December 4, 2013

5 Acres & A Dream The Book: The Challenges of Establishing a Self-Sufficient Homestead

It is with great pleasure (and relief) that I am finally able to announce the publication of my book!

To celebrate, I'm having a book giveaway!

The book is based on my blog but has been organized into topics and expanded. It is neither a "how-to" book, nor a "why-to" book, although in the introduction I included your answers from my blog survey "Question For My Readers: Why Homestead?" Rather, this book is the telling of Dan's and my story, of our experiences in trying to establish a self-sufficient homestead. It's the telling of our dream and how we've begun to fulfill it. I share what we've researched, what we've tried, our successes and failures, and what we've learned from them.

  1. The Dream
  2. Defining Our Goals
  3. Setting Priorities
  4. Developing A Master Plan
    • (Includes copies of all our Master Plans)
  5. The Establishment Phase
  6. Food Self-Sufficiency: Feeding Ourselves
    • What Do We Need?
    • How Much Do We Need?
    • Preservation & Storage
    • Working Toward No-Energy Food Preservation & Storage
    • Perpetuating The Food Supply
  7. Food Self-Sufficiency: Feeding Our Animals
    • Doing The Research
    • Putting It All Together
  8. Energy Self-Sufficiency
  9. Water Self-Sufficiency
  10. Obstacles
  11. Difficult Things
  12. Work Smarter Not Harder
  13. Where Do We Go From Here?
  14. Conclusion: Doing What We Ought
Also included:
  • 7 of my homestead recipes for homegrown foods
    • Green Bean Broccoli Salad with “World Famous” Croutons
    • Stuffed Summer Squash
    • Goatherd's Pie
    • Cracklin' Cornbread
    • Sweet Potato Honey Pie
    • Canned Green Tomatoes for Frying
    • Sauerkraut
  • A list of resources
  • Calculating Protein With The Pearson Square
  • Homegrown Vitamins & Minerals For Goats
  • an extensive index

That's 262 pages in a 6 inch by 9 inch paperback for $12.95.

Why no Kindle (mobi) edition? Kindle lovers will be asking this so here's the answer. Although I don't read books by this method, I looked into it for those who do. What I learned is that e-readers do best with text, less so with images and illustrations. In fact, it's the images that drive up the cost of the Kindle editions. Because my book has 142 photos and 14 drawings/diagrams, I opted not to go this route for now.

The story behind this book goes back to Benita, (Basically Benita) who first encouraged me to turn my blog into a book. I honestly didn't take her seriously at first, but she kept prodding gently, until I finally decided to do it. Her support and help have been invaluable.

It has been several years in the making, in fact, my first subtitle was going to be "The First Four Years". I thought I'd have it done by then. We're wrapping up five years here, so you can see it took longer than I first anticipated! Part of that has been tackling some steep learning curves. Unless one wants to hire out the various parts of the process, the world of self-publishing falls almost entirely on Self. It includes not only writing and photography, but also formatting, book and cover design, learning the software to make it all happen, as well as learning how to comply with commercial printers' standards. I can't tell you how many times I became discouraged and felt like giving up. But every time that happened, one of you would email me and tell me I ought to write a book! It is to you, my blog readers, that this book has been dedicated.

I'd also like to draw your attention to the cover photo of my wood cookstove. Do you see the pot holders hanging on the pot rack above the stove? Those are the potholders I won in a giveaway by our very own Mama Pea!

Please do consider entering my book giveaway. It's open to anyone, anywhere in the world. I would love to put a free copy into someone's hands, plus you'd be helping me promote my book. I would be ever so grateful for that.

Information on how to enter is now closed.

The giveaway ends December 17 at midnight. Until then, I'm going to take a brief break from blogging. I'll be back on December 18th, announcing the winner and ready to blog once more.

Again, to order you can currently choose from one of the following:
Linking my good news to Homestead Barn Hop #139

© December 2013 by Leigh at


daisy g said...

Congratulations on completing your first book! What an exciting time for you. Wishing you much success!

ravenous-reader-book-reviews said...

Congrats on your book! I am so happy for you!

helenabelle said...

Oh exciting! What an accomplishment-Congratulations!

Lisa said...

Congratulations Leigh! How exciting for you.

Dani said...

Stunning, Leigh. Someone is going to be very happy to receive your generous offer :)

You stayed the course - well done. It took me 4 months to write my solar oven cook book - so I can imagine how much work went into your book! I take my hat off to you!

Nina said...

Congratulations! That's a huge undertaking. It's fabulous that you've got something so worthwhile as a result. Way to go!

OJD - Ron said...

So exciting! You did it. So very proud of you! Count me in. Did you set up a "book bomb" day? Check Urban Dictionary for the explanation if you don't know already. Congratulations Leigh!

Quinn said...

Well done, Leigh! Congratulations on a massive project, undertaken and successfully completed!! I wish you much success :)

Leigh said...

Thank you to everyone for your good wishes. They mean a lot!

OJD, I had to go look up that definition, I love it! I hadn't thought about that. I'll have to see what I can do to coordinate. :)

Crustyrusty said...


Just found out your URL changed; I hadn't seen any feeds from you for 3 months and thought you quit blogging... :-(


Cherry said...

Wow - Congrats on the Book!! I love your blog, so the book is sure to be awesome.

Leigh said...

Crusty, that change of blog address was a bonafide Google fiasco. I'm glad you found me again, though I can't say I've been all that good about doing blog visits on my own!

Cherry, thank you!

Renee Nefe said...


Sherri B. said...

What a thrill...congratulations!!

I can't wait to get a copy and I know my son will want one too. You are an inspiration on so many different levels..once again a big congratulations. xo

Sunnybrook Farm said...

What a neat idea, it looks like a good book. Five years is a lot of blogging!

Anonymous said...

Leigh, I am so excited to learn that you have taken your blog the next step - publishing a book. Hurray! Looking forward to reading it!

badgerpendous said...

All right! I ordered a copy yesterday, but Amazon says it won't be here for another 11 days(!) even though I chose 5-8 day shipping. Alas.

I'll be sure to post a review at Amazon once I receive it and get a chance to read it. I urge other folks to do the same as getting a pile of good amazon reviews goes a long way toward helping smaller authors.

Let me know if you ever want to talk shop or exchange ideas about self-publishing!

Carolyn said...

Whoo hoo! Once I do some clicking and find out how to enter, I'm going to as well as put it on my FB page (not that I have a lot of "friends", but heck, why not?).

Congrats on the "Big Time"!

Sharon said...

Thanks for the heads-up. I just orderd it! Now the next thing you'll need to write on is how to publish your own book :) said...

Congratulations that is so cool. Know it had to be a lot of work but well worth it.

Florida Farm Girl said...

Oh, Congratulations on a job well done!!! I'll be in touch.

Florida Farm Girl said...

Shameless plug just made on my blog.

Here's hoping your book is a roaring success.

Lynda said...

I am so look happy and excited for you! I'm letting all my Homesteading "followers" know they MUST include your BOOK in their library...You and Dan are amazingly awesome!

Lynda said...

Don't know where the *look* came from! Sorry! I'll leave the writing to you. ;) Just purchased the book using your Amazon link.

Diane Barnard said...

Congratulations and best wishes. You deserve the greatest success!

Leigh said...

Once again, I am both humbled and encouraged by everyone's good wishes and willingness to help me spread the word.

Garrett, I'm delighted to know other self-published authors like yourself! I can tell you I've already learned a lot from reading your blog about your own journey. It helped a lot!

Carolyn, yes! The entire job of promoting a self-published book falls entirely on the shoulders of the author, so every little bit helps! Thank you!

Sharon, thank you! I did start an author blog, Building A Book, with the intent of chronicling my self-publishing journey, but it always took a back seat so it's pretty sporadic. That said, I'll tell you anything you want to know, especially if it encourages you to get back to work on your own book. I think it would do very well!

Thank you one and all!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh!!!! How exciting :) I had no idea you were working on this! What a fabulous idea and I am sure it will be a huge hit!!!


Tombstone Livestock said...

Congratulations on your book.

Unknown said...

Oh my gosh CONGRATULATIONS Leigh, this is beyond awesome. Super excited for you!

Leigh said...

Stephanie thank you! And thank you for entering the giveaway!

TL, thank you!

Jen! I cannot comment on your blog anymore because you have comments set to G+ comments only! I'm sorry! I do appreciate your encouraging comment. :)

Lucía Moreno-Velo said...

Wow. This is great! I'd love to have the book. It'll be a great excuse to dodge work :)


Willow said...

Big congratulations on this . It sounds very well put together. I can't wait to read a copy !

Off-Grid Homestead said...

Congrats to you!! What an accomplishment!

Unknown said...

Hi Leigh! I'm so proud of you! You are amazing!!! I know your book will be AMAZING if it's anything like your blog! Can't wait to read it!
I blogged about it:

And Facebooked:
And Google+ :

Thanks for this opportunity Leigh!!! xo, Amber

Lap Dog Knits said...

great success for you...looking forward to having a copy and sharing with friends and family!!

Anonymous said...

I do hope it will be carried here in Canada ! I shop at Chapters online but can also do too .

Cassandra said...

Wonderful! I'm putting it on my wishlist right away.

Leigh said...

Lucia, a fellow author! Welcome and thank you!

Willow, thank you so much. My first review on Amazon seems to think so. :)

Off-Grid Homestead, Amber, and Kyle, thank you!

Rox, excellent question! I went to the author's community on amazon and apparently a lot of folks are asking the same question. To get it listed in Canada (and other nonEuropean sites) I had to enable "Expanded Distribution". I did this but it may take from 6 to 8 weeks before the listing shows up.

One way to query any book for where it's located online, is with Just type in ISBN, author, or title to get a listing. It's how I've been keeping track. And thank you for helping me spread the word!

Cassandra, thank you!

Unknown said...

Oh WOW! So excited for you Leigh!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Leigh, I am so proud of you, as I know you put so much of yourself, time and energy into your book. As you know, I am on Facebook, so if you don't mind...I'm going to share this link I have lot's of goatie and farm peeps on there. Congrats again! :) Hugs!

Mama Pea said...

I know I'm slow (I blame it all on too much snow to shovel and move!) but I just put a much deserved shout-out heralding your book on my blog.

Seems like you've already got many folks interested in it and I wish you a boat load of sales by Christmas time. You deserve to have your practical information and expertise acknowledged and spread around. I'm sure eager to get a copy for our library!

The Stay @ Home-Gardener said...

YAY! How fabulous is that. Congratulations, Leigh!

luckybunny said...

This is beyond awesome!! I am so, so excited for you and big congrats on your success and completion of it! I see something I'll be ordering for Christmas now!! :)

bspinner said...

I am so impressed!!! When ever did you get the time to write a book? Not like you haven't been busy that's for sure.
Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Sandy Livesay said...


I'm so happy for you! This is wonderful news, you must be totally excited? I can't wait to get my hands on your book :-)
I'm sorry I didn't comment earlier, I was out of state with family.

Sending hugs your way :-)

Unknown said...

Hi Leigh, your book looks great! And very reasonable price for all that information. If I don't win a copy, I'd be happy to buy one and review it one my blog :) cheers, Liz

Kristy said...

I'll second Farmer Liz's comment :) Congratulations and best of luck with sales. :)

Woolly Bits said...

great news - I ordered a copy from amazon/uk - can't wait for it to arrive:) I never win anything anyway....I hope it's a great success for you - and maybe you can publish a self-sufficiency cookbook next:)

Kev Alviti said...

Well done on writting your book! Sounds right up my street!

Dorothy said...

Hi Leigh, I still pop in from time to time, congratulations on the book! Are there any cat photos in it? I might have to purchase to check this out...

Leigh said...

You all have made my day with your good wishes and kind encouragements. Thank you so much. I appreciate every blog link, tweet, FB and G+ mention more than you know. And thank you to every one who has bought a copy! I hope it is an encouragement and resource for you. Thank you too for reviews on Amazon. I'm told they really help.

Bettina, I hadn't thought about a self-sufficiency cookbook! It is a thought. Wonder if I could get it done in less than the first one (three years. :)

Dorothy, I'm delighted to hear from you! Yes! I have photos of kitties. And goats. And chickens. And guinea keets. And puppies. And llama. :)

* Crystal * said...

OMG! OMG! OMG! Leigh!!!! How freaking cool is this?!?!?!?!? I know a famous author!!!!!!! EEEEEEK!!!!!

Was just online updating my blog, almost logged off, but refreshed my page and it showed a pending comment... I am SOOO happy for you Leigh. This is exciting!! Have a few Homestead minded folks that I think this would be THE perfect gift for! :)

Anonymous said...

Hey! How cool and appropriate is this! I'll be ordering the book next chance I get. It would be even more fun to have it autographed!!

Leigh said...

Crystal, you are so cute! Actually, I think you should write a book about goats! I don't know of anyone more knowledgeable.

Cathy, thank you so much! You're the second person who asked about autographed copies. I can't imagine anyone would be interested, LOL. I'll have to think about it because it would entail selling copies from my own home/website. Right now, everything is so new, I'm not doing that. I appreciate the interest however. :)

Unknown said...

Congratulations! The book looks great!

Shawn said...

I'm a chapter in and there is so much I love/understand/am experiencing on our adventure! I have a feeling that we are going to learn a TON and get a lot of great ideas from your hard work! Congratulations and thanks for sharing both on your blog as well as in the book! Time to dive back into it!

Leigh said...

Homestead Mania, thanks! I tried to make a return blog visit but didn't find a link from your G+ page.

Shawn, you just made my day! That was my goal in writing it, to connect with and encourage others who are working toward the same thing.

I'd like to get a "What readers are saying" page up, and would love use your comment (along with a link to your blog).

Lynda said...

Leigh...Your book came about speedy's wonderful! I keep flipping through the pages and stroking the cover: I just love everything about it. I hope you sell millions of copies!

Maura said...

Congratulations! I can't wait to read your book. :)

And there is another shameless plug for your book on my blog, here:

Leigh said...

Lynda, thank you so much for that! You just made my day.

Maura, thank you! The willingness of everyone to spread the word is truly a blessing.

Bill said...

Wonderful! Congrats on all the hard work. I'm looking forward to reading it and having it as a resource!

Tom Stewart said...

I swear I left a comment yesterday! (witch way did it go?) I also wrote a post abut your book and even went to "Face Book" and wrote about it. I let all my family and friends know. Pleas give me the 4 entries...PLEASE!!

Shiralynkay said...

I have read your blog for many years. Just got your book and I love recalling your progress. I feel somehow that I have walked with you. Your book is fantastic. Such fun reading. Thanks for all your hard work.

Leigh said...

Bill, thank you! I sincerely hope it is both a resource and encouragement to others who are interested in the homesteading lifestyle.

Tom, don't worry, LOL. I found all your entries on the giveaway page. :)

Shiralyn, thank you! I'm grateful for the feedback and your comment warms my heart. :)

Woolly Bits said...

got the book today - brilliant! I read bits and pieces, but have to find the time to do it from start to end:) thanks for the nice christmas read!


Kaat said...

Woah, what a great accomplishment - both the homesteading, the recording of it, and then the publishing! Congratulations, Leigh!

Leigh said...

Bettina, thank you! It's so amazing that folks from all over the world can read it. That's humbling.

Kaat, thank you! I knew you'd be able to appreciate it!

badgerpendous said...

Bought it. Read it. Loved it.

Reviewed it!

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Leigh, congratulations on your great accomplishment! I'll do a blog post this week (3rd in Dec) and let folks know about your book.
Very well done!

Katy said...

this is awesome Leigh! I have often thought that you were blogging through a real-life encyclopedia of homesteading :)

Julene said...

How exciting! I've been out of the blog world for a bit and just returned to find your book! Bought it....on Amazon....and it will arrive for Christmas!
Can't wait to stroll through it!

Leigh said...

Badgerpendous, thank you! I'm honored!

Sandra, thank you so much. I know you can personally appreciate the fact. :)

Katy, thanks! It's a real-life adventure, that's for sure. :)

Julene, so good to hear from you! Glad to hear you're back to blogging too. And thank you so much for buying a copy! I sincerely hope you enjoy it.

thefisherlady said...

Leigh,I am so excited for you...what a wonderful looking book... will search it out~

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Leigh, I am ashamed that I have waited this long to blog about your book. Honestly! I had NO idea, nor memory, I had promised this in DECEMBER! AAARRRGGGHHH! Yes, times does fly and yes, I am the pilot and am still using the same sad excuse of Dave's death for being so far behind. His unexpected death has thrown me into a 2.5 plus year tizzy from which I am only now beginning to emerge.
Regardless, I tried to pull a copy of your book from your site but wasn't allowed. I understand why and blogged without the picture but did give a link.
Best wishes and congratulations on more than 1,100 books sold!