Book Festival and Giveaway: An Interview with Anna Hess

Avatar Gaye Levy  |  Updated: December 16, 2020
Book Festival and Giveaway: An Interview with Anna Hess

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books library (Custom)After taking a short break, today I share another author interview in the Backdoor Survival Book Festival.  Anna Hess, the author of The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency shares her answers to my questions and is also providing one of my readers with a free copy of her fabulous book.

Before we start, however, I want to add a few words of praise for Anna’s book.  I am already a big fan of breaking tasks down into manageable segments.  Of course you already know this from my 12 Months of Prepping Series (which will begin year 2 in just a couple of weeks).  But more than that, I appreciate her definition of homesteading as something anyone can do, whether you live in the wilderness, a high-rise condo, a suburban neighborhood or a mobile home.weekend homesteader anna hess book

We are all modern homesteaders and Anna, with her easy to read writing style and fabulous photos, sets us on the road to to self-reliance – one month at a time.

A Chat with Anna Hess

Tell me about your book, The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency. What is it about?

The Weekend Homesteader is aimed at beginning homesteaders who want to become more self-sufficient but don’t have the time, money, or abilities to dive in head first. I walk readers through one fun and easy project for each weekend of the year, giving them a firm foundation they can build onto with future cooking, gardening, and emergency preparedness adventures.

What type of research did you have to do while writing your book?

My husband and I have been homesteading for a bit over six years, and every weed we pulled and chicken we chased was research for my book (although I didn’t know it at the time). By writing about the projects I wished we’d focused on during year one, I hope to guide other new homesteaders toward the fulfilling and successful tasks and away from repeating our stupid mistakes.

Of course, I did a lot of reading to prepare for my book too, and I’ve included book recommendations scattered throughout the text to help others expand their own understanding when they’re ready to go beyond the basics.

Hands on experimentation was also invaluable as we tried out different no-till gardening and chicken pasturing methods, and we’re constantly hearing about new techniques from the readers of our blog.

How long did it take to write?

The Weekend Homesteader started out as a monthly e-book series on Amazon, which I wrote over the course of a year (mixed in with my regular homesteading tasks). Revising the text and whipping the book into a shape worthy of print publication took another couple of concentrated winter months sitting in front of the wood stove with a cat fighting my computer for lap space.

Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading The Weekend Homesteader?

I hope that readers come away with the understanding that they *can* make a difference in their own self-sufficiency with a few simple lifestyle changes.

Although it seems very difficult to make changes in world problems, we can each sequester carbon in the soil (making compost), feed our families healthier food (growing a garden), and make sure that we’re ready to sail through power outages with an air of adventure. Rather than simply preparing for future catastrophes, I hope that my readers will be inspired to enjoy becoming more self-sufficient right now.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I’m the daughter of a pair of back-to-the-landers who fled to the city partway through my childhood. The result is that I didn’t have many more skills than the average modern homesteader when I started, but I did have a third-grader’s rosy image of what farm life was like. I spent four years at college learning about biology and art, but knowing that I’d eventually make it back to my own patch of earth. With the help of a husband I picked up along the way, I eventually did.

Do you have plans for another book?

Print publication is a new experiment for me, but I have several e-books up on Amazon with more in the works. The one I’m working on right now is titled Trailersteading: Voluntary Simplicity in a Mobile Home, which tells how to take a free trailer and turn it into the core of a modern homestead.

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?

I appreciate the opportunity to share my book with you and with them. Thanks for reading!

The Book Giveaway

owl reading bookA copy of The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency has been reserved for one lucky reader.  You know how I like to make things easy so all you need to do to win is reply below in the comments area with your favorite homesteading or DIY tip.

I will select a winner at random using tools on the website.  The deadline for your entry is Friday, January 4th.

The Final Word

Rather coincidentally, a few days ago I was asked what I meant by the term “homesteading”.  It had never occurred to me that this term was not in the mainstream vocabulary.  Wikipedia defines homesteading as follows:

Broadly defined, homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of foodstuffs, and may or may not also include production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale.

Add to that Anna’s statement that “homesteaders want to be healthy, happy and cheerfully self-sufficient” and I believe we have a winning definition of both homesteading and homesteaders.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


Spotlight Item: Naturally, today’s featured item is The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency.  Published in November 2012, The Weekend Homesteader is organized by month with short projects that you can use to dip your toes into the vast ocean of homesteading without getting overwhelmed.

Bargain Bin: Listed below are all of the books in the Backdoor Survival Fall Reading List. There are both fiction and non-fiction titles and a bit of something for everyone. Also, some of these books are Kindle e-books but you do not need a Kindle to read Kindle e-books. Simply download the free Kindle app from the Amazon site and you are good to go.

The Backdoor Survival Fall Reading List – Non-Fiction

Contact!: A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival
Disaster Preparedness: Urban Preppers with Kids, Pets & Parents; Disaster Survival for the Family
Survive Any Food Crisis
The Prepper Next Door: A Practical Guide For Disaster And Emergency Planning
Deep Web Secrecy and Security – Guide to the Deep Web and Beyond
Broken Web The Coming Collapse of the Internet
The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency
The Home Schooled Shootist: Training to Fight with a Carbine

The Backdoor Survival Fall Reading List – Fiction

BOCA CHITA: Prepare. Escape. Survive.
299 Days: The Preparation
299 Days: The Collapse
A Survival Story: Part I
11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life

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21 Responses to “Book Festival and Giveaway: An Interview with Anna Hess”

  1. As a new prepper myself the best advice I can give is to read, read, read! There are lots of good sites and articles to help. Then priorritize based on your situation, location, finances, etc.

  2. We raise coturnix quail. They are quiet and a great way to get used to taking care of animals. They provide meat and eggs for us year round.

  3. If moles are a problem lay hard wire mesh below raised beds before even installing the walls. The holes in chicken wire will be too large.

  4. When we moved to the country we did everything wrong, bought a fixer-upper farm and house and bought a couple horses we only occaisionally rode. 10 years later we felt the bite of the recession and decided we’d simplify. We bought 5 acres of raw land, put in a premade 12×32 shed that we turned into a vey cozy and liveable space, put up a quick pole barn and moved in a flock of 50 ducks and chickens, planted lots of fruit trees and plowed up a huge garden. My advice, don’t try to make someone else’s homestead your own…find your own piece of raw land and dream big! This year we’re adding a few raised beds to the garden plot, adding more fruit and berries, and looking at jersey calves for future dairy production…and waiting for one of the horses to peacefully die of old age (she’s now 28). Dream big and start small. 🙂

  5. My favorite tip is do not waste money on food that you have plans to eat. Many many people buy beans rice and other food in those catagories but have no idea what to do with it. Buy what you eat on any given day of the week. People stocking up on wheat, need to start now on trying to bake bread and other experiments. Don’t wait until its to late

  6. I am new to the homesteading ideas, but I remember my childhood growing up on a farm with great yearning. I am starting to learn things to help me in my move back to living off the land, and this book sounds like an amazing read! My tip would be to do your research now, while you still can. Use the Internet to its full capacity! And make sure to print it all off for hard copies. 🙂 I am starting a binder and collecting books – and practicing things during camping trips so I’m not unprepared when I find the right piece of property!

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