Summer Reading for Homesteaders

This article is presented in partnership with Chelsea Green Publishing, who are generous enough to provide a free copy of our summer book to The Happy Hive and one lucky reader.  The product links in this article are affiliate links; when you click on them to make a purchase they add no cost to you The Happy Hive earns a commission. 



It’s that time of year when libraries across the country start recruiting children to sign up for the summer reading club with promises of sticker charts, prizes, and community events.  We’re not offering a sticker chart, but in Summer 2018 we are offering a prize and a community event (of sorts).


I know, summer is busy for homesteaders, but you also deserve a little time to yourself.  You deserve time to kick off your shoes and sit under the apple tree or on the front porch swing with a book that inspires you and teaches you a thing or two. 


This summer, in partnership with Chelsea Green Publishing, we are proud to announce a Homesteaders’ Summer Reading Book Club.  Help us choose which book to read and one lucky voter will receive a free copy of that book (courtesy of Chelsea Green).  We at The Happy Hive will also read it and we’ll write a follow up review in case you’re still on the fence about picking it up.


If you choose to read along with us, you can join the conversation in our Homesteaders’ Book Club Group on Facebook!  Plus, if you sign up for the Chelsea Green Newsletter through their website, you’ll get 25% off your first purchase.


Our goal is to choose a book that gives the reader a little bit of “how to” advice but also offers a glimpse into what it means to be more self-sufficient, what it is like to be on that journey; not just a text book, but a reflective personal perspective with which we might all identify. 


Here are the books we are considering for our book club with summaries based on their descriptions on the Chelsea Green website; click on the survey announcement on our Facebook Group to cast your vote and be entered to win a copy of the winning book!


Option 1: The Art of Frugal Hedonism: A Guide to Spending Less While Enjoying Everything More

by Annie Raser-Rowland and Adam Grubb (256 pages, $20.00)


Pitched as a toolkit to saving money and saving the world, this book promises to help you enjoy life more on both sensual and profound levels.  The idea is to identify the ways in which you could make subtle or changes (they they will help you to target) to become “happier, wealthier, fitter, and more in lust with life.”  


Option 2:  An Unlikely Vineyard by Dierdre Heekin (384 pages, $25.00)


Let’s just start by clarifying that while this book does go into some of the ins and outs of vineyard stewardship (and that can’t hurt) its also about much more than making wine.  It’s a story of what its like to turn an old farm into something productive and beautiful, including all of the challenges and joys that come with that adventure. 


Option 3: Letter to a Young Farmer by Gene Logsdon (232 pages, $18.00)


This book of essays is written by a season farmer who has described himself as “contrary” to big business agriculture.  He writes it to the next generation – encouraging them to consider a lifestyle defined not by wealth by beauty, respect, and a value for rural traditions.  Completed just before the author’s death, it offers a glimpse into the advice you might get from a seasoned neighboring farmer who has a vision for a beautiful future.


Option 4: The Maple Sugar Book by Helen and Scott Nearing (305 pages, $25.00)


Written in 1950 and re-released in 2000, this classic book about maple sugaring is actually about much more.  Like An Unlikely Vineyard, you’ll get lots of tips and best practices on maple sugaring but you’ll also get the story of Helen and Scott Nearing’s adventure toward self-sufficiency and search for “the good life”.  For a great review of this book, check out this article from our friends at The Vermont Evaporator Company.



Option 5: This Organic Life by Joan Dye Gussow (288 pages, $24.95)


This book is about Joan Dye Gussow’s quest to think more deeply about food, and serves as an inspiration for those who are seeking a healthier, pleasurable lifestyle despite the challenges that surround us in our environment.  She argues for the value of locally grown food, and offers “funny and fiery” commentary on life as we have come to know it around food.  At its heart, the book is about nourishing your body and spirit from your own backyard.


Help us choose which book to read, and enter to win a copy.




And don’t forget to join our Facebook Summer Book Club to join the rest of the Homesteading readers!


Happy Summer Reading

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