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A book fit for dreaming
on January 19, 2010
This book is an excellent one for dreaming. The volume looks like a coffee table book; it's large and filled with color pictures. And while John Seymour was able to live a pretty self-sufficient life on a farm, I know it's unlikely I'll ever do so. Nevertheless, reading about all Seymour learned and how he suggests others follow in his footsteps is inspiring.
Seymour is quick to note that self-sufficiency isn't about going back in time and living what is probably an idealized version of the old homesteading days. But he does realize the more self sufficient we are, the more free we are. And so his book explains how to raise and grow food, produce your own energy, and build a variety of things (from compost toilets to brick walls). While there are a couple of pages with ideas for the urban garden, this book is really for those who have (or dream of having) real acreage. Seymour explains what he'd do with one acre, five acres, and more. Those of us without the means to buy that much property can only drool.
The gardening section of the book provides solid, organic gardening advice, with good information about keeping the soil working and healthy with crop rotation, growing grains, the basics of extending the season by "growing under cover," how to grow a wide variety of vegetables, herbs, and fruits, and building and using a greenhouse. The next largest section focuses on raising cows, goats, pigs, sheep, poultry, and bees. You'll also find information on obtaining power from water, the sun, and the wind; how to clear and irrigate land; a bit about obtaining food from the wild; building and using a dairy; making butter, cream, and cheese; building a store room; making bread, wine and beer; some bare bone information about crafts like basket making and spinning; and some rather incomplete information (along with some unsafe, outdated details) on canning. The author also offers some practical ideas on how to gradually become more self-sufficient.
I enjoyed this book immensely.
Proverbs Thirty One Woman