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The Self-Sufficiency Bible: From Window Boxes to Smallholdings - Hundreds of Ways to Become Self-Sufficient [Kindle Edition]

Simon Dawson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.99
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Book Description

In todayʼs economic climate, self-sufficiency is increasingly seen as a viable means of taking control of our lives and safeguarding for the future – this is the book that will help every householder do just that. Each of the twelve chapters focuses on key topics for living a more self-sustainable life, with practical information and expert guidance that will make the subject come alive for everyone, whatever their needs, circumstances and resources. This means that the gardening chapter, for example, is appropriate both for people with an urban back yard or a more substantial plot of land.

Written in a down-to-earth, engaging and often amusing style, the book will appeal to single people as much as to those with large families, to women who want to be more creative, resourceful and independent, to men who want to rediscover their inner ‘hunter-gatherer’, and to parents looking to equip their children with basic life skills.

Product Description


'This book creates the same feeling that we all enjoy when our first course arrives at the table. Page after page, as course after course, new flavours are experienced, excitement grows and a true enthusiasm and dedication develops. The book captures Simon and Debbie's passion for food, and the land it comes from, so by the last page I feel hungrier than ever!' --Gary Rhodes OBE

About the Author

Aged just 32, Simon Dawson took a risk, sold his London flat and moved with his wife, Great Dane and horse to a cottage on Exmoor. Scraping every penny together they bought 20 acres of scruffy but beautiful Exmoor, and built from scratch a smallholding where they live, self-sufficient and happy. In 2008 they won UKTV Food, Gary Rhodes Local Food Heroes for the South West.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6485 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Watkins Publishing (21 Jun. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008DY0LKY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #81,346 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking book 23 April 2010
I have always had an interest and desire to become self sufficent and have my own small holding. Although i have not managed to have my own land just yet this book as certainly helped me become more self sufficent and has given me more understanding of what this life style is really about. Its full of useful information but laid out and wrote in such a simple and explanatory way that there really is no excuse not to give it a ago. There are some brilliant recipes that anyone can try regardless of where they live plus some great money saving ideas. I urge anyone who has an interest or an ambition to do this sort of thing to buy this book. Its interesting, useful and full of all the information any budding small holder would want. A cracking read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful, entertaining and beautifully written 14 April 2011
I loved it! Apart from the helpful tips (there must be something for just about every reader with farm or garden interests) it's so well and entertainingly written that I found myself reading about things I really don't need to know. This is far from a dry manual - for example "Leeks should be treated like a younger brother; be gentle, caring and understanding with them" or "A single pig is about as destructive as a medium-sized nuclear bomb". It's a valued addition to my reference bookshelf - and makes me smile.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too brief 4 Jan. 2012
By Ste
This book was way to brief on most of the topic and the draings were helpful but you need photographs, like the foraging section you can't go mushroom picking with just a written description, that kind of thing, I wish I'd got a most in depth guide.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Book 23 April 2010
I have read Simon Dawson's column in the North Devon Journal, and enjoyed his style for a long time now, so it has been with great anticipation that I have been looking forward to reading his first book.
I have not been disappointed. Simon has taken a new slant, on a popular and current subject, and rekindled my interest in numerous topics.

The book is split into 12 sections or chapters, taking on diverse topics such as gardening, baking, dairying and brewing. Meat, livestock and butchery. Arts and crafts, natural preparations, recycling and re-newables.

Each chapter gives an overview of the subject and a basic idea of what is needed and involved. On Simon's admission these will not be the definitive guide but should spark the interest and inspire you to see how easy it is to try something new.

The book is not just for smallholders or hobby farmers. It is just as relevant to someone with no garden in a bed-sit. You can take as much or as little from it and adapt it to your own lifestyle and needs.

As well as the basic "how to" Simon has included some excellent recipes which include family favourites, as well as the complete no waste, "nose to tail" eating, which his wife is famous for, producing many delicacies on their farmers market stall, utilising this philosophy.

Simon has obviously been helped and inspired by his lovely wife, Debbie, and his wonderful friends. He has taken their help and ideas, as well as all the practical things already a part of his lifestyle, and then presents them all in an attractive format, which is easy to read and refer to in his own very readable, chatty style.

I can heartily recommend this book. You won't be disappointed.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! This is the one to get. 15 May 2010
I haven't yet come across such a comprehensive book. The author covers just about everything you could think of - and quite a few that you didn't. Yes, keeping livestock, growing your own greens and so on is all in there - but so is dyeing, knitting and sewing your own stuff, even making your own jam, wine, cleaning and health and beauty products - including deodorant! Basic butchery is also in there, as is smoking, tanning, preserving and so on.
The book is an easy read, and the advice simple to understand. Buy it - but not my copy - I'm keeping it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars surprisingly good 3 Jun. 2010
This isn't normally the type of book I rave over, but I bought it on a Sunday afternoon when it seemed like a good idea, and now I can't put it down! I think it clicked with me because it's so comfortable and chatty to read, and I don't feel like I'm about to embark on some epic self sufficient journey, which is the last thing I want - I have kids and the thought of giving it all up is just ludicrous. But I would like to to do a little more than I am, and I like the ideas in this book much more than I thought I would. I even got excited over the gardening section, which is a first, and if I can be inspired to get my hands dirty, then it really must be good.
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A great book with something for everyone.

Simon Dawson has made a really good job of bringing together both existing ideas we've seen before with a fresh look at them, as well as lots fresh approaches, recipes and presents the information to encourage you to try these either as small changes or big changes depending on your needs.

He describes the ideas in a simple straightforward "non scray" way ideal for the self sufficiency newbie as well as experienced people looking to take their current lifestyle and find new things to do.

This is a read that brings lots of different ideas together in one "bible" without spending too much time focusing or harping back to previous chapters as some much less well written books on the market.

I have already recommended this book to friends and had them tell me how much they enjoyed it. The joy of this book is that you can either dip into it whenever you have a few minutes, or sit and read it cover to cover.

It's a great clear well written starting point for ideas and projects that you can then go off and research your area of interest to your heart's content rather than trying to be an in depth authority on everything but achieving nothing.

Highly recommended. The list of suppliers, forums etc at the back of the book is also a great resource.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Seymour does it better. Either this book is far too short
Whilst the author admits this cannot be definitive, this contains so brief an overview on the subjects covered that it ends up as little more than an annotated list of skills... Read more
Published 4 months ago by ESpy
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A useful and helpful reference, and well presented. Thank you for your superbly prompt delivery.
Published 5 months ago by MR.R.G.ROBERTS
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting.
Really good book. Packed with info.
Published 8 months ago by joanne parker
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, lots of hidden gems
Good book, lots of information. Some stuff is common knowledge but a lot of little gems of ideas and recipes in this book.
Published 9 months ago by Bethany
3.0 out of 5 stars A contemporary guide to self-sufficiency, but could be more balanced
Interesting, with useful advice for anyone from a flat-dweller to a smallholder, but I found it didn't go into enough detail on some topics, and into too much detail on others such... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Ebook Proofreader
5.0 out of 5 stars very informative
Very easy to use. Bought ingredients for household smellies. Can't wait to get started! Who knew how many uses bicarb of soda has?!
Published 15 months ago by Vic
4.0 out of 5 stars handbook for an idealist life
Im only a dreamer but if I actually got off my butt and did something this book would be a pretty good guideline to start with. Read more
Published 21 months ago by C. M. Charles
4.0 out of 5 stars So green its wild!
Very interesting and natty little book. Hard back and handy for a large pocket/bag and easy to read to get what you need when you need it; so does exactly what a factual book... Read more
Published on 22 Mar. 2013 by Gadgets 4 me
4.0 out of 5 stars The Self-Sufficiency Bible
Having just got a smallholding in Dorset - I need all the help I can get. This book offers a bit of information about lots of things - enough info on each to decide if you are... Read more
Published on 23 Oct. 2012 by The Paddocks B&B
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
A real diamond in the rough. This is a superb book for anyone starting off in both gardening and trying to be eco friendly. Read more
Published on 17 Jun. 2012 by Uncle Bubbles
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