BOOK REVIEW- THE MANUAL OF PRACTICAL HOMESTEADING

John Vivian was an experienced homesteader in the early ’70’s. In 1975 he published

“The Manual of Practical Homesteading”.

In the late 70’s and into the 80’s and 90’s my wife and I were homesteading in New Hampshire. After I acquired this book, it became a go-to reference that we really valued. This was during the time of how-to books, and your little library of info held an important place in any home that was applying any kind of homestead thinking to their lives. This book held the most prominent place of all, and anytime I might sit down to read , I was likely to grab this book before any other. It was well worn before I parted with it and I cannot remember when that was. We have downsized a few times over the years in our travels and parted with a lot of things.

So recently, I was thinking about it and was able to find a used copy of this cherished book from yesteryear. The book originally had a price tag of $5.95, but I was glad to plunk down $15.00 for my new copy even though it was split in half.John shares his and his wife’s “Pursuit of a Better Life” and their experience and exploits on their homestead somewhere in Massachusetts.

In his unique way of sharing, he covers Planting, Planning, Seasonal issues, Bees, Maple Syrup, Cold Frames, Livestock do’s and don’ts, as wells as Fruits, Soil , Goats and Milking, Putting Up, and even Animal Slaughtering and Butchering.

We found his insights invaluable to our endeavers. We were some 60- 80 miles North of where I think he was and we had a little shorter growing season. Many of the thoughts he shared on growing and planning and animals were well heeded by us.

Years have gone by and it seems there are only a few copies left around. But if you like homesteading and would like a good read from and era now gone bye and before the internet and youtube, you may enjoy having a copy for yourself.

 

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