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Minding My Peas and Cucumbers: Quirky Tales of Allotment Life [Hardcover]

Kay Sexton
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

7 Mar 2011
When Kay Sexton becomes the proud holder of an allotment, she hopes it will be her first foray towards selfsufficiency for her family. Instead, she finds herself in a strange and hostile world of arcane rules and regulations, and hosepipe standoffs. She finds her mud-caked Wellingtoned feet and successfully navigates her way through allotment-keeping: battling Biblical-scale pest invasions; learning the dark arts of the competitive vegetable grower; and practising ninja-like disappearing acts to avoid yet another free cucumber from a neighbouring gardener. Witty, well-observed and with mouth-watering recipes, this book is for anyone who dreams of a slice of the good life.

Frequently Bought Together

Minding My Peas and Cucumbers: Quirky Tales of Allotment Life + The Allotment Diaries: A Year of Potting, Plotting and Feasting + My Life on a Hillside Allotment
Price For All Three: 22.28

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale (7 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849531358
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849531351
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kay Sexton's fiction has been chosen for over forty anthologies and broadcast on Radio 4. Her non-fiction life is largely green: she wrote Minding My Peas and Cucumbers: Quirky Tales of Allotment Life under the influence of horticulture and will continue to indulge her addiction to all things green and/or floral until they invent a 12 Step Programme for those who grow their own.

The Allotment Diaries, a sequel to Minding My Peas and Cucumbers, was published in March 2013 and continues her adventures in potting, plotting and feasting.

Product Description


'...She soon learned after becoming the proud holder of an allotment that's it's not all giant marrows and juicy tomatoes.' --Geurnsey Press and Star, 19th March 2011

'Amusing story of Kay's escapades.' --Country Smallholding Magazine, March 2011

'A very enjoyable edition to the growing canon of allotment literature. For Kay Sexton it's all in the quirk.' --Sublime, April 2011

'Guide to the good life.' --The Field, March 2011

'Well timed and a joy to read.'
--Kitchen Garden, April 2011

'Must read.' --Yours Magazine, 22nd February 2011

'Just got an allotment? Then put your feet up with Kay Sexton's quirky tales of allotment life.' --Gloucester Citizen, 29th January 2011

'witty take on her first foray towards self-sufficiency.' --Gloucestershire Echo, 20th January 2011

`This is truly a lovely book, and it makes you smile from cover to cover.' --Regency Magazine, May 2011

`...brilliant book... Tempting recipes and valuable tips... and colourful characters that ramble through the pages of the book.' --The Cottage Smallholder Blog, July 2011 'This is a truly lovely book, and it makes you smile from cover to cover.' --Regency Magazine, August 2011 --Reviews for Minding my Peas and Cucumbers

About the Author

Kay Sexton is based in Brighton and teaches allotment skills. She plans to continue indulging her addiction to all things green and/or fl oral until they invent a Twelve- Step Programme for those who grow their own.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A glorious one-off 31 Mar 2011
This manages to be the most entertaining, informative and indeed touching book against (I'd have thought) all the odds. Allotment codgers meet Jean de Florette with added planting tips and recipes, all woven through with the threads of secret lives just glimpsed, plus some homely wisdom.

Lots of things resonate, whether you're a veg-grower (actual or would-be), a cook, a lover of tales. To combine all these strands in a coherent narrative is a tall order. But this is such a good read. At one level I've learned some genuinely new and useful facts about germination and pests, the rhythm of the seasons, herb and spice combinations, you name it.... At another I was hooked by the verging-on-skulduggery and goings-on of what we can only call the Plot.

And did I mention that it's also very funny? It's certainly like no other book I've read!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a real insight into allotment life 30 Mar 2011
At last a book about Allotment life from a woman's point of view! I have read a lot of books about "my first year on the plot", "my life at the allotment" etc - most of them good (not all) but they all seem to be by men. And (forgive me for being sexist) but I do think men have a different attitude to gardening and their plot. I could really relate to Kay's experiences in terms of having to prove herself to the "old guard" of men in flat caps! I also share her interest in allotment life (the human as well as plant kind). You don't just get to know Kay, but her neighbours too. Kay manages to intertwine a really engaging narrative with useful information which not only tells you WHAT to do but HOW to do it and WHY (so many books forget the why and if I don't understand I don't remember). Oh and there are some mouth watering recipes too! Its a bit like having a more experienced gardener to gossip with but also who hands over a few hints and tips between the stories - much more interesting than a pure reference book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Don't Mind at All 19 Aug 2011
By Wiltshire Bookworm TOP 1000 REVIEWER
If you have an allotment: Read this book

If you want an allotment or are thinking about it: You need this book

If you don't have an allotment: Read this book anyway

Why? I hear you ask...

If you have an allotment: you will be squirming and giggling with that uncomfortable sense of delight that Kay Sexton has a plot on your allotment, but you haven't met her yet. You may even recognise yourself in the character(s) she portrays. Failing that there's quite a few recipes in there you probably haven't tried yet which will come in handy for those future gluts.

If you want an allotment: Kay really tells it like it is, including all the hard bits. You will be going into the deal not only with your eyes wide open but also armed with lots of useful little nuggets of information all those shiny, authoritative looking Grow Your Own books have somehow forgotten to mention. Failing that, you will see how inventive allotment folk have to be to use up their annual harvest.

If you don't have an allotment: you will realise that allotment life encompasses the whole of the real world in miniature and you will enjoy the stories she recounts about the version of it up at her plot. Failing that, there's always the deliciously unusual recipes to try...

Kay has beaten me to it and written the book I've always wanted to tell. Mr Allotment Warden, Threadspider and Fred to name but three from my allotment site can all sleep easy in their beds from now on.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Louise
I knew nothing about allotments before I read this book and precious little about growing anything. It has not only given me some insight into the subject, but also a wonderful easy-going read that was entertaining, instructive and touching. The narrative of the life of the allotment running through the book is captivating, as is the thread of our heroine finding her feet and getting to grips with the rewards and pitfalls of allotment life. I love the fact that this manages to be well told story, growing and recipe handbook and subjectively insightful sociology of an allotment all at once.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely opportunity. 11 April 2011
An entertaining account of the pleasures, perils and personalities encountered by the author in her pursuit of an allotment plot of her own. A lovely opportunity to share in her world.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply great! 21 May 2011
I do not have an allotment. I now wish I had one -if they are all as much fun as this - a brilliant book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I wasn't sure what to expect from Minding My Peas and Cucumbers, but I can honestly say that I found it to be an enjoyable read, for a number of reasons. This is because Kay has managed to not only provide a book full of useful tips and advice about the many aspects of growing (and socialising!) on an allotment, but she's also managed to weave in life stories and some recognisable characters as well as a number of promising looking recipes amongst the practical 'bits'. The result is a book that treads the border between fact, fun and even a little frivolity at times. The book contains a myriad of growing and cultivating tips, laced with pertinent real-life anecdotes. And although each chapter stands on its own, there is also a story thread that runs throughout, with a satisfying conclusion by the end of the book.

Although I wouldn't say I was hooked by this book, it was definitely one that I could easily pick up and wanted to keep coming back to when I had the time. And all the while, it feels as though if Kay's underlying message is that if you really really really wanted to, you could have a 'Nearly' plot of your own.

So a thumbs up from me - I definitely recommend this book. I would hazard a guess that existing allotment holders will most likely identify with many characters that Kay gets to know and situations she finds herself in throughout the book, whilst would-be allotment holders will probably find themselves yearning even more for the day when they reach the top of the list and have a few poles to call their own (of sorts)!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a joke but actually looked to be an informative book
Purchased as a gift for a friend but arrived promptly and well packed and a brief flick through looked pretty good to me.
Published 3 months ago by Lecky
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful advice.
I bought this for my daughter, a novice allotment keeper. She refers to it frequently. It is also a jolly good read even if you only have a window box!
Published 11 months ago by Linda
5.0 out of 5 stars Minding My Peas and Cucumbers Quirky Tales of Allotment Life
So pleased I bought this book ! an enchanting journal of an allotment newbie
I recently applied for an allotment plot locally to where I live, and was looking for a down to... Read more
Published 13 months ago by iris
5.0 out of 5 stars a good read
Great book. I bought it as a present and read it myself first. If you have an allotment you'll recognise a lot of the characters in this book
Published 14 months ago by J. Pillans
5.0 out of 5 stars Minding my Peas and Cues
My mother of nearly 80 has an allotment which she loves so this book will be a great present for her.
Published 15 months ago by Mrs. V. Gifford
5.0 out of 5 stars minding my peas and cucumbers
Arrived safely and well with in the allotted time. A super book that was very much apprecited and enjoyed by the recipient
Published 17 months ago by raenbow
4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyable read - quirky
I bought this book for my sister-in-law - definitely into her allotmenting. She loved its comical slant on the do's, don'ts and who's who of home produce. Well worth a read!
Published 19 months ago by Earthyogi
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a Christmas present
I bought this for a friend as a Christmas present. I think this will be perfect for her and hope she enjoys
Published 21 months ago by Mary WHITTAKER
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but too many recipes
When Sexton is writing tales of allotment life, this is a good read. She writes well and the stories are interesting, amusing and, as promised, quirky. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Mark Hill
4.0 out of 5 stars Minding your Peas and Cucumbers
The front cover reads Quirky Tales of Allotment Life so I expected it to be a book you would give someone as an amusing, light-hearted present. Read more
Published on 6 Sep 2011 by Ronnie/Hurtled to 60
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