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Publisher Web Link: http://www.bloomsbury.com/
In the fourth River Cottage handbook, Mark Diacono tells us everything we need to know to create our own productive, organic garden, no matter where we live
Drawing directly from his experience as an acclaimed climate-change gardener, and of setting up a kitchen garden from scratch for River Cottage, Mark explains the practical aspects of organic growing, introduces us to a whole world of vegetables we may not have previously considered, and does away with alienating gardening jargon once and for all.
Mark begins with a catalogue of vegetables that will grow in this country, explaining for each their benefits, what varieties to go for, dos and don’ts, and popular culinary uses. He then invites us to create a wish list of foods, and shows us his own list from his early gardening days. Next, he explains how to turn this wish list into a coherent kitchen garden plan appropriate for our space, whether it be a patch of acidic soil, a roof-top garden or an allotment, whether we put on our wellies in every free moment or are ‘time-poor’ gardeners. Then he puts all the theory into practice, showing us how to look after nutrients in the soil, how to resist pests and diseases, and how to make our garden sustainable and organic. In clear, concise sections we learn about seed trays, supporting plants with climbing structures, mulching, composting, companion planting, irrigation and promoting pollination, and there are additional tables showing sowing and harvesting times, plant sizes, and alternative varieties of plants for different sites.
About thirty recipes and a directory of useful addresses finish the book, and the handbook is complemented by bright colour photography throughout. Practical and inspiring, with a textured hard cover and an introduction by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Veg Patch is destined to join Handbooks No. 1, 2 and 3 as an indispensible household reference. (http://www.bloomsbury.com/)
Author Web Link: http://www.otterfarmblog.co.uk/
Mark Diacono runs Otter Farm, the UK’s only climate change farm, home to orchards of olives, peaches, almonds, szechuan pepper, apricots and a vineyard. He hopes to revolutionise the British larder by growing delicious food normally sourced from overseas. His idea is beautifully sustainable - taking advantage of climate change to grow low carbon food helps arrest its acceleration. It also means he’s lucky enough to spend most of his time eating, growing, writing and talking about food. Mark is currently writing A Taste of the Unexpected.
As well as planting and maintaining the farm’s orchards, vineyards, forest garden and veg patch, Mark leads the Garden Team at River Cottage. He runs the growing courses at River Cottage, gives talks and hosts
When it’s rainy he writes. As well as this blog and occasional pieces for newspapers and magazines, Mark writes every month for The English Garden, every quarter for National Geographic Green and recently had his first book, Veg Patch: River Cottage Handbook No4 published by Bloomsbury.
The photographs on the Otter Farm website and most of those in the books and articles he writes are taken by Mark. events at RCHQ, and appears in the River Cottage series. (http://www.otterfarmblog.co.uk/)
Author Web Link: http://www.rivercottage.net/
Recipe index coming soon.
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