Fix it, make it, grow it, bake it – book review

learn basic home maintenance and repairRecently, Mr Green and I have been re-evaluating our lives together. What do we want? What enables us to feel fulfilled, secure, joyful and that we are contributing something meaningful to one another and the world at large?

These questions, which many of us face from time to time, give us the opportunity to look at our possessions, lifestyle and habits in order to discover what is truly important.In her book “Fix it, make it, grow it, bake it” Billee Sharp explores the ‘Good Life’ in terms of how our actions have an impact on our environment and she asks us to consider simplicity in our lives.

With the global market on our doorstep, we have every choice imaginable available to us. This book asks us to look at what small changes we can make in order for us to peacefully and sustainably co-exist with one another on the earth.

I get the feeling Ms Sharp would have preferred a book six times this size to write! She is clearly a resourceful woman whom I sense is bursting with experience, knowledge and anecdotes to share. What she does is give he reader a taste of all areas of the ‘Good Life’.

Aimed at beginners, you’ll find simple recipes made from home grown food, ideas for celebrations that don’t cost the earth, information about home composting, energy saving tips, basic home maintenance, simple home crafts, kitchen medicine and even household cleaning recipes.

What I found personally stimulating were her chapters on revolutionary budgeting and ‘Freeconomics’. These chapters list ideas for living outside the monetary system and include:

  • The Really Really free market
  • SF Glean
  • Bartering skills
  • Low capital start up business
  • Gift economies
  • Burning man festival
  • Couch surfing

If you’re considering downshifting, want to improve your quality of life or simply want to consume less and create more then this book is well worth reading. It is inspiring with great suggestions to get your creative juices flowing and by the end of it you’ll view your resources differently and be on your way to self reliance.


For your chance to win a copy of the book, please leave a comment below. Entries accepted from the UK, US and Canada


  1. Jenny on August 2, 2010 at 6:45 am

    Would love to win this! Have been thinking about downshifting and this would help me. Thanks

  2. Anna Jones on August 2, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Looks great- please enter me into the draw to win!

  3. Steve on August 2, 2010 at 6:57 am

    Great book; nice review. Would be really useful

  4. Tamsin on August 2, 2010 at 8:09 am

    Great looking book; would love to read this!

  5. Tessa on August 2, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Oh yes please! Would love to learn more about growing my own food and cooking from scratch

  6. Michelle on August 2, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Great review and I love to learn on how to barter as I’m pretty useless at it. Actually I’m just too scared to barter with anyone!

  7. Sadie on August 2, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    never heard of some of those ideas for living outside the monetary system; would love to learn more!

  8. June on August 2, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    This is the 2nd time I’ve come across this book; would love to win 😀

  9. Lisa on August 2, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    sounds great; would love to win it please

  10. Sal on August 2, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    nice book;it’s my boyfriend’s birthday coming up – this would do him nicely. 🙂

  11. Sandy on August 2, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    I’m trying to be greener but could use some help. This book would be fab

  12. Gerry on August 2, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    My wife and I are trying to do more self sufficient things. Would like to read this book.

  13. SarahT on August 2, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Sounds interesting; would like to read it please

  14. Hannah on August 2, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Love the look of this book; would make a good addition to my bookshelf.

  15. ArtGarfunkel on August 2, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Great review; thanks. Would like to learn more about home crafts and I’ve been promising myself I’ll set up a compost heap for ages

  16. Yolanda on August 2, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    sounds fab,what a useful book! I kind of grow and bake, but could do with fix and make!!

  17. m on August 2, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Sounds interesting

  18. Butterflywings on August 2, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    interested in the kitchen medicine section – we’ve started growing herbs and have been enjoying herbal tea

  19. Frugalchef on August 2, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Would love to learn more about a more self suffucent life – please enter me into the prize draw

  20. Stantheman on August 2, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    I’m interested in basic home maintenance; well my girlfriend keeps telling me I should be 😀

  21. nadine sellers on August 2, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    to own a comprehensive source of consult at will and fancy, ah, the small luxuries of the truly personal sufficiency..
    a pleasure to own and to loan..

  22. Joanna Boardman on August 4, 2010 at 10:19 am

    It sounds like this could actually promote the return to community our politicians dream of. If we all exchanges help or services, money free, I wonder what effect it would have. We’d learn what skills each other had for a start! Has anyone heard of the money free pub? the landlord accepts services or gifts to cover drinkers’ tabs!
    PS I’d love to read the book ….

  23. Cameron Benz on August 22, 2010 at 6:56 am

    The book sounds fascinating. Though I’m left with one green question. Has anyone found a sustainable, non-pharmaceutical solution to MRSA (methicillin resistant stapholycoccus aureus—-sorry for spelling)?