How can you get back to the land when you don’t have any land to get back to? In his new book, The City Homesteader: Self-Sufficiency on Any Square Footage, Scott Meyer shows acre-less urban- and suburbanites how to grow and preserve their own food, raise small livestock and become ever more self-sufficient—from composting to making soap, pest control to home remedies. Meyer’s experience as editor in chief of Organic Gardening magazine is evident; however, he’s written with novice gardeners in mind. Handy illustrations diagram building everything from a tomato cage to a bee house, while a foraging section exhibits the key identifiers of edible weeds, berries and flowers.
As a 101 course in the basics of homesteading, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more complete guide, and even veteran gardeners may pick up a trick or two. Meyer peppers the text with pop-out examples of living lightly—did you know Google and Yahoo both lease herds of goats to clear brush from their office campuses? A Growing Guide appendix lays out how to sprout everything from arugula to zucchini, and Meyer concludes with a long list of resources for continued study. A resident of the Philadelphia suburbs, Meyer fondly recalls a childhood spent picking cherries from his grandparents’ urban backyard trees, and being compensated with pies. His book starts with the seed and takes you right through to the sweet reward.