RIP Carla Emery

Carla Emery passed on tonight, of complications from a heart attack. She was the author of The Encyclopedia of Country Living, a bible for many folks who lived on the land or wanted to live on the land or just thought about living on the land. I have it in my upstairs bath and love just thumbing it open and reading; she covers EVERYTHING you might want to know about living in the country, and from reading her I feel as if I know her. I don't know how old Carla was, but it doesn't seem like it should have been her time just yet.

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 


Guest's picture

I was just referring to our Country Living book by Carla and thought I would see where she is now. She signed it in 1999 at a talk she gave in Dodge City, Kansas. We appreciate her book and refer to it often. I was sorry to see she had passed but as a Christian know she is better now. Recommend the book to anyone wanting to be a little more independent.

PollyG's picture

I've heard Carla speak twice. Once to a group of small women interested in homesteading and 'home-living' (mostly homeschoolers) and again during a country living day. She butchered some chickens and yelled at little boys who were feeding the chicken too much popcorn. She was an interesting character in person, but OH!!!! her book. I bought my first book years ago, heard about it in Gentle Spirit magazine and then passed that one on to my oldest daughter when I bought the newest edition.
You're right, she wasn't that old - probably mid-50's or so. She was very afraid of her ex-husband, ?Mike?, and would never speak at large, well-publisized gatherings, for fear he would find her.

Vickie Hawks's picture

I've just learned that Carla Emery died. I had thought she might be in Pigeon Forge, TN- her address in the Ninth edition. I'm heading that way soon and wanted to meet her at long last.

I appreciate your comments and was happy to have something to read besides her obituary.


lynn harshbarger's picture

Carla was my Dad's cousin. Her maiden name was Harshbarger..I had the pleasure of meeting her several times in my life...I had one of her original books and it was HUGE..I learned so much from her and I am sad that she left this world so soon. She touched so many lives and she accomplished more than most people would in 3 life times. wishing her children peace. from your cousin Lynn

Scarlett 's picture

I had the honor of having Carla Emery stay in my home. What an experience. You can read more about it on my webpage but I sure do love that woman! RIP, Carla. We are carrying on the journey!

Guest's picture

I had lost touch with Carla and we were talking about her book which we have that was self published on a memograph machine. did a search and was sadden to hear of her death. the world has lost a real jewel but know she is wearing a new body and in heaven. she will be missed and I am so lucky to have her first book

les and merry williams
Oildale, California

Elaine Patrick's picture

My maiden name is Emery and so I have always felt a link with Carla Emery, even though I only know her through her book. Her book was a gift to me almost 15 years ago. Since we seemed to have always had a little land and live in the country, her book was THE go-to source for me. I refer to it still - so much that I feel a strong connection to her even now.

I was very upset to learn of her death and only now have discovered the cause. I cannot tell you how hard it is to imagine this world without Carla Emery in it. Perhaps, wherever she is, she knows how many people she touched with her life's driving pursuit - - how much she helped make this world better than she found it.

lori Lockard's picture

I bought a copy of Carlas first book from her and when I received it, it was held together with electricion wire and was on 3 hole punch paper. I had written a letter to her and one day she called me to ask if I would come teach spinning wool in her school of country living and stay in Salmon Idaho at the school. I will never forget her and that phone call was a high point in my life. She loved Jesus and was not ashamed to say so.Wish I had gone to Idaho that summer.

Karen DeAngelo's picture

I first saw Carla on a morning TV show in NY in 1976. I bought one of her first books. My husband and I left NY for a farm in Missouri in the back-to-the-land movement in 1979, influenced by her book. In 1994 she stayed with us when I invited her to speak. We enjoyed her visit. We were sorry to hear of her passing.
I still refer to her book (I bought another copy, as my first was falling apart, but she wrote us a note in it and I cherish it.

GuestSusan Zoller's picture

I was given a copy of Carla's book about 25 years ago. I still refer to it regularly. Her autobiographical insights throughout the book still resonate with me. When I'm feeling overwhelmed by the 21st century, I have a soak in my whirlpool tub and read Carla's intro and a chapter or two. She continues to soothe my soul and remind me of what is REALLY important in my life. God bless her memory!

Jack Clark's picture

I worked with Carla in the early days in Kendrick, Idaho when we put together her book at the Mimeographer. I convinced her to buy the Kendrick Hotel to house speakers that came to the School of Country Living to teach. Her ad for the school seeking workers said " ten dollars per month plus room and board for the chance to participate in a dream". The ad attracted people from all over the country. Some were good workers and some were on the run from the law. Carla was a very interesting person that did not have a head for finances. When she got a large advance from a publisher, she would get a book of temporary checks that she carried around in her back pocket. She would have have the money spent before the permanent checks arrived. She was a visionary that left details to others to work out. I was there when the flood destroyed the School Of Country Living with large boulders rolling down the gullies destroying everything in their way. The School closed a short time later. We had a great celebration in 1976, celebrating 200 years of the founding of our country. Carla used to drive me crazy with her lack of attention to detail, but she accomplished a tremendous amount in being just who she was. She was responsible for saving my life when we were foraging for wild edibles along the river and a local named Dennis Blewett told me what we were looking at was Indian Celery. I ate it just as Carla came along. She identified what I had eaten, and we took off down the canyon headed to Lewiston where I got my stomach pumped. Dennis didn't have much to say about it. I miss her and her spirit. God speed Carla.

Guest's picture

It was with sad regret that I read today of Carla's death a few years ago. I was moving books around my library and dusted off my old copy of Carla's self-published first book. That led me to do a "google search" for her. I was a city girl who moved to the country in 1976, and wanted to try everything to do with "country living". My husband bought me a cow as I had had the desire to milk one since a child. Somehow I found out about Carla and her memeographed OLD FASHIONED RECCIPE BOOK, 6th edition, 1975, illustrated by V. Boegli. Carla's "bible" led me into one adventure after another, from cheese making, hand-dipped candles, raising bees, and on and on. She provided the courage for me to try it all. Carla's most important contribution to women, I believe, is her perserverance and doing whatever she "had to do" to pass on her wonderful information and inspiration. Those of us who are fortunate to still possess one of her earliest editons, with its 628 pages in typewritten print and its chapters in different colors, can almost feel her presence as pursued her calling. I'm greatful to have known this super-woman!

Wendy Brooks Malepeai's picture

I, too, have just learned Carla Emery is not with us in this world. I treasure my copy of the Old Fashioned Recipe Book. Her commentary on her life helped me a lot. In the middle of SALAD DRESSINGS MADE FROM MAYONNAISE she talked about marriage --"... the more spectacular sins, .... vs ... dull and self-righteous".
I want to thank others for their comments here.
Rest in peace, Carla.

Add new comment