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Book Review: Mastering the Art of Self-sufficiency in New Zealand by Carolann Murray

This book is completely and utterly what the title says it is “mastering the art of self sufficiency” Carolann writes from her own experience, failures and successes so we can get great results without having to go through the “experiences”. This is pretty much a manual of how to live sufficiently on a large section of land. If you wanted to move from the city and live in the country then this book is an absolute must; it tells you how to do EVERYTHING; set up a bee hive, how to milk a cow and make your own cheese, what alternative energy is most effective and so much more. So if you want to set up your own self sufficient farm this book would be the one you would basically use as your survival guide.

If you were like me and wanted to stay in the city but still have a semi-self sufficient life this book is great as well. Carolann gives you great tips on companion gardening, bread making, homemade wine and spirits (maker beware!) chooks and soap making. This book pretty much has something for everyone regardless of what stage you are at with your sufficiency.

My one gripe with this book is that Carolann goes into too much detail of how to do everything. This is my issue not yours; I’m a story person and I like stories which Carolann delivers as well later on in the book so stick with it if you’re like me. She goes into an amazing amount of detail how to make everything which is what you want from a manual really. The great thing about this detail is that there can be no mistake of how to get the desired result. So if you goal in life is the completely self-sufficient then this is the book for you.


This book reviewed by Madeleine aka NZ Ecochick who  blogs about how her family tries to reduce our impact on the Earth, living frugally and her family life.

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