My dad found a copy of the 1973 publication you see to the right and gave it to me. I was reading it on the train on the way home tonight and it's a fascinating snapshot of the birth of the green/hippy/homesteading movement of the early 1970s.
The text is a lovely eclectic mix of tips on everything from how to can tomatoes and how to forage for wild greens to the best way to clean silver and the debate over home births.
Clearly this publication has a bit of a cult following in North America: it seems to be going more than 30 years later, too.
It's written in a "down-home" style that's pretty alien to British writers and will bring to mind the Waltons more than anything.
I'll bring you some of my favourite tips in the coming days but one of my favourite pages offered instructions on how to make a wool spool using four nails and a big wooden cotton reel, which brought back childhood memories of constructing long tubes of wool that weren't good for much.