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The New Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency Hardcover – 1 Sep 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Dorling Kindersley (1 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405345101
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405345101
  • Product Dimensions: 22.2 x 3.4 x 28.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

About the Author

John Seymour, the acknowledged founding father of the self-sufficiency movement, was an active campaigner for the countryside and the environment. Students come from around the world to learn about his lifestyle & philosophies at the centre he established in southern Ireland. He died in 2004.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Gabrielle O on 19 Dec. 2009
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.

Now in a very shiny new edition, which is much like the last in most ways, this fantastically loveable book will tell you all you need to know about anything from ploughing fields to milking cows - to how to create an urban organic garden. The best bit of it is John Seymour's very knowledgeable but always readable, engaging writing style.

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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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Bunty on 16 Oct. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book when it was originally printed in about the 70's and although as expected the content is the same as the original, this updated version includes many things that were not around in the 70's!! Great book, great read, great price!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By The man who on 18 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is fantastic. I took a copy out from my local libary, read it from cover to cover then promptly put it on my wishlist for christmas. It's not going to make you an instant expert in all things self sufficient but it will certain inspire you to give it a go and find out more about different espects. Some of the reviews on this page I think seem to expect it to be the one book to rule them all! This is virtually impossible but it does give it a good go. Get it if you want to know how to do the basic techniques required to be self sufficient. The only issue is that it will result in you spending large amounts of money on other books that it has inspired you to find more on the many topics covered.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nick on 21 Aug. 2014
Format: Hardcover
This book I would describe as inspirational for would-be farmers. I read the original book back in the mid nineties and it spurred me on to purchase land and create my own small farm.
Today I still have 18 acres which keeps me active in retirement. Use this book as your starting point, but remember there is only one way to find out how to farm - DO IT!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By NikNaK1601 on 1 Nov. 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book, it shows how to grow pretty much everything from scratch and how to get the most out of your plot no matter what its size. Definitely recommend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard T. Sidley Jr. on 1 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The New complete book of Self-Sufficency is truly an improvement over John Seymour's first edition. It is a beautifully written and well designed garderners book. The illustrations are fabulous, the information easy to locate when you need to find out a fact on a specific plant, and it is just a joy to thumb through. R. Sidley
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By minimus on 5 Sept. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Back in the 1980s, everyone in my rural neck of the woods had the old paperback copy of this, by John and Sally Seymour - it was something to aspire to, and owning it was the first step to 'coming out' as a smallholder. This new expanded version is more lushly illustrated and still has that encouraging 'you can do this - it's not that difficult' tone, even when guiding the reader step by step through butchering a pig and other fairly esoteric activities. It's a book to dream dreams with, especially if you have a bit of land and some ideals. I'm giving it as a Christmas present to a couple who would like to start up a farmers' co-operative... It gets five stars because it is such fun to read, though I noticed there is no mention of a strimmer [too modern? certainly invaluable on our land] but it does mention the organic way of eradicating bracken... Intrigued? Buy it and start dreaming.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Richard on 25 May 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is quite simply my favourite book ever. When I first read it I was firmly in the dreamers camp and I believe it was reading this book that started my journey towards achieving that dream. Admittedly I am a long was off in my dream, having only reached the allotment and jam making stage, but I have a few decades yet to get there.

The book contains everything from growing your first salad plants in a box on your windowsill all the way up to keeping a 5 or more acre holding (5 acres is the magic number that should support a family) complete with cows, sheep, chickens, bees and all manner of edible plants. There is also detail on wind and water energy, solar power and reducing impact on the environment by farming sustainably in harmony with nature.

This book is very accessible with excellently structured text, useful diagrams and inspirational illustrations. I found out later that the original edition of this and its sister book the Self Sufficient Gardener helped to launch Dorling Kingsley as a publisher and many of their encyclopaedic works have followed the format ever since. Despite its size the book is easy to pick up and read for a few minutes as pure escapism, I have lost track of how many time I must have read about setting up a milking shed or draining a field!

I would recommend this book whether you have only a windowsill to build a dream on and definitely if you are lucky enough to have some land that you would like to put to good use.
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