Book Club

The Essential Guide To Back Garden Self-Sufficiency Book Review

We all love a good new book! I often find myself scrolling through Amazon looking for something fresh to read. I really enjoy gardening and self-sufficiency books, and my shelf has many books on the topic. Recently I discovered the Back Garden Self-Sufficiency book, edited by Carleen Madigan.  If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you will know that we are currently trying to live a more self sufficient lifestyle and grow lots more of our own food, from our Urban Mini Farm.

Whether you’re planning on growing just a few rows of veg, create a patio garden or transform your whole back garden into a grow-your-own plot (like us) then this book is the perfect place to start. The book contains sections on vegetable growing, herb gardens, fruit, making preserves and even brewing your own alcohol! Something for everyone.

You can easily dip in and out of the book, and by no means has to be read front to back… although I do enjoy doing this, to get the most from any book. Everything written in the book is easy to understand, with everything discussed explained carefully, with no complicated language or terms used. The book contains beautifully drawn illustrations and easy to read charts, helping you to understand exactly what the author is talking about!

My Favourite Pages

The first thing that grabbed my attention is how easy the book is laid out, with clear to find chapters and lovely illustrations. The book starts with a basic explaination of Back Yard Self Sufficiency, and what it means and entails to try your hand at living a more self sufficient lifestyle. The book then goes on to predict how much food you back garden could produce depending on plot size (work depending of course!)

If fruit is your thing, there is a lovely in depth section all about planting, growing and harvesting your own strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. Find out how you can preserve these fruits too, handy if you have a bumper crop and you want to enjoy the fruits of your labour (pun totally intended) all year round. Of course, the key to self sufficiency is making it last all year, else you will end up going very hungry throughout winter!

Fancy having a go at maing your own butter? There’s a recipe for that! And bread… and pasta… and even sauerkraut! We keep chickens, and this book has a wonderful section for people wanting to keep their own hens. A small flock of hens in any British back garden is a must! Not only do you have a steady supply of fresh eggs, but they also make wonderful friendly pets! This section of the book explains the basics of poultry keeping, how to make a secure chicken coop, how to get the most out of your eggs and (if you’re brave) how to prepare your chickens for the dinner table. Something I personally, could not do.

The Essential Guide To Back Garden Self-Sufficiency is edited by Careen Madigan, and published by Timber Press. The book contains 351 pages and has an RRP of £14.99

Buy the book

Looking for more books on Self-Sufficiency? Why not read my review of the popular John Seymour book The NEW Complete Book Of Self-Sufficiency.

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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