Skip to main content

Book Review: Little House in the Suburbs

Little House in the Suburbs
Backyard farming and home skills for self-sufficient living
by Deanna Caswell and Daisy Siskin

Little House in the Suburbs

256 pages
Betterway Home, 2012
List price: $22.99

With self-sufficiency gaining in popularity, the timing is perfect for a book like Little House in the Suburbs by Deanna Caswell and Daisy Siskin. I was recently sent a copy of this for review, on the heels of a different book dealing with the same general subject. The other book, which I shall not name, did not capture my heart like this one. In fact, I couldn’t finish it. What a difference reality makes.

Caswell and Siskin succeed with their manual for living more responsibly and sustainably because they acknowledge that there are different levels of commitment and investment in this as a lifestyle. They praise baby steps and encourage us to do what works for us without eliciting feelings of guilt because we aren’t doing more.

While life will never return to the days of yesteryear, we have much to learn from the generations before us. We can adapt some of the practices and principles from that time in a way that is practical and realistic in today’s world. Little House in the Suburbs shows us the way to keep bees, raise chickens, make soap, preserve food (that we’ve raised ourselves) and numerous other skills, sharing the real-life experience of its authors. There are several fun projects that make use of self-grown ingredients.

What I love most about this book is the way Deanna and Daisy speak to us in their charming, neighborly, and witty way. Reading Little House in the Suburbs was so downright enjoyable, that I looked up their blog by the same name and immediately subscribed to its updates. You might want to do the same.

Deanna Caswell and Daisy Siskin write the popular blog Deanna is the Practically Green columnist for the Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee). Daisy has been gardening and implementing simple lifestyle behaviors for most of her life. Her columns appear in Birds & Blooms magazine.

Read more garden book reviews.

Read Kylee Baumle’s blog, Our Little Acre.