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The New Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency

Make the break, realize the dream and start living "the good life". Packed with comprehensive information on all the practical details, from ploughing fields to milking cows, as well as information on how to create an urban organic garden and harness natural energy, this second edition aims to be a useful handbook for realists and dreamers alike.
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Table of Contents

The meaning of self-sufficiency - the way to self-sufficiency; humans & their environment; the natural cycle; the seasons; the urban garden; the allotment; the one-acre holding; the five-acre holding. Food from the garden: the food-producing garden; the deep bed; sowing & planting; growing under cover; protecting from pests; pests, fungus & disease; vegetables; herbs; vegetables through the year; winter; spring; early summer; late summer; autumn; the greenhouse; soft fruit; tree fruit; caring for fruit trees. Food from animals: the living farmyard; the cow; beef; goats; pigs; sheep; poultry; rabbits; bees & honey. Food from the fields: clearing land; draining land; irrigating land; making use of woodland; hedging & fencing; the working horse; horse & tractor power; preparing land & sowing; harvesting; the cereals; wheat; milling grain; oats & rye; barley; maize; rice; growing crops for oil; growing root crops; grass & hay. Food from the wild: game; fish & sea foods; plants, nuts & berries; mushrooms. In the dairy: the hayshed & cowshed; the dairy; making butter & cream; making cheese. In the kitchen: the north-facing storeroom; harvesting & storing; making bread; preserving; freezing; bottling; making pickles & chutneys; making jams & syrups; cakes, pastries & puddings; meats; fish; vegetables. Brewing & wine-making: brewing basics; malting barley, making beer; making wine; making cider & vinegar. Energy & waste: food for the garden; the dry toilet; managing waste; saving energy; power from water; heat from the sun; power from the wind; fuel from waste. Crafts & skills: the workshop; building; springs & plumbing; knots & ropework; basketry; pottery; spinning wool & cotton; dyeing & weaving; spinning flax; curing & tanning; making bricks & tiles; working in stone; working in metal; building & thatching; scything; working in wood; household items; making a pond & fish farming; the all-purpose furnace. Things you need to know: becoming a self-supporter.

About the Author

John Seymour is the acknowledged founding father of the self-sufficiency movement. Author of more than 40 books, he draws students from around the world to learn self-sufficiency first hand at his farm in County Wexford.


Everyone dreams at some point in their lives of living the good life, albeit not in terms of the BBC comedy series. In this revised and fully updated edition of John Seymour's classic guide to self-sufficiency, the dream becomes more attainable. Now running a School of Self-Sufficiency in Ireland, John Seymour is as committed as ever to living a better life, more simply, by living off the land rather than out of shops. His magnum opus covers every conceivable topic from animal husbandry and butchering, seed sowing and cropping, dairy production and food storage, rubbish and recycling. All delivered in Seymour's inimitable, occasionally brusque style, it is a mine of information artfully illustrated with the original illustrations redrawn in full colour. New material includes GM crops, urban gardens and alternative forms of energy with craft skills rounding the picture of natural wholesomeness off nicely. A classic of its time and a new classic in the making, this revised edition will encourage and assist all those aspiring to a live a healthier, more environmentally friendly life. - Lucy Watson

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