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Katie Thear

Katie Thear

Katie Thear

It’s with great sadness that I report the death of Katie Thear on March 18th 2010 after a long battle with cancer. Katie is survived by her husband David.

Katie was well known to the poultry and smallholding fraternity as an author and lecturer. She was unfailingly warm and generous. Although I never met her she happily provided articles for the web site for free and eventually I started selling her books. Although some of her older books are slightly dated now, their advice is still sound and although she was a real expert, she never talked down to her audience but did make the complex understandable and keep the simple, simple.

Katie was partly responsible for planting the seed of my dream of having a smallholding and being self-sufficient. She and her husband were the driving force behind a magazine in the 70’s called Practical Self Sufficiency which Katie edited. The magazine was as inspirational as it was informative although it always had a practical focus and quickly became a forum for people to share ideas and help each other.

Katie wasn’t some theoretical writer. She practised the entire range of smallholding activities developing half an acre of fruit and vegetables and over time she and her husband kept a wide variety of poultry and livestock.

She constantly experimented to adapt traditional techniques for the present day, being one of the earliest users of raised beds in her vegetable garden in 1976.

She also taught herself how to make best use of the produce – including making butter, yoghurt and cheeses from the milk of dairy animals

After twenty years, Katie stood back from the editorship to concentrate on writing more books on smallholding topics. She had twenty two books published, most of which are still in print. Katie Thear was both a pioneer of the Self Sufficiency movement and a substantial contributor in providing help to smallholders for more than thirty years, throughout which time she would readily help anyone who approached her with problems. The magazine that she founded thirty five years ago continues successfully today as Country Smallholding.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
3 comments on “Katie Thear
  1. Suzanne Miller says:

    My husband, Pete, & I read books and articles prior to getting our ex-batt’s and I now make yogurts, butter and cheeses – and Katie’s are the books we return to and suggest to others,

    Many thanks, Katie; rest in peace.

  2. fred says:

    I was just trying to find an email address for this magnificient woman only to find out that she has sadly died! Her books are bibles and she is surely on a par with another late but great, John Seymour.
    Thank you Katie for educating us so profoundly along with John.
    Your memory exists forever in OUR ACTIONS, hopefully.
    May God bless YOU AND US ALL BECAUSE WE WILL NEED YOUR HELP.
    Rest in peace.
    As a fellow cancer sufferer I can understand that you are happy now.Existing with cancer is hard.
    Please support cancerresearchuk.uk.
    May our GOD bless us all.
    from
    Fred and my long suffering partner, my dearest, supportive and loving Sarah Moller

  3. Sandra Green says:

    Just looked up the magazine on the internet, and so sad to read that Katie Thear had died in 2010. To own and run a small holding and become self sufficient, was our dream and John Seymour’s book, our bible. We subscribed to Katie’s magazine right from the start until the change of name.
    Unfortunately, I do not have any of the early magazines, as when I divorced my ex took them with him, but I still have John Seymour’s Self Sufficiency Book.

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