Iowa City Public Library's Reviews > Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life

Made from Scratch by Jenna Woginrich
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's review
Jul 22, 2010

bookshelves: heidi, staff-picks-blog, nonfiction

Made From Scratch is a story about the author, Jenna, and her desire to do more things for herself–things such as growing and preparing her own food, making her own clothes, and creating her own music. She teaches herself about homesteading, and plunges in when she relocates to northern Idaho.

This is not a hippie commune in the backwoods—Jenna is a 26 year-old who is commuting five miles into the city to work at a graphic design job in a large corporation. She stresses that you do not need a farm to be more self-sufficient, and she presents ideas for urban gardens, chickens in town and even beehives on apartment house roofs.

After a series of missteps and some just plain bad luck (think bears), Jenna establishes raised bed gardens, a bee hive, keeps angora rabbits and harvests their fur for knitting, and gathers eggs from her chickens. One of my favorite parts is her chapter on stocking a kitchen with treasures from second-hand shops and antique stores.

This is a fresh, young voice who shows that living a more sustainable lifestyle is possible and also is fun. She presents many resources for further study: books that have been invaluable to her, websites, seed catalogs, etc. And several times she reminds her readers of the vast resources at their public library. Since she wrote this book, she has moved to Vermont but continues her made-from-scratch adventures: follow her on her blog at --Heidi

From ICPL Staff Picks Blog

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