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Summer Beam Books

The Half-Acre Homestead: 46 Years of Building & Gardening - PGW Contributor(s): Kahn, Lloyd (Author) , Creed, Lesley (Author)

The Half-Acre Homestead: 46 Years of Building & Gardening - PGW Contributor(s): Kahn, Lloyd (Author) , Creed, Lesley (Author)

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The Half-Acre Homestead: 46 Years of Building & Gardening 
Contributor(s): Kahn, Lloyd (Author) , Creed, Lesley (Author)

ISBN: 0936070811    EAN: 9780936070810
Publisher: Shelter Publications  
US SRP: $19.95 US 
Binding: Paperback
Copyright Date: 2019
Pub Date: March 03, 2020

"This is the story of Lloyd and Lesley building a home and establishing a garden on a small piece of land on the Northern California Coast over a 46-year period. Lloyd, the former shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog, has published seven books on owner building, showcasing hundreds of builders, and this is his first book on his own work. Starting with a vacant half-acre piece of land, they built their own home, created a garden with vegetables and fruit, and describe raising chickens, bees, and goats. The book also covers cooking, foraging, fishing, crafts, birds, butterflies, and tools. Their main theme is that this was all done by hand. They have never paid rent nor have they ever had a mortgage. There are over 500 photos illustrating all the above facets of their lives and clear explanations of building skylights, maintaining a septic system, building greenhouses and raised vegetable beds. There is a section on unique kitchen tools, as well as advice on useful tools used in construction"--

Biographical Note:

Lloyd Kahn started building more than 50 years ago and has lived in a self-built home ever since. If he'd been able to buy a wonderful, old, good-feeling house, he might have never started building. But it was always cheaper to build than to buy, and by building himself, he could design what he wanted and use materials that he wanted to live with.

Lloyd set off to learn the art of building in 1960. He liked the whole process immensely. Ideally, he'd have worked with a master carpenter long enough to learn the basics, but there was never time. He learned from friends and books and by blundering his way into a process that required a certain amount of competence. His perspective was that of a novice, a homeowner, rather than a pro. As he learned, he felt that he could tell others how to build--or at least get them started on the path to creating their own homes.

Through the years, he's personally gone from post and beam to geodesic domes to stud-frame construction. It's been a constant learning process, and this has led him to investigate many methods of construction. For five years in the late '60s to early '70s, he built geodesic domes. He got into book publishing by producing Domebook One in 1970 and Domebook 2 in 1971.

He gave up on domes (as homes) and published his company's namesake Shelter in 1973. Since then, Shelter Publications has produced books on a variety of subjects and returned to its roots with Home Work in 2004, The Barefoot Architect and Builders of the Pacific Coast in 2008, Tiny Homes in 2012, and more.

Building is Lloyd's favorite subject. Even in this day and age, building a house with one's own hands can save a ton of money and--if you follow it through--you can get what you want in a home.

Lesley Creed (1947-2023) moved out of San Francisco in the early '70s, intent upon a back to-the-land lifestyle. She worked with Shelter Publications as a consulting editor, while maintaining a vegetable and flower garden and pursuing an interest in how things are made. She lived with her husband and co-author, Lloyd Kahn, in West Marin County, California, until her death in 2023.

Physical Info: 0.6" H x 8.5" L x 8.4" W (1.2 lbs) 168 pages

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