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Storey's Basic Country Skills: A Practical Guide to Self-Reliance

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  697 ratings  ·  25 reviews
This is the book for anyone who wants to become more self-reliant, from suburbanites with 1/4 of an acre to country homesteaders with several. The information is easily understood and readily applicable. More than 150 of Storey's expert authors in gardening, building, animal raising, and homesteading share their specialized knowledge and experience in this ultimate guide t ...more
Paperback, 576 pages
Published September 1st 1999 by Storey Publishing, LLC
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Community Reviews

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Nov 08, 2007 Carrie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who want to be self-reliant
Shelves: how-to
This is more like a series of articles by different experts than a front-to-cover book. I was hoping that in reading this, I would be able to do a lot of things I still can't do, like build a wall. But at least now I understand the process. It's really a farm reference, explaining how to lay out a farm, how to wire your house, how to grow vegetables, make preserves, etc. I'm not really a hands-on kinda girl, but I still plan to make my own Adirondack chairs someday and this book will show me how ...more
Awesome. Practical advice on selecting your farm property, building a farm house (even how to wire it and renovate furniture for it!), and of course, everything else you need to know. Vegetable gardening/farming for self-sufficiency, livestock, etc. Several sections of the book are really articles written by various authors on the topic, and they vary a little in quality. But if you're looking for the maximum practical information for your penny (and minimum self-righteous puffery), this book ro ...more
"This book has it all. if you are interested in self sufficiency, living back to the earth, animal care, gardening, whatever, just open this book. I highly recommend this book to everyone. I went out and purchased a copy after borrowing an issue from my local library
Carolyn McBride
I think this is a great book! Some chapters cover a lot, like gardening for example. You can learn how to build a rose arbor, learn about beneficial insects or how to rotate your garden beds. (Obviously, I'm only skimming the surface here) You can also learn about essential oils, cleaning your home with less corrosive methods, you can learn about attracting butterflies, the plumbing system in your home, basic home improvements, greenhouses, preserving all kinds of food, barns, fences, tools you ...more
This book took me awhile to chew through, mostly because there is just so much information. Sure, it's beginning level information for the most part, but that's explicitly stated in the title. The book is composed of articles written by different authors, introduced by the Storeys. This book has so much information covering so many topics by different authors it's hard to really do a strict review, so I'll just sum up my overall impression: Wow! Granted, it's just dipping a toe into the topics, ...more
Grafovna Ady
Wow! This is a pretty all inclusive book with a lot of valuable life skills in them. It starts with advice on choosing and buying a home, goes into plumbing and electrical, includes recipes and info on livestock, and is just an incredibly useful hodgepodge of information.
As I'm currently trying to hone my green thumb skills, the gardening section of this book held the most interest for me. The most important concept that I took away from this informative collection of country wisdom is that I have a lot to learn if I ever want to buy some land, set up a small farm, and be more self-reliant.
This book took an approach to instruction that was both clear and entertaining. It addresses a great many nuances of country life, from building a stone wall to when to plant the basil to how to butcher a hog. I intend to add a copy to my collection when circumstances allow, as a writing resource if nothing else.
Wow, this book really covers everything. I'm putting it on my "to buy" list for the food preservation chapter alone! I keep thinking of how handy this book would have been for the two characters in Into the Forest . ...more
Pretty much an all-inclusive basic guide to urban homesteading--covers animals (from their care to how to butcher) to beekeeping, planning your garden and/or orchard, and everything else a "would-be country dweller needs to know."
Lollipopwater Norton
I bought this gigantic book out of hopes of becoming a bit more self-sufficient. And I've found that I adore this book. While some of the chapters would never apply to me, they are still interesting to read.
A must-have reference manual for anyone in a rural setting or who wishes to be more self-sufficient. I will continue to use this over and over through the years as I build our homestead.
Nov 20, 2008 PJ marked it as to-read
Goes along with "Country Wisdom" and "Encyclopedia of Country Living," just got all three since they were inexpensive and each pack a wallop of great info.
Hard to rate books like this.

Very thorough covering of, well, basic country skills. One idea per set of pages with photos.
Lil Miss
seriously my fave staple for all things homesteading. but not just homesteading tons of awesome info
Lots of good information, but knew quite a bit of it already. A good basic overview, good for beginners.
Amy Hough
From city slicker to country gal...everything you need to know to live in the country
Super helpful and interesting information on a wide range of topics. Highly recommended.
Nothing in-depth, but covers many self-reliance skills that I want to learn.
Leila Elkington-Brasz
Very informative. Lots of basic information to give you a starting point.
Michael Barnett
If you love to learn new things...
Abbie G.
I'm going to make cheese.
Great book on homesteading.
Melany marked it as to-read
Sep 01, 2015
Samantha marked it as to-read
Aug 30, 2015
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