Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Urban Homestead (Expanded & Revised Edition): Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City” as Want to Read:
The Urban Homestead (Expanded & Revised Edition): Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Urban Homestead (Expanded & Revised Edition): Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,949 Ratings  ·  257 Reviews
"A delightfully readable and very useful guide to front- and back-yard vegetable gardening, food foraging, food preserving, chicken keeping, and other useful skills for anyone interested in taking a more active role in growing and preparing the food they eat." This celebrated, essential handbook for the urban homesteading movement shows how to grow and prese ...more
ebook, 308 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Process (first published April 1st 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Urban Homestead (Expanded & Revised Edition), please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Urban Homestead (Expanded & Revised Edition)

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jubilation Lee
Friends, I’m going to say right up front that I don’t need to be talked into reading bizarre yuppies-who-think-they’re-hippies books about Making Bread Just Like Grandma Used To or How To Build A Wood-Burning Stove Out Of An Oil Drum or God knows what else, because I find them incredibly freaking fun.

But it’s rare that I find this type of book particularly useful. Frequently it’s like the authors don’t understand that not everyone in the world has access to fifty acres of prime farmland. Or per
I have to say that I was initially very skeptical of this book; as I perused the table of contents I was nearly convinced that this was just another book for yuppies with yards (YWYs). As I live in a tiny 200 sq. ft. (at best) studio apartment with no land space, no balcony, and only north facing windows, I was certain this book wouldn't have anything useful for me in it.

However, it does have some really great projects and ideas, from growing food to composting, that can be accomplished even by
Michael the Girl
Aug 15, 2008 Michael the Girl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book radically changed they way I see green spaces in New York, and I have become shocked that so many people have small green spaces and grow no food. For that alone, I consider the book valuable in spite of its flaws.

I gave this book four stars, and I've been talking it up to a lot of people, but honestly I'm still a bit concerned. This book has many grammatical errors. And I know that Process is a really small press, and some of the errors might be typesetting (you get what you pay for)
Kim G
Feb 15, 2015 Kim G rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I dug this one. I came to this book looking for a couple of easier things I could add to my list of hippie crap I already do (I garden, I have eliminated most chemicals from my cleaning, I compost) and it was exactly what I wanted. It gave me a few ideas for projects that are relatively simple to implement, and also gave me a few ideas that I can add to my maybe someday list.

I also liked the general tone of this book, it's laid-back and the authors seem to actually understand that many people a
Jan 13, 2009 jess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, growing
Finally, a book about the crisis of our world that doesn't make you feel shitty and hopeless! This book is not the be-all-end-all on any one subject, and it cannot save the world. Rather, it is an organized way of thinking about your urban home as a site to support and sustain your family, rather than a place to sleep & keep the things you buy. This book has answers to problems. This book is chock full of solutions. From keeping livestock to gardening to generating your own power and baking ...more
Mar 10, 2009 HeavyReader rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wrote this review for the Feminist Review blog, where it appeared on March 5, 2009.

Subtitled "Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City," this volume in the Process Self-Reliance Series bills itself as "a project and resource book, complete with step-by-step illustrations and instructions to get you started homesteading right now." It really delivers, both to absolute beginners and to folks who have already ventured into the world of urban homesteading.

The authors start wit
I really enjoyed this little book, despite the huge number of typos (even for an independent press, it was a bit extreme). Great information to get you started gardening vegetables on your patio or in your yard, keeping a few animals, making your own bread, yogurt, and beer, and even dumpster diving (ahem, "urban foraging"). So many fun projects! The authors' can-do attitude and eagerness really come through.

However, be aware that many of the suggestions for graywater systems and the like are de
Nov 13, 2015 Miranda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: homesteading
I have been reading a few books in this genre recently (Food Not Lawns, The Backyard Homestead...) and this is my favourite so far. The style is accessible but intelligent, and the book covers a wide range of topic from growing food to cleaning. I was also pleased by the lack of doom-mongering and the emphasis on community rather than heading to the hills to save yourself in the upcoming apocalypse that some books (not the above mentioned) seem to lean towards.

However what I liked best about it
Mar 13, 2011 Carrie rated it really liked it
I think that this is one of the best and most comprehensive guides to urban homesteading/sustainability that I have read to date. The format of this book is great with entertaining sidebars that tell of the experiences of other urban homesteaders with lots of projects and great instructions and graphics. I learned a lot about innovative gardening methods especially designed with the urban gardener in mind. This book covers A LOT and still remained entertaining and insightful. A few things that t ...more
Andrea Marley
Jan 09, 2015 Andrea Marley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book. Useful information. Makes me proud to live in a small, efficient house. I think its a matter of time before we have chickens and bee hives. I'm taking Earth Mama to the next level..
Apr 07, 2013 Abilouise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading about how some people keep goats in the city, among other things. This book is actually a seriously good reference: having read the chapter about fruit trees, I finally understand the principles behind pruning, and why you might prune differently for a city garden fruit tree than a commercial-production orchard tree. This book gives a really nice mix of why with the what, and uses metaphor and nice descriptive writing to help you understand how to do new things. This is ...more
Aug 04, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of the non-fiction that I read, in terms of books on cooking / food preservation / gardening / self-sufficiency, etc. are really heavy-handed with the "this is why you should do this" backstory philosophy stuff before they get into how to actually do it. What I really liked about this book was its uber-practical tone - very straightforward. I also really got the sense from this book that the authors are way more interested in encouraging people to try new things, and do the best they can, ...more
Mar 17, 2009 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is book is rad. I want to buy it though. I got it at the library, and now I want it as a resource for the "homestead." It makes me want to plant stuff, and move so I can have chickens. I keep reading about the fascinating world of chickens, providing their own kind of "chicken t-v" and I am most intrigued.

PS - I am REALLY enjoying the cleaning section of this book. I made my own soft scrub from their "recipe" and I'll never go back! Delightful. Mine smelled like peppermint. As promised, it
Apr 09, 2014 Laylah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All the recent books on modern homesteading, traditional skill preservation, raising food, etc., have their own spin, and like the techniques they outline, they're a very YMMV business. This book, and its follow-up Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World, are really working for me. The authors are very clear on the YMMV aspect and stress flexibility in their suggestions, encouraging readers to tackle whichever parts of the whole seem appealing and feasible. They offer a lot of pract ...more
TUH is filled with endless possibilities and basic down-to-Earth reconnections to get anyone interested in the applications of Urban Homesteading a go.

Not revolutionary nor new, but wisely refocusing and offering up ideas and information that anyone can apply with even the most basic of backyards.

Check out Kelly & Erik's daily/weekly progress-blog of the Urban Revolution:

: Happy Planting-Harvesting-Eating :
Aug 15, 2008 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
oh how i hate myself for liking this book, really i feel dirty ashamed and embarrassed, i am NOT a hipster... well at least i dont try to be... anyway enough embarassing myself, part of what i like beyond the crazy nasty things they tell you to do (like poop in a bucket and then use it a year later for fertilizer) they drop all these casual zombie references, crazy sweet good info...
so embarassed
Jan 10, 2014 Bumbumfish rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really want to try to make stuff myself this year, so I had to read up on everything DIY, didn't I? And when it comes to growing your own food, it seems you can't avoid this book, so I gave it a try.

In the beginning, I was a bit skeptical if this is the right book for me, because there are many chapters that just don't apply to me (like keeping chicken, for example). After reading the first few chapters on growing your own vegetables and fruit, though, I was completely hooked.

The content itsel
I thought with the many topics this book covers, it might not be able to get into any real projects. I was wrong! There are some great projects in each of the sections (including some of my favourites on urban farming - as always, raising chickens/ducks/etc, ecological cleaning supplies, biking in the city, foraging for both wild food and a bit on dumpster diving, making your own cheese & butter, and a brief section of making your own alcohol). Of course, with all those topics, it couldn't g ...more
I've read a fair bit on sustainable / urban agriculture. This is an alright overview for someone who has never been exposed to these concepts, as the authors encourage further reading.

However, the writing style might turn off a number of people based on its oh so hip language and tone. As a public administration professional, I was upset by the number of examples encouraging people to disregard local laws and codes, rather than providing guidance on how to change restrictive policies or more em
Jan 14, 2016 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my new favorite urban self-sufficiency book. It's practical, honest, hands-on, and very very funny. My husband got to it before I did, and here's what he had to say: “This is a goddamned good book. It's got a lot of knowledge, a lot of overviews, but it still has a lot of how-to. They keep a sense of humor. They know what they're talking about because they've done it. For anybody anywhere, country or city (unless maybe you're in a basement apartment with no windows), it's recommended.”

May 20, 2011 Joy rated it it was amazing
I picked up this one as a hardcopy book when I was at a nearby store selling a bunch of my older books. It is chock full of useful information, the kind of stuff that was a mainstay in our grandmothers' lives but isn't as common knowledge today. The concept of the "urban homsteader" is intriguing and I really like how the authors have taken the concepts and shown how to adjust them for life in the city. Most of this book is a mix of philosophy (the why) and general directions/info (the how), wit ...more
Lauren Mckinney
Sep 05, 2010 Lauren Mckinney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book opened my eyes to the possibilities inherent in my yard and my kitchen, the vegetables, fruits and nuts I could grow, the chickens I could have, the cheese I could make, you name it. It's all written in a non-self-righteous and quite good-humored way. There is much knowledge here, and it's inspiring and realistic at the same time. Erik and Kelly live in Los Angeles and farm a small yard, even the median strip. Like another reviewer said, after reading this book I look at all the lawns ...more
Carl Wade
Jul 08, 2013 Carl Wade rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pg 253: Oh dear, composting toilet. They suggest a saw dust 5er. How about hair instead of saw dust?
The other books in this series look intersting.
Pg 309: Authors have a blog
Pg 308; Other books "How to Live Well Without owning a Car" 2006. "The Art of Urban Living" 2004.
Pg 14: The authors are married but must use different surnames.
Pg 28: Starting a community garden.
Pg 115: The skill of urban foraging is good to have when the market and garden let you down.
Pg 123: A w
Nov 17, 2008 Michele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tinkerers, home ec geeks, curious types, those who strive to do for themselves
Recommended to Michele by: Found it in Santa Cruz bookshop
There is so much to learn from this book that it's hard to begin. Most people will identify with the content in some way. Almost everyone has a parent or grandparent who gardened, baked bread, made compost or homemade jam, or cleaned windows with vinegar. But, this is one of the few books that combines all of the old skills with many new ones, such as how to ride a bike in traffic without getting run over.

Most of the projects are so simple and straightforward that anyone can achieve success wit
Jan 29, 2013 Makenzie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Ok, because this book does offer some useful information, I'm giving two stars. But the language, the tone, and the overall... er... weirdness of this book was so off-putting that I can't recommend it to anyone. I was first a little freaked out by a blurb about compost reminding the compost-maker of her eventual demise every time she saw her pile of rotting vegetation. Um. Okay? For me, a compost pile can just be a compost pile. Secondly, I was somewhat enjoying the section on raising chickens u ...more
Jan 27, 2016 Gwen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gwen by: browsing at the library
Shelves: self-education
A while back, a friend of mine was telling me about her dream of developing an urban homestead/communal living block. Just a few days after that, I stumbled across this book at the library, so of course, I had to check it out.

Overall, I enjoyed the book--it has lots of good tips on how to set up and manage an urban homestead, but so many of the chapters seem irrelevant or out of reach for the average apartment dweller, especially ones with roommates. (I know, they say that anyone can do their st
This book is f*#king incredible. In 300 pages the authors cover virtually every topic relevant to urban gardening, from seed balls to greywater systems, and anything not dealt with in depth can be pursued via the amazing resource guide. I seriously cannot speak highly enough about this book.

Sample topics include:
home brewed beer
construction of self-watering containers
natural cleaning solution recipes
preserving the harvest
outfitting a bike for cargo-carrying
the list goes on...

Finally an "urban" gardening book that is actually relevant to apartment dwellers with very little or no yard! This book is great, though I only read the sections on gardening and rainwater harvesting in depth (skipped the stuff on livestock & foraging, skimmed the stuff on food preservation and energy). In some ways, every small space garden book is a repeat once you've taken a permaculture design course & been immersed in urban ag for a while, but the glut of information and choices on ...more
Apr 20, 2009 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
Shelves: earthing, commies
This fantastic book is your ultimate guide for do-it-yourself, off-the-grid, green living in the city. Kelly Coyne and Eric Knutzen will show you how to compost in a garbage can, raise chickens in your backyard, grow potatoes in old tires, build your own food dehydrator, make your own non-toxic cleaning solutions and even hack into your plumbing to reuse your greywater. For the especially ambitious (and cash-infused), they also discuss how to "Be Your Own Utility" by harvesting your own power. F ...more
May 23, 2012 CC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Urban Homestead is a practical guide to detaching oneself from the commercial "grid." The format of the book is definitely more oriented as a reference book than a straight-through read, but this didn't detract me from reading it start to finish. I was impressed by the authors' experience in urban homesteading, especially in the challenging city of LA.

Some of the projects in this book are not going to work for everyone. Some are bigger and more complex than others. Generally, I think there was
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Of course... 1 10 Feb 10, 2010 07:54AM  
  • Toolbox for Sustainable City Living: A Do-It-Ourselves Guide
  • Food Not Lawns: How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden and Your Neighborhood into a Community
  • The Backyard Homestead: Produce All the Food You Need on Just a Quarter Acre!
  • Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage & Preservation
  • Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills
  • Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living
  • Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-scale Permaculture
  • Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners
  • Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times
  • Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills
  • Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre
  • The City Homesteader: Self-Sufficiency on Any Square Footage
  • Homegrown and Handmade: A Practical Guide to More Self-Reliant Living
  • The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It: The Complete Back-To-Basics Guide
  • Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture
  • This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader
  • Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables
  • Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces

Share This Book

“Anything they have to advertise is something you don’t need.” 0 likes
More quotes…