Free Book Giveaway – The City Homesteader

This month I’m giving away a brand-new copy of a terrific book, The City Homesteader. Written by Scott Meyer, this 272-page book has tons of great ideas for people who live in urban areas yet long to be more self sufficient and live more sustainably.

Meyer was formerly on staff at Organic Gardening, and accordingly, the book has plenty of advice and tips for growing your own fruits and vegetables – including a growing guide at the back of the book. Meyer also delves into other home food sources, from building a bee house to raising goats. Plus, he provides excellent information for preserving all that wonderful food, from canning your own homemade pickles to making homemade fruit leather.

To enter the drawing, simply comment below about the one homesteading skill you’d like to try someday – whether you live in a city skyscraper or a rural farm. The deadline to enter is midnight MST on July 18, 2011. On July 19 I’ll use to pick a winner and announce it here. Good luck, and I can’t wait to hear your responses.

The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Free Book Giveaway – The City Homesteader

  • Nancy

    I make my own kefir which I use daily to make smoothies. Kefir has kept me cold free for over a year. Great for my gut and my immune system. Making my own kefir also helps save me money. I don’t have to drive to the store to spend more money than I need to buy groceries I don’t always need.

  • karen reimer

    I would love to have solar, I am growing my own food and am working on a few chickens, I own a home in a trailer park and yes it is possible to live a good life homesteading here!

  • Ellen

    I wold love to have a large garden so I could grow all my own fruit and veg

  • Joanna Gara

    I’d like to build a stone house and find recycled materials to make it interesting

  • I would love to raise my own chickens, not only for the eggs but for the freezer too. I am currently living in a very small one bedroom apartment, scrimping and saving to buy my own little piece of heaven and build my cabin on it. I have learned to live very simply and have managed to put into savings a substantial amount of cash. I hope to be able to pay cash for my place and to be debt free.

  • Mary Fougner

    I’d like to try making my own soap from scratch, including making my own lye base.

  • Mable Fields

    I would love to have my own sheep one day (and so many other animals and veggies etc.), I can clean the fleece, spin it and knit/crochet it. I live in a downtown apartment in the urban core of a city, but that doesn’t stop me from growing tons and tons of basil, tomatoes and even dwarf citrus trees in containers on my balcony! My wife and i are trying to grow our own food and are hoping to start canning at the end of the summer.

  • Dan

    Growing herbs is an interest of mine. I recently retired and would welcome more information on growing and harvesting herbs for cooking and other uses. The cost of buying packaged herbs in the grocery store is unbelivably hight.

  • Marla

    I’m interested in canning.
    We’re about to leave the big city for a town with no trafic signals….CANT WAIT!!!
    We plan on learning and doing all we can with sustainablity!

  • I want to learn Bee keeping

  • I live in a downtown apartment in the urban core of a city, but that doesn’t stop me from growing tons and tons of basil, tomatoes and even dwarf citrus trees in containers on my balcony!

  • eliza_cross

    Such great ideas and comments! Thanks to all of you who have stopped by this week to share your thoughts about homesteading and getting back to basics. You inspire me!

  • Anita B

    Self-sufficiency and sustainability are really catching fire in my part of the world. Vancouver city council is taking big strides to help residents be lawfully able to pursue keeping chickens and doing other things in an urban setting.

    I am working toward replacing about 90% of the extensive flower gardens around our house with edible landscaping — emphasis on indigenous plants where possible.

    In my area bee-keeping is allowed, but my dog is deathly allergic to bee stings so that will wait until she is no longer with us!

    I have started making soap from fats and lye and I churn my own butter from quality cream, so am excited to be inspired by “The City Homesteader”! Thanks for bringing the book to our attention.


  • Cindy

    Gardening using hay bales as bed borders is something I’d like to try.

  • Melynda Placide

    I absolutely want to make a post about this on my blog. Thanks for your inspiring concepts. You are welcome to read my follow-up for this at You can consider my post for July 16th to be the comment to this!

  • I would like to raise chickens and a fiber bunny.

  • Cristi

    I just want two or three chickens to provide my fam (and maybe a lucky neighbor or two) with fresh eggs!

  • Barb K.

    Good giveaway. Homesteading. I guess I would like to take care of horses and other farm animals. Also gardening as well. Love to grow tomatoes.

  • Well I already have the chickens but I would love to raise Nigerian Dwarf goats for the milk and cheese.

  • Christina Faust

    I just found your site while looking for recipes for homemade greek yogurt–I love greek yogurt, but it is sooo expensive. I can’t wait to try your recipe.

    One homesteading thing I would love to try is canning. When I was a kid my mom kept a big garden and she canned peaches, green beans, and many other things. I also remember her making watermelon rind pickles. I would love to be able to do it, but I don’t have the money for a pressure cooker right now. πŸ™

  • I would like to try washing our clothes by hand, someday. I must admit that is one thing I have not done yet! πŸ™‚

  • Line

    What a lovely giveaway! I’d love to integrate my dreams of homesteading with my current student city life. Growing vegetables in pots and wooden crates on my tiny balcony is on my to-do list! Mainly I’d love to know more about preserving food and using (food) resources in a more sustainable way. I recently started making my own yoghurt, so delicious! πŸ™‚

  • Lisa Seward

    I’m interested on tips for container vegetable gardening, and also easy composting do’s and don’ts.

  • Jinmo

    I am just starting with a small garden this year. The homesteading skill I would like to learn is organizing my garden to make maintenance easier.

    I really wish I could transplant everything and start over… πŸ˜›

  • Sue

    We started keeping bees this year – so that has been a big adventure! As for one new thing I would like to try – definitely canning! I am determined to learn to do this. My mom makes wonderful jams – and I want so badly to have my own stash πŸ™‚

  • Lois Cavanagh-Daley

    I would love to have chickens and try my hand a bee keeping! LCD

  • Anna-Marie from South Africa

    Living in a city in South Africa I would really love to learn to build a Spirulina (from dam water algae) Farm as we will have to look to alternative food sources that does not depend on the weather to be able to feed self, family and maybe lots of other people around me.

  • Brian Reynolds

    My wife and i are trying to grow our own food and are hoping to start canning at the end of the summer.

  • I’d love to just start a simple vegetable garden and plant a few blueberry bushes and maybe an apple tree in my yard. Oh yes…and build a composting area behind my shed!

  • eliza_cross

    Scott, some women might daydream about owning a Mercedes but thanks to you I’m dreaming of having a goat in the back yard someday – ha! πŸ™‚ Your book is a wonderful resource, and I’m glad you stopped by to say hello.

  • Scott Meyer

    These comments and ideas are making me smile, too! I appreciate Eliza’s so very nice words about my book. Even more, I’m energized by all of your enthusiasm for living more resourcefully. Thanks and good luck in all you do.

  • eliza_cross

    WOW – these comments and ideas are making me smile and giving me some new ideas! Thanks to all of you.

  • Joyce

    I would love to raise chickens but after talking with a friend who does, we decided it wouldn’t be possible. I do grow vegies on my deck.

  • VaLayna

    Hello Eliza, and thank you for the interesting blog! I’ve recently found it and think you post great stuff!

    I’ll soon be moving into a small house in SE Nebraska, on 10 lots ( some fruit trees already planted! ) The house has a decent basement, and a south facing front screen porch.

    My hopes are to try some gardening ( never have before )then learn a little canning, root cellar-ing, drying etc or better yet, learn how to *put up* the goodies!

    I’m also interested in trying a little hydroponic gardening over the cooler months with the south facing porch, oh yeah, and heat the porch with a couple of those homebuilt, passive solar can heater boxes ( has anyone used those before?)

    Thanks again for a fantastic site, and a really fun contest … I am on the look out for any books that will turn this *I don’t have a clue* gal into a homesteading success!

    Have a Blessed Summer Everyone =)

  • irma

    I would love te be able to keep bees. Having your own honey on must be a real treat!

  • Amoya Duncan

    I would like to start my own community garden in my front yard. We move into our new 50’s cottage in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait to turn the front yard into a community garden. This will bring my neighbors and I closer together with healthy food to share.

  • Kim

    My first chickens came just over a week ago, so we’re on our way to a homestead. I’d love to have goats for milk and fiber one day. (Right now that’s way too far outside of zoning ordinances…) It would be great to have our own milk and lots of nice fiber to spin into yarn. I’d also love to put in BUNCHES of blueberry bushes so we can harvest some of our own fruit.

  • Carla

    This looks like such a wonderful book, I’d feel so blessed to win! I’m going to feel silly saying this, but I just want to learn how to garden! We moved into a house for the first time ever and I am absolutely intent on having a garden next summer! I don’t knw where to start though! πŸ™

  • Jen

    You all are ahead of me! I just really started cooking about a year ago when my son started solids. I’ve enjoyed breaking foods down to see how much I can do myself. I no longer buy granola, (much) bread, bagels, crackers, etc. because I made them from scratch. We are building a home–breaking ground tomorrow!!!–and next year, I would like to start a garden. I have a pitch black thumb, so I’m a little scared!

  • I hate to be a broken record, but I have always wanted to have chickens for both eggs and food. There are several people in the neighborhood who are doing this, but I am an apartment dweller so my dream is on hold for now. I try to learn what I can from those around me so when I have the opportunity I will at least have some practice.

  • Lise Wallace

    As simple as it may sound, I’d love to have a small flock of chickens. Fresh eggs, then boiler chickens when they finished “running the course” of being layers. Also a couple goats, to make our own fresh goat cheese!

  • Jess

    I’d love to try my hand at beekeeping!

  • Another vote for chickens. We’d love to have a few. Unfortunately our city by-laws do not allow them.

    • eliza_cross

      The work and responsibility of raising chickens intimidates me a little, but maybe I’ll get brave one of these days. Meanwhile, my sister and brother-in-law are building a chicken coop now and intend to raise chickens. I can’t wait to be the lazy beneficiary of some fresh eggs!

  • I think this is a great giveaway. My husband and I are living in a small one bedroom apartment right now, but we are super lucky because his parents own a pastured-based, without using any sort of antibiotics or hormones, chicken farm. My awesome MIL has been teaching me some homesteading skills and I am hooked. Together we’ve canned veggies from our garden on the farm, made soap, made chicken soup from scratch, found a neighbor with goats to buy goat milk from, and yesterday she taught me to crochet. When hubby and I return from Japan (our life-long dream is to teach English there for a couple of years) we are thinking about buying land for a farm. Maybe not a total chicken farm, but I’d like to learn about other animals like goats, sheep and pigs too. I love reading your blog and finding out cool new tips! Thank you.

  • Amy

    It would be great to learn how to raise dwarf fruit trees and how to make wine and cheese!

  • Chickens seem to be the popular choice here, and I admit they are next on our list, too. Either that, or capturing some solar energy.

  • Hi,
    I just found your site and it’s awesome.
    I would love to have my own sheep one day (and so many other animals and veggies etc.), I can clean the fleece, spin it and knit/crochet it. in some way it’s the last step to full circle clothes making. It would require that I learned how to sheer it as well, but one can never have to many skills like that under her belt.

  • I LOVE chickens. We had chickens in our little yard in 1980. We were a bit ahead of our time. We read books about keeping bees, chickens, geodesic dome houses, composting toilets, etc etc. In the 70’s we drove our recycling from our apt. in NW Calgary down to the bow river depot. On our motorcycle. I’m now 55, and feel an overwhelming sense of excitement about growing food. I live, eat and breathe it. We still live in the same little house we had the chickens at before. But now there are regulations. Apparently they are going to be discussing it soon in council, so I’ve been writing letters. I read about 15 gardening blogs everyday. This is the most fun I’ve had in years. I should say that in the past two years I’ve lost 100 pounds and it is beyond wonderful to be able to scratch around in the dirt and work outside for six straight hours and not get tired.

  • Brandon

    I have studied a lot about gardening and alternative energy, but these are things my family see more as a “must” do, not a “want to” do. I’d really like to know how to make or arrange things and spaces in our home for my family to gather and work and have fun more together, without spending a lot of money.

  • Sandra

    I’m going to follow the trend and say I’d love to have chickens. We live in the suburbs, but are trying to convert our little plot of land to something that can help us be self sufficient. Chickens would be a great asset to this!

    I have fond memories of my parent’s big flock when I was living in a small town when I was growing up. I’d love to share something similar with my girls.

  • Terrie

    We would like to try our hand at having a mini orchard with dwarf trees, particularly cherry. It’s only a dream at this point.

  • eliza_cross

    Yum….pickled beets! Love that idea, Lisa.

  • Lisa

    I would love to grow my own beets and pickle the harvest…amoung so many other things!

  • J.C.

    Urban farming (i.e. growing food and keeping chickens). Low bar for me…

  • I’m not sure if it counts as a homesteading skill, but I’d really want to try the chicken tractor πŸ™‚

    • eliza_cross

      It totally counts, Sami! For those of you who aren’t familiar with this term, a chicken tractor (sometimes called an ark) is a movable chicken coop lacking a floor.

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