Sailing the Farm
By Ken Neumeyer
Across the top of the book it says “Independence on 30 feet” A survival guide to Homesteading on the Ocean.
This book I found in a bookstore in a mall when I was 18 years old, and was a tremendous inspiration in my quest for independence and self sufficiency. I learned how to make cheese, how to build a solar still and a solar oven, how to dehydrate food and store it in the environment of a boat. But more importantly, this books opens your mind to thinking in the self sufficient way, which we are not taught in much of our lives. There are chapters about foraging seaweed, about nutrition and finances, how to provision correctly for an extended voyage, what to do if civilization falls apart while you are at sea.
It deals with topics of composting, and growing your own food in a sailboat. There is information in this book that I have not found anywhere else in over 20 years of reading self sufficiency books of all kinds. It not only offers a way to survive, but to enjoy a life of relative comfort and luxury while you are doing so, comparable to most people’s occasional holidays. You don’t only survive, you can thrive following the advice in this book. My only regret in reading it is that I have not been able to get it together to implement more of its advice in my day to day life.
It was written in 1981, so it is quite an old book, and was already old by the time I got it. It captures the spirit of the freedom a previous generation of people enjoyed and took for granted as the way of the future, an openness in the world that just isn’t there anymore. All told, I would still recommend it to anyone looking to live a self sufficient lifestyle on board a boat