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Surviving and Thriving on the Land: How to use your time and energy to run a successful smallholding: How to Use Your Spare Time and Energy to Run a Successful Smallholding Paperback – 6 Nov 2008


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Surviving and Thriving on the Land: How to use your time and energy to run a successful smallholding: How to Use Your Spare Time and Energy to Run a Successful Smallholding + How to Store Your Garden Produce: The Key to Self-sufficiency + The Polytunnel Book: Fruit and Vegetables All Year Round
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Green Books; First edition (6 Nov 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1900322285
  • ISBN-13: 978-1900322287
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.3 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 398,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

This book is a virtual tour of the world of contemporary smallholding. The conclusions which emerge are gold-dust for prospective and actual smallholders, while for the rest of us the book is a fascinating insight to a way of life which will become increasingly important in the future. --Patrick Whitefield, author of The Earth Care Manual and How to Make a Forest Garden

An invaluable and inspiring guide to anyone who seeks to return to their hard-working roots. A rich resource upon which to reflect. Henry Thoreau would have been proud of the analysis. --James Crowden, author of Ciderland and In Time of Flood

From the Back Cover

It's a dream come true when you finally get a piece of land or join an eco-community, and start to plan your sustainable land-based enterprise. But all too often the dream is spoiled by lack of money, stress, exhaustion and poor time management, and your work and future plans can dissolve into discord, illness and poverty. Rebecca covers questions such as:
- How do you balance work and leisure on a smallholding?
- How do you cope with children whilst working on the land?
- What makes a successful land-based community tick?
- What happens when you get old?
Surviving and Thriving on the Land looks at ways in which projects can be designed that care for the people involved in them as well as the earth that they are trying to protect. If land-based ecological projects are to offer a realistic solution to the problems we face in the 21st century, they must be sustainable in terms of human energy. This book offers a framework, backed up by real-life examples, of issues to consider when setting up a new project, or for overcoming human-energy-based problems in existing projects.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By peter shield on 23 July 2009
Format: Paperback
Rebecca's well researched book on the hows, whys, whats and wheres of different small holding and low carbon agricultural projects really looks under the hood of a number of appraoches- couples, communities and networks.

She looks not just at the practicalities of how to make a living using low input techniques but equally, if not much more importantly, she looks at the stresses, issues, and of course happiness that working in such a way places on individuals, relationships, communities, kids and looks at the different stages in life and what that means in this context.

Following extensive visits and corespondence with low carbon projects in the UK and France she draws up some very interesting examples and ideas.

A 'must' read for anyone looking to change their life-style. There's much more to a low carbon lifestyle than solar panels and vegetable patches.

Rebecca's book helps you look at the wider human issues involved. Wish I ahd read it before we made the leap, it would have helped us address so many of the issues we didn't even think about.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Siggy on 26 April 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is an informative read.
It's well structured & the research seems very good / thorough.

However, I'd have to say that the book is more of an academic thesis, comparing & contrasting the styles & methods of existing land-working communities (I wouldn't be surprised if this book was an evolution of the author's Masters degree dissertation), than a practical 'how to' type book.

Well worth a read though, as it might help raise issues you hadn't considered; but don't expect a template to follow in order to find happiness working the land.
But then how could you, as everyone is different and will find happiness in different ways!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By EmbodyBruce on 30 April 2009
Format: Paperback
My family is weighing up the pros and cons of moving out of a city to a small holding. Rebecca's book is proving to be one of the most useful resources to assess how sensible this might be. We're all very good at imagining the best of the future, how idyllic it might be. We're not necessarily the most realistic with regards to the challenges of the future (Dan Gilbert's: Stumbling on Happiness describes this well). Surviving and Thriving on the Land is a real insight into the real challenges as well as encouraging an approach that would make such a move sustainable in terms of human energy, physical, mental and emotional.

The book is packed with information. She has put a great deal of time into gathering the primary research that fills most of this book; asking the sorts of questions of existing small holders that I would have wanted to ask. The secondary research, facts about peak oil and how productive small scale food production can be are really useful too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By hodgepodge on 6 May 2011
Format: Paperback
I thought this book was going to be about the practicalities of HOW to thrive in a successful smallholding. It is not. Like another reviewer said, it's a thesis turned into a book, a collection of case studies of various smallholdings in the UK and France and how those people went through the issues of running a smallholding.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. Harris on 2 Jun 2009
Format: Paperback
Very interesting book, if you are thinking of running a smallholding. A lot of tips to save time and energy, hoping to put it to use in the next 12 months.Many topics and answer to any question you can think you will need to know. It was a very good buy, and we have bought many books on running a smallholding in the past.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By adrian007 on 9 Jun 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It wasn't either.

It isn't entertaining as a read - it reads like a thesis.

So then you expect it to be useful, with lots of useful hints and tips pikced up from the author's trips around 28 other smallholdings - you know, don't buy a David Brown, buy a Fordson Major...or, since tables cropped up occassionally, a table of crop ratio's to provide annual self sufficiency ... or business angles that have good labour:profit ratio's etc. But it didn't have anything useful at a practical level.

Definately not for me.
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