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1976 revolutionary book – ‘The Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency’

He was a one-man rebellion against modernism

The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It
John Seymour
1976
Complete book now online here. Large PDF.

In 1976 The Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency was published, a guide for real and dreaming downshifters. Published shortly after E. F. Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful – a study of economics as if people mattered (1973) and, more mundanely, The Good Life’s first showing on British television (1975), the sales of the new book exceeded all expectations. (Wiki)

Excerpt from Seymour’s obituary in 2004
By Herbert Girardet
The Guardian
September 2004

In the late 1950s, taking his wife Sally, a potter whom he had married in 1954, and their three young daughters, John moved to five acres of land near Woodbridge, in Suffolk. In BBC radio programmes, and in such books as The Fat Of The Land, he celebrated the concept of self-sufficiency, which he saw as an antidote to the emerging dependence culture that robbed people of dignity and self-respect. He wanted people to declare their independence from industrial society, emphasising that there was more to life than a 9-5 job.

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December 16, 2012   Comments Off

Rooftop gardens provide food and hope for cash-strapped Palestinians


Khader Najjar waters his vegetables in his rooftop greenhouse on the roof of his four-storey building in the Dheisheh refugee camp. The vegetables help feed his and his brother’s families. Photo by Khaled Zighari.

The funding for Mr Najjar’s greenhouse was supplied by Karama, a Dheisheh-based non-profit organisation. It paid roughly US$900 (Dh340) for each of the first 15 greenhouses given to Dheisheh residents.

Hugh Naylor
The National AE
Dec 13, 2012

Excerpt:

With the help of makeshift greenhouses, more than a dozen Palestinian families have started to farm on the roofs to blunt the harshness of a financial crisis that has crippled the Palestinian Authority (PA) and drained the pocketbooks of the refugee camp’s 13,000 residents.

Here they tend to their modest crops with remarkable dedication. Not only does rooftop farming mean less cash spent for food. For many, it is a remedy to the claustrophobia of camp life.

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December 16, 2012   Comments Off