The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 40th Anniversary Edition: The Original Manual for Living off the Land & Doing It Yourself Info

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From craft culture to survivalists, preppers, homesteaders,
urban farmers, and everyone in between there is a desire for a simpler
way of life—a healthier, greener, more self-sustaining and
holistic approach to modern life. 
 
The knowledge you
need to survive and thrive off the grid is at your fingertips
in The Encyclopedia of Country Living, the best-selling
resource for the homesteading movement. With its origins in the
back-to-the-land effort of the late 1960s, Carla Emery’s landmark
book has grown into a comprehensive guide to building your sustainable
country escape haven, while lowering your carbon footprint in the
process. 
 
The 40th anniversary edition offers
up-to-date and detailed information on the fundamentals of topics like
homegrown food; raising chickens, goats, and pigs; beekeeping; food
preservation; mail-order supply sourcing; foraging; and much, much more
(even how to deliver a baby)—everything you need to lead a
self-sufficient lifestyle in the 21st century. 
 

Basic, thorough, and reliable, this book deserves a place in urban and
rural homes alike.

Table of Contents

1
Oddments
2 Introduction to Plants
3 Grasses, Grains &
Canes
4 Garden Vegetables
5 Herbs & Flavorings
6 Tree,
Vine, Bush & Bramble
7 Food Preservation
8 Introduction to
Animals
9 Poultry
10 Goats, Cows & Home Dairying
11 Bee,
Rabbit, Sheep & Pig
12 Appendix

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Reviews for The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 40th Anniversary Edition: The Original Manual for Living off the Land & Doing It Yourself:

5

Jul 30, 2013

This book is an excellent resource. I can't put it down. It is not a book you would read from cover to cover as there are many sections that are specifically for reference. It is full of 1000's of recipes and references including many websites, magazines, and books. It covers an extensive list of subjects from growing beets to butchering hogs and from keeping bees to making soap. It covers storing fruits, meats, and vegetables and hundreds of other basic skills that use to be passed down from This book is an excellent resource. I can't put it down. It is not a book you would read from cover to cover as there are many sections that are specifically for reference. It is full of 1000's of recipes and references including many websites, magazines, and books. It covers an extensive list of subjects from growing beets to butchering hogs and from keeping bees to making soap. It covers storing fruits, meats, and vegetables and hundreds of other basic skills that use to be passed down from father to son but which have been forgotten, for the most part, in our modern urban lifestyle. I highly recommend this book. The copy I have is from the library. I am thinking this is one I may need to buy.
**UPDATE** My wife got me my own copy for my birthday. ...more
5

May 21, 2013

This book is THE SHIT! Everything you may want to know about country living - from buying land, learning about farming and running your own business from your little acreage.
Good listings for those living in the US, as this is very much an American book.
Makes me want to go to the US and do some serious homesteading while living on an organic, vegetarian diet.
4

May 13, 2011

Wow! What an incredible volume of useful knowledge! And while one would initially think to buy this and place it on a shelf to use as a reference (and they should!), they will find upon perusal that there are all kinds of tidbits mixed in as well that they might miss if they don't go cover to cover. For example, you wouldn't think to find homemade household cleaner recipes in the gardening section, nor would you expect to find out what to do if you find yourself giving birth and you are all Wow! What an incredible volume of useful knowledge! And while one would initially think to buy this and place it on a shelf to use as a reference (and they should!), they will find upon perusal that there are all kinds of tidbits mixed in as well that they might miss if they don't go cover to cover. For example, you wouldn't think to find homemade household cleaner recipes in the gardening section, nor would you expect to find out what to do if you find yourself giving birth and you are all alone in the introductory chapter! Ha ha! I highly recommend this and again, make sure to give it a look-through before placing it on your shelf - you won't be sorry! ( : ...more
5

Jun 24, 2013

There's a reason why so many farmers and homesteaders consider Carla Emory's book to be THE definitive source of information. Sure she wrote it many years ago, but it has evolved with each printing into a total package of information. It covers everything from raising and butchering livestock, to baking, gardening, canning, using herbs, building chicken coops and churning butter. I've turned to it many times when I needed information, or to read about something I was considering trying. She has There's a reason why so many farmers and homesteaders consider Carla Emory's book to be THE definitive source of information. Sure she wrote it many years ago, but it has evolved with each printing into a total package of information. It covers everything from raising and butchering livestock, to baking, gardening, canning, using herbs, building chicken coops and churning butter. I've turned to it many times when I needed information, or to read about something I was considering trying. She has a very no-nonsense approach, much like our farming grandparents did, and I appreciate that most of all. ...more
5

Mar 06, 2013

Holy macaroni, there's a lot in this book! I have no desire to live in the country but I am interested in urban agriculture, growing more of what I eat, and learning how to preserve what grows. This is not a book to read in one sitting though I certainly tried. From Latin names for plants to when and how to plant to what to plant with what to how to fight pests to preserving harvest for winter to recipes for everything you grow, you ought to be able to find what you need here. Now that I know Holy macaroni, there's a lot in this book! I have no desire to live in the country but I am interested in urban agriculture, growing more of what I eat, and learning how to preserve what grows. This is not a book to read in one sitting though I certainly tried. From Latin names for plants to when and how to plant to what to plant with what to how to fight pests to preserving harvest for winter to recipes for everything you grow, you ought to be able to find what you need here. Now that I know what's covered in these pages, I will buy my own copy and keep it on hand for easy access to information. From Latin names to ...more
4

Nov 20, 2008

Got this one along with a couple of other "basic skills bibles", and so far I'm impressed with the breadth and depth of its coverage. Been reading about corn lately, all kinds of stuff about it. A good one for the commode, to have handy and just open randomly to any page.
5

Feb 21, 2008

We keep this book up at the cabin. I like to sit by the fire and read about shearing sheep and slaughtering pigs (sorry, my veggie friends).
Contained in these pages is just about everything you need to know to live off the grid or on it, if you prefer. It covers finding and purchasing land, building houses and barns, buying, raising, and breeding all sorts of animals, hunting, foraging, slaughtering livestock, shearing sheep, growing fruits and vegetables, canning, and more and more and more. We keep this book up at the cabin. I like to sit by the fire and read about shearing sheep and slaughtering pigs (sorry, my veggie friends).
Contained in these pages is just about everything you need to know to live off the grid or on it, if you prefer. It covers finding and purchasing land, building houses and barns, buying, raising, and breeding all sorts of animals, hunting, foraging, slaughtering livestock, shearing sheep, growing fruits and vegetables, canning, and more and more and more. Seriously. Everything.
What I love about it is the use of little stories to illustrate points and the fact that it presents you with various ways you can make your operation self-sustaining. And there are recipes for things like "small animal stew". Just in case you happen upon a tasty looking squirrel. Delicious!
Since we got this book, I am even more obsessed with living the dream. ...more
4

Nov 19, 2017

This book is huge and has a little bit of everything. I didn't finish it. It is a book to have on your shelf for constant reference as the farm grows. I will be adding it to my library as it is a must have. There is everything from detailed gardening to how to make egg noodles.
3

Jun 11, 2010

3.5 stars
---

I just skimmed through this giant book, and I can see how useful it would be if I lived in the country, had a farm, or gardened more seriously than I currently do. This book is like several books smashed into one. It covers almost all bases - growing, preserving, cooking veggies, grains, legumes, etc, raising animals and maybe even eating them too (I skipped the last chapters about animals).
5

Feb 05, 2012

I use this reference manual for most everything country over and over again!
5

Mar 09, 2009

good lord, this book is comprehensive. i got it out of the library because i'm trying to put in a garden and am clueless, but i found myself paging through it, fascinated, as she discusses such handy and useful things as how one slaughters a hog, keeps hens from getting "broody," does laundry with a plunger and bucket, etc. information that won't help me a bit in my urban home, but which is entertaining to read and, as with the animal-slaughtering-how-tos, page past very quickly. if i had any good lord, this book is comprehensive. i got it out of the library because i'm trying to put in a garden and am clueless, but i found myself paging through it, fascinated, as she discusses such handy and useful things as how one slaughters a hog, keeps hens from getting "broody," does laundry with a plunger and bucket, etc. information that won't help me a bit in my urban home, but which is entertaining to read and, as with the animal-slaughtering-how-tos, page past very quickly. if i had any desire to homestead, this is the book i'd take with me. ...more
3

Mar 28, 2009

I had heard of this book for years, so decided to get it from the library. It is not the kind of book you read from cover to cover. I was particularly interested in the food preservation, oddments and herb sections. This is a book about self-sufficient living, so it also has interesting things like a diagram of a hog with an X placed exactly where you should shoot it. I also enjoyed the recipes for pickled pig's feet and scrapple, amont others. This would be a great book to own, if you actually I had heard of this book for years, so decided to get it from the library. It is not the kind of book you read from cover to cover. I was particularly interested in the food preservation, oddments and herb sections. This is a book about self-sufficient living, so it also has interesting things like a diagram of a hog with an X placed exactly where you should shoot it. I also enjoyed the recipes for pickled pig's feet and scrapple, amont others. This would be a great book to own, if you actually were living a "homesteading" lifestyle. ...more
5

Jan 10, 2014

One of my all time favorite books. The first time I made bread by hand, it was by a recipe in this book for four loaves. Everytime I have sat down to read this, I almost get lost in the pages! I love it.
This isn't one of those read all the way through at once (even though I did so when I first got it!) and you can tell that from the size of it! Huge book!
Carla Emery takes the intimidation out of so many areas of country living and her book delivers!
5

May 15, 2009

This is a MASSIVE reference book over 900 pages long on just about anything you'd need to know about country living, including how to purchase farm animals, catch a run-away pig, milk a cow, make sausage, can tomatoes, build a chicken coop, etc. This book is jam-packed with an impressive amount of detail, and includes diagrams, references, mail-order sources, and price estimates. A wonderful book to either flip through for inspiration or to turn to for detailed advice.
5

Nov 30, 2011

i have a soft spot for Carla Emery, the queen of hippie back to the landers. I grew up with this book, and read it many a time as i plotted my own future homestead. the information is far from complete, like all of these "everything you need to know" books there are simply too many subjects to cover any in depth. but it gives a person an overview of what's involved, and that's a fine starting point.
GREAT armchair reading. her style is blunt and homey.
5

Mar 26, 2013

The first page I turned to said, "How to take care of your dead". So I figure it has it all. This book has everything your Grandmother should have taught you! I love learning how to do things on my own like making pickles and soap, so I am enjoying it. Already I found out I have poison Hemlock all over the front yard of my newly purchased home/ 5 acres that I want to turn into a mini farm. This book might have just saved my life!
5

Jun 22, 2011

Carla Emery homesteaded in the Yukon Territoy and this book contains the wealth of information gained in that journey. Written is a very easy manner, containing humorous snippets of her blunders along the way. An invaluable resource of recipes for cooking from basic products, homesteaders,and health conscience cooks.
5

Sep 01, 2013

I have to be perfectly honest here, I have NOT read this book. I'd say I've read "on" this book! I've had it for a number of years now and I pull it out of my shelf a lot and look things up... and then a few hours later I realize whatever it was I was looking up is long gone from my mind! This is a great collection of lost skills and it makes me happy!
5

Jul 15, 2009

This book is almost as thick as a phone book, and contains information on just about everything you could think of when it comes to living in the country - canning, raising chickens, gardening, the works. I love it because it provides a great jumping off point for me to research topics in more depth from other sources. I'll be reading and re-reading this one for a long while.
5

May 22, 2011

If the apocalypse had actually occurred yesterday and I was left behind, this is the book I would want to have with me. It has instructions on seriously everything you could ever need to survive, from growing your own food, to castrating goats, to giving birth. I will probably (hopefully) never need a lot of this information, but it is incredibly interesting to read.
5

Nov 09, 2012

Excellent compendium of living a simpler life, covering many aspects from land to animals to kids to health to life and death. I have never read this entire book. I use some pages regularly, and sometimes I just pull it down and flip it open to see what I'm going to learn about next. Last time I did that, I ended up reading a recipe using a camel!
4

Nov 27, 2012

This is a book that anyone wanting to live a homesteading life needs. It can be read from cover to cover, but for me it is more of a little at a time book. Whatever I am doing at the time, be it learning about a certain plant, how to preserve food, or how to make cheese; I just refer to that section and read up on it. It is a very good book. Carla Emery really knew her stuff.
4

Jan 06, 2011

Another great reference book for those wanting to learn lost of arts of our agrarian past. Whether you are interested in simple gardening, self-sufficiency or just being less wasteful and more green in your lifestyle, this books provides the information you will need.
0

Feb 06, 2013

I keep going back to this resource on everything farm-ish. It gives me information enough that I can then start asking people questions and figure out what other books I need on the subject. Current interest: lambs and meat sheep!
3

Jan 25, 2013

Great info on raising animals, farming, bee keeping just about everything you need to know about country living. It was more like a journal than a dictionary though so that's why I didn't love it and the pictures could of been better.

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