Growing Self-Sufficiency – Book Review

Enjoy chicken, eggs, fruit, veg? A simple way to grow your own

Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Growing Self-Sufficiency
Realize your dream and enjoy producing your own fruit, vegetables, egg and meat.
By Sally Nex
Published by Green Books September 2017
240 pages, paperback, 255mm x 205mm
ISBN: 9780857843173

Growing-Self-suffiencyGrowing Self-Sufficiency is a practical and inspirational guide for both the beginner and the experienced gardener. It explains how you can enjoy the satisfaction and pride of providing food for yourself and your family, whether you have just a small balcony or back yard, a large garden, or a homestead or smallholding.

Learn how to:

  • Enjoy fresh and tasty vegetables in season
  • Grow delicious fruit for eating all year round
  • Produce your own chicken, eggs and lamb, guaranteed free from harmful chemicals and additives
  • Preserve your produce – from freezing and drying to making jams, chutneys and pickles
  • Make your own drinks: juices, cordials, cider, wine and liqueurs
  • Grow medicinal herbs and make your own herbal remedies
  • Provide more food from your plot than you ever thought possible!

If you ever feel a pang of guilt as you look at the label on your food, realizing that it has traveled thousands of miles to get to your dinner table, then Sally Nex’s Growing Self-Sufficiency will inspire you to make the change and shrug off of the type of 'salad crisis' we had this winter when shop shelves were bare and produce was rationed.

But not only have your fruit and vegetables from abroad traveled long distances. Even the “fresh” fruit and vegetables that you buy at the greengrocers and which do come from the UK have first been heading from the farm to the large wholesale markets and then, via some other buyers, to the greengrocers in your city, town or village, even if the fruit and veg have been grown virtually next door. That is the way the market operated, unfortunately.

Then there is the thought of the additives that keep vegetables artificially fresh for so long. Now think how much healthier you will be and how much needless pollution you will prevent by eating the most local of food, namely that that you have grown yourself.

Sally’s unique three pot method will guarantee you a supply of tasty, inexpensive home-grown food throughout the year. Not just helping to save the planet, it will help to save money too and Sally has plenty of tips on how you can feed your family at only a fraction of the cost. She explains how you can:

  • start a vegetable plot on your balcony
  • create a herb garden on your windowsill
  • grow a mini orchard in pots

This book deals with about every aspect of growing and raising your own food, as well as preserving the harvest, collecting seeds, etc.

The 240 page are jam packed with information on every aspect of home grown and the advice about growing in containers should be of interest to all those that do not have much of garden space, by way of ground in which to grow things.

Personally I almost exclusively garden in containers though my containers are all kinds of things, from tree pots and tubs of various sizes, all the way up to shopping carts, and everything else in between, such as window boxes, hanging baskets, and any other kind of receptacle that can be repurposed into a growing container.

"Taking control of your own food is one of the easiest ways to tread lighter on the earth: as easy, in fact, as planting a seed." Sally Nex

Sally Nex has been feeding her family with home-grown fruit, vegetables and preserves for the last 20 years or so, as well as eggs from a motley gaggle of hens and more recently, lamb from her small flock of rare-breed sheep.

It all started with a few beans in a concrete handkerchief of city garden in London, but an allotment, job change, house move and several rented fields later, it's probably true to say the 'hobby' is well out of hand.

In 2006 she left 15 years as a journalist on BBC radio, television and World Service to devote her time to horticulture. She is qualified in horticulture to RHS Level 3, and has a planting design diploma from Capel Manor College. Sally now writes, teaches and gives talks about veg growing and self-sufficiency all over the country and is a regular writer and columnist for BBC Gardeners' World Magazine, the RHS journal The Garden, Grow Your Own, and The Guardian.

As far as self-sufficiency is concerned we all have to bear in mind though that, to all intents and purposes, no one can ever be truly self-sufficient in all things, and that includes growing food.

© 2017