Monday, 8 February 2010

Book review...the concise guide to self sufficiency...

Whenever I talk to anyone knowledgeable about growing veg or self sufficiency they recommend that I read this book. Well, I have actually been dipping in and out of it for the past year or so, and as I've had a post Christmas break in making my brain work I thought I'd have this as my monthly eco-book, as I've already done most of the hard reading work already!

Oh yeah, the book is called 'The Concise Guide to Self-Sufficiency' and it's by John Seymor (I nearly forgot that bit!)

I liked...
* That it's a really classic, well known book, so I can trust the info in it (It was first published in the 70's I think, there's a concise version and a less-concise version too).

*It covers everything - it has sections on being self sufficient, food from the garden, food from nature (foraging and stuff, and also meat - which I've avoided reading about!), preserving and baking and using what you've grown, managing waste and energy and crafts and skills - like building and woodwork and making baskets (I made a woven willow fish the other day when I was volunteering with some kids coppicing some willow up a big hill where I live - and now I've developed a mania for wanting to weave more things! I need to learn how to make baskets!)

* It has really nice, colour pictures with lots of detail and they show step by step drawings for complicated manoeuvres.

*I'm most interested in growing food, and the gardening section is excellent, it covers everything from digging plots to when and where to plant in which season.

*It has loads of detail in each section, but it's still easy to read and understand.

This is another book that I really love!


  1. This looks like an awesome book! I've just moved into a house with my first ever garden and really want to start growing my own fruit and veg but have no idea where to begin... good luck with yours :)

  2. Oh I'm so jealous! I'm staying with my mum at the moment and she won't let me loose in the garden! Enjoy your new garden - I reckon gardening's quite easy, but then I'm of the throw a few seeds about and hope for the best school of thought! I'd reccomned this book though if you want to do some reading first, or theres a really good one called Vegetable Growing Month by Month by John Harrison that I found helpful too!

  3. Looks like a great book!

    Did you actually buy or borrow it?

    PS I suggest you get Amazon affiliate accounts (.uk, .com, .de or maybe others too) and start putting links to these books, maybe you'll even get a few $$$ this way? :)

  4. tis a great book! I own this one, I bought it back when I bought stuff!

    The amazon affiliate account info is interesting, thanks! I would like to make some $$$! I wonder though, if I really want to encourage people to buy new books of a massive company, if someone was going to read something on my recommendation I'd rather they bought it second hand or borrowed it from someone (but thats not always realistic is it?!) Hmm, maybe I should stop doing book reveiws on here altogether. I know not many people read this, but still, I feel responsible for what I'm putting out there...thanks for giving me something to think about Layla :)

  5. Hey Sooz! I was thinking about the exact same thing too!
    I might put a few affiliate links out there in the future, with a disclaimer: that it's much more eco to borrow in the local library or buy 2nd hand - RL or on eBay (they have an affiliate program too, I hear), if it's really not possible (believe me, I've tried for some titles!) they might consider getting it at this link and support this blog with a tiny %. (It's not that much anyway, except if the goods are $$$$ expensive)
    There are books that I'd be happy to buy from a good blog, some didn't have links to .de (which is cheapest for Slovenia, so...?)

  6. Sounds like a great book. Hope you get to start your garden soon!

  7. Sounds like a great book, I will keep an eye out for it. Thanks for commenting on my little owl!

  8. I 've got an award for you for bringing a little sunshine into my life.

  9. Layla, I think thats a good idea, to put a disclaimer, and I much prefer the idea of linking to ebay rather than amazon, so theres a much higher chance of someone buying a second hand book - definately something to think about! Thanks!

    Julia, Thank you Thank you Thank you for the award :D How completely lovely of you x

    Thanks for visiting Catherine :) I've been sizing up my socks and wondering which ones of them would like to become owls! Twittwoo!


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