I love to read. In high school and college, it was Patricia Cornwell and forensic type novels. As I started to think more about what I was eating, I read The Omnivore's Dilemma and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Then I started reading more and more homesteading type books. Books on keeping a family cow, self sufficiency, bread baking, gardening, and foraging for wild foods now don our bookshelves.
Last year at the Mother Earth News Fair, Dan and I went to a talk on the home dairy. The presentation was given by Deborah Niemann of Illinois. Her family makes a plethora of cheeses, soap, yogurt, and other goodies from their herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats. It had never crossed our minds to have a small herd of dairy goats - we had always assumed we would have a cow. This got our mind reeling. Deborah had just released a new book, Homegrown and Handmade. It is an excellent resource to get one thinking about making things at home - from gardening and cooking, to having your own home dairy and fiber flock. As I was reading it last year, the ideas seemed lovely. But, since we were still in the building process, it was hard to imagine ourselves with a barn, large gardens, and an orchard. Now that we are mainly done with the house, our (or at least mine) minds are drifting to our garden next year, the coop we plan to build, and where we'll build our barn.
Deborah recently released another new book, Ecothrifty. The subtitle is "Cheaper, Greener Choices for a Happier, Healthier Life." I pre-ordered a copy directly from Deborah - she was offering autographed copies and I was incredibly happy to buy directly from the author. It is an absolutely wonderful book. And there's a quote from me in there! I love that she talks about cloth diapering, breastfeeding, and using resuable menstrual pads (which is what I gave my opinion on). She really shows how easy it is to make the green choice and see that it doesn't have to break the bank!
Deborah has two blogs: www.homegrownandhandmadethebook.com and antiquityoaks.blogspot.com. The lifestyle that she and her family lead very much inspire us in our journey.
Besides that, what isn't inspiring about seeing this sunset every night?!