'The Urban Homestead'

Husband and wife authors Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen published their book, The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City, in 2007. They recently expanded and revised their book with all the DIY enthusiasm mustered in the first edition. "The New York Times" lauded it as the “…contemporary bible on the subject.” (NYT, April 23, 2010).

Projects for the novice to the expert urban homesteader are easy to follow, including ways to can, preserve, and pickle food; make potting soil; start a compost pile (with or without worms); make household cleaners; and harvest rainwater. Depending upon how self-sufficient you wish to be, the authors have included ideas on various subjects, such as collecting greywater (water that goes down the drain after its use), with varying levels of complexity. For example, you can cut into drain pipes, as Coyne and Knutzen describe, or you can do the simpler method of keeping a bucket next to the shower to collect the running water before the shower gets hot. This is one of the many ideas for reusing resources that this excellent book offers. My favorite project: the luggable loo composting toilet and the humanure revolution! The authors own a farm in Los Angeles and run the urban homestead blog homegrownevolution.org