As a child I can
remember my mom sitting at the dinner table with a coffee in one hand
and a dish towel in the other, dabbing at the tears and reading your
book to us, saying "kids, we can do this." When Dad left us, she didn't
know if we would be able to make it. She had nine children to raise
on a small farm with little money and less experience. Mom grew up
on a small farm, but we had lived in town till Dad and her split.
We got the farm, and Dad got another family. We became overnight farmers.
There was no close family to help us--only ourselves and advice from
neighbors and your book-like thing which Momma read all the time.
Back then the Encyclopedia of Country Living was mimeographed and
in a binder. We had spare pages flying around too, a lot of sheets
The first year
was really tough. We had grain for the goats. Then we had to eat some
of our milk goats. Eventually, we were eating the goat grain for breakfast,
lunch, and dinner. It wasn't half bad, sort of like oatmeal with lots
of roughage. That first winter sure was cold. We all slept together
in the living room on one big bed made on the floor. That's the only
way to keep warm when there is no oil left to burn. After that first
year, things got better. We got smarter, got rid of the oil heater
and switched to wood, so we wouldn't freeze when the money ran out.
We learned to garden, recycled clothes, rendered fat, made soap, preserved
food, etc. By the time I hit high school, we were doing pretty good.
We even canned our own dog food.
I remember in
my late teens talking to Mom, telling her how her and dad's break
up was the beginning of our becoming a family. I really meant it.
I am now 38 years old with a family of my own, 3 kids. My kids are
mostly grown up now (I started young), all in college or graduated.
When the last kid moved out, we decided to purchase a small farm in
Puyallup, Washington. We have the ninth edition of your book and,
although I remember lots from back on the farm, it still is teaching
and guiding me. I refer to it often. It is my favorite bedtime reading.
Going through the pages is like taking a walk through my past, through
the good times and bad. The Encyclopedia of Country Living, and you
Carla, helped raise me and my tribe. And you are still with me, whispering
in my ear, guiding me through this life. I have a feeling of love
in my heart for you, and I just wanted to thank you for all you have
done for me.
I am a 30-year-old
mother of five and a wife of an Ironworker. Im always trying
to improve the quality of life for my family. I am always asking myself
if I can make a better product from scratch for less money. I dont
have an experienced teacher of a lot of these arts. Your book is a
great reference to have and a very worthwhile investment. And I loved
all your stories and down-to-earth realities on country living.
Thank you for
writing this book! It really hit home for me, a country girl exiled
to the city. BIG city. But, with the help of your information, Im
moving gradually toward a sustainable life-style, even here. I now
recycle and compost, grow my own organic greens, tomatoes, and herbs,
use nonpolluting household products, etc. Thank you for being a wonderful
I can hardly wait
to get my own copy. Ive been borrowing the librarys
copy for two years! Praise God for all your hard work and for the
wisdom youve shared with all of us!
Now my daughter
and I will have reading material for the entire winter!
Please send me
one copy of your book. My father has a copybut it is falling
apart from overuse!
It seems that,
if one wants to get wholesome food these days, we need to grow and
preserve it ourselves. Your information is a God send.
Through the years,
I have dog-eared, underlined and highlighted all the parts of the
book which guided my life of satisfying self-sufficiency. Couldnt
have done without it.
much lost information in it that you just cant find any more.
My husband and I are trying to become self-sufficient and the information
in your book is of great value to us.
I have had your
book for over ten years, and it is the Greatest book I own.
Mt. Carroll, Illinois
Mom is seventy
and going to celebrate fiftieth wedding anniversary this summer. I
showed her your book and she spent hours in it. With tears in her
eyes she said, Such memories this book brings back. I want one.
So her daughter will surprise her with one.
seven volumes of Foxfire, but yours is more to the point and current
rather than lore. Especially the wheat section on when its ripe.
I put in half acre of hard red winter wheat to experiment with. And
I was very taken with the warmth and friendliness of your book.
I hope you dont
mind that I call you by first name. I feel like I know you so well.
Fifteen years ago, we bought a five-acre postage-stamp farm with a
garden space, barn, root cellar, and chicken house. We got a milk
cow, beef calf, goats, chickens, geese, guineas, ducks, bantys, pigs,
and bees. When it came time to butcher our pig, we could get no help
from neighbors, so we went to the library. Our beautiful librarian
loaned us a copy of your book, and thats the best help we got.
I checked out your book so much I finally bought it.
I feel I know
you, though we have never met. Ive been using your recipe book
since 1980. It has always been such a help. In raising and butchering
animals to gardening. I find not just the answers to my questions
but the courage to go about the task...A year ago we had a bad fire
very near us and were told to be ready to leave our home. I set aside
to take quickly, if need be, bedding, some clothing, important papers,
a few family pictures, my Bible, and your book. Well, our house didnt
burn, but thats when I realized just how much your book has
meant to me over the years. Like a friend, you have always been there
Your book was
in my right hand when I lived in the jungle in Hawaii. I loved eating
fried squash blossoms...
Benwood, West Virginia
I bought a copy
of your book in 1981 and have been enjoying it immensely ever since.
It is, hands down, the very, very best book of its kind that Ive
ever found anywhere! Its the very sort of book my grandmothers
might have written if they had the time to do so. It has in it many
of those skills that my grandparents tried to teach me, but I was
too distracted by the process of growing up.
West Paris, Maine
It has been nearly
twenty-five years since the first edition of your book was printed.
A few months ago, my future husband and I were out looking at a piece
of land that will, hopefully, be our new home next spring. On the
way back, we stopped at a garage sale where I saw your book, spent
the 25 cents, and took my treasure home. I have hardly put it down
since, and have enjoyed every word. Even though I was only a baby
when you wrote your first edition, the wonderful info came to me at
just the right time. I can honestly say that you have touched my life
in a very special way. Thank you so much.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
For months, since
I got your book, I have been reading: laughing with you, enjoying
recipes, and in wonder at the mass of information that is contained
in this book. You have put together a "bible" that every
housewife should have. You have solved more problems for me than my
own mother ever could.
Glenwod, Alberta CANADA
Your book has
been a source of information and friendship for many years. I am writing
to obtain copies for my three daughters. I would like to share this
with my children.
It is such a wonderful
book. I love it!
Quite a few years
ago, my mother gave me your book and I loved it! Just recently,
I showed it to one of my friends who wanted to hatch some eggs. He
also liked it and offered to buy it. I said, Nothing doing.
over the recent Christmas holiday, I began reading your book. Very
interesting. Needless to say, my friend would not let me borrow the
book. My friend explained, Its the most used book in the
house. Where can I get a copy?
I am a Christian
whom the Lord is directing into a simpler life-styledoing without
TV for entertainment, and without preservatives in food and quick-fit-it
packaged foods to live on. So I really took a liking to your book.
Your book is a
treasury of usefulness, all in one book! Its a rainy day here,
and I have to go out to our woods and finish off a batch of maple
I am amazed at
how much information you squeezed between the two covers of that book!
I have had my
Book for many years now. I have gone through it so many times that
I am wearing it out. Have you got a more recent edition? I love my
book and would love to get another one.
We are here in
Germany and we get cows milk from a German friend down the street.
I am so impressed with your bookall the good stuff you have
to offer us in our homemade experience. So far, we have used a lot
of stuff in it, and it really works still today. We made the cream
and butter from original cows milk and it was better than the
on my deck. Just got through reading your book again, this time on
the care of ducks and making Tutti Frutti. This makes maybe the 900th
time Ive opened it to learn something, or grow, or cook something.
Thanks for writing such a special book. It has touched my life in
many ways, the most special book on my shelf. I moved to the foothills
of the Sierras in Grass Valley, California, around late 70s. Found
your book at a book cellar in town and used it while learning about
life. Years later, Im still pleased to pick up this book, with
its worn-out pages, and glean new ideas. Most important of all to
me was the strength and comfort I found within these paperback covers.
Thank you again for persevering and continuing to complete this work
of art. God Bless You.
Grass Valley, California
When I first got
your book, I read two nights running, staying up till 1 AM, though
having to get up at 5:30 AM for work. Its great. I am a city
person so, needless to say, I found it fascinating!
We are in our
40s and hope to be in the country next year, Lord willing. We are
studying all we can now in hopes of being somewhat prepared, although
I know a lot is to be learned by experience. I want to thank you for
all the time and effort that you put into the book. Although we arent
in the country yet, it has already come in very handy. I find myself
referring to it quite frequently.
I found your book
a great help in gardening, canning, raising chickens, etc. I feel
like Ive known you all my life. Youre down-to-earth, and
you have your priorities straight.
Pennington Gap, Virginia
This is a fantastic
book and so interesting as I was raised a farm girl and some day we
may have to go back to some of our old ways.
I am a teacher
now preparing for my next year fourth grade, and I just came across
your incredible book. Had I known about your book earlier, my teaching
would have been substantially enhanced. How can I get a copy of it?
I want it for our teachers library. All teachers should know
about your work.
Great Barrington, Massachusetts
Over the years,
I have moved many, many times. Each time it got harder and harder
to hang onto things, especially heavy things like books. So, over
the years, I had to give up book after book, box after box. But the
one book I always refused to give up was yours. It has always had
a special place in my heart. It represents a dream I have had all
National City, California
I have used and
enjoyed your cookbook many times during the years Ive
had it in my collection.
Crum Lynne, Pennsylvania
I have become
interested in homesteading and have thoroughly enjoyed and abundantly
used your book. I dont know what I would do without it!
Aransas Pass, Texas
Your book is an
incredible accomplishment and an indispensable reference! I appreciated
your reminiscences as well as the information you shared.
Grove City, Pennsylvania
I purchased your
book in Minnesota ten years ago and have used it a hundred times!!
Its a wonderful, useful, yet very interesting and personable
Bonners Ferry, Idaho
I loaned my old
book to a friend three months ago, and it still hasnt been returned.
Im lost without it. Please send me another one. I am a nurse
by trade, but was injured lifting a patient. I must tell you, your
book has turned into a blessing for me. I bought my first copy about
eight years ago and started trying your ideas. I started making herb
vinegars, jams, potpourri, etc. At first, I just made them for gifts.
But, due to my injury, I had to find something to do to help earn
money for our family. So I began to do craft fairs, and it worked!
Then I decided to turn the front room for our old Victorian house
into a small herb and craft shop. I also offer classes on herb uses,
herb vinegar and potpourri making, flower drying, etc. Thank you so
much for your wisdom. Without it, I dont know what I would be
doing. You really have made a difference in my life. Of all the books
Ive read, yours is the best. It touches on just about everything,
besides being humorous and inspirational. Thanks again for your positive
Enclosed is money
for two of your books. A friend of mine loaned me her copywhich
is quite dog-eared as it was their second Bible while living as missionaries
in the Brazilian jungle. We are a small community of believers who
have just moved to a 120-acre farm here in SE Wisconsinall city
dwellers with a desire for the simpler life. Our focus is discipleship.
And self-sufficiency is really a part of that! Ive read reams
of material on everything from A-Z, but nothing so down-to-earth as
your book. The ladies here are working a half-acre garden (most of
them have never gardened at all before!). Were also going to
try home butchering our two pigs. Andarmed with courage from
the pages of your bookIm going to attempt 100 chickens
raised on nothing but homegrown seed and feed! Well, between the garden
folk wanting to know how to save seeds, and the animal folk wanting
to know about feed and breeding, and the kitchen folk wanting that
one recipe, and the fact that it isnt even my bookwell,
were really needing some copies!
I bought your
book back in the 70s and use it, reading in it every day, just like
I do my Bible. It is a great help to mean X city girl turned
country when I married a country boy 26-years ago and we began homesteading
on his family farm (about 90 acres). Over the years I have learned
to quilt, make cheese, tend chickens, butcher our animals, garden,
and put bywith a great deal of help from your book. Your book
was especially handy when my goats had their kidsand learning
to milk! And everything else Ive learned these last twenty years.
God bless you.
You taught me
to make homemade noodles, which Ive always wanted to make, but
never did. You made it seem so easy. I made them and we LOVE them.
Have them more than we should even. Thank you, Carla.
Mrs. Hill of Ravender
Springs, Arkansas, showed me your book on how to live on your own
if you dont know much. She said you wrote it in the days of
the Hippies because they didnt know a dam thing about anything.
Please send me a copy.
Thank you so much
for writing your book. My friend, Shantina Land of New Zealand, got
your book and we used it so often. For any kind of question we could
think of, there was always an answer in it. I picked up your idea
of baking bread with leftovers and it was just yummie. It is the most
useful book I ever read, the second most important one for me, after
my Bible. I left my friends farm in New Zealand and now have
to live in Berlin the next years. Please send me one of your books.
bought your book from a bookstore in 1979. Its almost worn out,
the best book Ive got.
Please send me
four books. They make wonderful Christmas gifts.
Courtenay, BC CANADA
My mother bought
a copy of your book from you in 1975. We have used it many times.
We loaned it to a dear friend and neighbor and it took us almost a
year to get it back! Well buy her a copy of her own for Christmas
and never loan ours out again.
ago, my sister gave me your book as a gift. Boy! The work involved
in just compiling the information. Your book covers a lot of areas
I never dreamed of. Thanks for sharing your beautiful spirit with
Heber City, Utah
Thank you for
sharing your knowledge, your views, and yes, your mistakes!
We are convinced
that we need to keep a copy of your book around the house as a reference
guide. We find it very informative. Our plans are to move to the Arkansas
Ozarks in about a year and start living a better lifestyle. With careful
planning, hard work, and good luck, we hope to be able to put to use
many of your methods of country living. Your knowledge is a Godsend!
We have been using
your book for a few years now and just love it. We home educate our
children and they have even asked if they could read your book for
required reading. I am tickled that they are such practical kids,
just like your book!