The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Self-Sufficient Living by Jerome D. Belanger is a quick and easy look at what you can do to lighten your imprint on the earth and its resources. In it Mr. Belanger describes why he thinks its important that as a society we work towards depending less on others for our basics and more on ourselves – moving back towards self-sufficiency and less on goods being moved day and night to meet the needs of a growing population.
This isn’t a detailed look at every facet of self-sufficiency and it’s not going to be the book that shares every tidbit of information on how to raise chickens or tan your own leather. But it gives glimpses into the lifestyle and provides you with simple ways you can work towards your own self-sufficient life.
As with any book that wants us to get back to our roots, literally, this one includes forest foraging. Personally I’ll stick to domesticated gardens, but for those more adventurous or someone who finds herself lost in the woods, there’s some interesting information on plants and insects that are edible. Would I resort to eating bugs? Probably not, but at least I know now that “Red, orange, yellow, forget this fellow; black, green, brown, wolf it down,” should the need arise to stave off starvation by dining on bugs. For most of us urban dwellers this info will likely go unused, unless that zombie invasion really happens, but who knows what life will toss at us.
But for the mainstream, there is information on how to prepare your soil for planting, affordable and sustainable housing information including reminding us that we don’t need as much space to live as we demand, and ways to reduce your water footprint.
Will I use any of the information I’ve learned? Sure, the book is a great reference for gardening, canning, and the like and it enforces my desire to live simpler and with less, but there are some things I can’t see myself doing. Like raising goats, cows, and chickens in my suburban backyard. Those that do are to be commended, it’s just not me.
A mom and wife, Connie blogs about entertainment, going green, products, technology, DIY home remodeling and decor, and more. She's an animal lover and lives in the Pacific Northwest near Seattle, WA.
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