Urban Homesteading : : A book giveaway


(update: This giveaway is over, thanks to all who entered!)
We had a lot to celebrate yesterday. First, our baby girl turned one! What a fast and full year this has been and what a joy she is to have. (when she was born) And second, our original Sonoma Garden officially changed hands to a new gardener, and if you can believe it, a blog reader! We wish them the very best.

With all this celebrating, I wanted to share something with you too. A few weeks ago I ran across this book, Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living, being sold at a local coffee shop, of all places. I bought it right then and there and was so inspired looking through it. I’ve noticed in recent trips to the book store that there are many books out there on homesteading, both for urban and rural areas. What sets this book apart, and what made me buy it, is that it seems very personal and almost homespun. There are many stories and pictures of people and their own urban gardens. It is so nice to see pictures of people and their actual yards. Plus they feature many drawings of how they’ve laid everything out in their yards, where they put the raised beds and the chicken coop etc. which I find very helpful.
What I also liked is that it features projects that are a little different from what you normally see, like making cob buildings, lacto-fermented sodas, keeping quail, making your own bee veil, growing medicinal herbs, making a compost toilet and lots more unique ideas.
I think it could be easily said that with this recent move we are safely out of an urban area and smack dab into a rural setting, yet this book got us out and experimenting. The boys and I gathered all the materials needed to make cob: clay mud, straw and sand.  In the shade of a walnut tree we got to work making this little sun and a few bricks one summer day. It was very fun! And I also experimented around with making a peach ginger fermented soda. The pictures of the gardens made me get outside and plant some more seedlings.
So I decided you need this book too. No matter where you live, either in a rural or urban setting, no matter if you live here in Sonoma or halfway across the world, you’d benefit from this book. Just leave me a comment and next Wednesday, September 21st (our anniversary, see lots of celebrating going around) I’ll draw a winner at random. Sound good?

Much luck to you!


Filed under books

159 responses to “Urban Homesteading : : A book giveaway

  1. Sound very good! Thanks for sharing with us all your knowledge 🙂

  2. vtgardener

    You are truly an inspiration! I would LOVE a copy of that book…hope I win:) My husband and I are currently house shopping so I will need ideas for my new gardens and plan layouts for the chicken coop. Thanks for keeping this blog going even with a busy life and an active family!

  3. Kris

    Would love to win this! Thanks for the opportunity! I love yours posts and your pictures.

  4. Regina

    Wow, sounds like a great book! I would love a copy!
    I must say I love all the work you put into your blog!!
    Thank you.

  5. Kate

    Looks really interesting! I’m not exactly urban, but I’m far from country, so I’m sure I could use this book!

  6. That does sound good! 🙂 It looks like a fantastic reference book to have around. Happy birthday to the little one, and happy early anniversary!

  7. Amy

    I would love to win this!

  8. Ida

    I have really enjoyed reading your blog! Love the pictures and you often have great projects to try! Keep up the great work!

  9. ABtflDisaster

    This would be perfect for me! We just decided to stay in our home instead of move at the end of the year – what excites me most is getting to plant my very first garden!! I have visions of wild flowers, herbs, veggies, and fruits dancing in my head. Oh I cannot wait!

  10. Thanks so much for mentioning this book. I hope to find it at my library if I don’t win. Thanks again.

  11. I am working hard at being home for my family as long as I can; this book may help; hope to win!

  12. I’m very excited about this giveaway! I have so much yard but no idea where to start.

  13. LaTanya

    This book looks really interesting. I’m going to wishlist on Amazon as it would be great to have when I move into a house in the next year of so.

  14. Jennie

    That book sounds really fun! I’d love to win a copy.

  15. WOW, Looks like a wonderful book to have. My husband and I will be moving soon and we will be needing such a book. Our plans are to build a straw bale home and do organic gardening. The property is a little over 2 acres. Hubby is already learning about bees and I am brushing up on all my canning and urban skills.

  16. The book sounds wonderful. I love being as self sufficient as possible. Gardening is just one of my ways of feeding us with tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh and dried herbs, etc. Also very relaxing.

  17. The book sounds fascinating, especially the composting toilet. I was wondering if you have been to the Seed Bank in Petaluma? I just saw photos from there and it is so charming–and filled with heirloom seeds. from their site, http://rareseeds.com/petaluma-seed-bank The “Seed Bank” store serves gardeners in Petaluma, California, and surrounding counties. Located in the historic Sonoma County National Bank building, a beautiful structure in the heart of the retail district, it’s a beacon for gardeners, foodies, shoppers, and tourists alike. We offer over 1,200 varieties of heirloom seeds, garlic, tools, books, and hundreds of local hand-made gifts and food items. Remember—everything we offer is pure, natural, and non-GMO!

  18. this book has been on my wishlist since it came out! i already can and garden and lots of stuff but i would love to be able to step it up a notch!

  19. We also live in a very rural area, but this book sounds like a winner to me. I think it would be great to experiment with my girls!

  20. Margaret

    What a wonderful sounding book! I love books that are down to earth and truly practical!

  21. This book sounds wonderful!!

    And happy birthday to your sweet little one!

  22. Liz Hardwick

    I was reading about Cob houses yesterday – need to move our raised beds and maybe build a greenhouse for next year – we are in British Columbia and our growing season is from the end of May to September (frosts any day now) just busy harvesting potatoes and carrots, so any tips would be helpful, and that book looks like just the thing. I’ll put it on my wish list.

  23. Sounds really interesting – will definitely check this one out!


  24. We just found your blog and we are loving it!

  25. How exciting! I could really use a book like this. Thanks for offering it to a lucky winner!

  26. Rasa

    I would really love a copy! We are moving from Rohnert Park to somewhere more “urban” in 6-8 months, but I’m hoping to still find a house with a big lot that lets me continue to garden and to do more homesteading. Happy Anniversary! And thanks for sharing your Sonoma Garden with us — it has truly been an inspiration for me.

  27. Arturorg

    Gimme gimme please!!! jejej

  28. Mia

    Congrats on all your changes! And your pending anniversary 🙂

    That book looks fantastic…how did the soda turn out?

  29. May

    Love your clay sunshine–quite nice.

    Would love a chance at the book as well. Thanks

  30. susan smallbrook

    I have been enjoying reading your info. Is the sun made with dirt and straw? Does it set up? Do you grind the straw? I would love a chance to read the book. Thanx for the info you share.

  31. Cyndi A.

    Homesteading is my dream, urban homesteading is slowly becoming my reality. I’d love to win this book. thanks for the opportunity.

  32. zoowaerterin

    I’ve been enjoying your blog for several weeks. The book sounds great!

  33. Stefanie

    What a generous giveaway! Thank you 🙂

  34. deborah Bruner

    That book looks fantastic! I really enjoy your post, congrats on all the celebrations going on in your family lately.

  35. Sharon Hamilton

    I just want to say that I am so impressed with your ability to raise young children, garden, make so much from scratch and still have time to blog. You are inspiring. Love you blog

  36. ChristyFitz

    Thank you for sharing this book. You’ve inspired me to get a copy. But my usual procrastination might come to good use, as my fingers are crossed that I might just win one in your giveaway! Much gratitude and love to you and your family – and for your heart-felt offer.

  37. Just starting out with homesteading outside of DC, The more info we can gather the better. This book would be a great addition!

  38. I recently looked at this book at would love to win it. Your blog is very inspirational, so much so my husband signed up for the emails too! Thank you for all you do!

  39. keith malcuit

    what a nice thing for you to do.thank you, even if i don’t win!

  40. Elisa

    Sounds like a great book!

  41. kara

    Thanks for your emails, they imspire me to try new things on my journey to become more natural for myself and my family.

  42. Candice D.

    I’m starting to think there can’t ever be enough urban gardening books. I have to resist snatching up every single one I find at the store.

  43. Oh, the things I could do on our 1/2 acre lot if I won this book!

  44. valentina

    I really enjoy your posts and would love to win this book!

  45. Melissa

    Sounds great! Thanks.

  46. Joe

    We are just starting to learn how to garden, and really appreciate the information – it is very helpful. Would love a copy of Urban Homesteading!

  47. Danielle Devore

    ok…the book giveaway has inspired me to leave a comment, which i never really do. Your blog is one of the better ones out there. Thank you for taking the time to share and to inspire. Many blessings.

  48. This book has been on my wishlist for a while! Thanks for the opportunity 🙂

  49. Kelly

    That sounds like a great find! I love books that inspire me and get me moving. Even if I don’t win the giveaway, I think that I’ll keep my eye out for that one.

  50. Brenda Alreck

    Sweeet! Any ideas for getting more in my little yard would be AMAZING! (I have envy every time I open one of your posts) Sigh. 🙂

  51. I’ve been following your blog for several months now and enjoy your great tips and stories. My hubby and I are currently transforming our 1/2 acre urban property in Southern Nevada into a sustainable fruit orchard and veggie garden – and doing it on a very tight budget. Thank you for the great giveaway opportunity.

  52. kathy jewell

    The more we can do this type of thing in our own backyards, the better
    life will be for all of us! Happy Anniversary

  53. Emily

    Congrats on your little one’s first birthday! Love your blog. I moved to Sonoma County a few years ago from Toronto and am just starting to learn about gardening in this climate 🙂

  54. You have described this book so well it makes people want to go and get it! So here’s hoping I am lucky enough to win, if not, then there is a trip to the book store.. you can never know enough…

  55. hey, thanks for including us in the celebrations. thanks for this chance to win!

  56. Siobhan

    How fantastic, I’ve been meaning to read that book! It looks great from the photos 🙂

  57. Cynthy

    I’d love to be in the drawing and will add this to my book wish list if I’m not the lucky winner. Thank you so much for the inspiration in your blog. I came across your site recently when searching for natural skin care recipes, as I’m just starting to take action to clear my home, and vanity counter, of chemical-laden products. So far very good results! Should have done this long ago. I wish I’d had your information when I was in the Peace Corps (’94-’96). I had access to great ingredients then but had no idea what to do with them :-). Thanks again & best wishes from Houston!

  58. Ooohh…the book looks like a fantastic read! My husband and I are in the process of transitioning onto 6 acres we purchased in the foothills of NC. This book would be a great help in our planning!

    Happy Anniversary 🙂

  59. Woooh sounds good to me! As a herbalist, I admit that these kind of books can give an addiction! 🙂

  60. Jennifer

    I love to read! Pick me to win this book!

  61. Bethany

    Cool book! I’d love to win. 🙂

  62. Yolanda

    I’d love to win that book! K. Ruby Blume is such an East Bay inspiration, and an excellent teacher. Thanks for offering this up.

  63. I’d love a copy. Thanks for the giveaway. We’re just starting this adventure and I’m sure the book will have lots of goodies to help us.

  64. JoAnn

    The book looks awesome! Would be very handy for me ! I am always looking for new ideas and crafts and homesteading tools that come in handy. The peach ginger soda sounds and looks yummy!

  65. Laura

    thank you for sharing! it looks like a wonderful book.

  66. Michelle

    Hearty congratulations on the resolution of your former garden!
    That book looks wonderful. I saw some great cob demos and structures at the Heirloom Expo today in Santa Rosa, very inspiring -just like your blog!

  67. Brenda

    I look forward to each new post to find what you are doing and making and gathering, etc. I really enjoy every thing you post. I would love to win this book. Hope youd draw my name.

  68. Happy birthday to your little girl, how quickly they grow. One of my baby girls is about to turn 14! Still my baby girl though.

  69. Diana

    I would like to be put in for the drawing. That book sounds awesome!

  70. Hi there, thank you for being such an inspiration for so long, I’m always drawn into reading your posts no matter how busy I am. I remember when your baby girl was born and also can’t believe it was a year ago already. I’d love the chance to win the homesteading book as it would be a great addition to our “Albany Community Environment Committee” library and would also be enjoyed by everyone in our “Transition Albany, Australia” environmental group. And Happy Anniversary for Wednesday 🙂
    Cheers, Paula

  71. My comment for entry please!

    That book sounds amazing, and if I don’t win it I’m going to look it up. I might borrow it from the library first before I decide if I need to own it….or until it gets here since I order a lot of books online to save money.

  72. christie

    Looks like a great book, I would love to have a copy!

  73. Janice

    Thanks for being such an inspiration! I’m always looking for a new project to try – while trying to be as kind to the environment as possible. It’s great to get ideas from different sources. Happy anniversary!

  74. Thank you for such a wonderful, inspiring site…it is one of my faves!

  75. Davyann

    I needed a recipe for chapstick and your site came up. I am in HEAVEN! I would love a copy of the book. But, in the mean time I will be quite happy reading your blog!

  76. Jennifer

    Cool! I just stumbled upon your site not so long ago and have enjoyed it thoroughly. My husband and I (who are having our 1st anniversary on the 24th 🙂 dream of having land and living off it. We have a large yard, where I am learning how to garden and preserve our food as well. My job keeps me from being able to do as much as I would like around here, but hopefully soon it will level out and I he and I can enjoy life a bit more!

    Keep up the good work!

    • Susan

      I used to live in Sonoma County and hope to move back some day so I enjoy reading your blog. Until then I’ll keep on canning, gardening and raising my chickens.

  77. Yaptıklarınızı çok beğeniyorum. Thanks!

  78. carjobo

    Congratulations!!! And thank you for the opportunity to win the book – I’m always inspired by your posts and would love to learn more!

  79. Lesley C


  80. Shannon

    I may be a city girl but can feel the homesteading life with every fiber of my being.

  81. I always enjoy your posts and am happy that you are all happy in your new home. Happy birthday to your baby – and yes, I’d love to win the book! Did you choose to be married on that day for the autumn equinox? (we were married on the spring equinox, 13 1/2 years ago) – Happy anniversary too 🙂

  82. allthingslucky

    I’d love to win! Enter me please!

  83. Tasha

    I absolutely love your site, I have tried many of the recipes and tips you have posted… keep em coming. Thanks.

  84. Shannon O.

    I would love to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

  85. Flybabymom

    Sounds like a WONDERFUL book! (hope, hope…)

  86. love your writing, love your photography. . . how do you have time to do it all?? really, really, greatly inspiring!

  87. The book sounds fantastic! A good American book to give me ideas to put into practice here in Australia. I love books full of good ideas… they give us a chance to dream as well as projects to complete. Thanks for the chance.

  88. Susan

    I would love to have this book, not only for myself. I would also share it with my 3 children who live in the city, but would like raise some of their own foood. this sounds like a great book

  89. That book looks amazing! I am always wanting to try making my own “insert something I buy normally here”. I am just starting, but this book looks like it would really help me in my experiments!

  90. Love the clay sunshine – thank you for a chance to win the book!

  91. I’m so glad I found your blog and would love to read your book.

  92. Thanks for the book suggestion. I’m hoping to live ina more rual setting in the future, but this book would help me today! I look forward to the drawing on Wed!

  93. Jackie

    That book sounds wonderful!!

  94. michelle

    Looks like a wonderful, info packed book!! Love your website, thanks so much for sharing… 🙂

  95. Jennifer

    I just found out that we are moving and the new yard is a blank slate. I would love to have some help planning out gardens!

  96. Mel B.

    I’m an urban-dweller with rural roots. I’ve started getting back to those roots and have been participating in local crop shares, digging around my yard and canning. Thanks for sharing!

  97. Shaun

    It looks perfect! I’ll have to find a copy to look at it in more detail.

  98. Corrinna Ortega

    I live in an urban area but I have a huge yard–I could definitely use this book. Thanks for the chance to win it!

  99. I would love this book. Thanks for the chance and a great blog!

  100. Your blog has inspired me to live the life I’ve always wanted. From making lotions to fruit roll-up, I never thought it could be so easy and accessible! Thank you for this, and for the chance to win another great resource!

  101. Katie

    This looks like an absolutely fabulous book that would make a perfect gift for my boyfriend! We live in Vancouver and are trying hard to make our own products as much as possible. I make homemade beauty products and do canning and he is the gardener, keeping our house looking beautiful and growing food to fill our tummies.

  102. Marie

    Hi Kendra!
    Happy birthday to your beautiful baby girl! Aubrie was born on the 13th too (November, though). Lucky girls. Congratulations on your house selling! When I was driving past the other day I saw the SOLD sign up and felt very happy for you guys.
    The book looks very good. Your cob sun looks awesome – how fun!
    Let’s get coffee soon one day after drop off.
    See you soon,

  103. Thanks for sharing all your beautiful photos and ideas! We love them!

  104. Sorry I missed the give-away, but I wanted to pass on the Happy Birthday to your little girl. 🙂

  105. MeganAlba

    This looks awesome! I’d love to win a copy. We’re just starting to ferment, and lacto-fermented soda sounds AWESOME.

  106. Lorrie

    I love your blog, and thought of you while I was in Sonoma last week, visiting from the Portland, OR area. Thanks!

  107. Victoria Bird

    I enjoy your blog very much. Live inland from the Central Ore. coast and am just about one month behind you in bloom and seasonl

  108. Anne

    I would love this book! Thank you for the opportunity.

  109. Kristy L.

    Looking forward to the day I can do some of these things!

  110. I’ve been thinking about buying a book like that! Thanks for the recomendation:)

  111. Thanks for you blog and the mention of the book. I love the idea that is personal. I think that is so essential. i am sold.

  112. Tam

    I’m a new follower, just discovered your blog. Loving the tomato info as we didn’t have great luck with them this year. We are also celebrating our anniversary the end of this month 22 years for us. Would LOVE this book

  113. kathy

    The book looks great. I would love to have it. Also, I made almond milk thanks to your blog. It was great! Thanks for sharing!

  114. Alanna Childers

    The book sounds very inspiring! I’m in drought-stricken Houston and am trying to decide if we should just give up on watering our lawn. We lost our giant pecan tree a few years ago when Ike came to town and now the front yard just can’t handle the searing heat AND no water. I’m about ready to rip up the grass (i.e. weeds and crabgrass) and grow something I can eat!

  115. Kelly

    I really enjoy reading your blog!

  116. Follow your blog daily, love it, your an inspiration to me!!

    Thanks for sharing all that you do.

  117. mar

    oh, i would love to win this book an give it to my boyfriend!
    i just discovered your blog and it inspires me so much. thank you 🙂

  118. isabel

    I enjoy your blog. Thank you for sharing it has inspired me to try new things.

  119. Jen

    Thank you for your generosity for the lovely and useful information on your blog, for offering a copy of this book, and for spreading good things all around!

  120. Pam Glick

    I live in a rural setting and would be very interested in this book! I really enjoy your blog and have tried many of your ideas. I’ve made your lotion (my husband loves it) and the chapstick (first attempt not to good)!

  121. Throwing my hat in the ring! Thanks for hosting this giveaway (and for your always inspiring blog).

  122. I have that book, too! I took a canning class from Rachel a few years ago. I love that so many people in our community are doing great things!

  123. Caroline Mackie

    Tried to leave you a comment without actually entering for the book but what the hey … 🙂
    Only I just thought of you and your chicken coops when I saw this:

    In case you don’t know about it… what a good tip eh?
    All the best… I do enjoy reading your ‘how to’ stuff and about your lovely new garden.


  124. What an awesome giveaway! That tea sounds delicious.

  125. Mel

    I would love to win the book! My little urban farmstead would probably gain a lot from the info inside.

  126. McArtor

    Enjoy following your adventures on your beautiful property. I also like your “How To” posts. I made fruit roll-ups with your recipe. Thanks for hosting the book giveaway drawing. The book sounds intriguing. I would certainly like to read it so count me in the drawing!

  127. I love your blog, and the book would be a great resource for our sustainable community.

  128. Sandra Morris

    All this information contained in one spot… WOO HOO! No internet searching;) If I don’t win it I will happily buy it for myself. Thanks either way!

  129. Miaja

    Just found you today looking for how-to no-poo! Would be fun to win!

  130. Caroline

    This would be great! I really need some help with some garden plans.

  131. Angela

    Thank you !
    I always look forward to receiving your Newsletter and love all your ideas!
    The book would be very handy!

  132. Collette Oliver

    I really enjoy your blog, and if I don’t win the book, I might have to buy it! Thanks for all of your inspiration and hard work!

  133. What a great giveaway – this book and your inspiration are a winning combination for sure!

  134. Ann

    I enjoy reading your blog, and am excited about this giveaway too!

  135. Carol

    I would love to be the winner of this book. I have the acreage, now I just need to inspirational push to get me going!

  136. Hannah

    I live in a very urban setting and would be so grateful to have this book. It’s such a challenge with my little yard and so many other restrictions.

  137. Congratulations on all your celebratory moments going on! Have fun 🙂 And thank you for sharing with us in the fun giveaway – the book looks wonderful!

  138. Shae Weaver

    i love your website! Made the exzema lotion for my girls, they both suffer from it, and it worked wonders and much cheaper than buying all those fancy brands! My next big project is canning mint jelly for christmas gifts, we have a load of wild mint growing in our yard! Wish me luck:)

  139. Thanks for the offer. I love your blog and look forward to making my own
    hand lotion with your recipe.

  140. Emily

    The book looks sooooo exciting! and I absolutely love your blog! Thanks!

  141. Dawn Fowler

    I’ve been subscribed to your blog for some time now and I always look forward to the new posts. Thank you for creating this journal of your life adventures of your former and new homestead.

  142. Hey, first time reader! I figured that since the first post I read of yours was for a super-cool book that I am now dying to have thanks to your post that it was a sign for me to apply for the giveaway! Now I’m off to explore the rest of your little corner of the world 🙂

  143. Analita

    I would certainly by thrilled to win this book, but even if I don’t, I can tell it is a must for my study library. Just spoke to my daughter in New York this afternoon about homesteading. Interesting!

  144. SedonaMichelle

    I love your blog and love the giveaway! thanks for the opportunity!

  145. Oooh, looks like I caught this giveaway just in time – I need all the help I can get and I just love your site.

  146. Jennifer

    This is so fun, I am working on becoming more natural in all areas

  147. Cindy Ridenour

    I would love and appreciate winning a copy of this book. I also have learned much from your site. Thank you for your efforts in promoting healthy, wholesome and self-sufficient ways of living.

  148. Love this book!!! After the give away let me know where one might be able to pick this up!!!

  149. Jenny R

    That book looks awesome! I really enjoy your blog, as I am a “make it from scratch” person myself 🙂

  150. Melissa

    I’ve been seeing this book around, I’d love to read it! My mom sent me the link to your blog, I’m digging it.

  151. Cathy

    Great giveaway! Also am excited about your new beeswax lotion recipe.

  152. Lisa :)

    Wow! Found you when I was looking for homemade kimchee recipes. Love all the gardening & herbal stuff you’ve got going on. Hubby & I are trying to wean ourselves off processed food so he put 4 beautiful raised beds in our backyard for me. Now we have plenty of fresh organic veggies and I’ve been “putting up” the rest. Boiling water does make for a steamy So Cal kitchen, though, so I’m going to try your deodorant as soon as I can gather all the ingredients! LOL. The homesteading book sounds right up our alley and would be a welcome addition to our little library. Please enter us in the giveaway. Thx!

  153. Pingback: The Winner & Garden Photos | A Sonoma Garden

  154. karin

    I would love to win this book. Your recipes are very inspiring, I’ll be making lotion and eczema salve soon. Thank you!

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