The Frugal Homesteader
By John Moody
New Society Publishers
More and more Americans are becoming dissatisfied with the routine of working a meaningless job just to collect a paycheck and watch TV, play video games or try to fool everyone on Facebook into thinking you have an interesting life.
Homesteading is certainly a different kind of life that has an appeal to many people. If you are thinking about making a change to that kind of life, this is a good book to put at the top of your reading list. Should everyone drop everything and start homesteading?
No. Don’t get me wrong. It would be a great move for some people, just not everybody. It is hard work and requires a somewhat broader skill set than zapping space aliens from the comfort of your living room. Not all twenty-first-century Americans are up to the challenge.
This book covers all the basics to help you understand what you are getting into and make an informed decision. What kind of land or property should you look for? What tools do you need? What should you grow? What animals do you want? Do you want to collect rainwater or drill a well or neither? How do you do that? Do you want a greenhouse? What are your options there?
Do you want to be completely self-sufficient? This book will explain why that is impossible on this planet and why you don’t want to do it, even if it is possible. Moody explains the value of a solid, close-knit community.
You don’t need to jump into the deep end of homesteading all at once either. You can start small. Try a small garden first and see how that goes. If that works out well, take another step. Expand the garden, collect rainwater or generate your own energy—whatever you think is most interesting and that you can handle.
If you can’t afford everything you need, what is the best way to deal with that? Many might say work harder and make more money. There is another answer I like even better. Find ways to live well with less money. This is one of the ways The Frugal Homesteader excels.
Not only is this book a great resource, full of information from an experienced homesteader about the nuts and bolts of homesteading, but it is a rich compendium of ideas on how to acquire what you need at bargain prices. You don’t need to buy everything at full retail at the store. You don’t need every tool that has been invented.
Even if you are not interested in homesteading, this resource is full of wisdom on how to make the most of what your creator has given you. The thumb is UP.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Winter 2018