“Build It Better Yourself”

An old dear friend of Marsh’s sent us a treasure: the 1977 classic from Rodale Press Build It Better Yourself, from when homesteading was a fresh ideal and ‘organic gardening’ was not yet just something suburban dabblers did around the edges of their TruGreen lawns when they weren’t driving to the mall in their humvees.


And a treasure it is, with sections on indoor and outdoor gardening, food storage, concrete, fencing, walkways, bridges (!), outbuildings (for storage and for livestock), greenhouses, and more.

There are plans for a picnic table — hell-to-the-yes. That will replace the deer stand on our beautiful glacier-scoured outcrop at the earliest opportunity.

There are basic, basic instructions for foundations and wood frame construction that will not only provide us a working shed, but also inform the immediate rehab work in the house.

There is a perfect tutorial on pouring a concrete floor — something I have to do in our basement sooner rather than later.

There’s a section on repairing old outbuildings — refitting or reinforcing rotted floors, walls, beams, and roofs. Tips here will come in handy for the house itself.

Rabbit hutches! Bee hives! Doghouses!

Why am I indoors? Why are you!?