Book Review : “The” Encyclopedia of Country Living


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This book is a tomb, a reference work of note and well worth every cent that you will pay for it. Running to well over 900 pages this book covers almost every aspect of living off your land. From buying land, planning a veggie garden, planting an orchard, raising and using livestock their by-products and even home birthing. The book is filled with everyday recipes under each topic and has a friendly personal writing style that quickly sets you at ease. The explanations are in simple language and in many instances are referenced with personal anecdotes.

Just after receiving our copy, my wife Nicola was paging through it, she happened upon this passage and had to sit down she was laughing so much.

“Catching a Goat

How do you deal with a goat that jumped the fence and is happily munching your neighbour’s roses and does not want to be caught?

1) Try the grain-shaken-in-a-can-bit. Turn the grain so he can see it.

2) If he’s leery, walk past him carrying the grain but completely ignoring him. Go pick up some curious object beyond him and examine it. Then put down the object and walk back past the goat, still carrying the grain, and still carefully ignoring it. Whistle if you can. The goat will be overcome with curiosity and follow you. Slow down. At a point of closest approach dive for legs or horns, whichever you think you have the better chance of grabbing. I love horned goats because in desperation I can usually catch them by those handles. Then yell for help.

3) If that didn’t work, rope him and put him up for sale.

4) If you can’t rope him, shoot him and make goat sausage. (recipe and methods on pages 628-633)”

In this style the whole book is filled with good advice, humour and practical ‘real-world-useful’ information. In our house we refer to The Encyclopaedia of Country Living as “The Book” and when an unusual question comes up, like how do you make sausage casings? It’s the first place we turn to. If you live on a plot or farm, and even if you are a homemaker and desire to do things yourself you will find this book a worthwhile asset to your bookshelf.

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