Made From Scratch by Jenna Woginrich is a fun mix of a guide and memoir of how she started homesteading in her backyard.
This may not seem like a fabulous topic for most of us in this century. We are very technology driven and strive for all the materialistic pleasures in life. I urge you not to judge this book by the topic (the cover is quite cute, so you can judge that all you want).
In a world of mass-produced food, factory-stitched clothing, 300-channel cable television, and computer-centric desk jobs, it’s easy to overlook the simple pleasures of eating homegrown vegetables, raising animals naturally and humanely, wearing hand-sewn clothing, or enjoying an evening of unplugged entertainment.
Inspired by her growing admiration for small farmers and her growing distaste for rampant consumerism, 26-year-old web designer Jenna Woginrich decided to take control of her life — what she ate, what she wore, and how she spent her free time. Learn a few basic country skills, she reasoned, and she would be able to produce at least some of the food and other resources she used every day. Goodbye, prepackaged food; hello, homesteading. Made from Scratch tells the story of Woginrich's hilarious, heartbreaking, soul-satisfying journey — from her first attempts at planting a garden and installing honeybees to the bliss of gathering fresh eggs for an omelet or baking bread made with her own honey. Woginrich describes her successes and failures alike, inspiring and entertaining readers who dream about a more self-sufficient lifestyle.
I’m more of a city girl. I love big cities, and I do admit I love designer fashions and owning things I really do not need. Somewhere though I’ve always secretly loved parts of farm-life and the simple joys of the way things used to be. Made From Scratch really brought out this side of me even further.
The chapter about chickens really makes me want to go out there and buy some hens and a setup my very own chicken coop. It isn’t likely going to happen, but I really want to do it. I don’t think I’d buy them from the very small chick stage that Jenna did, but if or when I do I will reference back to this chapter often on how to care for chickens.
Beekeeping isn’t something I could do. I’m allergic to bee stings (wasps too I am guessing). The scary and excited mixture of emotions when beekeeping is really shown in this chapter. I also never knew how much of a colony bee-life is in a hive.
Angora rabbits are so cute and really a great way to make your own items too, if you know how to knit. Jenna made me want to go out and purchase these too. I’m not going to right now, but maybe one day. I had rabbits when I was a kid (not angora) and they were awful. These sound like a nicer form of rabbits though, so maybe.
Planting and harvesting your own vegetables is a great way to be able to save money and eat healthy. This spring we will be doing this. This book even encouraged me to make sure we got the heirloom seeds so that they aren’t hybrid or anything. Going back to basics –hopefully they will grow bigger and better.
I’m not too big on the DIY fashions. I sewed in high school and made an amazing quilt, but my shorts project didn’t turn out so well. Maybe one day I’ll get back into sewing, but for now I’ll stick to the mall, Target and online shopping.
Jenna is a Blogger too. Maybe that is why I was somehow drawn to this book and easily read (and enjoyed) most of the book. Visit her at coldantlerfarm.blogspot.com to check out her life homesteading.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book – even more than I thought I would. It is a fun and easy read written in a very enjoyable style. I encourage anyone with these interests (even if just wanting a glimpse at this kind of urban homesteading life) to go and read this book.
* Thank you to the publisher of Made From Scratch, Storey Publishing for providing me with a review copy for this review.