Urban homesteading is a fast-growing trend that encourages a lifestyle of locally grown and home-brewed without all the aspects of trendiness and upper-classisim instead, replacing it with a D.I.Y sensibility. In other words, being radical about taking care of the planet and making a major social shift into a more money-savvy and environmentally conscious way of living.
In the new book, “Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World,” all the bases are covered. It includes step-by-step instructions and easy to understand picture aids that make it simple for everyone to get frugal and economical. It explains how to make practically everything a modern person needs to survive without relying on others (big corporations and consumerist Americans) or buying into a “green lifestyle.” This means everything from making your own soap, brewing your own beer, infusing herbs into oils and salves and even slaughtering a chicken—ya know, killing your own food. Although, the process of slaughtering your own chicken is not a pretty one (something I knew but had not realized the intensity of until after reading this book), if you’re trying to be self-sustaining, it seems like a process that would be handy to know. Other more basic how-to’s such as gardening techniques, composting and instructions on how to equip your home with a grey water system; recycling the water from your sink to fill your toilet’s tank, are also included in the pages of this guide. The author’s of Making it, Kelly Coyne and Eric Knutzen, also write the DIY homesteader blog Root Simple.
Making it is a great reference guide to keep around the house for instructions or inspiration. New things to experiment with in the kitchen, trying your hand at something for the first time, getting into a new sustainable habit or, perhaps, making your own breath mints. The most surprising part to me is how far we have actually come and how reliant we have let ourselves become on the help of corporations and businesses for our basic human survival. Making It is a book truly dedicated to show folks they can actually make a difference by just making minute changes to a lifestyle–something as small as taking your kitchen scraps and starting a small compost on your fire escape (for all of you city dwellers). If you are a homesteader, a D.I.Y lover, or a make-stuff-with-your-hands, crafty kinda lady, consider this book to be your bible. Grab a copy, get some supplies and get your radical homesteading on.