Around here we just can’t say enough good things about our Homemade Living series. We launched earlier this year with Canning & Preserving and Keeping Chickens. Brimming with useful information, gorgeous photos, and the I’m-right-there-with-you voice of author Ashley English, the series celebrates the sustainable food movement in a beautiful, useful way. Okay, as the Editor on the series I admit that I might be particularly smitten with the books because of my own involvement in their development. But I assure that you, too, will fall under the Homemade Living spell.
Learn a lot more more about the series, including detailed summaries and a couple lovely sample spreads from the first two books in this earlier blog post.
We’ve got quite the giveaway for you this week: autographed copies of each of the two Homemade Living books, Canning & Preserving and Keeping Chickens, as well as a perfectly swoon-worthy handcrafted jar of Cardamom Apple Butter made and canned by Ashley herself.
So, how do you enter for a chance to win this great bundle of goodies? Leave a comment on this post by 9 p.m. EST on Monday, October 11. Any comment is fine, but you’re welcome to leave a comment letting us know which of these books you’re most excited to own — and why. One winner will be selected at random and notified on Thursday, October 14. Click here for the official rules. And good luck! Congratulations to Sasha Addams on winning the giveaway! Keep coming back to the blog for more great giveaways and content.
I recently sat down with Ashley and asked her a few questions about her approach to living and encouraging a handmade life. The answers are both enlightening and inspiring.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE HOMEMADE LIVING?
“For me, homemade living is anything that involves a hands-on, tactile approach. That might manifest as making your own yogurt, canning some jam from fruit you grew, picked, or purchased nearby, gathering eggs from your own flock of birds, or crafting homespun gifts. Essentially, homemade living is a purposeful, mindful, directed, and inherently involved approach to living one’s life.”
WHAT DO YOU HOPE PEOPLE GET FROM YOUR SERIES?
“I hope that people find a friendly, approachable voice, ready to guide them along their own ‘homemade living’ adventures. I want folks to see that my life isn’t perfect, that I make plenty of mistakes and encounter snafus along the way. Life is messy and wild and spirited and full of hope and promise. I want people to sense that in the voice I use in my series, and to not shy away because of a feeling of needing to achieve perfection.”
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR ANYONE STARTING OUT IN LOCAL FOOD AND / OR HOMESTEADING EFFORTS?
“Find literature and friends to support you in your journey. Networking in my direct community with fellow bee-keepers and chicken-tenderers and canners and other DIY-ers has been an absolute godsend. No one is an island, nor should they be. Literature from folks who have been there and direct interaction with people who can offer advice definitely expedites the learning curve, and makes everything feel that less daunting.”
If you’d like to know more about Ashley, check out her wonderful blog Small Measure and her regular column on popular site Design*Sponge. Keep your eyes open for the next two books in the Homemade Living Series, Home Dairy and Keeping Bees, coming in March.