A Checklist for Further Research
This handbook is just that, a handbook with general information covering an array of topics for people who are interested in homesteading, all in one book, to get them started. The author lets readers know that homesteading isn't just living off-the-grid, it is about making a conscious effort to be more self-reliable. Covering the legalities of homesteading and types of homestead properties, what types of utilities you can consider using, how to start a garden, what types of animals you can raise, being prepared for medical needs, maintaining your homestead and budgeting, it gives a good place to start your research and the types of questions to ask.
I have been doing research for homesteading for years and we've done what we can with small changes to live a homesteading type life until we are able to settle on a piece of land and build our home, so about half of the information I already knew, but there is more stuff I get to look into as well.
There were a couple areas that had mechanical issues or didn't make sense. For example:
- the pdf wasn't formatted correctly to read on my Kindle, so the text would change font size randomly and cut off multiple lines of the page.
-'...where that warmth is transferred to air that will be circulated throughout the house.' I'm mainly confused by the method the author was trying to explain here, geothermal energy. Is the heated water radiating heat throughout the house or is there a step I missed between the heated water going to the heating pump and being circulated throughout the house?
As a book targeted to beginners in homesteading, I would've liked to see a bit more information in some areas, not as many generalizations and a bit more consistency with how much information was shared. For example:
- When discussing raising the animals the author discussed how the chickens, pigs, geese and ducks, goats and even rabbits could be used on the homestead, but didn't say how sheep could be used, simply mentioned that they should graze after cows.
I personally would have liked to see the author mention a few other things that could help a beginner homesteader decide the type of lifestyle they'd want. Such as quail as an alternate to chickens or alpaca as opposed to sheep or in addition to. A masonry stove or masonry heater would've been an additional heating source that could have been mentioned due to it's efficiency using its fuel source and not requiring as much of it, like a fireplace or wood burning stove. Lastly, a monolithic dome home, which has the efficiency of the underground home mentioned by the author, without the need to be buried.
While reading this book I did highlight some sections that would be useful and I could do a bit more research on; such as the websites mentioned to help find land and the distillation water purification system. Overall, I liked the book and I will definitely be using it to further my homesteading studies and going through the authors references page is one of the places I will start.
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