Self Sufficiency for the 21st Century


Posted by RobPatton | Posted in Books | Posted on 16-11-2010

British father and son Dick and James Strawbridge (cohosts, It’s Not Easy Being Green, BBC, UK) share their years of experience working Newhouse Farm, their smallholding in Cornwall, England, describing how everyone, including urban and suburban dwellers, can become more self-sufficient and environmentally conscious. They cover everything from conserving energy, harnessing energy from wind and water, gardening, and keeping livestock, to cheese making and creating willow baskets. Using step-by-step instructions and numerous useful photographs, the two show the reader, in just a few pages per subject, how to perform often complex tasks. Their enthusiastic, engaging style makes for easy reading, and the book paints a realistic picture of what it would be like to live as self-sufficiently as possible on a small farm. Many of the subjects they include, however, such as raising livestock, rate an entire book by themselves. VERDICT This is a useful overview of the range of possibilities for becoming more self-sufficient, written by knowledgeable authors, with the understanding that beginners would need additional instruction to handle many of the tasks.–Sue O’Brien, Downers Grove P.L., IL –Library Journal, October 1, 2010

Self Sufficiency for the 21st Century will teach how to make biodiesel for cars generate solar power for homes even build a water wheel or wind vane. Not enough for you? It also teaches how to brew beer make cheese and the basics of animal husbandry. -Susan Love –Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 23, 2010

This book has it all for the man or woman who might be considering starting his or her own country. –Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 26, 2010

Gorgeous photos, handy charts and attractive and detailed diagrams (signatures of DK books) make this an inviting read. -Catherine Mallette –Fort Worth Star-Telegram, August 27, 2010

Photos and annotated illustrations on every page make the information clear, accessible, inviting, and even irresistible [such as the photos of DIY elderflower champagne which the Strawbridges consider definitely at the glamorous end of self sufficiency]. You don’t need a farm to benefit from this book. It’s aimed at all levels and the labeled drawings and plans of the urban yard, the suburban yard and the small farm are both useful and inspiring…In essence, the book is like a cross between a how-to text and a book to dream over. -Pat Jeffries –The Oregonian, September 16, 2010

Amusing set of Pro-Farm Ads from WWII


Posted by RobPatton | Posted in Books | Posted on 09-08-2010

Back when the gov wanted your help 🙂

Another book…


Posted by RobPatton | Posted in Books | Posted on 21-03-2010

Hard times aren’t just coming, they are here already. The recent economic collapse has seen millions of North Americans move from the middle class to being poor, and from poor to hungry. At the same time, the idea of eating locally is shifting from being a fringe activity for those who can afford it to an essential element of getting by. But aside from the locavores and slow foodies, who really knows how to eat outside of the supermarket and out of season? And who knows how to eat a diet based on easily stored and home preserved foods?

Independence Days tackles both the nuts and bolts of food preservation, as well as the host of broader issues tied to the creation of local diets. It includes:

  • How to buy in bulk and store food on the cheap
  • Techniques, from canning to dehydrating
  • Tools—what you need and what you don’t

In addition, it focuses on how to live on a pantry diet year-round, how to preserve food on a community scale, and how to reduce reliance on industrial agriculture by creating vibrant local economies.

Better food, plentiful food, at a lower cost and with less energy expended: Independence Days is for all who want to build a sustainable food system and keep eating—even in hard times.

Sharon Astyk is a former academic who farms in upstate New York with her family. She is the author of Depletion and Abundance, the co-author of A Nation of Farmers, and she blogs at

More books, ok book.


Posted by RobPatton | Posted in Books | Posted on 18-03-2010

Most of us have never lived through times as tough as these. The economic crisis, peak oil, rising food costs, climate change, and water shortages have all converged to make it a very challenging time. This book provides a road map to allow you to return to the independence of previous generations: independence in how you power your home, where you get your food from, and how you control your financial destiny. The amazing thing is that the recommendations are not only good for you, they’re good for the planet. Showering with water heated by the sun and eating a “one hundred foot diet” with food grown in your backyard will help you to reduce your carbon footprint. They also give you back control of your budget. By using the step-by-step guide on how to get the fastest payback and invest the money you save, you’ll discover the joy of being in control again.

From where you live, to how you heat and power your home, to producing your own food, controlling water, and getting your financial house in order, this book proves that money doesn’t buy happiness, but using what you have wisely helps.

Because most of the recommendations are good for your health, good for the health of the planet, and good for your finances, the book sets out a win/win/win scenario. Challenging times provide a tremendous opportunity for personal growth while giving your soul the joy to return to a saner pace in your life.

About the Author

Cam Mather uses renewable energy to power Aztext Press’ off-the-grid publishing office while growing most of his own food and providing workshops to thousands of people on how to take joy in becoming more independent in every facet of their life while reducing your footprint on the planet.

New Book arrived


Posted by RobPatton | Posted in Books | Posted on 17-03-2010

Home-produced food almost always begins in the vegetable garden. So, too, begins The Backyard Homestead, Planning charts and a thorough vegetable-by-vegetable growing guide are accompanied by simple techniques for canning, drying, and freezing the garden’s bounty.

The plant section continues with the hows, whens, and wheres of growing fruits, herbs, and nuts. Hardworking food growers will be delighted to reward themselves with healthful herbal teas and homemade wines and cordials. Recipes and simple techniques are included for the beginning home winemaker.

For the truly dedicated, a chapter on grains offers an overview of growing wheat and corn, along with drying, storing, and milling solutions. Whole grains (homegrown or purchased) can be used to learn the craft of homebrewing, while milled flours are put to delicious use in pastas and breads.

Part two moves from plant to animal products, beginning with an overview of chicken keeping. Readers will find charts, lists, and helpful tips for collecting, storing, and using eggs, along with advice on butchering chickens and cooking the meat.

Additional chapters focus on raising larger animals, such as cows, sheep, and goats, either for their meat or for their milk. Milk producers will find plenty of information on making simple yogurt, butter, and ice cream, as well as all the basics on getting started with cheese making. Additional information on rabbits and pigs rounds out the meat-raising sections.

An overview of foraging and detailed information on installing and caring for honeybees wrap up The Backyard Homestead, Storey’s trusted advice on gardening, cooking, brewing, cheese making, and raising animals proves once and for all that it truly is possible to eat entirely from the backyard.
In the information-rich tradition of “Storey’s Basic Country Skills,” here is a reliable compendium of advice on how to feed our families using plants and animals raised at home. Illustrations throughout.
Put your backyard to work!
Enjoy fresher, organic, better-tasting food all the time. The solution is as close as your own backyard. Grow the vegetables and fruits your family loves; keep bees; raise chickens, goats, or even a cow. The Backyard Homestead shows you how it’s done. And when the harvest is in, you’ll learn how to cook, preserve, cure, brew, or pickle the fruits of your labor.

From a quarter of an acre, you can harvest 1,400 eggs, 50 pounds of wheat, 60 pounds of fruit, 2,000 pounds of vegetables, 280 pounds of pork, 75 pounds of nuts.