Modern Pioneering: More Than 150 Recipes, Projects, and Skills for a Self-Sufficient Life
When you think about pioneers you probably think about tough and capable people. My ancestors are Germans from Russia and arrived in American in the early 1800’s. They settled in Nebraska and were a hardy bunch, able to grow and cook anything they could get their hands on. Because of the physical challenges they faced and the area they lived – Nebraska, they learned what pioneering was about.
These days, a pioneer is someone who ventures out of their comfy city life and learns how to do things the old fashioned way. I found a wonderful book by Georgia Pellegrini that will surely help me along.
The book is broken down into four areas of self-reliance.
- The Garden
- The Home
- The Wild
- The Rest
The table of contents is purposefully nonspecific. You really have no idea what you will find in each chapter. At first, I thought that was odd, because when you are looking through a book for ideas, the table of contents is the place to go. Instead, reading Modern Pioneering is like picking up an adventure. The pages are jam-packed with information and the pictures and illustrations are beautiful and plentiful.
Just the thing you need to work your way through a new project or get a refresher on one you already know.
The Garden chapter has detailed instructions to help you successfully grow in raised beds and containers, plus watering, soil building, and crop rotation. Everything a new gardener needs to get started. It ends with a section of mouthwatering recipes to use help you use your harvest in new ways. I’m going to try making Spicy Red Pepper Hummus (pg 62-63) the first chance I get.
For those who want to live with true economy, the Home chapter begins with the self-sufficient pantry. You will find techniques for creating a modern day larder that makes you less reliant on the grocery store. This is just up my alley. Georgia gives us instructions about canning, preserving and pickling. Plus ideas about salting and smoking food for long term storage.
Again, to get you further into the topic, there are several recipes for each technique. I learned how to make garlic paste in less than 30 seconds and how to ferment and make hot pink sauerkraut. The topics covered are too numerous to name. Again, treat it as an adventure as you make you way through the book.
Many of the pages have little tidbits of helpful information to make you a true master. Like this:
Do you know how to naturally trap fruit flies?
From Modern Pioneering (pg 201) – Make a fruit fly trap with a plastic water bottle. Punch holes in the sides and drop in pieces of fruit to the bottom of the bottle. Add slightly soapy water to almost the top of the bait. The fruit flies will enter…and not come out. Empty and rebait the container daily until your fruit fly problem is no more!
Enter the Wild chapter and learn about living off the land. If you want to know about common wild edibles – how to recognize and use them – this is the place. Everything from pine needle tea to making a solar still to get fresh water is covered.
The Rest section is a collection of do it yourself instructions for a wide range of ideas like making your own butter, creating your own tea blend, and making almond milk or granola bars. Take a Saturday and add to your pioneering knowledge.
The Verdict – Should you purchase Modern Pioneering?
The book is written for women who are beginning their self-sufficiency journey or want to take it to the next level. Modern Pioneering is geared toward people who live in an urban or suburban setting and are looking for ways to save money and want to grow food efficiently, cook seasonal recipes, or even try foraging, camping, and living off the land.The pages can be overwhelmingly busy, and since there isn’t a table of contents, you better get your Post-It Notes ready as you dig into the adventure. That said, there are so many wonderful ideas in this book that you definitely should take a look.
I received Modern Pioneering from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review. The opinions are entirely my own.