Monday, January 4, 2010
Reading is something that I enjoy regularly; and as the weather turns cold I find myself looking forward to curling up with a good book and an unlimited mug of coffee or tea. The book of my choice for this cooler time of year is Jenna Woginrich's Handmade from Scratch.
This adorable book takes you on Jenna's journey towards self-reliance and shares with you her deep satisfaction for providing for oneself. I love that she writes, "If you think making yourself a meal from your own backyard sounds satisfying, try feeding friends a meal you grew from seed." My favorite chapters were Chickens, Grow your Own Meal, Beekeeping, Old Stuff, DIY Wardrobe (really, really loved this), and the resources at the end. Even the chapters with less of a draw for me, like Working House Dogs, I still enjoyed the reading because of the free-spirited, inquisitive, born-to-think way she comes across. I also love personal details and the complete honesty as she describes some of her failures.
Even before the wave of the handmade revolution, I have long been interested in off-the-grid living (another form of homesteading you might call it). When I lived in Tucson, Az, I imagined building my own strawbale house with my (then) boyfriend. We never did; however, I was fortunate enough to have a backyard with a established orange tree, and where I planted a few things. I read up and learned all about how to make this tree every happy so I would have the best oranges. And I did, and oh let me tell you --they were to die for! I took so much pride in this tree and the oasis it created for the birds. Back then, I also remember reading Wilderness Way, a magazine with stories about surviving in the wild and becoming more connected with animals and to the earth. Even though being a full-blown homesteader was/is not exactly me, I'm truly an earthy girl at heart.
As of this moment, I am so inspired by the book that I have followed Jenna's basic bread recipe, and its in the oven. I even made the braided version. I also have a hat on my knitting needles and I'm finding myself listening to the radio just to stumble upon something about the environment. As soon as it warms up more, I'm planning on buying herbs that I can grow in containers handy to the kitchen, and joining a local hiking group. So, thank you Jenna, for providing these ideas and filling my life with a new spark during an otherwise blah January. Xo, Sharon Marzonie