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The New Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency: The Classic Guide for Realists and Dreamers

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  423 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Make the break, realise the dream, and start living "The Good Life!" with John Seymour

The new edition of this enduring classic from John Seymour, the founding father of modern self sufficiency, is the key reference to sustainable living off the grid.

This timeless guide features practical small holding know-how, including sections on organic gardening, harnessing solar ener
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Hardcover, 408 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by DK (first published 2003)
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4.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  423 ratings  ·  24 reviews


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Polly
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Polly by: Brian McCann
Shelves: green-eco
Seriously. This book is why I can make butter and why I tried it. This book is why I know how to make lye soap. This book is how I know what life was like in older times. This book is how I know how to build a five tree orchard and that pigs like to hang out there and gather the over ripe fruit. This book is how I know what to feed chickens (if my husband ever lets me get some). And this book is one that has a special place on my shelf for any question I may ever have. The best advice from this ...more
Guion Pratt
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book includes the phrase "The first lion I ever shot..." THE FIRST. And he was just talking about making soap.
Shirley Revill
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
My all time favourite book that is on my to read another day shelf.
Packed with knowledge about complete self sufficiency in the garden.
From growing fruit and veg to keeping livestock.
Really love this book it is a treasure trove of information.
Highly recommended.
Tish
Nov 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book covers absolutely everything, with detailed diagrams, from making bricks to slaughtering pigs :(, from building a windmill, to choosing and eating wild plants, milking goats, managing springs, arranging a workshop for maximum efficiency...I could go on. This is an absolute bible for anyone seriously interested in "doing it themselves." Although I marked this as read, I'll be reading this for years. It'll sit on the shelf alongside my very battered, very loved, How to Cook Everything.
Philip
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-shelf
This book is wonderful first primer in this fascinating subject. It is full of invaluable information and wonderful anecdotes. Beautifully illustrated and a wonderful addition to my library.
Pamela
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful Hardcover.
Loved the contents, but even for its size, I wish it went even deeper on the details of everything. Probably this is only due to me being content-facts-numbers thirsty and if it was like that it would probably bore other people.
I love the images and drawings too, it sure shows the love we feel for the country.
Patricia
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Bible of self-sufficiency! It goes in depth about everything you want to know about the subject. Yes, it’s a little old, it was written in the 70s. But it’s better, I think, to see how things were done when we were slightly less dependent on non-renewable resources.

As far as I know, there is no other book on the subject that does a better job than this one.

It’s a shame though that there is such an extensive chapter on slaughter. I feel like self-sufficiency can more easily rely on legumes a
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Christine Kenney
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awesome reference. It got a bit bogged down in the gardening section for those of us not gardening in UK soil/climate/prevalent pest conditions, but in general, Seymour has some impressive skills at succinctly summarizing what you need to know to get started in disciplines that have few remaining craftsmen to apprentice with and might take decades to fully master.
Joel Davis-Ward
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-farming
One of my favourite books. Truly inspiring, especially in terms of how much can be achieved in a small area. I'd recommend it to anyone considering home/farmsteading, or to those who are already doing it and want to up their game.
نونو غودينو
Great book teach it a lot you should read it it is ppossible to live out of system
Victoria E. Keen
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: home-garden
This was, in fact, the original "Good Life" book and very much a breakthrough in writing about self-sufficiency. This is the updated version, which stays very true to the original philosophy - in fact, not that much has changed at all except for the fact that some sections have been updated to fit our newer, more modern lives.

This is the first book we bought on self-sufficiency and it's really the only one we still refer to! I would recommend it to anyone who wants the good life - either complet
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Kelly
Nov 20, 2007 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
When I was in England over the summer, I stayed at my friend Jamie's house, which was a little cottage in the New Forest. I admired his vegetable plot, and he showed me this book, and we talked about building a dry toilet, and he demonstrated a tool that he'd made himself that was a replica of a tool that they used in the Middle Ages and that you can use to make chair legs and bedposts. Jamie is great.
Sofie
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is truely a complete book of how to become self sufficient. It has been and still is very helpful to me and anyone who wants to be self suffient regardless of to what extend should definitely read this book.
Becky
Jan 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is crazy - everything you need to know about surviving off of what you can produce yourself. It's not something you can sit down and just read (well, I guess you could, but it's a lot of info.) I'm excited to study from it more.
Moses Operandi
Jul 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any and Everyone on the face of the Earth
Wow. This book is probably the most informative piece of literature I have ever read. It's like the handbook on "How to Live a Fulfilling Life." I think everyone, at some point in their lives, should read it.
Iain Watson
New Complete Self-sufficiency by John Seymour (2003)
Mirandaash
Feb 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Grew up with this book when Mum was starting her small holding and now it's beginning to guide us. Lessons from the 1st edition still apply today
Kim
Dec 04, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Too opinionated and too country specific. (not my country)
Marie
Jun 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A classic on self-sufficiency. Has lots of chapters on meat - if you're a vegetarian, only a few chapters of this book will be useful - for example, the chapter on food preserving.
Martinxo
Sep 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a library copy and I must buy one for myself, it's the kind of book one wants to annote, one that will take some wear-and-tear. A great resource.
Tracey Webb
rated it it was amazing
Jul 27, 2018
Lean
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Jun 29, 2012
Ahavah
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Mar 11, 2016
Jill
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Dec 04, 2011
Debby
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Jun 09, 2008
Trish Lysk
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Mar 12, 2019
Farmgirl
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Nov 25, 2014
Mary
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Jan 05, 2014
Alan Whitaker
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Nov 07, 2018
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John Seymour was an idealist - he had a vision of a better world where people aren't alienated from their labours. As a young man, he travelled all over Africa and fought in Burma in World War II. Returning penniless to England, he lived in a trolley bus and on a Dutch sailing barge before settling on a five-acre smallholding in Suffolk to lead a self-sufficient life. He continued this lifestyle w ...more