Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Extreme Simplicity: Homesteading in the City by Christopher and Dolores Lynn Nyerges

Extreme Simplicity is another ‘self reliance’ book , only there is a twist. The story unravels itself in the book: Christopher and Dolores live in a suburb of Los Angeles. They produce a lot of their own food, go dumpster diving, have a home without central heating and they don’t often use the central air. The other difference is that the Nyerges have been doing this for about 30 years.

The couple have some very unorthodox views on life, but the book is filled with practical advice on how to “Live Lightly Off the Land” (their term)

The book is 232 pages long, yet you feel like there must be more information available. It is good but not as in depth as any potential urban homesteader might wish for, not to mention that not all the advice therein is exactly practical. Few urban homesteaders have the ability to keep chickens and pigs (especially those who already have kids) despite the tips the Nyerges give.

Many more suburban dwellers have the room but are unfortunately forced to abide by covenants which restrict what they can grown in the yard, let alone things that they can put on the roof.

I would not hestitate to recommend the potential urban or suburban homesteader this book- with the caveat that they need to check th zoning restrictions they abide under. The books seems a little out of date, although written in 2003.

I give it a * * * 3 star rating. A good read, but do your research first- not all states are as easy going as CA, not all neighbourhoods are created equal and there have been definite improvements in sustainable technologies recently.

1 comment:

  1. I've been wondering if this book was any good for a long time. Our library doesn't carry it and I've been going back and forth on whether it would be worth it to buy it or not. Thanks for the review, Rachel.



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