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Grow Your Food for Free (Well Almost) [Paperback]

Dave Hamilton
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
Price: £14.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

21 April 2011
Don't like spending money in garden centres? Think you can make it yourself for a fraction of the price or find a cheaper option? Dave Hamilton shows you how. By recycling and reusing materials creatively and making the most of what you have, you can gather all you need to grow your food on a budget. Whether it's building your own shed from scrap, constructing a path out of recycled materials or storing your harvest without a freezer, it's all here. This practical guide: * takes you on a frugal journey through the seasons, from planning your space and setting up a plot to raising, recycling, harvesting and storing your plants * offers money-saving tips every step of the way, and occasional tips on the actual gardening! * is crammed full of satisfying projects, from seed saving and making your own plant feed to building a fence or garden shed * gives step-by-step instructions, with easy-to-follow diagrams. *

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Green Books; 1st edition (21 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1900322897
  • ISBN-13: 978-1900322898
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 17 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 171,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Dave Hamilton is the co-founder of the award winning website, a website championing small sale and urban self-sufficiency and homesteading.

He co-wrote the critically acclaimed Self Sufficient-ish Bible with his twin brother.

He's a money saving expert, trained gardener, nutritionist and food scientist and writes with real knowledge and humour.

His second book "Grow your food for free" is quickly becoming a cult classic - it effortlessly mixes surreal humour with his years of thrifty gardening knowledge.

Dave lives in the South West of England where he teaches and writes about horticulture and wild food.

Product Description


Given the future convergence of ecological, economic and social crises we're faced with, Hamilton's book is absolutely perfect for anyone concerned about both their pockets and the planet that sustains them. Not only is this book beautifully illustrated, it's also an incredible wealth of information that will empower you to simultaneously save a lot of money and walk more gently on the Earth. Fantastic. --Mark Boyle, author of The Moneyless Man and founder of Freeconomy.

Dave's enthusiasm for living the good life on a budget is matched perfectly by his ingenuity and resourcefulness. This book is packed with brilliant, money-saving tips that are perfect for the thrifty gardener. --Lucy Halsall - Editor, Grow Your Own

Given the future convergence of ecological, economic and social crises we're faced with, Hamilton's book is absolutely perfect for anyone concerned about both their pockets and the planet that sustains them. Not only is this book beautifully illustrated, it's also an incredible wealth of information that will empower you to simultaneously save a lot of money and walk more gently on the Earth. Fantastic. --Mark Boyle, author of The Moneyless Man and founder of Freeconomy.

About the Author

Dave Hamilton has a degree in Nutrition, is a professional forager, food and garden writer, and occasionally appears on TV and radio. He lives in Devon where he grows and forages most of his own food and continues to study the natural world, especially food plants, both formally and informally. Dave is co-founder and creator of and co-wrote The Selfsufficientish Bible along with his brother Andy.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Growing advice for the down to earth grower 27 Jun 2011
As a keen allotment-holder and sometime writer of gardening blogs (and books!) I'd be the first to say that some of the books out there are really not much use to the serious grower, and misleading to the novice one. Not so Dave Hamilton's book, which fills an empty niche (which is the whole point of a specialist subject book, there are far too many coffee table style allotment books out there, full of lovely pictures and devoid of useful information) and that niche is upskilling and informing the environmentally conscious (and conscientious) frugal food-grower.

I can't recommend it too highly because, apart from anything else, I am horrified at the amount of money I see new allotment-holders spending on their plots, only to vanish after a couple of months: all their expensive kit gets thrown away, or ruined by the weather and then the next person to take on the plot all too often repeats the same process.

By contrast, Dave shows people how to create paths, make wicking beds, build a compost heap (although if you are a novice composter, think twice before using the fence corner as he suggests: you may rot out your fence if you don't get your compost mix right!) and even how to build a shed. He also focuses on rarely discussed areas of allotment life such as foraging and once you get used to growing your own, it's a simple change of focus that reveals food everywhere, going to waste, and allows you to harvest and consume it without damaging the environment.

The illustrations may not suit those more used to stylish allotment books but they have the virtue of being accurate and detailed. The tips, hints and ideas are all superb - if you are a seasoned grower you will still learn something from this book.

I recommend it, even if you don't have a plot of your own yet, because you can get on with foraging, cooking and storing food even before you reach the top of the allotment list.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful, interesting and informative ... 15 Aug 2011
By Karen Baxter VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"Grow Your Food For Free (Well Almost) by Dave Hamilton is an extremely useful, interesting and informative frugal food growing book.

The layout of the book is exceptionally well done and the well designed diagrams make it a breeze to plan and execute the various ideas and techniques which abound in "Grow Your Food For Free"

Dave Hamilton has included a wealth of hints and tips throughout the book covering all manner of gardening topics as well as the brilliant money saving ideas which make up the bulk "Grow For Food For Free".

The book is set out in 5 parts starting with a getting started guide covering planning and design, moving on to ideas and work to complete in each of the four seasons including:

Wildlife Gardening
Paths, Hedges and Fences
Treasures in the Trash
Acquiring Seeds
Protescting Plants
Raising New Plants
Weeds, Pests & Diseases
Gathering Wild Extras
Storing Crops
and much more besides

Here's a little taste of what to expect on the project front ...

How to make a seed bomb
How to make a simple bird feeder
How to make a stepping stone path
How to make a Wildlife pond
How to make a paper pot
How to make a compost bin
How to make a bird nest

I absolutely love this book and I know that you will too. Most definitely a gardening book that I won't be getting rid of in a hurry.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super book and full of useful tips 1 Aug 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Both my wife and I are new to gardening and growing things to eat. We went through this book in just over an evening and found a treasure trove of information aimed at people just like us, beginners. The book is not just about growing things to eat it's about recycling household items, wood and other things that might be discarded and making them useful in the garden. There is a great section on wildlife and how to help and encourage animals into the garden. There is a fatballs recipe for the birds, we have just tried this and made our first batch using fat, leftovers and some seeds, the cost works out at a fraction of the bought ones and judging by the squadrons of small birds competing for a place on the feeders the birds approve to. I am listing some of the projects and will make some of the items suggested by the book from left over materials; I like the section on using wood and old pallets for fencing etc. I can get hold of plenty of them so will make fencing from them rather than buying new stuff. The only investment here will be time! I expect more seasoned gardeners will know about most of the hints and tips in here but for people like us this book is marvellous. The diagrams are clear and writing style is easy to get on with. If we can grow stuff then anyone can and this book will be used over and over again in our house. A great book in every respect and very enjoyable and satisfying to get into, not easy to put down for beginners like us. It certainly has showed us how easy it is to manage our small garden and make everything work in harmony and give us nearly free food, lots of colour and work with wildlife. Anyone wanting to grow their own food or spend less money on garden products should get a copy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure trove of fantastic ideas 19 Jun 2011
Three of the best things you can do for the future, I believe, is to start growing your own food, reuse that which we've already produced and reduce your reliance on money to meet your economic needs. Dave Hamilton has managed to combine these to superb effect - it's full of tips that'll save you the price of the book one hundred times over - a conservative estimate - but more importantly, will greatly reduce your ecological impact in the process. It's beautifully illustrated to boot, and incredibly easy to read.

Thank you Dave for putting your many years experience into a book so the rest of us can learn from you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read, for alternative ideas around gardening
A good book that I look forward to dipping in to, daily. Many ideas for the modern community gardening ethos xx
Published 4 months ago by Andy
1.0 out of 5 stars very poor
Nothing new, most of the book is just from his brothers book The Selfsufficient-ish Bible (which is a good book) with different pictures or information anyone can find on the web... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars growing
Good book with plenty of hints and tips on what to grow ,when to grow and where to grow your own food
Published 7 months ago by Mr. David Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Eco-friendly Gardening
It is full of highly useful tips for a green self-sufficient person and I thoroughly recommend it., but I haven't yet put anything into practice !
Published 16 months ago by David O'Hagan
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, yes, YES!
This is a sweet gardening book for beginners. The title tells you everything you need to know about it, really. Dumpster divers and freegans will love, love, LOVE this book! Read more
Published on 22 Jan 2012 by Lina Eriksson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
A very interesting book this and well worth the price, its one you can go into again and again and still come away learning something new, just taken on a plot of land from a... Read more
Published on 7 Dec 2011 by Mrs. D. Brook
5.0 out of 5 stars How to be a garden Womble...
I ordered this book from the Vine programme as it embraces two concepts very dear to my dad's heart: gardening and free stuff. Read more
Published on 19 Nov 2011 by Seren Ade
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice layout, Nice ideas, Could be More Comprehensive
The book is 230 page, A5 ish size, five sections (getting started and the four seasons) and 32 chapters with plenty of photo's and diagrams in a nicely layout; plenty of little... Read more
Published on 21 Oct 2011 by Hagrid's Umbrella
5.0 out of 5 stars Guerrilla gardening
A nicely written book with plenty of tips on how to garden on the cheap, from Guerrilla gardening (Not quite legal) to sourcing materials and making raised beds compost heaps... Read more
Published on 29 Sep 2011 by Fletch-a-sketch
4.0 out of 5 stars useful tips & a little commonsense.
This is a very useful little book, it's full of obscure and interesting facts, things that you would only know about if you'd experienced them. Read more
Published on 28 Aug 2011 by Vixx H
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