Book Review: The Urban Homestead

afrankelSurvival, Survival Book Reviews

The Urban Homestead is hands-down a fantastic book that should be on every Urban Survivalist’s bookshelf or eBook reader.

Authored by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen, The Urban Homestead is written in a light and conversational tone, with an “it’s easy” attitude that make readers feel like they are getting advice from an old friend. The relaxed language and “work makes work” mindset make the book a pleasure to read, and the information tasty and enjoyable.

I usually don’t like cheerleading for products, but seriously, this book is great if you are looking for something to help you get your feet wet on a wide range of homesteading topics as they apply to urbanites.

The book covers so many things that it’s hard to list them all. Here are just a few examples of what you can take away from this book:

  • Grow food on a patio or balcony
  • Preserve or ferment food
  • Make Yogurt and Cheese
  • Compost with worms
  • Keep chickens and other small livestock
  • Divert your grey water to your garden
  • Clean your house without toxins
  • Guerrilla garden in public spaces

After reading this book cover to cover – there were only three things I found that readers may not like.

First, the book does not go into great depth on many topics. There are a number of How-To projects that give plenty of info, but if you are wanting every topic to cover every minute detail, its not there. In all fairness, it would be rather difficult to cover all the topics they did in depth, without writing an encyclopedia on urban homesteading. If you think of the book largely as a freshman course or primer on the subject of Urban Homesteading, you will find the book fulfilling and be thirsty for more. (as luck would have it the dynamic duo has just released another book titled Making It).

Second, there are some left-leaning aspects to the book (I expected more to be honest). That being said, it’s very minimal and I think even the most devoted righty would be hard pressed to take issue with the hints.

Lastly, the book could use better editing. I should not throw stones from my glass house of regularly butchering the English language, but other more type-a-retentive readers might find it annoying.

Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen are creators of the blog Root Simple (formerly known as Homegrown Evolution), a green living and self-reliance resource for homesteaders, urban and otherwise. Per their site:

They live in the heart of Los Angeles, in a little bungalow set on a 1/12 acre lot where almost all of their land is devoted to growing edible or otherwise useful plants and trees.



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