The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It – The Complete Back-to-Basics Guide

"SelfSuffientLife |"
Published: 2004

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Title: The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It
The Complete Back-to-Basics Guide
Author: John Seymour
Category:  Nonfiction
Genre: Agriculture, Homesteading, Gardening
Details: Hardcover, 312 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7894-9332-3
How did I get this book: I purchased this book used from Amazon


Overview: A comprehensive, back-to-basics guide that explains how to live independently in harmony with the planet, utilizing natural forms of energy, raising crops and livestock, preserving foods, gardening, carpentry, and other essential skills designed to help build a community and transform one’s life.  The book focuses on the natural cycle of life and how it plays into all things self-sufficient.

Likes: The book is laid out very well, categories are well defined, and each chapter is broken down and indexed.  From the meaning of self-sufficiency, to food from the garden, animals, fields and the wild, brewing and winemaking, to info about energy and waste, bread-making, an overview on vegetables and herbs, growing structures and animals.  This book has a bit of it all.  Nice detailed drawings throughout. The vegetable section is very useful with a brief subsection on use, soil, treatment, sowing, planting, aftercare, harvesting, etc.  The sections profiling the seasons and what happens on a homestead during each part of the year are done very well.

Dislikes: While the book seems to have a bit of everything, it does not delve extensively into any of the subject matter covered.  This is fine, as long as you realize that this book is more of an overview with some details, but not the only book you should have on the subjects covered.  Some may not like that there are no actual pictures in the book. (the drawing are very detailed though)

In Closing: I did enjoy the information provided in the book and learned some new things abut being self-sufficient.  Yes, I would recommend this book, as long as the reader realizes that it is not an extensive learning guide.  It covers a vast array of topics and for that reason, it will remain on my bookshelf.


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Don’t want to purchase a book?  Visit your local library.  It’s a great resource!

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