Synopses & Reviews
Starting off as a young, single woman with a desk job and a city apartment, Jenna Woginrich set out to build a more self-sufficient lifestyle by learning homesteading skills. She didn't own land or have much practical experience beyond a few forays into knitting and soap making, but she did have a strong desire to opt out of what she saw as a consumer-driven culture. After moving across the country to a rented farmhouse in northern Idaho, she learned to raise chickens, keep bees, and grow her own food.
This is the story of her joyful, dramatic, and sometimes sorrowful journey toward self-reliance. Along the way, she learned that an abundance of enthusiasm and a willingness to experiment could make up for a lack of knowledge, and that reaching out to others for mentoring and guidance could help her reconnect with her community.
From the satisfying work of starting a new garden and installing honeybees, to the bliss of gathering fresh eggs to be baked into a quiche served with warm-from-the-oven bread and hand-churned butter, Made from Scratchshares the deep satisfaction that comes with providing for oneself. In an encouraging and entertaining voice, Woginrich weaves into her narrative easy-to-follow instructions for making your own clothes, teaching yourself to play a musical instrument, and much more.
In any setting urban, suburban, or rural with any level of experience, it's possible to take small steps toward self-reliance. Windowbox vegetable gardens, a batch of homemade strawberry jam, a handknit sweater, or a small flock of backyard chickens all satisfy the craving to homestead. It's not about having a rustic cabin on five acres, complete with a pickup truck and a barn full of livestock. For Woginrich, it's about being more receptive to learning the simple skills most of us have forgotten, and finding joy in the process.
"This fine, simple book is the real deal, and it will come as a great relief to people feeling some silent dread in a time of rising gas prices, food shortages, and the like. Much can be done — in your home!" Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy
"City girl turned farm girl, Jenna takes you on her wild ride (she even ends up with a 'pet' dog sled team). Along the way, she gives you all the details you'll need to create your own homemade life, whoever you are, wherever you live. From DIY clothing to grow-your-own meals, Jenna walks you to the door of your fantasy and points the way towards a more self-sufficient and authentic lifestyle." MaryJane Butters, author of MaryJane's Outpost: Unleashing Your Inner Wild
"A delightful account of one person's journey to take back her life, written with verve and humor." Gene Logsdon, author of The Contrary Farmer
"This is an outstanding book for anyone yearning for the satisfaction that comes with a simpler, more self-reliant and sustainable life. I highly recommend it, for both country and city homesteaders." Cheryl Long, Editor in Chief, Mother Earth News
"Jenna Woginrich had me from the front cover to the back cover and wishing there was more after I was finished. Made From Scratch had me in tears at some points in the book and laughing out loud in others. This book is a perfect read for our times by getting back to basics for our health and our pocketbooks." Mary Tobia, Times-News (Lehighton, Pennsylvania)
Goodbye, frozen pizza; hello, homesteading. In a hectic world of mass-produced food, clothing, and entertainment, it's easy to miss out on the simple pleasures of doing things for yourself. Meet Jenna Woginrich, a 26-year-old web designer who decided to take control of her life — what she ate, what she wore, and how she spent her free time. Learn a few basic country skills, she reasoned, and she would be able to produce at least some of the food and other resources she used every day. Made from Scratch tells the story of Woginrich's hilarious, heartbreaking, soul-satisfying journey, inspiring and entertaining readers who dream about a more self-sufficient lifestyle.
Discovering the pleasures of a handmade life was a longtime dream for urban homesteader Jenna Woginrich. At 24 years old, living in an apartment in Knoxville, Tennessee, and working as a computer designer, Woginrich was nurturing her dream of learning to homestead. Now, at 27, she's settled on a rented farm in rural Vermont, where she cares for two working sled dogs, chickens, a flock of sheep, honeybees, a couple of geese, fluffy Angora rabbits, and a backyard garden that provides much of her own food.
Part memoir and part how-to manual, Made from Scratch recounts Woginrich's growing independence and the successes and missteps she experiences as she learns to more fully live off the land. By turns upbeat, dramatic, and sometimes sorrowful, her story embodies the experience of the new homesteader one who is committed to reducing dependence on commercially produced goods while still working a day job to pay the rent. Woven into the narrative, readers will find easy-to-follow instructions for making clothing, playing a musical instrument, preserving fruit, brewing the best pot of coffee imaginable, and much more.
Now available in paperback, this new edition features additional material on moving from Idaho to Vermont, a topic that will delight fans of her blog.
About the Author
Jenna Woginrich is a 20-something homesteader and the author of Barnheart, Chick Days, and Made from Scratch. She blogs at Cold Antler Farm, as well as Mother Earth News and The Huffington Post. A Pennsylvania native, she has made her home in the mountains of Tennessee, in northern Idaho, in rural Vermont, and most recently in upstate New York, where she lives with a flock of Scottish Blackface sheep, a border collie in training, chickens and geese, a hive of bees, and several amiable rabbits.