Friday, September 14, 2012

The self sufficient life and how to live it by John Seymour

I have to admit there are many books that I just absolutely love.  This one is definately one of my favorites.  It is the most comprehensive book I have found for the homestead.

It has everything from how to design a self sufficient farm to how to make bricks and everything in between.

Chapter 1  The Meaning of Self Sufficiency
This chapter describes the seasons and the cycles your homestead will go thru.  It tells how to design your homestead beginnign with the urban garden and ending with a 5 acre farm so that you utilize what you have available in the most efficient way possible.

Chapter 2   Food from the garden
This chapter tells you everything you could ever want to know about growing a garden.  What types of beds to use, what types of plants to plant in certain beds, diseases, pests andf how to deal with them.  It has an illustrated area with pictures of different plants.  It talks about seeds, harvesting, cultivation throughout the year and even an area on greenhouses.

Chapter 3 Food from Animals
This chapter has information about pretty much any barnyard beastie you could want.  Tricks to raising them, breeding them, butchering them.  It talks about the different breeds and what things they are best suited for.  It has illustrated how to's on butchering, cleaning and cutting up the carcass.  Basically if it is edible and from an animal this book explains it in this chapter.

Chapter 4  Food from the fields
This is the chapter all about fields... Clearing, cultivating, sowing and harvesting grains, root crops and hay.

Chapter 5  Food from the wild
This chapter is all about wild game, wild plants, wild fruit, wild nuts and mushrooms.  Basically if you did not plant it or raise it then this chapter will tell you about it.  Don't know how to butcher a rabbit?  It's there complete with illustrated step by steps...

Chapter 6  In the dairy
Everything you need to know about the dairy side of your farm.  From how to plan and lay out a cow shed to how to milk and continuing on to how to make butter and cheese.

Chapter 7  In the kitchen
This chapter deals with all aspects of food storage and preservation.  Along with some really nice recipes.  It has plans for a storage room, how to can, how to freeze, making pickles, making jelly or jam, making bread, and so on...

Chapter 8 Brewing and winemaking
That title is pretty self explanatory.  It is about making beer and wine.

Chapter 9  Energy and Waste
How to build an outdoor toilet (yep a neccessity of survival).  Alternative energy sources are explained in detail.

Chapter 10  Crafts and Skills
This one is all about the other things like building, plumbing, how to make a brick, how to thatch a roof, how to tie different knots, making tools or how to make a basket.  Want to spin your own yarn and then weave your own fabric?  It's there along with directions on how to build the loom.  Want to tan a hide (and I do not mean the kind of hide on your childrens back sides) it is there.  Want to get sugar from beets?  The instructions are there....

The last few pages have further resources that would be of help in your endeavors to be self sufficient.  There are a ton of web sites you can visit...

It is my suggestion that you either buy or borrow this book.  You can get it easily  (click here  to go directly to it) on 

I hope you would find this book as enjoyable to read as I have.  It has even captivated my 11 year old daughter.  She got the idea  to build a teepee last summer out of hay..  Hers was obviously much messier than the book described, but it was fun... They camped in it and played in it for about 2 weeks until the wind destroyed it.  These pictures were taken after the wind had beat it up for a couple of days.  She used PVC as a frame that was tied together at the top with twine.

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