Recently I subscribed to the main podcast feed for the Preparedness Radio Network, an online radio station dedicated to preparedness, survival, and self-sufficiency. To be perfectly honest with you, I skip quite a few of the episodes that come through the feed, but a few weeks ago one seriously caught my attention. It was an interview with Caleb Warnock, the author of The Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency Used by the Mormon Pioneers. In this interview, he was talking about natural or “pioneer” yeast. He has in his possession a living strain of yeast that can be tracked back all the way to the Mormon pioneers as they made their way across the country to Utah. I have actually requested and received some of this yeast from Caleb – expect a more detailed post soon. In the meantime, I’d like to share my review of his book with you.
The book has quite a few chapters, most focusing on a specific problem that the pioneers had to overcome. How did they eat when they first got to a location? How did they extend the season? What did they do when crops failed? How did they bake bread without a grocery store to buy yeast from? Unlike some of the other homesteading books I’ve read, there is a lot of real information in this book. Good tips, solutions to common problems, lots of veggie descriptions and details that you actually need to implement this stuff. This is not a fluff book, folks, it’s the real deal.
For the history buffs, I also enjoy the scattering of historical excerpts in the book. You get to hear about the struggles of the pioneers in their own words, from letters, journals, and planting logs. I think this is part of what keeps you reading, you’re getting and education and a story in one.
I also feel the need to point out, for some of you who might be religious and concerned about reading a book about Mormon pioneers, is that there is very little or no mention of religion in the book. This is more about the day to day struggles of the pioneers than the LDS church.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who’s looking to become more self-sufficient. It’s a great read, well written and would be a good starting point. It’s also an interesting read for history’s sake alone. I hope you check it out, and stay tuned for a natural yeast post!