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The New Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency: The classic guide for realists and dreamers Hardcover – 3 Apr 2003


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Dorling Kindersley; Rev Ed edition (3 April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751364428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751364422
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 2.7 x 28.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

John Seymour, the acknowledged founding father of the self-sufficiency movement, was an active campaigner for the countryside, the environment, and above all a sustainable, compassionate way of living. He wrote over 40 books and broadcast widely on television and radio. His farm in Wales and later Ireland welcomed visitors seeking guidance on a more self supporting life.

John lived back on his old Pembrokeshire farm with his daughter's family for his last years. He died on September 14, 2004 and is buried in the top field of his old farm in an orchard that he planted.

His legacy lives on, and his books 'The New Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency' and 'The New Self-Sufficient Gardener' are still best sellers. His more intimate books about his family's self-sufficient life include the classic 'The Fat of the Land', now in its 50th year in print, and its sequel 'I'm a Stranger Here Myself', which is back in print at last.

Product Description

Review

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

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

146 of 153 people found the following review helpful By Gabrielle O on 5 Jan. 2004
Format: Hardcover
The most wonderful book, which tells you just enough about everything you might need to know.
John Seymour looks at how to be self-sufficient with whatever you have - from a window-box, to 1 acre, to 5 or 10 acres, to 100+ acres. When you are making do with a window-box, this book also provides excellent and realistic day-dreaming opportunities about upgrading to a real smallholding!
He obviously knows what he is talking about - there is no wasted space, or idle talk. Every sentence not only useful but interesting. Even the most experienced farmer could learn something new here, as the book covers a vast range of skills for life, from preparing land and growing food to butchering animals and storing food. The book is well laid-out, with line-drawn colour illustrations which are very helpful.
This book is very matter of fact and doesn't preach the virtues of the good life, but you will find yourself wanting it. It's like a detailed instruction book for something that you very much want to buy.
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful By "3chordtricktster" on 2 Oct. 2003
Format: Hardcover
Here is a bible for the self-sufficiency enthusiast.
If you already manage a smallholding, or if you are happy to cultivate a corner of your suburban garden, there is something here for you.
Be careful if you are still at the stage of deciding whether or not self-sufficiency is for you. Because to read this book is to be in doubt no longer and you'll be putting a For Sale sign up outside your urban abobe.
You too can live off the fat of the land!
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82 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Mr. C. Oliver on 22 July 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What can i say about this book, if you have read or seen the first this is a brilliant book, its longer, and hasnt lost any of the detail of the first one. Its full of information about skills, crops, livestock and all the things you need to know to live the good life!
Brilliant hardback book, from the guru of the self sufficiency movement, John Seymour, himself. If you ever meet this man, You will know that you have met a man thats know whats hes talking about, he has done this himself and through his writing, it shows!
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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful By mvonsaatz on 25 Sept. 2005
Format: Hardcover
As some one has already said, this book is only a brief introduction to most things but, for one, it is just that - most things! The natural style of writing, the drawings but, above all, the simple matter of fact explanations make the whole thing seem much more do-able than some of the more detailed books. If your really want to go into self sufficiency, you will need other books but this one is the one that will inspire you in those dark moments and make you feel that you really can do it after all.
My first and still my favourite!
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 April 2005
Format: Hardcover
The book is still a classic today. He covers everything from blacksmithing to forestry with wine making and composting toilets thrown in for good measure.
As a reluctant city dweller I am one of the dreamers mentioned in the book subtitle yet I find no end of inspiration and entertainment from this book.
The only negative I can think of is that it makes you want to go self-sufficient now!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By voiceofreason on 16 Aug. 2005
Format: Hardcover
My mum bought me a plethora of books based on Amazon recommendations 3 years ago, including this one.

It is one of the most wonderful factual books that I have ever read, with a wealth of practical information for smallholders and a pithy, clear written style - a rarity in this type of book.

True, it isn't in depth about all aspects of smallholding, but that's not what it's there for - it provides a really good overview.

Check out the handy tips in the dairy and smallholding layout sections and the chapters detailing crop storage and preservation. There are even details on the working horse, fencing your land and milling grain to keep the aspiring smallholder on track.

But, even if you never get your bit of land, this book will still give you years of enjoyment and inspiration, as it has to me.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Jun. 2005
Format: Hardcover
great book from John Seymour. All you need to know about what you should be doing. However, I prefer the old version, better illustrations. Buy "The Fat of the Land" by John Seymour too and you will find out how his family did it.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Jon D VINE VOICE on 30 April 2007
Format: Hardcover
For those considering adopting a self-sufficient lifestyle, this book is an excellent beginners text.

The sheer breadth of the subject means that this can never truly be a "complete" guide - that would run to thousands of pages - but it gives enough of a taster on vegetable gardening, field-crop cultivation, livestock rearing and practical skills for one to decide how far to go along a self-supporting route.

The book would benefit from a more extensive bibliography and the glossery is a little patchy, but the philosophy and general guidence are spot on.
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