Wednesday, June 12, 2024

The Self-Sufficiency Garden: Feed Your Family and Save Money


The Self-Sufficiency Garden is a concise and useful guide to increasing food security by gardening by Huw Richards and Sam Cooper. Released 14th May 2024 by Penguin Random House on their DK imprint, it's 224 pages and is available in hardcover and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout.The links in the ebook format are honestly absolute gold and make the book a joy to use.

In times of increasing food insecurity, supply line and distribution chain disruptions and distrust/boredom with the incredibly limited selections available to most people who don't have ready access to local farmers markerts, coupled with the psychological and health benefits of being in contact with growing plants and having more control over our food as well as the sense of accomplishment that comes from being more self sufficient, it's easy to see why more people are making a conscious choice to garden. 

This is a good basic guide which includes all the necessary info to arm beginner (and non-beginner) gardeners with what they need to plan, plant, grow, harvest, and succeed with vegetable gardening (with basic info which also applies to other parts of horticulture and flower gardening). It's arranged in digestible parts, with a logical progression: planning & basic terminology, planning & creating different gardens with season extenders and other aids, planting and growing crops arranged by the calendar year (with monthly tasks and categories), recipes for using and preserving the harvests, and a general broad-range skills and troubleshooting chapter (lots of good info here). The author/publisher have also included a links and resources lists for further reading.

The book is well photographed, and includes many clear color photos of gardens and the recipes. It's helpful to see what fermenting vegetables can/should look like, especially for readers who are new to canning/preserving.

Four and a half stars. Full of information. This would be a superlative choice for public and school library acquisition, home use, allotments/gardening groups, smallholders (with or without urban locations), and similar. Tutorial and recipe lists have measurements given in imperial (American) units with metric units in parentheses (yay!).

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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