The Self Sufficient-ish Bible

Authors: Andy and Dave Hamilton
Pub: Hodder & Stoughton
Price: £20

The Self Sufficient-ish BibleLet’s be straight from the start: this book is selling a dream, a dream of freedom from the stresses and strains of modern life, of your own delicious, fresh-from-the-earth fruit and veg, of clucking chickens and home-brewed ale. It’s the dream we’ve all immersed ourselves in on a dreary Monday morning, or as we shuffle lifelessly through a fluoro-lit supermarket. But to actually become self-sufficient is such a daunting task, it often remains exactly that – a dream.
However, the main premise of this book is that anyone can, in fact, attain self sufficient-ishness. No huge commitments to compost toilets. No upping sticks to live in a timber clad house in the forest, although that might be nice. Instead, the book encourages you to have a bash at growing some carrots in your garden, or making a bird table for your balcony so as to enjoy the beauty of nature. Sure, there are some more full-on chapters about insulation, or keeping livestock. Comprehensive and informative, they appeal to those that have really had enough of the grind and are giving full-time self-sufficiency more serious thought. But generally, the book appeals to those still toying with the idea, those who want to dip a toe in the waters of more natural living.

If nothing else, the book serves as an excellent reference tool for finding seasonal produce (and what to do with said produce in a variety of mouth-watering recipes), natural remedies, home dyeing, poisonous plants and the like.
The pages are visually engaging, with appealing colours, simple illustrations and beautiful photos, and the tone is friendly and simple. Authors Andy and Dave Hamilton live this dream themselves and know how daunting it can seem. In imparting their wisdom there’s no condescension or preaching, just honesty and sincerity, which makes the dream seem more attainable than ever.
Rachel England