Janet Chadwick is a 81 year old and mother of six, and the author of several books on food self-suffiency and saving money. Her first How to Live on Almost Nothing and Have Plenty and her fourth The Beginner's Guide to Preserving Food at Home are considered classics and receive the highest ratings in their category.
Though these books were originally written in 1979 and 1982,they could have been written yesterday. In 1979 the economy tanked, jobs were scarce, the cost of food, gas and medical care was skyrocketing and banks were not lending. Many people lost their homes.
Five years before this, she and her husband Ray lost their oldest son to kidney disease and three of their remaining children had various illnesses that had used everything Ray could earn, even though he worked two to three jobs at a time while Janet cared for those who were sick. They had reached the point were they had to make some changes in their lifestyle and become food self-sufficient in order to be able to pay off these debts. With the help of their daughters Mary and Kim and their son David, they became so successful that an editor from a major New York publisher asked Janet to write a book about their experiences.
Janet and Ray had spent time on farms in their childhood, but neither had the experience needed to get into major food production and small animal husbandry. When she states that she learned to milk a cow with the cow in one hand and the how-to book in the other, Janet wasn't joking.
By taking their time, reading everything they could on the subjects they were interested in and working hard, they succeeded. Writing this book to make things easier for others was a joy for her. Readers can choose to do just one or two of the projects, or do it all. Going slow is the secret.
Janet's books are written in easy to understand style. Fan's writing to her describe it as just like sitting down at the kitchen table and having a talk with a friend. Her methods are simple and inexpensive. Both books were instant successes. The new printing of How To Live On Almost Nothing and Have Plenty is available on Amazon and the Beginner's Guide to Preserving Food at Home is available at all books stores (they will order it if it is not in stock) and on Amazon.
In 1996 Janet and Ray moved to Florica for enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle. She continues to grwo vegetables and herbs in large containers and cans and freezes a variety of fruits,vegetables and preserves.