Home-Grown Harvest : The grow-your-own guide to sustainability and self-sufficiency by Eve McLaughlin & Terence McLaughlin | Book Review


Home-Grown Harvest : The grow-your-own guide to sustainability and self-sufficiency

by Eve McLaughlin & Terence McLaughlin

Description (from Gardners) 
Grow your way to happiness with this practical handbook for a more sustainable life. Whether you have a large country garden or a small backyard in the city, this essential guide to the 'Good Life' will help you on your journey to becoming more self-sufficient - which is something we all need to be thinking about. Climate change, industrial farming with its reliance on chemicals, rising food prices, fears over food security or just a desire to spend more time outdoors - there are many reasons driving people towards homegrown food and self-sufficiency.

Growing your own fruit and vegetables, preserving your produce and generating your own energy are all covered in this thrifty guide by the original 'Tom and Barbara', Eve and Terence McLaughlin, who wrote the first edition of this book in 1979. This information-packed book has expert advice on growing, harvesting, storing and preserving your produce. You can brew your own beer and learn how to bottle, cure, smoke and pickle your produce to make it last longer.

The book features easy-to-follow instructions for DIY tools and equipment to save money, reduce energy consumption and cut back on waste. Learn how to plan your site, explore the best planting times and methods, discover how to grow a variety of vegetables, fruit and nuts, and how to deal with pests and diseases. As well as growing your own food, the book also covers the basics of keeping livestock - including chickens, ducks, goats and pigs - and how to harness alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power.

Putting your own food on the table and playing your part in creating a more sustainable future is hugely rewarding and also has health benefits - the physical exercise of planting and harvesting, the mental wellness that comes with spending time in nature, and the reduction in chemicals in the food you eat - there is so much in this activity that fosters greater wellbeing. Whether you're planning a move to full-blown self-sufficiency or are just curious about what's involved and want to take your first steps to growing your own food, this essential guide has everything you need to know.


This is one of those non-fiction books that you will want to read and then keep somewhere to hand so you can refer back to it now and then. You could read it cover to cover or you could pick and choose sections to read to help you learn what it is you need to. 

I would say it is helpful to most level of gardener and homesteader, from those just starting out to those experienced and interested in learning more. The book guides you right from planting seeds through to harvesting, storing and preserving. There isn't anything I can think of that the book has missed, it covers everything there is to know from what I can tell. 

I'm a keen gardener and very interested in the idea of living a self sufficient lifestyle, I run a blog called 'Tomatoes and Tulips' where I talk about my experiences of growing food, storing and preserving it. This book has given me new ideas and is one I will be keeping and looking back through. I'll be recommending it to my fellow homesteading friends too. 

It is very wordy but it is accompanied by some beautiful illustrations. Most books on this topic that I own are accompanied by photos but I like how this one uses illustrations, it gives the book a very homely traditional feel. Modern, up to date information yet with a traditional feel. 

I'll be stocking this at Betty's Books and I'll be recommending it to. 

Star Rating 
5 out of 5*

This book is available to purchase here at Betty's Books in Seaton and here on Bookshop.org.