KG Bookshelf: September 2011
By: Web Editor
Our pick of the crop of new titles that have arrived in the KG offices, reviewed by Gay Armstrong and Karen Mobey.
We have also teamed up with Amazon UK to allow you to purchase books on-line.
Become a garden farmer
Is it possible to join the ‘grow your own’ movement without sacrificing many hours of your spare time in order to produce a bountiful supply of fruit and vegetables?
Anyone who has been left in awe as the recent surge of self-sufficiency experts parade their latest bounties in an effortless manner will no doubt have wondered ”how on earth do they do it?” If the advice of many is to be believed, the only way to truly experience this way of life is by sacrificing virtually every crumb of free time, life savings and possibly leaving behind the day job too. Not so, says Hugh Lanham, who in between his 9-5 job as a chartered accountant has forayed into the ‘grow your own’ and self-sufficiency movements, successfully maintaining a small holding and highly productive plot with his wife Clare for over 30 years.
Learn how to enhance your diet with your own produce and try different growing systems and techniques covering root crops, perennials, legumes and brassicas. Hugh also explains what is involved in keeping livestock such as poultry, pigs, goats and other large animals on a small scale in this well illustrated guide to garden farming.
Garden Farming by Hugh Lanham is published by Crowood Press LTD, priced £10.99
All year round growing in your polytunnel
The polytunnel is a tool – and an indispensable one for the serious fruit and vegetable producer.
Our unpredictable British weather means that growing under cover is vital if you want fresh produce all year round, and the polytunnel provides a relatively cheap and simple way to do this whatever the size of garden or allotment.
A new publication this year brings the grower a comprehensive illustrated practical guide to polytunnel gardening for both beginners and experienced gardeners.
It comes from the skilled pen, practical experience and expertise of Kitchen Garden contributor Joyce Russell, who has fed her family from the garden for 30 years. Joyce quickly became passionate about polytunnels after acquiring her first one 16 years ago.
Her book reflects her passion and is also a totally down to earth guide on how to best use ”this wonderful thing” month by month through the growing year.
Her husband Ben Russell provides the high quality, practical garden photography which is featured in the book.
The Polytunnel Book, Fruit and Vegetables All Year Round by Joyce Russell is published in flexibind by Frances Lincoln Ltd, priced £16.99.
Who is it for?
A book for the serious fruit and vegetable producer who wants to grow great polytunnel crops.
Gardening amid the rooftops
Here is a book with a difference about a garden with a difference – a tiny rooftop space in the middle of London which is accessed from the bedroom of a top floor flat, and is actually the roof of a neighbour’s kitchen below.
It is a book written from first hand experience of starting to garden with very little knowledge or material or even space by someone who has discovered that ”growing something from seed, watching it develop then eating its fruits is a joy”.
It is the endearing story of journalist Helen Babbs, a nature loving Londoner, and her beloved rooftop garden.
Helen is a contributor to Kitchen Garden and her fresh and enthusiastic writing brings a new dimension to growing your own. Her rooftop garden was inspired by a campaign to make the city greener and as a complete novice she tells the reader of her journey transforming her bare rooftop into an organic, wildlife friendly, edible garden.
This is a book about gardening against the odds which inspires the author to reconnect with the city’s natural world.
My Garden, The City and Me, Rooftop Adventures in the Wilds of London by Helen Babbs is published by Timber Press in hardback, priced £14.99.
Who is it for?
A book to inspire a younger urban generation who want to protect and improve their natural environment and also an older generation who love gardening in all its diversity.
For more reviews, see this months issue, available to buy online!
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