Ward House

Hee haw donkey basketball

This was a fund raiser for the highschool football team (I think).  Anyway, it was so amazingly fun to watch though I am suprised that more people did not get hurt!    Now, if you have never attended one of these, the goal is to shoot (and make) 5 baskets.  One must be seated on the donkey when shooting for the basket to count.  I apologize for the shaky nature – I was laughing so hard!

Melinda from One generation, posted her top ten list of self reliance books to have.  Here it is. . .

1. Joy of Cooking.
Surprise! I’m not kidding. It’s my #1 choice. In it you will find just about everything you need to cook and preserve food. There are several editions, and they’re not the same. I’ve had each of the last three. I prefer the 2006 edition, as it has more about preserving and less about microwaving. There are even recipes for preserving here, though if this list were longer I would include the Blue Ball Book of Preserving as well. Have Joy of Cooking, not sure of which edition.
2. Seed To Seed, by Suzanne Ashworth.
Not just about seeds, this is a page-turner of a gardening book. I love it – read it all in one night! Extremely valuable.

3. Back to Basics, by Reader’s Digest.
I did not expect Reader’s Digest to have such a book, but it’s great! From making candles and bread, to beekeeping and metal working, to making cheese and building a stone house. And everything in between! Fascinating stuff.

4. Storey’s Basic Country Skills.
The subtitle is: “A Practical Guide to Self-Reliance.” Whatever isn’t in Back to Basics is probably here. It includes farm and ranch animals, water supplies, basic plumbing and electrical skills, and more.

5. Four-Season Harvest, by Eliot Coleman. Will have this one – thanks Mom & Aunt Margaret!
So little winter gardening is done in the U.S., and it’s too bad. There is so much you can grow and eat when it’s cold. Eliot Coleman lives in Maine, and walks you through how to create and maintain a productive garden year-round without a heated greenhouse. I’ve benefitted greatly by reading this book, and we’ve had loads of veggies this winter.

6. Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, by Toby Hemenway.
Another book that has helped me a great deal in learning how to create a sustainable garden. Toby Hemenway writes about seeing the garden as a whole, and taking into account how each plant will relate with one another. He spends time talking about perennial fruits and vegetables, capitalizing on the water supplied by nature, and making the garden work for you so you don’t have to work as hard. After you learn how to garden, I think it’s important to move to the next level of learning how to garden sustainably. It’s cheaper, better for the environment, and you don’t have to rely on outside sources for soil amendments, seeds, and water.

7. Home Cheese Making, by Ricki Carroll.
Learn how to keep a goat or cow in Basic Country Skills, and then make cheese to preserve it. This is Matt’s favorite – he has made several recipes from it, and they’ve all been delicious, and far less intimidating than we feared. I plan to tackle some more recipes soon.

8. Artisan Baking, by Maggie Glezer.
Well, this was a tough one. Matt is the bread maker in the family – basically, I follow his recipe whenever I make it. And our daily bread is actually made from a starter we grew using Breads from the La Brea Bakery by Nancy Silverton. But, Artisan Baking is a great introduction to bread making, and it has amazing recipes. If we could only pick one, this would be it. (Though did you see how I sort of picked two? Yes, I cheated.)

9. Complete Guide to Sewing, by Reader’s Digest.
I found this at an antique store in a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona last Thanksgiving. As Back to Basics is to simple skills, this book is to sewing. I’m not much of a sewer (big understatement), but if I had to sew, this book would walk me through whatever I needed to make.

10. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, by Andrew Chevallier.
If you couldn’t go to the doctor… This book synthesizes current research and traditional healing, and walks you through different herbs, how to prepare them, and what they are used for. I keep it around just in case. Plus there are a lot of common foods and herbs here (including lemons!), and it’s interesting to see what they’re used for in traditional medicine.

My local library has a few of these books.  What must reads would you add?

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February 17, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,

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