Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

by Andy & Dave Hamilton
Published August 6, 2009 (as paperback)
Hodder & Stoughton Trade Paperback
Price: GBP 20

This is the paperback edition of this book that was – originally – published in hardback in 2008 and at a whacking size of 400 pages in 7 ¾ x 10 ½ inches this book weighs in heavily even as a paperback.

If you are a fan of growing your own – and we all should become this more and more, and even the government is telling us that – of making do and mending, of finding ever new uses for this and that item of “waste”, but have limited time and outdoor space, you will love the practical nature of “The Self-Sufficientish Bible.”

You do not have to give up your urban lifestyle in order to live a greener lifestyle. You can do it right from the city, basically.

“The Self-Sufficientish Bible” is a going to be an invaluable guide, a call to arms and also a timely kick up the backside, and should be on every 21st century bookshelf in this country and, hopefully, also elsewhere.

The authors offer a huge range of advice on how to overhaul every aspect of your life from child-rearing to funeral arrangements and everything in between.
These include:

Step-by-step instructions on making plant pots out of newspapers and office equipment out of worn-out trousers.
Recipes for budget chutneys, nettle beer and dandelion wine, and many others, including recipes for seasonal foods.
How to establish allotment plots and the making of cold frames, compost heaps from pallets, cloches from empty soda bottles, etc.
Balanced, commonsense advice on loft-insulation, ethical banking, alternative energy, alternative travel, such as cycling, and others.

Alongside the retro joys of experimental home-brewing and wine-making there is a lot of serious, well-researched information. All the tips and recipes are tried and tested, either by the twins themselves or b y other members of their cult online community:

“The Self-Sufficientish Bible” is very much a British version of “Storey's Basic Country Skills” though more aimed at the urban dweller rather, though even much of the latter book can be applied to an urban setting with an allotment, and such.

“The Self-Sufficientish Bible” will definitely be a book that I shall read cover to cover over the next weeks or so and I shall make use of some of the instructions in the book, such as the making of a cold frame.

If you only buy one green advice book “The Self-Sufficientish Bible” has to be it. It is probably the most comprehensive, up-to-date and thoroughly enjoyable guide around.

Aside from me going to read it through thoroughly “The Self-Sufficientish Bible” will also become, of that I am sure, reference book for me as regards to my own food growing and other aspects.

A very good, timely and relevant book.

© 2009