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James Wong's Homegrown Revolution Hardcover – 13 Sep 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: W&N (13 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297867121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297867128
  • Product Dimensions: 24.9 x 19 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Wong is a Kew-trained botanist, science writer and broadcaster based in London, England. Graduating with a Master of Science degree in Ethnobotany in 2006, he has pursued his key research interests of underutilised crop species, ethnopharmacology and traditional food systems through field work in rural Ecuador, Java and China.

He is the author of the internationally best-selling books 'Grow Your Own Drugs' and 'Homegrown Revolution'. His presenting work spans a range of BBC programmes, including the award-winning 'Grow Your Own Drugs' & 'Great British Garden Revival', as well as Radio 4's 'Gardeners' Question Time'.

Becoming an RHS Ambassador in 2014, James is passionate about communicating plant science to new audiences in relevant and accessible ways. In 2015 The Sunday Times listed him as one of the Top 20 most influential people in horticulture.

With his obsession for food nearly eclipsing his love of plants, James' small London garden serves as a testing-station for all manner of crops and horticultural ideas from around the world.

Product Description


a kitchen garden packed full of James Wong's recommendations would make a refreshing change.. packed full of encouragement to take a new look at not just the contents of our vegetable plot but at our gardens as a whole. (Francine Raymond GARDENS ILLUSTRATED)

James Wong shows how simple it is to grow unusual greens, veg and herbs at home.. And, most importantly, a great set of recipes is included too. (SIMPLE THINGS)

I will certainly be trying a few new ideas next year.. The individual crop entries in the book are full of useful advice on growing the many and varied edible plants. (THE ORGANIC WAY)

crops.. such as Vietnamese fish mint and the New Zealand yam are still hardly household names. Thanks to Wong, and his mission to widen our repertoire, this may all soon change. (CAROLINE DONALD SUNDAY TIMES)

you'll be inspired by his alternatives to broccoli and kale (Jane Shilling DAILY MAIL)

James Wong includes recipes as well as advice on how to grow these plants, making Homegrown Revolution a must for anyone who is tired of wartime rations and wants to try a 21st century garden. (EDEN MAGAZINE (EDEN PROJECT))

This year's most original gardening book is James Wong's Homegrown Revolution in which he urges us to try growing unusual vegetables such as asparagus peas and dahlia yams. (Constance Craig Smith DAILY MAIL (WEEKEND))

Book Description

A revolution in the garden - a completely new range of fruit and vegetables to grow and eat.

Inside This Book

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Linda Gruchy on 16 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover
If you want to grow something different or even discover what's edible amongst the plants that might already be in your garden, then I thoroughly recommend this book. It's easy to read and is well laid out. I found some of the photos had an annoying lack of depth of field, sometimes leaving the front of a plant out of focus, and would like to have seen some sort of legend for the full page illustrations. I found the Latin names a little difficult to read in that font, which is annoying because I would want to make sure I had the correct plant.

I bought James Wong's book at a talk he gave last night at Writtle College as part of the "Edible Essex" campaign, part of the Rural Community Council of Essex and sponsored by the Big Lottery Local Food Scheme and Essex County Council.

To a certain extent, James was preaching to the semi-converted in me. Now that I no longer have an allotment and my garden is somewhat overshadowed, I have to be choosy about what I grow, so it makes sense to grow things which are difficult or impossible to buy in the shops. I also need things which are neglect-tolerant, because I get awfully absent-minded when writing and barely remember to feed the family, let alone cosset my plants.

I haven't read every word yet, but I've had a good skim through and I'm delighted with this book.

James Wong's book is full of revelations about what is edible, and how to use them, even in a small space like a balcony or a window sill. I have flirted with micro-greens and will do so more now. I was really pleased to see how to deal with olives, though my olive tree hasn't yet fruited. I was aware that Daylily buds are edible, even put a couple in a stir-fry once, but was worried that perhaps the non-flower parts weren't edible.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Di Stapley on 12 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover
James Wong's Homegrown Revolution surely has to be the 21st century 'Grow Your Own' bible. It even starts with Ten Commandments, guiding principles, to help you along the way!

James's enthusiasm oozes from every page and the photos and illustrations are really helpful. At long last we have a 'Grow Your Own' book that actually matches our 21st century eating habits. Gardening terms and techniques are completely demystified for novices, but even experienced allotmenteers, who may have been unwittingly stuck in the post war vegetable time warp, will be inspired. As if that isn't enough, recipes and ideas abound for using our exciting and valuable garden bounty, as well as handy info on equipment and suppliers!

This book is brilliant, refreshingly inspirational and its title is so apt, heralding the arrival of a truly new era in 'Grow Your own'.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By tenajtiger on 19 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
James Wong's 'Homegrown Revolution' is the ideal book/gift for anyone with an interest or passion for gardening and an interest in food.

James' aim is to inspire and hopefully change the way we look at, not just homegrown crop gardening, but what we eat. Less of the common everyday fruit and veg (potatoes, carrots, cabbages, cauliflowers etc) many of which are hard to grow, provide little yield, and are readily available and cheap to buy. More of new tastes and flavours from growing unusual, edible plants; some of which may already be in your garden (daylilies, dahlias, fiddlehead fern). Plus more unusual and exciting foods (goji berries, inca berries, electric daisies, cucamelons), which are often rare and/or expensive to buy. These unbelievably, can be grown at minimal cost, in our UK climate with a high yield. They are easy, if not easier, to grow and maintain as any tomato plant, whilst keeping your garden pretty and functional.

The book concentrates on 80 unusual edible plants from the 120 trialled by James in his small UK garden over the past 2 years. All the plants were grown, harvested and eaten by him so he has truly provided first hand knowledge.

However this book is much more than that, it's an invaluable guide and confidence booster to any newbie gardener, allotmenteer or dejected gardener who has tried, failed and is unsure of what went wrong and what to do next.

James starts with his '10 Commandments' and 'Tips and Tricks' - basically a guide of all you need to know to successfully create, grow and maintain your plants/garden.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Reid TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover
I have an allotment and it is an occasional pleasure to try a few of the more unusual crops, just to see how they work and whether they can be grown successfully in the UK. When I was bought this book as a present I was delighted with it because it's packed with ideas that I may try over the next few seasons.

Some of the reviews here have been critical, claiming that that there is nothing new in the book. I suppose whether there is anything new for you will be a function of your expertise before reading it. I found a lot of interest in here and many suggestions to prompt me to try a few experiments and as that is the purpose of the book, I rate it highly.

As examples, some of the entries to tempt me include Shark's fin melon, Tree Chillies, Mooli, New Zealand Yam and Peruvian Ground Apple. Each suggestion comes complete with illustrations, guides to how large the plants may grow and the conditions they will need to thrive.

I find the descriptions of how the vegetables and fruits grow and which are most likely to succeed in the UK climate very useful. I am also pleased with the illustrations, which show how the plants should look if grown successfully. I can't yet speak of the quality of the recipes as I haven't tried them yet - but at least they give an example of how the produce may be used.

In terms of the book itself: good quality paper, a sturdy hard cover, clear font and high quality printing. I am very pleased with it and recommend it. Five stars.
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