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4.8 out of 5 stars38
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 21 March 2000
John Seymour has made self-sufficiency feasible. This book gives you al the information you need and more! From planning your 1 or 5 acre plot to crop rotation, from making beer, bread and rollmops to building a furnace! Essential accessory to self-sufficiency, whether you need to remove a tree stump, butcher livestock, harness a ploughhorse, plan your dairy, brew beer, dress stone or even distilling! The drawings are stunning, exquisitely drawn and incredibly clear. It is also a sobering caveat for those planning to dream the dream... Read John Seymour and at least you'll KNOW what you're letting yourselves in for! :¬))
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on 13 June 2002
I have long considered myself very capable of self-sufficiency and survival - until I read this incredible book. Mr. Seymour's book shared hands-on information that would otherwise take years of trial and error or a fantastic personal relationship with a local farmer to acquire. His precise descriptions of necessary homesteading tasks are nearly extinct from today's society. His legacy is that he has preserved information that can help mankind endure nearly any crisis, no matter where in the world they are. This book can enable the common 9 - 5 working stiff to become truly independent and self-reliant. Now, anyone with will can make a conscious decision to be as completely independent as they choose to be.
Until I read this book I had vowed to never have a cow or a pig on my holding, due to their being prone to disease as well as their smell and damage to the land. His first-hand knowledge has completely changed my mind. After reading this book, I will never again consider having a homestead without both. His calculations on labor from animals vs. machines and formulas for feed required for stock are extremely useful. Regardless of whether one desires to be 100% self-sufficient with 5 acres, make a good living with 50 acres, or set up a small 1 acre homestead and live extremely healthily and simply - this book is a must read. By far the most comprehensive and useful book on self-sufficiency I have ever come across. It is the how-to book for all ages. It's ability to honestly reveal a completely exhausting 365 day a year work schedule may also weed out many dreamers who will be left fatigued by the end of the book. I can't wait to get started.
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on 23 June 2001
This book is a very handy tool indeed - The great John (as Daniel Butler calls him) really is a fountain of wisdom. No beating round the bush, he tells it exactly like it is. Some things, you may never wish to do (I can't see me making my own bricks for instance) but some things you will refer to time and time again. A definite must have.
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on 3 July 2002
Like some of the other reviewers I found this book so full of practical information that it made me want to go out and do it - which is what I am in fact starting to do.
The writing is not theoretical - you get the feeling that Mr Seymour has actually done everything and knows it works.
Instructions are very clear and well supported with illustrations.
Whether you are out to totally change your lifestyle and do a 'Goodlife' or just want to get a little more control over your own life through making your own cheese (A real Stilton can be made!), it is an essential introduction.
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on 3 July 2001
It is a life changing experience to read and properly digest the ideas and practices described in this superb book . I first read it when I was 12 and it left me with a deep set need to work with the land and discover yet more about how it can be used to the advantage of ourselves and the environment. I am now 30 and have spent most of my life since then learning and using the skills of the old country. Thanks to John Seymour I have spent some of my most fulfilling times working in the countryside doing everything from drystone walling,tree planting and hedge layering to growing Peas and feeding my own hens . Thankyou Mr Seymour ,for showing everyone the first steps to following a wonderful way of life . Jonathan Barbier
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on 14 September 1999
Seymour is known as the father of self-sufficiency, and this book is full of practical help - from livestock to building materials, food to power supplies. It is an excellent book for not only urban dreamers, but those wanting to begin to make thier lives less reliant on the usual resources. Seymours way of explaining subjects is clear and concise, with practical examples of what can be achieved. For a book that was published originally in the 1970's, it is still very much up to date.
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on 10 November 2000
a book that gives an insight into what many people have seemed to forgotten.there is a real reward in being semi self sustainable.in this book there are many forgotten crafts that have been sadly lost due to convenience food and supermarket monopoly. this shows a healthier and more rewarding way of life if you choose to take it and forfeit the gm food/supermarket easy life band wagon.
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on 27 October 1999
A must read for every person who has ever thought about becoming self sufficient. Seymore covers all areas of self sufficency in an informative and humourous way. Make it your bible!
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on 24 July 2000
If you're into gardening and self-sufficiency, John Seymour's book is a must. And if you are not, and get to read this book, your life will never be the same again ! Because then you will discover the things that matters in life, and the dullness of our commercialized, industrial world will be easier to cope with.......
Kjetil Fless, Seljord, Norway (homestead_kf@hotmail.com) I'll be pleased to receive mail on subject self-sufficiency !
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on 2 December 2011
This book is definitely a classic, and Seymour shares his no-nonsense wisdom and experience on how to live off the land realistically and without fancies. I have probably learnt more from this book about (traditional) farming and vegetable growing (as well as animal husbandry) than from all other gardening books combined. Although he can be very judgemental and biased at times (his critiques of vegetarianism is rather hilarious!) and at other times obviously not up-to-date or completely misinformed, it is clear he knows what he's talking about from years of experience, and having actually done it (i.e. been highly self-sufficient). If you want a good pile of useful information for your garden/homestead and can't afford loads of fancy books, then get this for sure. However don't expect every alternative or latest technique to be covered, anyway this is where all the other books come in handy. I don't know many people who have been disappointed by this book!
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