How to get down and dirty with the ‘Good Life’ bible

Home farmer Ruth Tott from Fulwood makes her own products and also produces a national magazine Home Farmer

Home farmer Ruth Tott from Fulwood makes her own products and also produces a national magazine Home Farmer

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IT spawned the TV sitcom The Good Life and became the “bible” for self-sufficiency.

But after 40 years the classic guide to grow-your-own is being brought into the 21st century by a home farming couple from Fulwood.

Viable Self-Sufficiency: The Ultimate Guide to Living off the Land is due out in May – if Ruth Tott and husband Paul Melnyczuk can raise the finance to get it on the shelves.

Written by devoted smallholders Tim and Dot Tyne from North Wales, the 432-page hardback is designed to bring John Seymour’s seminal The Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency bang up to date.

“John was the guru back in the1970s,” said Evening Post columnist Ruth, who also publishes magazine Home Farmer. “It was his book that launched The Good Life on TV. It was absoluetly huge and, quite rightly, is still regarded as the bible 40 years on.

“But over time much has changed and now is the right time to bring things up to date and produce a book which, hopefully, can become the new bible for self-sufficiency. Tim and Dot are writing it and we are publishing it, although we are trying to raise the money with crowdfunding.”

Within 24 hours of its launch this week the appeal on Kickstarter had already raised 18 per cent of its £7,500 target with nine people stepping forward to back it.

“Over the last few years self-sufficiency has become very trendy, lots of people want to do it,” added Ruth, who openly admits she and Paul are nowhere near self-sufficient.

“But this isn’t just keeping a few chickens and growing some veg, it’s real hard core stuff – the dirty side of it. It’s incredibly hard work and long hours. And it’s not for the squeamish. We make our own jams and chutneys and bake our own bread. But there’s a lot more to it than that.

“This book covers absolutely everything.”

To contribute go to www.kickstarter.com/projects/homefarmer/viable-self-sufficiency.