Review of: Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life by Jenna Woginrich of Cold Antler Farm.
A beginner level homesteading book with a twist. Jenna Woginrich shares some lessons learned in her journey as a single homesteader who doesn’t own her homestead The book alternates between her own story of learning to live a more self-sufficient life on rented property with basic how to advice. In both cases, you feel as if you are sitting in a warm kitchen chatting with Jenna and very much wishing that you could get to know her in person.
The book was a pleasant read on snowy afternoon. It doesn’t tell you all you need to know about keeping chickens or bees, growing and preserving your own food, or making your own clothing but it does give you background for exploring further and some questions to ask yourself and others.
Other than its focus on things that are possible on small plots, rented properties, and with only those hours available outside of a regular job, my favorite thing about the book is the underlying attitude. This isn’t a doom and gloom be self-sufficient because the world as we know it is ending book. It is a book about adding value and joy to your life by being more self-sufficient. It isn’t a book that pushes you toward an “all or nothing” way of life but a gentle invitation to experience delights that have largely been lost in the modern world – yes those pleasures come with some work but most good things do.
Bottom line: If you expect this book to be a full-fledged how to book you will be disappointed. If you are looking for fuel for your homesteading day dreams, you can find it here. If you are looking for an easy and enjoyable break from modern life, you can find it here. If you need some encouragement that homesteading is possible even if you lack your own acreage and a family to share your efforts, you will find that here. Pour yourself a mug of your favorite warm beverage, light a fire in the fireplace or a candle, and enjoy.