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The Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency Used by the Mormon Pioneers Paperback – August 8, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 125 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.; 7.9.2011 edition (August 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599555107
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599555102
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 7.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By robin edmundson on September 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent resource for folks working toward maximizing their gardening year and for folks working toward a self sustaining lifestyle. It's full of great tips and tricks - tried and true by people whose lives depended on it. Topics include seed saving, pollination, cellars, cold storage, greenhouses, grapes and fruit trees, perennial vegetables, long keeping vegetables, chickens, etc.

There is no way one book can completely cover all of the topics addressed, so the author has listed other resources that will help answer the questions that you might have. I had a great time exploring types of geothermal greenhouses after reading about the author's.

If you're already very knowledgeable about many of these topics, then you might find the treatment too cursory, but if you're just starting out, then I highly recommend this book. I consider myself a skilled summer gardener, but I really learned a lot about winter storage, greenhouses, and extending the gardening year.
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I purchased this naively thinking I would get "forgotten" skills of self-sufficient farming. That was my mistake. Every "forgotten" skill listed I have seen in other books. It lists things you wouldn't know if you never had a garden, chickens, or tried to preserve food, but if you had any knowledge, first hand or research on a subject you wanted to know, this book is is of little help.

This book is a decent 'beginner' book, but pretty much only that. The book covers topics such as raising chickens, creating a garden area, seed saving, fresh food storage, and very, very general ideas on plant types depending on what you are looking for. It covers several topics on a general scale, with only a hand full (and I mean only a hand full) or so of specific ideas or tips for each topic. The section on chickens is the largest as it is 40 out of the 130 pages.

If you need or want direction on whether to garden, get chickens, or how to start thinking about tackling those tasks, this book is a good start with pros and cons listed on a few subjects for you to easily see what is involved. If you already have direction and are looking for new info, get a book on your topic of interest, as this will be likely a repeat of info you already have.

Great beginner book worth 5 stars, misleading "forgotten skills" which aren't forgotten on the topics in other books (which have more info on the topic) gets 3 stars, average 4 in my mind.
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If you're looking for a "how to" book, you might want to look somewhere else. Much of this book is the author reminiscing about his childhood, rather than how to accomplish what his grandparents did. He also repeated that growing things yourself was better, a fact that readers have probably already grasped, given that they are looking at books similar to this. All in all, I can't even finish it, it's just fluff.
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I got this book thinking it would be wonderful for helping my family and me become more self-sufficient. What it really was is things that we are mostly already doing--so that quite all that forgotten. The few things that were in the book that I was excited to read about (getting sugar from sugar beets, extending the gardening season, etc.) didn't help at all! Mostly it talked about how in his grandmother's journal they did it that way--he tried it and it didn't work--that doesn't help me! So, if you are new to chickens (which it does go into great detail about) or gardening, this would be an alright book--but I already do those things so. ..
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Format: Paperback
Just two weeks ago, the residents of Utah celebrated Pioneer Day in honor of the arrival of the Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. I appreciate the hard work and sacrifices these determined people showed throughout their lives. It seems such a shame that so much of their knowledge and work ethic has disappeared over the generations.

I was surprised to read that our ancestors harvested nearly all year long, including during the winter. I am several generations removed from my farming and pioneering ancestors, so I was unaware of several of the aspects of self-sufficiency that the author talks about.

Did you know carrots were originally yellow and purple? I didn't.

Did you know it's possible to grow and harvest salad greens in the snow? I can't wait to try growing some.

In the age of supermarkets and fast food, it would do mankind good to return to a degree of self-sufficiency. In the timeline of history, grocery stores and processed "food products" are brand new concepts. We have become so accustomed to the appearance and taste of the items lining the shelves that it makes one wonder how people lived without Doritos, Oreos, and Diet Coke.

The first half of The Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency covers heirloom plants and seeds, expanding the harvest, and storing the harvest. The author shows several examples of these concepts in his own garden and root cellar. He briefly covers pioneer yeast and bread making, then moves on to how to raise and care for your own chickens for the remainder of the book.

While covering several interesting topics, this book doesn't get into a lot of specifics of how to do these things and does reference additional material.
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