Green Tuesday — Book Review: “The Urban Homestead”

For this week’s Green Tuesday article, I’ve got something a little different…a book review, but not a typical book that gets reviewed here…

A couple months ago, I spotted an intriguing book in my library’s new nonfiction display. It is The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen (Port Townsend, Wash: Process Media, 2008). This book is the third in the “Process Self-Reliance Series.”

urban homestead cover

The Urban Homestead is a handy guide to a variety of projects and techniques for living greener even in a dense urban area. The book covers a lot of bases, from gardening, composting and canning to saving electricity and encouraging alternative forms of transportation (including bicycles). Coyne and Knutzen fill the book with easy projects, personal success stories and a host of references to other Web and print resources.

It’s best to think of this book as a good springboard toward more advanced projects and techniques — it is not intended to be a “one-stop” complete guide, as such a book would be thousands of pages long. Instead, this book allows someone interested in reducing their personal environmental impact to get started without a whole lot of time or financial investment. The authors have made this book easy to stomach, with peppy writing and a good dose of humor…and it is laced with common sense tips and many “why didn’t I think of that?” moments.

Overall, if you are interested in living a greener life by growing some of your own food and saving money on electricity costs, this book would be a great place to start. It’s a fun read and can be really eye-opening in the sense that some of the mystery behind smart environmental living has been removed. I recommend this one!


  1. Green Bookie

    I’ll have to check this out, I’m always looking for ways to go greener. I just wish I had a little yard so I could garden in the summer… it’s hard to be green in an apartment complex.

  2. Ghost Rider

    Green Bookie, there’s a lot you can do with container gardening, as long as you have a little space like a balcony or porch.

    In The Urban Homestead, they even give tips on “guerilla gardening”…seeding vacant lots with yummy plants. They address your concerns — I think you’ll get some great ideas out of it!

  3. db

    Looks like a great book. Thanks for the post.

    The book’s “page” on Amazon has more information and generally very good reviews.

  4. Homegrown Evolution

    Thanks for the great review of our book! Check out our website for ongoing tips and adventures and . . . ride on!

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