Self – Sufficiency

Edited by Abilgail R. Gehring
Skyhorse Publishing – £16.99

Replete with numerous charts, colour photographs, vivid examples and thoroughly considered explanations, Self-Sufficiency is one of those books one ought to keep close to hand – be it the kitchen, the workshop, the garden shed, the back pocket, or, in my partner’s case, adjacent to the sewing machine and the jam. As it says on the back cover: ‘’Live Sustainably. Live Simply, Live Independently.’’

Indeed why not?

During the current climate of rich young men running a poor and somewhat misbegotten nation (aka the UK), every bit of constructive self-help is of literally, prime value and importance. Now more than ever – as numerous people the length and breadth of the nation, are turning toward simpler, greener and more sustainable ways and means of leading their lives – self-reliance within the home, is not only key, but also imperative with regards making ends meet.

This really helpful book provides all the advice, tips and step-by-step instructions one would ever need, to explore and fulfil an entire gambit of varying projects. From planting fruit trees to saving heirloom seeds, from building a workbench to rearing rabbits, from dipping candles to baking bread, from starting a vineyard to making a food dehydrator – it’s all here – it’s all fun.

Written in an easy to understand manner (hey, even I understand it, and I’m about as practical and DIY as a marshmallow), Self-Sufficiency is refreshingly free of condescending, krypton factor jargon; wherein preaching to the already technically converted, like an array of these sort of books tend to do, misses the point completely. As the book’s editor Abigail R. Gehring writes in the Introduction: ‘’People and experience are the best teachers when it comes to learning things like how to plant a garden or milk a cow. But sometimes you don’t have a neighbour to call on for advice and trial and error will result in more error than the trial is worth.’’

A point very well worth heading methinks, for how many times have we all endeavoured to do things, with the most pristine of intentions might I add, only to spectacularly fail – both miserably and expensively?

In concordance with ones’ partner, this book could well save you a lot of time, money and bad feeling.

David Marx


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