The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Depletion and Abundance

Depletion and AbundanceI read a lot of blogs, but only a handful captivate me enough that I talk about them with Mark around the dinner table.  Sharon Astyk's blog is so thought-provoking that we discuss "blogger Sharon" at least once a week.  Since Sharon is also an author, it seemed like a no-brainer to check one of her books out of the library.

Depletion and Abundance fleshed out the thesis I've been picking up in bits and pieces on Sharon's blog --- peak oil and climate change are going to change the face of our world, and we need to be prepared for a lower energy future full of good food and friends (and hard work.)  Then there's the Anyway clause --- even if you don't believe in peak oil and climate change, the actions you would take to prepare for those eventualities are just the right thing to do anyway.

Unfortunately, since I'd been reading her blog for months, I was a bit disappointed to be getting the same information again in book form.  I kept hoping we'd make our way out of the big picture and that Sharon would write more about the minutae --- for example, I was aching to hear about how her family cut their energy usage to 10% of the national average over the course of a  year.  (Perhaps that tale is in one of her other books?)

People who enjoy philosophizing will probably take to Depletion and Abundance better than I did.  I tend to look for solid answers when I read a book (or at least for a record of what worked and didn't work in the author's own experience.)  Instead, Sharon's book is full of thought-provoking questions about home and community, but not enough hard data to really suck me in.  Still, I'd recommend that you pick up Sharon Astyk's book, or at least add her blogs to your reading list for exactly the minutae I missed in her book --- milk goats, homeschooling, canning, and much more.  Sharon writes one blog about "food, farm, and family" and another on Science Blogs about the more technical side of peak oil and climate change.

Our chicken waterer keeps your flock hydrated on hot summer days and cold winter nights.


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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.



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