Self Sufficiency for the 21st Century

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