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Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life    by Jenna Woginrich order for
Made from Scratch
by Jenna Woginrich
Order:  USA  Can
Storey, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Deb Kincaid

I felt like I was chatting it up with Jenna over a cup of her freshly ground, percolator coffee as I read her exuberant account of how this transplanted Pennsylvanian, a corporate web designer turned urban homesteader in Northern Idaho, managed to downshift her life, and thereby enrich it. She was one happy and intrepid beginner.

After learning more about the journey food takes from farm to plate, and the brutality of factory farms, Jenna's respect and appreciation for sustainable small farms and homesteading grew. Okay, she couldn't do the whole thing, but she knew she could simplify her life by consuming less and producing more of what she needed - and still keep her day job.

So, she learned to make homemade bread, how to raise laying hens from baby chicks, how to shear Angora rabbits for yarn making, and became a beekeeper, building the hive herself from a kit. She even taught herself to play the mountain dulcimer and the fiddle for some 'unplugged entertainment.' Naturally, Jenna experienced poignant episodes along the way, but the contentment, satisfaction, and joy of living 'a handmade life' far outweighed them.

I was sad that I'd reached the end of this delightful book. I hope there's a sequel. Made from Scratch is not merely a memoir, but also a how-to book containing recipes, resources, and helpful suggestions. And Jenna's conviction that any one of us can raise the quality of our life by simplifying it is perhaps the most important thing we need to know.

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