Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Urban Homestead: A Review

The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen is 318 pages packed full of wonderfully inspiring information. The book started out with a section on home gardening, and honestly, I was a little bored. Not that it was bad, but I have just read several books on a similar topic and I already do quite a bit of gardening at home. So reading about it wasn't thrilling, and although there were a couple of snippets of new information (like that families of plants use up different nutrients at different rates), but mostly, it was a lot of information that I am already living and breathing.
However, towards the middle of the book there was a section entitled "Revolutionary Home Economics" that I found chock full of great ideas. Some of their preservation techniques that I really want to try include lacto-fermentation, pickling, making vinegars, making ricotta cheese, homemade butters, and country wines (like dandelion wine). There is also an entire section on water and power, both how to reduce your consumption and how to get your own. I thought it was pretty inspiring.
As an overall package, this is probably the best intro to homesteading book that I have read, especially because it is for urbanites (like myself, at least until we can move to a farm!). The ideas in this book are really practical for someone living on a small plot of land. I think that anyone trying to start their own mini-homestead in the middle of a city should get their hands on this one and give it a read. I know that I will be putting it to some use this summer! Pin It Now!


  1. I think I've checked this one out before but I'm not sure. I'll have to request it again.

  2. Thanks for the review, sounds like a good read.

  3. This book is what got us going on our little urban plot. We love it and call it "the book" when referring to methods and such to each other. :) "but honey, 'the book' said to do it this way.....". :) Love it and have passed my copy around to friends in hopes to win them over to urban homesteading. ;)

  4. Wow, this sounds like one that has a lot of useful information. I will look for it. Great review of the contents. Reminds me of some years back when I loved reading Mother Jones. Have every read that magazine? I used to get a copy and devour it and then save it for years to refer back to again and again. Thanks for the review.

    1. Yes! I used to get Mother Jones as well. I still read it online sometimes! ;)