Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Book Review - The Alternative Kitchen Garden an A-Z - Emma Cooper

Another proud moment as Flange member Emma C's book came out last month.

Many thanks to Frankie for the review and to Emma herself for organising the review copy and apologies for my tartdiness in posting it:
The Alternative Kitchen Garden an A-Z
Emma Cooper
As a not particularly successful food grower myself, I was really keen to get my hands on this book. I was not disappointed. Emma’s encouraging, have-a-go approach to gardening is evident on every page, encouraging the reader to follow suit. The introduction gives a short background on how her kitchen garden evolved from a neglected, urban Oxfordshire back garden into a productive plot and media HQ.
The A-Z itself is an eclectic collection of Emma’s interests and crops, including both her triumphs and failures, which will endear her to many other real gardeners. I could sympathise with Emma’s saffron trials and after reading her book, will never attempt to grow any Tiger Nuts! I also found a surprising amount of useful information and a desire to find out more about unusual vegetables. If nothing else, the Real Seeds Company will be added to my list of suppliers next year.
My one niggle is reserved for the publisher’s lay out. For a ‘green’ book there are far too many half empty pages, which could have been filled. I often found myself wondering if there could have been a kale or dolmades recipe to fill the blank space at the end of an entry.
With stiff competition this autumn from the likes of Nigel Slater, The RHS and Bob Flowerdew all bringing out books timed for the Christmas market. I hope that this neat little book will find a space on the bookshelves.
Veg Plot Frankie

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