I actually wanted to write a new book tips blog before the summer holiday period, but it just didn’t work out. So now here it is after the holidays. Well, reading books is always nice, isn’t it, and not just during holidays? I have a few gems for you: books that touched me and that make my green heart beat faster; books with a message about how we can take care of the earth in better ways; beautiful stories; and practical lessons about being self-sufficient. Are you ready for it?
This book has moved me to tears so many times and is packed with eye-openers. Author Robin Wall Kimmerer is a botanist by trade and comes from the Indian Potawatomi tribe. By telling beautiful personal stories, she makes you look at the natural world from a different perspective, the way that indigenous tribes see the earth – not as a possession, but as a gift that you take good care of before you pass it on. Robin shares experiences from her own life, laced with the traditional wisdom of her ancestors and combined with scientific knowledge. There is an enormous deep respect for the earth and all that live on it. Also, there is respect for what we Western people do not consider to be alive, such as rivers and mountains. All parts of our planet are treated with reverence.
We can learn so much from this book! For example, wouldn’t it be incredibly valuable if we taught gratitude to children in school? Gratitude for all that the earth gives us? And how beautiful is the thought that not only do you love your garden, but that your garden also loves you back? The lessons we can learn from this book are often so simple, so true, that they affect you to your core, so that you think: yes, that’s the way it should be. Thank you, Robin, for this masterpiece.
The Garden Jungle: or Gardening to Save the Planet
Save the world, start in your garden. That is Dave Goulson’s motto – a motto that I fully agree with! This book was recommended by the recently deceased toxicologist Henk Tennekes, who for many years was a whistle-blower for the negative effects of agricultural poisons on bees. In the end he was proven right, even though the chemistry world wanted to silence him. But that’s not what this book is about. This is a very finely written book by a garden enthusiast with a fascination for all those little teeming critters that you can find in your garden. Those little critters, which are extremely important, useful, and valuable to nature – both in your garden and beyond.
Dave lives in Great Britain and tries to make a difference where he has influence. And that’s in his garden. He works best on that scale when he can see and feel the consequences of what he is doing. Doesn’t that apply to us all? His stories about what you can do in your garden to help insects convey a lot of pleasure and knowledge. Because maintaining an organic garden is not only a good idea for biodiversity, but it is also fun and tasty! For example, Dave describes his love of old apple tree varieties and why you can only find 5 or 6 varieties in the shops, when there are 500 varieties on earth. He starts each chapter with a recipe to make with produce from your own garden – from apple cider to mulberry muffins. Immediately, you feel like getting started yourself.
Ideally, I would spend most of my day gardening and processing the fruits of my labor from the garden. Baking bread, brewing cider, making jams, composting, mulching, sowing, planting, making herbal oil and soaps, delicious! In other words, having my own “homestead”.
Kris Bordessa is an experienced homesteader and blogger. Her book Attainable Sustainable is packed with projects you can do in and around the home to be sustainable and self-sufficient. She explains the actions step by step in five categories and with the help of beautiful images you quickly dream yourself away to your own self-sufficient paradise. You don’t even have to live in a rural setting; many of the activities in the book can also be done well if you live in the city. Although keeping chickens is, of course, a bit tricky in an apartment. ;) Learning canning, baking bread easily, making a macramé plant hanger, making herbal tinctures, making detergent, creating an edible garden or orchard, keeping small livestock, foraging for edible plants, identifying plants and much more. There is a project for everyone. You can find one that appeals to you and start becoming self-sufficient right away.
If you want to buy one of these books, I would appreciate it if you use the links to the right of this blog. Then I get a little commission and every bit helps. Moreover, it costs you nothing extra. Thank you in advance and enjoy reading!