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Homesteading The Easy Way Including Prepping And Self Sufficency: 3 Books In 1 Boxed Set
Average customer review:
(149 customer reviews)
Despite all of the advances in technology, the bustling lives of city dwellers that get busier and busier, and the movement to homes where both parents work at least one job, there is a growing community of people who are turning to homesteading. The allure of homesteading can be obvious: it allows you to stay home more, be more self-sufficient, and slow down to enjoy "the simple life." However, some of the benefits may be more subtle. For example, you have a better diet and spend less money.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #35236 in eBooks
- Published on: 2014-07-23
- Released on: 2014-07-23
- Format: Kindle eBook
Most helpful customer reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful.
Inconsistent writing, odd ideas
By Susan Baroncini-Moe
Please note that the contents of this book are identical to the contents of this one: Homesteading Made Easy (Boxed Set): Self-Sufficiency Guide for Preppers, Homesteading Enthusiasts and Survivalists
I wanted to love this collection. Unfortunately, while I started out loving some of these books, overall the writing is inconsistent, as if each book is written by multiple authors, and the ideas are really skimpy.
I’ll address each book in the series individually.
"Self-Sufficiency: Getting Back to the Basics"
I appreciated that this book started from the premise of “self-sufficiency is something we each have to define for ourselves.” It was clear that this book wasn’t going to be about extreme prepping, it’s about helping you to decide for yourself how self-sufficient you want to be, then showing you how to get there.
But…the writing isn’t good. I wish the publisher had edited the book for grammar, spelling, and seriously, just good writing. I started out loving the approachable style and the philosophy, but then the book immediately shifted to what seemed like a completely different writer, as if the original writer just ran out of gas. Disappointing.
There were some interesting tips about frugality and making your own cleaning products, but frankly, this book that’s supposed to be on homesteading barely covers any of the subjects relating to homesteading. Instead of a comprehensive discussion on how to be truly self-sufficient, which is what I was promised in the introduction (and frankly, excited about), it turned into something that never really covered food preservation methods, never talked in-depth about alternative energy, and didn’t include a comprehensive discussion of animal husbandry and beekeeping. Instead, there were tips on making your own cleaning products and using garbage to make crafts that sound like garbage-y crafts.
Also, I want details and actual step-by-step instructions. I don’t want to read a book that says, “Detailed directions can be found on the internet in numerous tutorials” or provides an idea without any “how to.” I can Google on my own, no book required.
And “Use newspaper clippings as fingernail polish” is a fun idea, and I agree with the author that, “The neat thing about this is that everyone else will be trying to figure out how you got words scrawled across your nails.” The problem is, so will you, because that’s the last sentence in the chapter.
Another example: “Gardens are not only a plot of land that is tilled, raked and planted, but a garden can be a series of large containers filled with the appropriate types of soil.” Aside from the grammatical issues, note that there is no conversation about what “the appropriate types of soil” might be. It’s just skipped over, like they didn’t just say anything about appropriate types of soil.
There are many better books on homesteading, including one of my favorites, “The Urban Homestead,” which covers all of the topics I’ve mentioned far better and more comprehensively than this one.
Moving on to "Prepping: The Ultimate Survival Guide"
Note that this is called “The Guide to Surviving Any Disaster.” I really hope this isn't the guide to surviving any disaster, because if it is, we're all in trouble.
Starting out, this book is problematic insofar as the assumptions about who preppers are. “Being a prepper or survivalist does seem to mean that you believe in a different kind of housing. You don’t believe houses should be above ground.” In some cases I imagine that’s true, but come on - this book reads like a child’s school report. “There are stores where you can buy a mayonnaise jar that is taller then [sic] you are.”
“Buying lots of food is not the only thing that preppers buy a lot of. They always seem to buy lots and lots of weapons.”
I had the impression that this book was a book for preppers, not a book about preppers. But in fact, this book seems written from an “outsider” perspective, as if mystified by the subculture of preppers.
“What is it about some persons that they are so obsessed with the end of the world?…The Bible has a book called Revelations and it talks about how the world will end in a certain way. This is why the most religious persons are obsessed with the end of it all….Some North American’s ancestors were the Puritans and they came to the New World, because they didn’t fit into British society anymore. They came with the idea in mind that the Devil or the British or somebody else would take everything away from them….Genetics and religion are why Americans are so obsessed with the end of everything.”
Tell me this doesn’t read like a school report, and a pretty judgey one at that.
Chapter 2 was better. Less “school report” style and more useful tips. However, “simply stock up on stuff you already eat” isn’t the best recommendation for a prepping book. There are quite a few food storage strategies that aren’t even mentioned here, and frankly, just having a few extra things on hand isn’t at all what prepping is about.
Chapter 3 seemed like another completely different author wrote this section of the book. This section is more readable and even less like a child’s school report than Chapter 2.
As for the actual content, is it helpful? Perhaps. But rather than trying to make the zombie apocalypse “fun” with a fondue party, how about a comprehensive discussion on how to keep foods fresh in long-term storage?
I found the water storage discussion and the chapter on Bug Out bags useful, but by this point, I was questioning everything the author said, due to the poor quality of writing and sketchy information in previous chapters.
The remainder of the book was just a list of tips, really.
The third book in this bundle is, “Homesteading and Self Sufficiency Guide for Beginners.”
The writing in this book is better than the others. It's still not great, but it's certainly less judgmental in nature to the previous book, and the author seems to be speaking from personal experience.
The editors did a poor job of editing this book as well. The gardening chapter features an image of a first aid kit, which seems pretty inappropriate given the subject matter, an “Emergency Escape Plan” graphic in the chapter on surviving winter months, and a photo of emergency equipment in a chapter on chickens. I’m guessing the final version of this book wasn’t even looked at. I actually think these images were from the previous prepper book.
Chapter 8 takes a strange and abrupt departure from gardening and chicken rearing to how to make your own furniture polish, and comes accompanied by an odd photo of a woman’s legs with bright red heels. It’s all a bit mysterious and confusing.
And…suddenly, that’s it. Just as abruptly as the shift in topics with the last chapter, the book ends.
I hate to say this about any book, because, as an author, I understand the angst of writing. However, I cannot recommend this - not as a writer, not as an urban homesteader, not as a gardener. Sorry, but don’t waste your time.
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge for my honest review. I am not required to give a good review. I am also not associated with the seller in any way. This disclosure is in accordance with Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful.
Self-sufficiency in realistic terms and easily-enacted steps
By Melissa M.
This digital box set presents a concise combination of personal experience and research, which I like. I would much rather read a book from someone who has walked the walk, than someone simply theorizing based on research and the experiences of others.
Homesteading, by common usage, has gone from meaning "living completely off the grid" to being a catch-all term for patterns of self-sufficient, frugal, self-reliant behavior. This set contains tips every average American could benefit from, regardless of whether or not they wanted to fully embrace the lifestyle. The author immediately presents a more balanced and realistic view of self-sufficiency, within the first few pages. We do not strive to be fully sufficient - living completely free of each other and resources. Instead, self-sufficiency has by common usage come to mean one's personal definition of providing for their own material means in a way that is as free from "the grid" - the resources of contemporary society - as much as possible. For one family, this may mean planting a vegetable garden and harvesting rain water to provide for it, or raising chickens or bees to lower their food costs and impact. For another individual, this may mean creating a self-sufficient one-acre farm. The author does a good job of reassuring the reader that self-sufficiency is not a race or a strict definition and that we can all implement steps toward our personal goals.
As for further content, content that I especially appreciated in the first volume were homemade cleaning supplies - many of which I've already personally implemented, including using old cloths instead of paper towels for cleaning and using homemade laundry and dishwasher soap. Repurposing items, paring down your budget and financial expenditures, and general frugality tips round out the first book. Overall, it's a great introduction into light self-sufficiency terminology and practice, very useful for anyone interested in the ideas.
The second volume is a little more hardcore - Prepping. I myself have not yet dove into prepping. It's a daunting task with a family of seven with many pets! This book has good tips for anyone new to the idea of prepping. As I've done a lot of research without yet taking the leap, it's all consistent information from what I've read elsewhere, which speaks to the authenticity of the author's research. From water supply to food storage, it covers things well. As a Mormon, I know a bit about food storage and this book hits the mark in that regard. It definitely encouraged me to start canning items that we could use in the event of an emergency.
The medication storage section is especially appreciated, as my husband and I are both on several life-sustaining medications and knowing how we can safely stock pile and store emergency supplies of our most vital medications is important.
The third book is my favorite... Growing your own food for self-sufficiency! I am already planning my BIG veggie garden for this summer so this book in particular is going to be a huge help for me. The language in this part of the book is almost poetic and makes me excited to install our raised beds so we can enjoy the process of growing our own delicious food. It details the ins and outs of how to plan a successful garden very succinctly. The author's clear passion for the topic shines through every sentence, making this book a major winner in this box set. It also details keeping chickens for their eggs! As a former and hopefully future chicken owner, I can confirm that the info in this book is in line with what local farmers have taught me about raising chooks.
Overall, these books are hugely useful to me as an aspiring, marginally more self-sufficient individual. The tips in here will help benefit my family as I refer back to it as time goes on and I work to enact more of these tips into our lives!
I received this book set free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. All opinions and statements are my own.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
Mixed bag. Look elsewhere.
This set of three books could have been more useful. The first book was outright terrible, teaches nothing, and is more of a how-to on hoarding garbage than anything else.
The second book, on prepping, provided some good information. I was pleased to find that it was about practical, realistic preparedness. Most titles on the subject seem to be written by tinfoil hat wearing lunatics that are waiting for the government to come for their arsenals during some dystopian collapse of society. This book had good advice, which if followed, would make any family better prepared to handle unforeseen emergencies of a more realistic nature.
The third author seemed to have much to offer, but her writings seemed random and incomplete. I learned bits and pieces about raising chickens and making furniture polish, and other subjects were just touched upon. The book felt more like reading a few pages in a diary than anything else. More content and more structure would have been appreciated.
I can't complain too much, due to the price. The first book should be dropped from the collection, and I recommend skipping it entirely. The others are worth a browse. The prepping book would have made a decent standalone book, and the second homesteading book could have used other accompanying titles.