Review By Gabrielle

The Self-Sufficiency Garden is a brilliant step-by-step guide to growing food for your family.

Favourite Quote:

A space that will provide you with sustainably grown, affordable produce every day of the year is based on three fundamental considerations: nutrition, time, and cost. Once you’ve understood their importance, the journey to self-sufficiency can begin.

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Eat homegrown food all year round and save money on your weekly shop by following a simple plan for self-sufficiency.

Huw Richards and Sam Cooper have spent the past two years planning and trialling their very own self-sufficiency garden in a 10 x 12.5 m plot and now they’ve worked out the perfect formula. Grow six portions of nutritious veg a day per person following their month-by-month growing plan, which is realistic and flexible with cost, space, and time in mind.

– Learn about Huw’s self-sufficiency ethos, goals and approaches

– Create your garden and learn how to build all the growing spaces you will need, such as hot beds and polytunnels

– Follow month-by-month planting plans with guidance on key tasks throughout the year

– Discover useful kitchen tips meal prep, storage, and preserving ideas along with base recipes so you can make the most of your crops

Follow Huw and Sam’s tried-and-tested methods and save money while enjoying homegrown food all year.

I’m a huge gardener. One could say I’m obsessed with growing food for my family and they would be accurate. I’ve long enjoyed Huw Richards’ content on YouTube and TikTok so when I heard he had this book coming out, I preordered it. I’m so glad I did. I read a lot of gardening books and this one is unlike anything I’ve ever read before.

This book blew my expectations out of the water. I can’t get over how detailed it is. You can literally follow the step-by-step plans for building your garden, including tutorials on building poly tunnels, hot beds, and even how to build a potting bench. Then, his mega detailed monthly plans describe what to do each month of the year from what to seed when, what to switch out in which bed, and what to harvest. Now keep in mind, he is gardening in England in zone 5, so plans may need to be adjusted to your growing zone, but the whole thing is just so approachable and well done, I was gobsmacked reading it.

Even if you are a complete beginner, fear not, Huw gives readers a few entry points to get started (you don’t have to execute the whole plan right away) as well as chapters with great instructions on the basics like seed starting for example.

I also loved the section on making the most of your harvest written by chef Sam Cooper. I loved how he gives you some basic skills and concepts like “soups” that you can adapt easily to whatever you have on hand, but he also includes a couple more detailed recipes. Sam covers a lot of ground in this section with everything from fermentation to making your own condiments.

The Self-Sufficiency Garden is a wonderful resource that should be on every food gardener’s book list. It is well-worth the investment. I only wish I had this book when I was starting out!