today i am overjoyed to congratulate writer, urban home-steader, and d*s editor ashley english on the release of not one- but TWO books! yesterday the first two installments of ashley’s homemade living series hit the shelves: canning & preserving and keeping chickens.
ashley has been working so hard on these books and to say that her hard work has paid off would be a massive understatement. i have been happily leafing through these books for a few weeks now and couldn’t be more impressed with all of the information she’s shared in each book. i’ll admit i’m not much of a homesteader myself, so i don’t know as much about canning or producing my own food as i’d like, but both of these books make me feel that even a novice like me could tackle either subject (assuming of course i was able to find some land to keep chickens).
canning & preserving ($19.95) is a wonderful introduction to everything you need to know about making jams, jellies, pickles, chutneys and more. the book includes 20 recipes, all of the basics for getting started, and all sorts of tips and easy-to-follow notes for getting your own home canning system started. the photos inside are colorful and easy to understand- and the section about throwing a home canning party (complete with pictures of ashley and her friends) is so sweet and endearing it’s hard not to immediately want to immediately throw your own.
keeping chickens ($19.95) is ashley’s (informative) love letter to keeping your own chickens. i sadly don’t have room to do something like this, but the book felt like an inspiring primer to get started with the process- even if you don’t have space yet. ashley covers all the basics for caring for a happy, healthy flock, including breed selection, purchasing, housing, feeding, and hatching. but my favorite part of the book is a delicious recipe section for making the most of your home farm-fresh eggs. the book really goes into great, but easy-to-understand, detail about the process, so if you’ve ever been curious about keeping your own flock at home, this is the perfect place to start.
to celebrate all of ashley’s hard work, we’re going to be giving away 20 copies of ashley’s books! 10 lucky readers will receive a free copy of both books just for sharing their own urban (or suburban) homesteading practices or wishes.
want to win copies of both books? all you need to do is leave a comment below with 1 of 2 things: a link to an image (with description) of your current homesteading efforts (canning, chickens, growing vegetables, composting, beekeeping, etc), OR a description of what you’d like to do in your own home. that can be a written explanation of what you’ve always wanted to learn and try, or a picture of where you’d like to grow a garden with a description of what you’d like to do there.
this friday ashley and the d*s team will choose our 10 favorites and announce the winners! so be sure to leave your comment by 12PM APRIL 8TH (TOMORROW NIGHT) and you could win a copy of both of ashley’s books!
[PLEASE NOTE: IF YOUR COMMENT DOES NOT APPEAR THIS EVENING, DO NOT FRET. BECAUSE THESE COMMENTS ARE MODERATED BY A REAL PERSON, I WILL BE CLOSING UP TO SLEEP SOON. THAT SAID, I WILL PUBLISH (AND SEND TO ASHLEY) ALL COMMENTS LEFT TODAY UNTIL 12 PM TONIGHT. SO IF YOU DON’T SEE IT TONIGHT, IT WILL BE UP FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. ANY COMMENTS LEFT AFTER 12PM EST WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR THE CONTEST]