The Cottage Smallholder

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The Alternative kitchen Garden an A-Z by Emma Cooper. A review.

Photo: The Alternative Kitchen Garden an A-Z

Photo: The Alternative Kitchen Garden an A-Z

I’m always really pleased when bloggers publish books as it proves to me that books are still treasured and valued. Who wants to stare at a computer screen for hours even though there’s access to an unbelievable breadth of knowledge and experience. There’s nothing to beat opening a really good book. And this is one that I’d highly recommend.

When Emma Cooper emailed me asking if I’d be interested in doing a review of The Alternative kitchen Garden an A-Z  I was pleased but had that slightly panicky feeling that I might not like the book. And then what? Nothing to do with Emma as I enjoy her blog The Fluffius Muppetus. She writes very well and her blog is always bursting with new ideas. I also like the way she has experimented with growing vegetables in containers. You don’t need endless acres to grow tasty stuff.

So I checked the prepublication reviews on Amazon. They were so good that I was emailing her in seconds.

This is a great book for anyone interested in gardening, from the newbie gardener to the experienced old sage. It’s hugely readable and each article is packed with interesting facts and ideas. The book is divided into alphabetical sections. For example, G has articles on, Garden Organic, Garlic, Grains, Greenhouses, Green Manure, Goji Berries. Each article takes up just two pages, including photograph. The perfect layout for browsing. I read her article on tubers and by the end was making a list of things we could plant here – multi coloured carrots and Chinese water mushrooms. The large council recycling box would be perfect for the latter.

This book has lain beside me on the capacious spare room bed for a couple of weeks now. It is a good companion for sleepless nights and just lolling and learning. Even though I probably have the largest private collection of gardening books in Europe, I would hate to give this one away.

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Jan

    Oh then I’ll definitely grow them next year. I’ve got seeds for autumn sown carrots this year so I’m hoping for a very early crop next year.

    The kitchen garden has been a great distraction now I’m laid up at home. Just watching things grow is so therapeutic.

    Hi Michelle

    I love this book, very inspirational and great for dipping into. Still waiting for tests it’s a long process.

    Thanks for dropping by :o)

  2. Michelle in NZ

    Sounds like the perfect book for rest and recovery. One you can dip in and out of or have a profound read. hope you’re feeling heaps better and the medics are onto whatever is was.

    Expect the Min Pins have loved having you home so much.

    take care, Michelle xxx

  3. I’m having a bash at growing rainbow carrots this year. I’ve never succeeded with carrots before, only geting tiny deformed mandrake-looking affairs, but this year seems more productive in all areas and carrots I’ve pulled so far have been straight and very flavoursome.

    I’ve always been disappointed that purple-podded beans are green when cooked, but the multi-coloured carrots are much more cooperative and look splendid on the plate.

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