Saturday, March 02, 2019

"5 Acres and a Dream" by Leigh Tate

5 Acres and a Dream: The Blog link.
I enjoy reading blogs written by people, especially women, who live off the grid or in remote locations. Many off-gridders don't blog or write online, so I also follow homesteaders.

My online search led me to Leigh Tate's 5 Acres and a Dream: The Blog. After reading her posts and communicating through comments I decided to check out her book 5 Acres and a Dream: The Book.'m glad I did. It tells about how Leigh and her husband Dan started homesteading on a five acre plot with an aging house and structures that needed lots of work to make them into their dream homestead.

Leigh describes their mutual dream for "a simpler life, a life that gave us a sense of purpose, appreciation, and satisfaction with what we do and how we do it." Their homesteading mindset began early while raising and homeschooling children, but never on land of their own. With their children grown, planning began in earnest for a dream homestead. Cost was an issue, so their plans evolved over the three year search, and through the subsequent years on the new to them property. Flexibility made them so successful.

5 Acres and a Dream: The Book is organized both chronologically and topically. Chapters that were especially helpful for me were:

The Establishment Phase - rethinking what was necessary.
Food Self-Sufficiency - growing and preserving food.
Energy Self-Sufficiency - including a wood-burning cookstove.
Water Self-Sufficiency - including rainwater and greywater tips.
Obstacles and Difficult Things - homesteading isn't easy.

The book is filled with photographs and drawings to illustrate and enhance the story. There are even some homestead recipes to try. Leigh has written additional helpful homesteading resources.

Amazon Links to additional books by Leigh Tate include:

Preppers Livestock Handbook: Lifesaving strategies and sustainable methods for keeping chickens, rabbits, goats, cows and other farm animals

Critter Tales: What my homestead critters have taught me about themselves, their world, and how to be a part of it

Amazon links to Homestead How To Series:

How To Bake Without Baking Powder
How To Mix Your Own Feed Rations
How To Get Cream from Goat's Milk
How To: Home Soil Tests
How To Make Amish Whitewash
How To Garden for Goats
How to Preserve Eggs

I found Leigh's book both engaging and helpful at the same time. I highly recommend it for anyone who is thinking about starting a homesteading or off-the-grid lifestyle, or someone who has started down that path and is looking for more resources. And stop by 5 Acres and a Dream: The Blog to find out how Leigh and Dan's dream is evolving.

There's also the monthly Book Review Club for teen/young adult and adult fiction over at Barrie Summy's blog.

Also shared with Your the Star at Stone Cottage Adventures. -- Margy


  1. This sounds like a great book and blog! Thanks for sharing this one, I am heading over to check it out now.

    1. It's a blog, it's a book, it's a blog that became a book. Maybe I should think about that strategy. - Margy

  2. While I'm not thinking of homesteading, there are parts of this book I think I'd find fascinating. I'm particularly interested in energy and water self-sufficiency. Thank you for reviewing!

    1. There are a lot of homesteading concepts that can make city living a better experience. - Margy

  3. I'm not interested in homesteading either, but agree with Barrie about the energy and water self-sufficiency aspects. We may all have to do something like this someday, depending on how climate change plays out.

    1. Our small town is focused on food security. Many people who live in town have food gardens, and they now allow people to have hens for eggs. - Margy

  4. Wow! That's quite an ambitious project for empty nesters. I agree with Barrie: it would be useful to learn more about energy and water self sufficiency. The closest we get to that is burning our own wood during ice storm power failures.

    1. Yes, they are very ambitious. They have taken a step at at time. I love my woodburning stove at the float cabin. It keeps our small home warm, sometimes too warm and we have to open a window to keep it comfortable. - Margy

  5. Well yes indeed. I love the idea of homesteading in the 21st century. How cool. I also read all about your RV trip. Much nostalgia there for me for as teacher we used to camper all over Canada and up to Alaska. Now my other blog (not the book review one) is mostly reminiscing as Barb in now in memory care near Mayo in Rochester MN. So now on my own I intend to reading and blogging and, of course, us history majors keep on truckn

    1. When I was a kid both of my parents were educators so we had summers for travel. We did the same, camping across the States and Canada. We never made it up to Alaska, but when Wayne and I got our airplane we made two trips there, camping under our wing all the way.

  6. I'm on a series, and haven't done a review!
    This sounds like it is right up your alley!

    1. It was. I need to get reading if I'll have a review for April. - Margy


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy