The Self-Sufficient Suburban Gardener Hardcover – December 1, 1983
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- Publisher : Rodale Pr; First Edition (December 1, 1983)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 236 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0878574573
- ISBN-13 : 978-0878574575
- Item Weight : 1.35 pounds
Best Sellers Rank:
#2,606,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #21,325 in Gardening & Landscape Design
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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As far as the ideas in the book are concerned for gardening, they are very good. But the second book he wrote, "Jeff Ball's 60 Minute Garden" is much better since it builds on "The Self Sufficient SubUrban Garden" and has more ideas and how to's that also have the benefits of his additional experience. I just wanted it to add to my library. I follow his ideas on gardening pretty regularly and they do work very well, really eliminated my weekly weeding. Although I do spend more than 60 minutes a week in my garden, more like 60 minutes an hour!, but again I have enjoyed doing it.
This book tops the list and is,to me at least, THE one first book I would recommend to anyone who is seriously considering home food production. Jeff Ball introduces a highly readable, easily followed five-step (read five-year) plan to transform a suburban back yard into an attractive, highly productive, and fully sustainable 'suburban homestead.' It starts out with a couple of raised beds and progresses to a full size garden, utilizing progressive intensive planting, cold frames and a small greenhouse to produce food year-round. For the serious suburban homesteader it even includes information on food storage, canning and even how to incorporate chickens, rabbits, bees, and fish into the completed system -all while maintaining the neat appearance many suburban communities require.
Some of the information in this book is a little 'dated',yet the basic principles it teaches are actually far more important now than they were at the time the book was written.
With energy and food prices skyrocketing in this country due to hurricane damage in the Gulf, declining (or soon to be declining) fossil fuel supplies world wide, climate change, environmental pollution and degredation, and the deteriorating American economy as countless middle-class jobs are lost each year to outsourcing, it is very likely that the average American family will need to produce a significant portion of their own food over the next few decades.
The good news is that this is not only possible, but that it can be done sustainably in almost any suburban yard while enriching the soil, reducing household waste, and saving a substantial amount of money. Seems hard to believe that Rodale has shown no interest in republishing this book (or allowing anyone else to do so), but used copies are still available. Get one.
You will not be sorry you purchased it and I can't understand why they don't republish. It begins with the questions of, 'Why Garden and grow your own food?', to how to turn you backyard into a food production system, and then beyond the simple. One example we incorporated was purchasing our own fertilizer producer, the pet bunny. She eats the scrapes and gives us back fertilizer in pellet form. I couldn't ask for a faster compost bin. The idea of tax free income doesn't hurt and with todays growing concern about organic and local eating the need is all the more real.