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The Half-Acre Homestead: 46 Years of Building & Gardening (Paperback)

The Half-Acre Homestead: 46 Years of Building & Gardening By Lloyd Kahn, Lesley Creed Cover Image
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Discover the benefits and joys of simple living in this coffee-table book that presents the homestead of Lloyd Khan and Lesley Creed.

If you've ever researched a DIY home-building project, then you've probably come across the books of Lloyd Kahn. If you've ever been curious about self-sufficient living, The Half-Acre Homestead is for you. Lloyd, the former shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog, has published several books--including some of the most definitive titles on owner building, such as Shelter and Tiny Homes. Lloyd has showcased hundreds of builders in his books. Now, for the first time ever, he spotlights the work of himself and his wife, Lesley Creed.

Starting with a vacant half-acre piece of land, back in the 1970s, the couple built their own home, created a garden with vegetables and fruit, and began raising chickens, bees, and goats. This book presents every aspect of their homestead, from the kitchen and dining area to the shed and workshop. It also introduces several fascinating aspects of their lifestyle, such as crafting and small-scale farming. It goes on to cover cooking, foraging, fishing, birds, butterflies, and tools.

Book Features

  • Detailed look at a homestead built entirely by hand
  • More than 500 full-color photos, illustrating every facet of home life
  • Tips about building skylights, greenhouses, living roofs, and more
  • Section on unique kitchen tools, as well as useful tools for construction

Lloyd and Lesley have never paid rent and never had a mortgage. This coffee-table book is their story of building and maintaining their own home, over a 46-year period, on a small piece of land in Northern California.

About the Author

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 into investigating 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.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780936070810
ISBN-10: 0936070811
Publisher: Shelter Publications
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2020
Pages: 168
Language: English