Self Sufficient Living with The Resilient Gardener


In The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times, self sufficient living is the focus. In it, author Carol Deppe discusses how to create successful gardens and overcome weather-related issues that can interrupt a harvest. She even discusses how to alter garden plans to accommodate personal issues like illness or poor health.

brown potatoes in wicker baskets on a green lawn


Self sufficient living

Despite the slightly ominous title, The Resilient Gardener is not a book about calamity and strife. It’s a book—simply—about being self-reliant, growing your own food rather than leaving that responsibility to the local supermarket. A prepper garden, you might say.

the resilient gardener - self sufficient living book cover
I loved this book. Really loved it. It’s chock full of information and at the same time takes readers on a wandering tour through the author’s farm and garden. The author’s tips, randomly interspersed throughout the text are invaluable.

This isn’t a book to quickly skim; I found myself reading every single word, just to be sure I didn’t miss a valuable nugget of information. Happily, it’s a pleasant book to read, cover to cover and the author’s wry sense of humor is evident in her writing.

Planting for calories


Deppe focuses on five crops—potatoes, squash, corn, beans, and eggs—for good reason. (Read more about those here.) Think about this: If your community found itself in a situation that prevented food from coming in (think: earthquake, hurricane, flooding) would your garden feed you? It might.

But while a garden full of tomatoes, squash, lettuce, chard, carrots, and peppers is certainly providing your family with healthy food options, it’s not providing enough calories for self sufficient living.

Expand to include those five crops that Deppe covers in her book—or even just a few of them—and your garden will sustain you in uncertain times. Or year round, as the author’s does.

The chapters focusing on each of those specific crops are detailed. Some might say too detailed, but I learned so much! Deppe discusses different varieties and how they differ as well as how best to store each crop. (Did you know that some potato varieties are better for baking while others shine in the frying pan?)

duck eggs in a basket with straw

She discusses both chickens and ducks, detailing her reasons for choosing ducks as her source for eggs. And she writes about seed saving and even a bit about developing her own seeds through breeding. I checked The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times out of the library initially, but after reading it I’ve decided to add it to my bookshelves.

It’s a book I’ll read repeatedly for inspiration and know-how about growing more food.

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About the author: Kris Bordessa is an award-winning National Geographic author and a certified Master Food Preserver. Read more about Kris and how she got started with this site here. If you want to send Kris a quick message, you can get in touch here.

3 comments… add one
  • Bebe Jan 20, 2015 @ 6:45

    Carol Deppe has a new book coming out January 22,2015. She is going into growing Tomatoes,
    and other vegetables in this book. So if you like the first book you will love the 2nd book.
    You can get it at the publisher’s web site or Amazon.

    I just can’t wait to read the new book . She has such a wonderful writing style and good info.

    • Kris Bordessa Jan 20, 2015 @ 8:02

      Really?? Thank you for telling me!

  • Lisa Sep 27, 2013 @ 5:20

    This was one of the quirkiest gardening books I’ve ever read. The author wanders off on so many tangents that it’s hard to figure out how you got where you were. At first I was annoyed by it, but then I was mesmerized. I love it to, but be forwarned, it does not follow a predicable path.

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