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Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living.

I don't know about my favorite book, but I can tell you about the book I seem to use most often since I am constantly grabbing it off the shelf to look up something. Being raised in the city and a career in the military did little to prepare me for life beyond the sidewalks (Although I am about to perform military tactics on a ground hog pest.), so I needed a good reference. I have many books: one shelf for homesteading, one for gardening and one for recipes. But one book has loads of info on all three, that is Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living.

I have not gotten much use out of the sections on animals because I have not gotten around to that yet, but I am wearing out the chapters on plants, grasses, vegetables, herbs and food preservation. It may not have all the details I would like on some things, but it is good for dealing with a new plant. She covers soil, planting, thinning, harvesting, preservation and preparations. In other words, a brief how-to from seed pocket to dinner table with a lot of great country recipes.

In following some of her guidelines for a green manure crop, I tilled an area I want for more garden beds and planted buckwheat there with the intention of plowing it under too enrich the bed for next spring's crop, but she has some recipes for buckwheat cakes and breads that looked like I might enjoy, so I am seriously thinking of letting it go to seed and harvest the buckwheat. I can grind it in my VitaMix. If the crop fails it can still be green manure and the seed is cheap, so it seems it may be worth a try. Some recipes were not to my liking, but tastes change and maybe in a few years I might like dandelions. The book is full of ideas about using what is growing around you as well as what to plant.--George S. Campbell, 162 Hartway Rd., Walkersville, WV 26447
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Author:Campbell, George S.
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Nov 1, 2003
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