Nicole Faires' book, The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading, has been working its way into our evening reading. It sits in our fireplace actually, no disrespect intended, of course! The opening to the chimney is tiled over and turning it into a working fireplace is on our (long) list of things to do. In the meantime, the fireplace holds our current selection of reading material.
While we're still a long way from a real homestead, I've actually been finding plenty of great ideas that I can use right now, on our little 1/10th acre. What I love about the book is that it gives you straightforward, no-nonsense advice on a bazillion subjects, advice that you can turn around and use right away. Wondering how to make a simple herbal remedy? It's in there. Thinking about spinning yarn, or even how to choose the right breed of sheep from which to shear the wool? That's in there too, from really basic stuff to more hardcore homesteader skills (like logging!). It even talks about how to go about buying land, if you're at that place in the journey. I'm loving how thorough it is and how she's done all the work for the reader, boiling down tons of information into really manageable instructions. It seems like the kind of book any homesteader or wannabe homesteader should have on their shelf, ready for a quick flip through to answer any question. It gives you the basics and then, should you want to dig much deeper, you have a solid foundation from which to spring. I can totally see myself referring to this one again and again.
And if you haven't already been keeping tabs on Nicole and her family, you have GOT to see what they're doing! You know those crazy dreams we all get? Well, they're living theirs! They've renovated a Blue Bird bus and are touring the country in it (it's fully outfitted as a home!) interviewing organic farmers- amazing! Read all about their family's adventures on her blog, watch their youtube channel or connect on twitter or facebook. You might even consider donating to their cause.
PS If you're a homeschooler, Nicole has put together an amazing resource list that you can download for free. What a gal!