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A Year at Otter Farm Hardcover – 5 Jun 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (5 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408828618
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408828618
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 3.8 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark runs Otter Farm, home to orchards of olives, peaches, almonds, szechuan pepper, persimmons, apricots and a vineyard, as well as some more usual edibles.

It's a climate change farm, dedicated to growing the finest food in an age of transition from peak oil. Mark is also Head Gardener at River Cottage where he grows the fruit and vegetables for the cookery school, runs the courses, and leads their continuing drive for sustainability. He's passionate about encouraging everyone to grow even a little of their own food.

Mark has recently completed A Taste of the Unexpected, which includes dozens of the finest foods you can grow and cook for yourself, many of which you may not be familiar with. The book won Food Book of the Year at the Guild of Food Writers Awards 2011.

The River Cottage Fruit Handbook was published in August 2011. His River Cottage Veg Patch Handbook was published by Bloomsbury in March 2009 and won Practical Book of the Year at the Garden Media Awards 2009.

www.otterfarm.co.uk

Product Description

Review

Encyclopaedic and accessible ... Diacono paints a wonderful picture of a farm life (Guardian)

Brimming with off-the-beaten-track recipes and novel ideas ... This is a tale of culinary adventure (Sunday Telegraph)

It's thrilling to have Mark Diacono's account of what it is like actually to live the dream . a useful country companion/cookbook (Carolyn Hart Daily Telegraph)

Excellent . full of gardening advice and palate-teasing recipes, from cucumber ice cream to quince doughnuts (Delicious)

Splendid (Bee Wilson Sunday Telegraph)

... back at home, I have Mark Diacono's gooseberry salsa recipe in A Year at Otter Farm waiting for me: cooked in vinegar with sugar, then infused with shallots, mint, chives and lime; Diacono suggests serving it with smoked mackerel. I obey. And then I am torn between weeping at what I've been missing, and doing air-punches at the idea that from now on, gooseberries are on the menu. Big time (Emma Townshend Independent 2014-06-20)

Gorgeous (Women & Home Feel Good Food 2014-06-01)

The recipes are short, simple in methodology and easy to follow. The photos ... portray the kaleidoscopic reach of this agriculture venture beautifully (English Garden)

Perfect for the gardener seeking inventive ways of using their produce (Grow Your Own)

Beautiful photographs, and food I can't wait to cook (Saga)

The one to pluck out from the rest (Best Books of 2014 Financial Times)

Beautiful (BBC Countrylife)

A visual treat (English Garden)

Delicious sounding dishes, beautifully photographed (BBC Countrylife)

Book Description

Pioneering gardener Mark Diacono's vivid account of living, growing and cooking on his adventurous British smallholding, filled with practical advice, seasonal tales and inspiring recipes.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr J Arthur on 14 July 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the first time I have written a review on Amazon but this book deserves attention. I'm writing this after only a couple of weeks of owning the book, but whenever I have a few minutes to spare I pick it up either for some ideas or just to escape into the pages. I had high hopes for the book and it has far exceeded my expectations!

It is a wonderful book, full of ideas both for growing and cooking interspersed with inspirational writing. If you love food, buy it. If you love gardening, buy it. If you love good writing, buy it. Basically, you should buy this book. If you're looking at this book and have got as far as reading the reviews, I recommend that you take a chance as I don't believe you will be disappointed.

The Otter Farm website (and blog) is also worth a look. Mark Diacono is clearly passionate about what he does, caring about the land, animals and plants and appreciating opportunities for growing such a wide range of produce. If I had the land and the time I'd love to replicate what he has done and never need to visit a supermarket again!

You can probably tell that I'm a very happy customer!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Miss L Leendertz on 18 Jun. 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is such a gorgeous book. It is not only full of really unusual and interesting recipes that make you want to cook AND grow, but it is peppered with funny and moving stories of life on a most unusual farm. Properly funny stories that make you snort too. Mark Diacono is a fabulous writer and there are so many layers to this book. I'll be returning to this for years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr M Beeken on 4 July 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful, funny and inspiring book, one that makes you reach for a pen and paper to start planning what new and exciting things to grow at home. Who knew halloumi, cherries and peas would be so lush?! This would be a perfect present for the gardener and cook in your life.
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Format: Hardcover
This beautiful book is a joy. It moves through the year with seasonal recipes, but it also moves through the story of Otter Farm and how Mark Diacono has created a new kind of English 'garden'. I'll be honest, I've followed Mark D's twitter for a long time and kept up with his blog on the creation of Otter Farm, so was looking forward to reading more from him. His writing style is friendly and witty; he is also an award-winning photographer and has taken the photographs. From the Orla Kiely style map of the farm at the front of the book, to acknowledgements, it's a lovely book to read, let alone cook from. Production values are very high, which is always nice to see. Some of the ingredients, like mulberries, certainly won't be found in my local shops, but the vast majority of the recipes have concentrated on using just a few ingredients to their full potential. It is particularly strong on inventive uses of green vegetables, and the kale and beetroot salad, and the stir-fried chard are both delicious recipes I will turn to again and again. Also, lots of recipes for light lunches (that can be scaled up or down as a side dish or to something more substantial), so it's great for people at home during the day, or who enjoy lighter meals. Totally chuffed with this book, and can already see it's going to sit with my ratty, stained copies of Simon Hopkinson's Roast Chicken and HFW's Meat Cookbook within easy reach on the kitchen shelf. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By i_am_mr_sedders on 13 Jun. 2014
Format: Hardcover
Slowly but surely Mark Diacono is changing the way I look at growing things to eat. A Year At Otter Farm is cover to cover with mouth watering recipe ideas and gorgeous photography that made me want to cook and grow new things the moment I stared flicking through the pages. There's something for everyone and there's no better place to start than with 'Charlies Mojito' believe me, make one of these and you be hooked.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my husband and I have to admit I still haven't handed it over as I'm hooked myself. It's brilliant for giving you inspiration as to what garden produce you can cook with throughout the year. And alongside this it's got fantastic advice on the growing itself - very obviously written by someone who knows what he's talking about but who manages to communicate it in a very accessible way. The recipes themselves are so tempting - and I say that as a non-foodie and almost non-cook. And on a practical note the pages with recipes on have a different coloured edge so you can find them easily - and they're set out by season - again, very helpfully. Oh - and it looks and feels gorgeous - really beautiful photos and a very tactile and substantial hard cover so it would make a great present (if I ever hand it over).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca J. Peters on 30 Dec. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautiful book packed with great recipes, photographs and lovely commentary all about then seasonal year on the farm. Would highly recommend to anyone who loves food and who is looking for more than your average recipe book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have really enjoyed Mr. Diacono's books as a veg guide, and love his blog. This is a joyful gallop through a year in Otter Farm which makes me want to pack it all in and go and buy a big chunk of land - just so I can use it to play with and make cocktails from. A few harsh realities included in the book (pruning grapes in the wind and rain) stop it being smug and its very witty. Laughed out loud at the bit about Henry the cock being strangled when he was snoozy. This book is as much fun to dip in and out of as to read from cover to cover - I have done both.
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