Monday, January 21, 2013

made from scratch: discovering the pleasures of a handmade life {book review}

As many of you know, 2 months ago we moved our family from Michigan to Ohio. It's been an adjustment for all of us and we certainly do miss dear friends and family. But the move has not been without it's positives! Besides loving our new church family, and having some new friends, we are also looking forward to the Spring! You see, we now live in a big farmhouse built around 1873, that sits on about 5 acres of church property. There is lots of room for the kids to run around, we have a little bit of woods, a fire pit, and what we're most excited about- a garden! Read my husband's blog about our past and present garden advetures here.

Anyways, as we sit inside all winter, we've been reading up on gardening and getting excited for all the possibilities! We plan to have a bigger garden, and have been trying to think of more ways to be self-sustaining with the land that's around us! Tim also blogged about some great books on homesteading/gardening too.

One idea that we've been toying with is getting some chickens, for eggs and possibly meat as well. Now we love the idea, but we want to make sure that we know all it entails first so we can be truly committed. I've been pretty excited about the prospect, but also hesitant. You see, I am NOT an animal person. I never really have been. So although the idea of having livestock sounds exciting and practical, I'm having to face this reality about myself.

I told my brother and sister in law about our thoughts because they've raised chickens and built a coop before. They've sent us some great resources. My sweet SIL told me about this book that she read that really inspired her to get the chickens, and she promptly loaned it to me via Kindle.
Made From Scratch: discovering the pleasures of a Handmade Life by Jenna Woginrich.

Made From Scratch is an entertaining, informative and inspiring book about how to live more simply, frugally and self-reliant. Jenna, a web designer at a big company, shares the ups and down in her own personal journey raising chickens, setting up a bee hive, planting a garden, making her own clothes, and learning to play the fiddle all while living in a rental home! She shares her stories in a humorous and witty way, but you come away wanting to order some chicks, a beekeeping kit and a hand-crank radio! She makes the handmade life sound very satisfying and desirably simple!

I already do a lot of what she shared, like sew clothes for our family, grow a garden, make more food from scratch, and I'm developing a love for old things. But it made me want to do those things more, and it opened my eyes to so many new things I'd like to try.

I came away from the book, not only sold on the idea of raising some chicks this spring, but I also want to:
Plant a bigger garden
Make more of our clothes
Bake bread more regularly
Keep Bees
Churn Butter
Decorate my house with old things
Buy a hand crank radio and kitchen appliances
Raise Angora Rabbits to spin their hair into yarn!

Now I just need to find the time to do all that... Whew!

Made from Scratch is certainly not a thorough how-to book when it comes to all these different topics. But it gives you enough information to have a basic understanding of what each will entail, and she also provides lots of resources in the back of the book if you have any more interest in any of the topics. It's the push in the right direction you need to develop an interest in trying something new, and feeling like you can do it!

If you read this book, I guarantee you will laugh out loud (or at least, chuckle under your breath), you will have moments of sadness, you'll open your mouth in shock, and you'll be inspired to try something she talks about!

When you read it, share in comments below what you liked about the book and if you decided to try anything she shared!

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