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The Essential Guide to Back Garden Self-sufficiency: Feed Your Family from a Quarter of an Acre or Less Paperback – 1 Feb 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press (1 Feb. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604691034
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604691030
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 3 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 115,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

If in these tough economic times you want to put your garden back to work, this practical guide offers clear and concise advice on a variety of practical skills from how to milk a goat to making fresh mozzarella. --The Countryman

About the Author

Carleen Madigan is a keen gardener and has also been the managing editor at Horticulture magazine. She learned many of the skills described in the book while living on an organic farm. Carleen was inspired to write the book by reading a classic series of booklets on self-sufficiency and, recognizing the real and current value of these traditional skills, tested them and adapted them for a new generation of productive gardeners.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Tor on 3 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a great book for anyone who is considering broadening their horizons and making their garden more productive. It takes the prospective homesteader through all aspects of self-sufficiency, including the obvious fruit and veg, poultry and herbs, whilst also including the less common aspects of nuts, meat and dairy, grain production, and food from the wild. Not only does this book tell you how to establish a garden, and how to grow your produce, it also gives detailed advice on preserving, processing, cooking and distillation. While this may seem like too much for one volume to cover well, the writing style is easy to read, simple to understand, and inspires the reader to get out and get gardening! Calculations are given for expected yields, crop rotation, planting dates and seed collection. In fact, it's a book that has everything you need to feed yourself and your family. It is so accessible and interesting that even if you're not going to get off the sofa and into the garden, it's a good read. I hope it inspires us all to grow a bit more, and make our own spaces work for us.
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57 of 58 people found the following review helpful By C. Markus on 13 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
Our household suffers from an overload of books about fruit and veg gardening, each of which tells you a little bit about what you want to know...and alot about what you don't want to know. Now we can throw them all out (and also the ones about hens and preserving) because it is all in this really great book.

It is packed with pratical advice that guides you through planning to planting, growing, harvesting and storing. It doesn't assume vast tracts of land, so even those with modest gardens (or a balcony) can achieve alot. The charming ink illustrations and the lovely, non-glossy, paper, typify the down-to-earth enthusiasm of the author which is impossible to resist.

It is a book to read with a notebook at hand, in the winter months when planning, as much as to keep near you in the garden when the weather warms up and the hard work starts.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 11 July 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is wll worth the price, I saw it reviewed in "kitchen gardn" magazine and it has lived up to all my expectations. The chapters are sort to the point with all the basics. Everything to get you started and for the more experienced. I have bottled fruit taught by my mother but, I now have the science which should explain a few failures over the years.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Lucy McC on 30 July 2010
Format: Paperback
This is such a lovely inspiring book for anyone that dreams of having a smallholding, or of self sufficiency, but can only manage a bit of productive land in the back garden. Wonderful practical can do tips.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Emma on 13 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recieved this book last week, planning ahead for when I have a piece of land.

It's a great book, it looks good, the chapters are well laid out and loads of tips and advice on how to get started.

But I think it is best for newbies in this field, as more experienced "mini-farmers" will probably want a bit more details.

But for me who is still learning it's fab!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Busy Lizzy on 8 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
I loved this book. The author's experiential, " been there and got the T shirt" approach, is fascinating but not prescriptive. She is to self sufficiency what Nigel Slater is to good food. My only problem will be where to store the book, the ideal would be a copy in the garden shed and one next to my bed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JamJam on 16 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book to be very informative on many aspects of being self sufficient. Most people who buy this book aren't going to be hardened hippies in the back of beyond, and this caters perfectly to everyone who has a family home with a garden they'd like to grow fruit and veg in. Then maybe upscale to chickens, and larger livestock if space allows. There are also interesting sections on growing corn, wheat and barley on a manageable scale, and how to thresh, dry, and mill it without needing a windmill etc...
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