Synopses & Reviews
In the andrsquo;60s it was called the "back to the land" movement, and in Helen and Scott Nearingsandrsquo; day, it was "living the good life." Whatever the term, North Americans have always yearned for a simpler way. But how do you accomplish that today?
Blending inspiration with practical how-toandrsquo;s, Rural Renaissance captures the American dream of country living for contemporary times. Journey with the authors and experience their lessons, laughter and love for the land as they trade the urban concrete maze for a five-acre organic farm and bed and breakfast in southwestern Wisconsin. Rural living today is a lot more than farming. Itandrsquo;s about a creative, nature-based and more self-sufficient lifestyle that combines a love of squash, solar energy, skinny-dipping and serendipity . . .
The many topics explored in Rural Renaissance include:
"right livelihood" and the good life
organic gardening and permaculture
renewable energy and energy conservation
wholesome organic food, safe water and a natural home
simplicity, frugality and freedom
green design and recycled materials
community, friends and raising a family
independence and interdependence
wildlife conservation and land stewardship.
An authentic tale of a couple whose pioneering spirit and connection to the land reaches out to both the local and global community to make their dream come true, Rural Renaissance will appeal to a wide range of Cultural Creatives, free agents, conservation entrepreneurs and both arm-chair and real-life homesteaders regardless of where they live.
Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko are innkeepers, organic growers, copartners in a marketing consulting company, and have previously published books. John is also a photographer. Former advertising agency fast-trackers, they are nationally recognized for their contemporary approach to homesteading, conservation and more sustainable living. They share their farm with their son, two llamas, and a flock of free-range chickens. Rural Renaissance also offers a foreword by Bill McKibben.
"Ivanko and Kivirist's journey from Chicago advertising careers to proprietorship of a Wisconsin b&b inspired this earnest, engaging book, which is both a manifesto for simple living and a guide for living on a small farm. Many readers won't have the resources or the stamina to match the authors' energetic overhaul of Inn Serendipity, which included installing a wind turbine system, solar heating panels, state-of-the-art wood-burning stove, hay bale greenhouse and a new well. But along with their practical stories of successful renovation and the homespun lessons they learned, the authors provide an excellent compendium of information about green issues. 'How to' sections guide novices in such mysteries as canning, raising chickens, organic gardening and bluebird trails, while sidebars lead to Web sites, organizations and additional reading on subjects from seeds to ecotourism. At times the couple's mania for living 'zero waste' is exhausting, and urban readers may struggle in culling useful tips from this tribute to country life. But if every generation needs its own back-to-the-earth creed, this work is an inspiring clarion call for today's seekers, weaving together the wisdom of earlier 'good life' advocates with a uniquely 21st-century take on living well: it may take a village to build your greenhouse, but it takes e-mail to successfully manage your b&b reservations. 50 b&w photos. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
An inspirational and practical guide for the growing "synthetic urban to organic rural" movement.
About the Author
John Ivanko is an innkeeper, organic farmer and copartner in a marketing consulting company. A former advertising agency fast-tracker, he and his partner are nationally recognized innovative young leaders in the growing rural renaissance movement who have been featured for their contemporary approach to homesteading, conservation and green living in a variety of media. John is also an award-winning photographer and author of and a travel book and several children's photobooks. Lisa Kivirist is an innkeeper, organic farmer and copartner in a marketing consulting company. A former advertising agency fast-tracker, she and her partner are nationally recognized innovative young leaders in the growing rural renaissance movement who have been featured for their contemporary approach to homesteading, conservation and green living in a variety of media. Lisa is the author of Kiss Off Corporate America (Andrews McMeel, 1998). Bill McKibben is the author of The End of Nature.