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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 15 September 2008
When 'The Self-Sufficientish Bible' came through the post I unpackaged it, and went to make a cup of coffee to drink while I read it. However, when I got back from the kitchen, my partner had already claimed the book as his own! An hour or so later he glanced my way and said 'It's a good book, this'. When I eventually managed to prise it out of his hands I spent hours going through it, reading and re-reading bits. I had expected it to be a bit like John Seymour's book, 'The Complete Guide to Self-Sufficiency' (another book I love), so I was pleasantly surprised to find that it actually had quite a lot more to offer to me, as a city-dweller. It hasn't yet made it to our bookshelves, spending its time between being read on the footstool, ready to be picked up next time I sit down. Calling it a 'bible' is so apt. It's a fantastic book to have.

As a 1st-year allotmenteer, the pages on growing food are extremely useful, with tips, guides and calendars presented in a friendly, non-patronizing manner. You almost feel you are being advised by friends. I am also a hobby-cook, and have successfully tested some of the recipes given. I'm not a fan of traditional-style cook books, which usually contain recipes with huge lists of the sort of ingredients a normal person just doesn't keep in stock, so it's quite refreshing to find a book containing recipes which use things I actually already have. The recipes also are based around seasonal eating, which is what a self-sufficient(ish) kitchen is all about.

Other chapters include home-brewing (something I tried unsuccessfully years ago and will be re-trying using Dave and Andy Hamilton's guides), environmentally friendly house keeping, energy, travel ..... the list goes on. I am particularly looking forward to trying out some of the smaller projects with my daughter, such as making an insect house, paper making and shrunken heads(!) for Hallowe'en.

I have recommended 'The Self-Sufficientish Bible' to everyone I see at the allotment and will continue to recommend it whenever the opportunity arises.
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on 24 April 2008
This book is a fantastic way to ease into a more self-sufficient lifestyle. It has been written in a friendly manner and is really easy to read.

Full of easy step-by-step projects and explanations in layman's terms. It makes everything seem so simple, easy and fun. Covering everything from growing herbs in old tires to solar water heating and home-made toys.

If you want to be greener but are daunted, then this book is perfect for you. It goes into more detail in places and gives relevant sources to find out more.

Once you open it though, it is hard to put it down again.
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VINE VOICEon 12 September 2008
When I got this book I just couldn't put it down. Not only is it beautiful (packed with gorgeous pictures) but it's jam packed full of good ideas. Everything (for any pocket) from installing clingfilm double glazing, making a bird table, a hay box cooker, homemade skin care, growing things, defeating slugs (if only there was a fool proof way!) - actually so many ideas to help you on the self sufficient route! You can dip in and out and take as much or as little as you need. I was unlucky to miss out on Andy and Dave's talk and foraging walk at the Dartington Ways with Words Festival - but based on their book I bet that was fab too. All in all a great book - I'll be giving some as presents. Is another one in the offing?

And - it isn't preachy or rammed down your throat. Very good things in my book!
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on 7 April 2008
Andy and Dave Hamilton, have created an eco friendly revolution with their new book "Self-sufficientish Bible". Not just scrumptious with their easy to follow bites of information on growing veg and being eco-friendly but also "good for you". The Hamilton twins provide support by incorporating a greener way of life to the urban environments the majority of us have to live in.
So you don't have a field? Get an allotment or grow Veg in your garden. Keep a couple of free range chickens,or if you can, ducks.
Live in a flat? Grow seeds on your windowsill and strawberry plants from a hanging basket. Save on electricity, and lower your fuel/food bills. I am very impressed with this book not only for its wide range of tips but also for the new outlook of city life it has given me.You can be in touch with nature and the environment where ever you live.
This is a must read for anyone who wants to create a greener way of life. Andy and Dave prove that playing your part for the environment is much simpler and much more fun than it might first appear.
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on 12 March 2010
i think i was expecting more revelation than i got in this. im a normal householder whose insulated the house, grows a bit of veg and has changed to low energy bulbs. not what i'd call being self sufficient-ish. but i found i knew most of the stuff in the book already other than the very useful tips on companion planting. without the recipes and plant growing tips i think what's left is already common knowledge for most of us. still its nicely written and would compost well! ;)
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on 5 January 2009
This is a fab book for those who are either wanting to be self sufficient, or those wanting to leave a smaller footprint on the earth.

The Hamilton brothers who wrote it have a great writing style that is easy to read and understand. Each section is easily digested and leaves you with a yearning to put it into practice.

The photos are demonstrative and show a little of the Hamilton Humour.

The Self Sufficient-Ish Bible is fantastic for those living in cities/rented accommodation. Both of the authors are in that position and they realise that no everyone has an acre of land, or their own property to pull apart and put back together, hence the philosophy of SelfSufficientish.

Highly recommended.
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Just saw one of the authors interviewed on BBC's Working Lunch... now, I'm your typical middle-class suburban 30-something and not really in the Hamilton's target market but I was so incensed by the trivial nit-picking of the BBC presenter that I've just come and ordered your book by way of weird capitalist protest. When not forced to justify the 'crazy' idea of growing your own food, your ideas were simple and sensible and I wish you and this book the best of luck. What a shame that the editor of Working Lunch chose to adopt such a silly anti grow-your-own position. Personally, I'm now looking forward to growing a bit of corn and some onions. So, umm, there!
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on 27 August 2008
This is a big fat green (both cover and contents!) book, beautifully produced and designed, a pleasure both to hold and to read. It promotes the green lifestyle in a sensible and achievable way. My only small reservation is that it is fairly high priced and if you are already committed to, or trying to commit to, eco-living, you will probably have much of this info in other books already.

This is a small niggle. You might like to send your other books to a charity shop and just keep this one!
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on 8 July 2008
This is a really great book - the realistic side of how to be environmental, because although it does talk about stuff such as how to keep your own cows, really it's about things that you can do while living in the city -even in a pokey flat.

A lot of the suggestions are really simple, but effective. And there's lots of creativity too, like the games for children.

I think that the best thing about this book is that I've actually started using the ideas included - it hasn't just ended up in a corner of the bookshelf looking pretty. And everyone I've showed it to has got something out of it too, even if it's just being inspired to take Spider plants into work to make the air better, or using the diagram that shows you how to darn socks without them falling apart again.

Also, don't worry that you might be preached to - this book is pretty laid back on that front, and the style is chatty and funny - but informative too.

I recommend this to buy for yourself, but also as a present for someone else as it's full of lovely pictures and photographs. Check out the one with the goat - it's pretty adorable
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on 20 December 2008
whilst john seymours book self sufficiency is good in its own right it leans towards more of a rural location and dedication to growing your own produce.
where as the hamilton brothers have created a guide where you can restrict your outgoings or shopping with your own produce and thrifty ideas,definately a book that wont be read once then think that would be nice to be able to do and put on the shelf for a year.
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