"Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletins feature 32 pages of practical, hands-on instructions designed to help you master dozens of country living skills quickly and easily"
My first acquintance with these booklets were the books about maplesyrup, root cellar and smoke house. "Wonderful!" I thought.
I found the homepage at Storey Publishing and dived happily into the first category:
Animals and Farming:
Books about poultry and rabbits.
"Wonderful!" I was thinking. "A bit... narrow selection though..."
Then I noticed they had an Equine category.
"Wonderful!". My "farm" is going to be very little, too little for a horse, so I jumped over that category.
They also have a "Pets" section, which is larger than "Animals and farming".
Mostly about dogs and cats, one books about guinea pigs, but the "jewels" in this section were "10 Herbs for Happy, Healthy Dogs" and the same for cats. Uh.
So, where are the booklets about sheep, goats, milking, beekeeping...?
How about the other pets, fishes and birds, but also rats, mice, ferrets... ferrets are very useful country household pets, can be trained to hunt rats, mice and other such small rodents.
I'm a very disappointed with the craft section. There should have been a leaflet of basic sewing, knitting, crochet, and other such things, as well as specifics, like Braiding Rugs and Chair Caning... But "Country Gifts" and "Making Grapevine Wreaths"? Nah. I would have added simple clay work, tinkering and such, basics to help people get started, in style with "Raising a Healthy Rabbit" :-D
Food and Drink
I entered this section with the maple syrup book in mind.
Some basic bread baking books - good.
"Jams, Jellies, and More" and "Favorite Pickles and Relishes" and drying food. Great.
Building Homebrew Equipment and Apple Cider book - still wonderful. Both very necessary skills for a self-sufficient farm owner.
Easy Game Cookery. Perfect!
"Making Cheese, Butter and Yogurt" - Great!
Making liqueurs and vinegars - sounds wonderful.
Making ice creams and frozen yogurts and "Tea and Teatime Recipes" - yes, good. (Not so enthusiastic anymore)
Even "Fast and Easy Ways to Cook Vegetables" and "Perfect Grilled Meats" are sort of ok, but...
Cooking with squash, pumpkins, oats, cranberries, this and that... Ok... Why not "cooking with cereals" and "cooking with berries"? Well... what ever.
"Salsas!", "Green Tea: Antioxidants in a Cup", "15 Herbs for Tea" and "Sensational Soy"... I'm not with you anymore. There really isn't THAT much to write about tea and herbal tea and all the other sorts of warm drinks. You could have put them ALL in one booklet and get it over and done with. Also, I miss the "25 simple homecooked meals" and "Wild Mushrooms" and "Foraging for Food".
But, let's move on.
"Building & Using Cold Frames", "Wide Row Planting", "Pest-Proofing Your Garden", "Grafting Fruit Trees", "Pruning Trees, Shrubs, and Vines", "Starting Seeds Indoors", "Flowering Shrubs", "Easy Composters You Can Build", "Container Gardening", "Controlling Garden Weeds", "Fertilizers for Free" and "Gardening in Clay Soil" sound like good, basic gardening books.
Some books about planning and planting a special gardens, like moon garden, flower arranger's garden or butterfly garden - also interesting, though... 32 pages are surprisingly much space. How to grow the best tomatoes, asparagus, strawberries... perhaps. Again, why not put several similar plants together?
Grow the best ever grapes? Orchids? Blueberries? Miniature roses? Not a book about herb garden, but "15 best herbs"? Even better, 8 booklets about growing and using ONE SPECIFIC HERB! And what does "Great Rhubarb Recipes" do in this section? "Landscaping with Annuals"?
Well... Ok. Let's move on.
House & Home:
Book about building furniture should be in craft section. Otherwise this section is very satisfactory as well.
Nature & Outdoors
Books about birds and "Building Bat Houses"
Ok... I think I would have liked to see booklets about game... winter feeding and how to cut and prepare game for food, perhaps even a booklet about trapping.
The last section is Well-Being.
Here we have all the potions and lotions, and then some. "Ginkgo Biloba", "An Herbalist’s Guide to Growing & Using Echinacea" and aromatherapy booklets belong to the "less worthy" in my mind. I'm sorry, but alternative healing therapies and methods are not part of my understanding of "country living skills". A booklet about housewivery would be nice, and "the truth behind old wives tales", "The Jewish Penicillin" and such things. Simple first aid and what to do to ease common pains and illnesses would be nice too. A booklet about the common poisonous plants and animals and what to do if someone gets poisoned. Nothing like that there: all herbalism and aromatherapy.
I would put all the horse and "pets" books in the "animals" section, and move "farming" into "house and home", and rename it "house and farm".
I suppose I just have to write the missing booklets, then :-D