Published on June 20th, 2024 | by Chris O'Connor

The Self-Sufficiency Garden Book Review

The Self-Sufficiency Garden Book Review Chris O'Connor

Summary: Not just covering growing food but how to prepare and store it.


Gardening Guide

Go in to any book shop and you will find a decent array of books on gardening. Depending on what you are after you might want to grab one on how to grow flowers, how to grow fruit or how to start your own little horticultural paradise. The Self-Sufficiency Garden is the one to choose if you are just starting out and like the idea of growing your own food… not only will it help you get your garden started, it will help you learn how to prepare your food for eating and storing.

Before I go too much further I have to say that the old adage “never judge a book by it’s cover” is pertinent here… at least to me. I’m not really a fan of the 70’s style simplistic art on the cover. I know the legend Mr Charles Dowding recently released a book with a similar 70’s style image and I wasn’t keen on that either… but importantly once you crack open the book… it’s full of lovely full colour photos that help you forget the time warp cover.

As mentioned, there are plenty of gardening books out there. Typically they will go through the basics or focus on a specific style of gardening. The Self-Sufficiency Garden aims to take readers from nothing to a full productive garden (at their own pace). Quite importantly it stresses throughout that you don’t have to jump from nothing to a full productive plot in a short time span (though it is possible to start harvesting crops within a few months if the circumstances are right). It lays out how to approach what can be a very daunting task, breaking it down into manageable elements that are easier to process and work on in order to build towards a greater final goal.

For anyone who has taken on gardening, they know it can be quite overwhelming to begin with… but also exciting. The Self-Sufficiency Garden helps by going over the basics and explaining how to get your first garden space up and running (again noting it doesn’t have to be big… in fact it is stressed just how much you can actually produce in a relatively small space). Once you have finished setting up your space the book then goes on to setting up your crops, sowing, planting out and caring for your produce so that you can get a bountiful harvest. A quick note here… depending on what growing area you are in, take note that the gardening planning here is listed by months and depending on your hemisphere (or even local climate zone) this might need to be flipped or at least adjusted… eg planting a crop in June in the northern hemisphere would be the start of Summer… whilst in Australia that would be the start of Winter and the same crop is unlikely to grow successfully in both those seasons… so just double check timings for your region.

But what do you do with your produce once it’s grown? Well The Self-Sufficiency Garden has you covered there by providing advice/instructions on not just what dishes you can make with your produce but how to store it for long term use (to cover the “hungry gap”). What I also appreciate is there is more covered here than simple recipes… it actually goes into detail about flavour profiles which means you can learn to adjust recipes to your own taste or even develop your own.


Final Thoughts?

If you like the idea of growing your own food but don’t know where to start or you are interested in some different approaches to increasing your home grown produce then The Self-Sufficiency Garden is a great resource to have on hand. Taking readers from “pasture to plate” helps not only break down the process of growing your own but also how to make it into something tasty and nutritious once harvested also. Grab a copy and get growing!

About the Author'

Father of four, husband of one and all round oddity. Gaming at home since about 1982 with a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Moving on to the more traditional PC genre in the years that followed with the classic Jump Joe and Alley Cat. CGA, EGA, VGA and beyond PC's have been central to my gaming but I've also enjoyed consoles and hand helds along the way (who remembers the Atari Lynx?). Would have been actor/film maker, jack of many trades master of none.

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