homesteading (211)

Which Cover Do You Like Best?

We are in the final stages with our latest book, The Half-Acre Homestead: 46 Years of Building and Gardening. It’s 8½″ square, 168 pages, with about 540 photos of these things:

House/Kitchen/Cooking/Preserving/Foraging/Fishing/Gardening/Chickens/Crafts

It’s a book I’ve been meaning to put together for years, and it feels good to be in the final stages.

Above are two choices for the cover. Click either image for larger view. Whichever image we choose for the front cover, the other one will go on the back cover.

What do you think?

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Tiny Home in Scottish Highlands

Hi Lloyd,

Just a quick email to update you, and send a photo of our small house in the NW Highlands.
We spoke a few years ago, when you were over in Scotland, heading up this way see Bernard Planterose. Sadly we could not meet, but I thought you would like to see our tiny, but much loved home.

It is approx 40msq (about 430 sq. ft.) – the exterior is larch timber and ‘wriggley’ tin. The interior is CLP – heavily insulated with sheep’s wool.

We have a small office, a compost loo, a main living, cooking and sleeping area with a climb up bed and a compact bathroom. There are floor to ceiling windows to the front of the house – we feel like we are sitting on the deck of a ship – watching the ever changing sea loch and the birds and mammals that call it home. Heat comes from an old Jotul wood stove, power from 6 solar panels, a battery bank and inverter (we have a 24 +12v system) and we use bottled gas for a cooker and boiler. In the summer we run a small freezer and camping fridge, in the winter a hole in an outside wall!

“Twoflower Croft” has been our home for almost two years. We are still finishing soak aways and retaining walls, planting trees, planting gardens – but we are getting there.
… Our friend Sam Booth from Echo Living made our plans a reality, and it is to him, and to you we owe a huge debt. It is wonderful to know that there are people out there celebrating the fact that that simple, small houses – designed for the life that the owners live – make the most perfect homes.

Huge respect and best wishes from Scotland, hope you find yourself here again soon.

Sara Garnett

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Homesteading in Remote Parts of Alaska and Massachusetts

Hi Lloyd,

I’ve been digging through your books hard lately. We bought a house with 3 acres about an hour north of Boston and I’ve been homesteading it up. Building terraces for the garden, stonework, improvements for the sawmill barn, and extensive landscaping. I’ve yet to dig into the inside house work.

Anyway, I first heard about your work while up on an 80-acre parcel with a homestead in the deep interior of Alaska. My buddies dad quit architecture school just before graduation and got a big chunk of land under the homestead act in the late ’70s. Out of Anchorage, I took two small planes to get picked up by a boat for another 1.5-hour boat ride upriver.

Anyway, my buddy who summers there, said you gotta look at this book.  It was: Shelter. I was intoxicated. That was 15 years ago. You know in life we seem to find things at the right time in life?  Now sorting through your recent publications (early 2000s on) it’s the perfect tonic as i dig into new crazy projects. I’ve got a sauna and a treehouse on my mind right now.  I run a fancy-pants tree pruning company and run a backyard sawmill operation while also a full-time high school arboriculture teacher. Well anyway, thanks for all your work on these magnificent publications.  The Builders of the Pacific Coast book was possibly my favorite for my needs right now. I liked seeing you really dig into some talented individuals.

What is next for you? One book that I think would be interesting is some exploration of East Coast modern homesteaders. I’ve got a bunch of friends in the Maine/NH area that are doing some pretty special things. A book I started, but shelved was interviewing Massachusetts Sawmills and photographing sawmills today and discuss the changing paradigm that sawmills are faced in a world lumber market. It’s a weird world.

Anyway, I’m just rambling, but just wanted to say thanks.

I document some of my homestead efforts on instagram @sherwood_homestead.

Chris Wood
Ravenswood Tree and Landscape LLC
Newton, NH 03858

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Dining Table from Recycled Wood

Table is 9″ long, 32″ wide, 2½″ thick Douglas Fir. I’ve made about 6 tables out of 2″ or 3″ recycled* Douglas Fir. It’s strong, relatively cheap, and got beautiful grain.

*In the ’60s-’70s, we called it “used wood.”

(With the driftwood book off at the printers, I’m getting back into working on my half-acre homestead book.)

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Homegrown: A Year in the Life of a Humboldt County Guerrilla Grower

This is a great book. I found it so fascinating, I read it cover-to-cover. I’ve known growers for years, but never realized the full extent of what it takes (took) to grow out in the woods. It’s not only a book about farming, but about gardening, wildlife, plants and trees, and about treating the earth with respect.

Also, the drawings are great (see link below). Andrew told me it was about a year in creation.

Up until now, guerrilla growers in Mendocino and Humboldt counties produced organic, high-strength cannabis, grown without chemicals or electricity. Now things have changed. Yes, it’s become legal, but there are a host of downsides to the recent legislation. The 30 or so years of guerrilla growers hand-growing and homegrowing a clean product have just about ended, as Big Business has moved in. A lot of pot is testing positive for pesticides. People buy their organic produce at Whole Foods, yet don’t know if what they are smoking is laced with insecticides. How much are your lungs worth? Advice to pot smokers: Know thy grower.

Andrew’s book encapsulates the romance and righteousness of working with nature, and documents an era of wholesome cannabis production.

To get it (and to see some of the pages), go to: mollywestranch.com

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