and just general self-sufficient living. I found some new techniques that I am excited to use in my garden this year.
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