Adam Parfrey, RIP

Our first book, The Urban Homestead, was published by Process Media which was, at the time, a collaboration between Jodi Willie and Adam Parfrey (who founded Feral House). I was deeply saddened to hear of Adam’s passing yesterday at the age of 61. Jodi and Adam took a big chance on us as new authors when they commissioned our book back in 2006. Most publishers are unoriginal and afraid to take chances. Not Adam and Jodi.

It was a great pleasure to get to know both of them and we’ll really miss Adam. Adam will be memorialized as the publisher of incendiary books but I will remember him as kind, gracious and supportive.

Making It Available in Overdrive App

making it cover

I’m a huge public library fanboy. With LA’s huge central library is just steps from my gym, I usually find myself with way too many books checked out. On my last unnecessary and purely recreational library visit, my favorite librarian informed me that our book Making It is available for download in the Overdrive app. Ego boosted!

Many public libraries, in addition to books, now have a long list of digital gewgaws, apps and resources. One of those apps is Overdrive, which allows you to download eBooks, videos and audio books to your digital devices for free. Over 30,000 libraries worldwide use Overdrive to distribute materials. To sign up you log in with your library card number and create an account. You will also need to install the Nook app to read books downloaded through Overdrive.

I highly recommend that you ask your local librarian about your local library’s digital resources. In addition to apps like Overdrive, many libraries have powerful online research tools. Your librarian can also step you through how to download and use apps like Overdrive.

As I’ve been blathering about cleaning and de-clutering on the blog lately, I hope it’s obvious to see how getting books at the library can free up shelf space and save money. Downloading digital books can be part of that de-clutered, minimalist lifestyle. While, personally, I prefer physical books, I also appreciate a bargain. Overdrive and Making It are available to you for freeeeeeee!

Making It

Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World, by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen (Rodale Books, 2011)

ISBN-13: 978-1605294629

Buy it at:  Amazon Abe Books • Barnes & NobelPowell’s

Making It provides you with all of the tools you need to become a producer instead of a consumer and transform your home from the ground up. Projects range from the simple to the ambitious, and include activities done in the home, in the garden and out on the streets. Provides step-by-step instructions for a wide range of projects, from building a 99-cent solar oven to making your own laundry soap to instructions for brewing beer. Making It is the go-to source for post-consumer living activities that are fun, inexpensive and eminently doable.

Our goal in this book was to provide really stripped down, simple projects that use only inexpensive, easy to source materials. We also tried to use the same materials and ingredients over and over again, to save you time, money and storage space. The moral of this book is that it doesn’t take much more than creativity to live well.

This book, written by a husband-and-wife team of die-hard DIYers, will leave you thinking you can take on the world and win.Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

My favorite of all these recent books by far… — Kirkus Reviews

The Urban Homestead

“The contemporary bible on the subject” — The New York Times

The Urban Homestead (Expanded and Revised Edition): Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City (Process Self-reliance Series) by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen  (Process, 2010)

ISBN: 978-1934170106

(The first edition, the one with the “American Gothic” cover, was released by Process on June 1, 2008)

Buy it at:  Amazon Abe Books • Barnes & Nobel Powell’s and your local indie bookstore

This celebrated, essential handbook for the urban homesteading movement shows how to grow and preserve your own food, clean your house without toxins, raise chickens, gain energy independence, and more. Step-by-step projects, tips, and anecdotes will help get you started homesteading immediately. The Urban Homestead is also a guidebook to the larger movement and will point you to the best books and internet resources on self-sufficiency topics.

Written by city dwellers for city dwellers, this copiously illustrated, two-color instruction book proposes a paradigm shift that will improve our lives, our community, and our planet. By growing our own food and harnessing natural energy, we are planting seeds for the future of our cities.