Book (bargain) of the week

“The new complete book of self-sufficiency”
John Seymour (Dorling Kindersley)

On Friday lunchtime I popped into Holborn Library to get my weekly fix of gardening books. I regularly flick through “The new complete book of self-sufficiency” from the late John Seymour and was well suprised to see it in the library’s book sale for a quid. What a bargain, so I got it there and then!

I’m not ready for “the good life” just yet (it covers everything from keeping livestock and poultry, weaving your own wooly jumper to making your own bricks) but it’s the gardening related pages I laid out all the readies for (and it’s all from the view of being resourceful and doing it on the cheap!). It has informative sections on how to grow food from your garden, a comprehensive guide to vegetables, fruit and herbs, composting and soil preparation and even has sections on home brewing & wine-making to getting food from the wild all explained in lay person’s terms and straight to the point. My favourite illustration from the book is above from the “pests and diseases” section. It could easily be retitled “every gardener’s nightmare” or “the last thing I saw before I turned…” and (below) a great worm composting idea from the book.

A book to get from your local library and keep on renewing until you can renew no more!

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3 thoughts on “Book (bargain) of the week

  1. Oooh, exciting! When did he update it? I have a very old copy (from 1978) of the original book but had never heard of the ‘new’ version. Does it have instructions for making the plastic bottle greenhouse? Genius idea!
    I had to check the Pests and Diseases illustration in mine when I read this post, and the new version illustration that you’ve featured is much more horrific than the old.
    Mine was a gift, but found by the giver in a secondhand shop in the ’80s for about 50p. I love this book – it’s just a classic work of practical, sensible yet bonkers brilliance!

    • It says 2002 on mine and it also states that the author was 88 then too, brilliant! Haven’t found the plastic bottle greenhouse bit yet (how brill is that?). I do like his attitude to so called conventional living and also like it when he mentions about entertaining at home with country wines etc and lines like “over a whisky after supper john took out his accordion and angela sang songs” do make me smile!

  2. Pingback: The train to Fishguard is coming… | Weeds up to me knees

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