Whether you wish to call Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall a journalist, cook, smallholder, entrepreneur of story teller, after viewing the River Cottage Box Set one could argue that he trancends every one of these traits in one way or another throughout the three volumes.
Fearnley-Whittingstall takes you through a journey, starting at the beginning where he purchases his first two pigs, some chickens and plots out his vegtable garden, to the end of his experiment at down sizing where the series ends with Hugh posessing a thriving polytunnel, pigs, cattle, sheep, chickens and numerous amusing tales of his journey from being a 'city downsizer' to an established 'dorset smallholder'.
The 3 series' all include amusing anecdotes about Hugh's relationship wih his animals to even the smallest critters such as mice and slugs. It also provides great information about animal walfare and cooking (with some great recipies included) and conveys a great sense of nostalgia and takes one back to the 'Great Britain' era where food was sourced locally and there was a great sense of community.
After viewing the River Cottage Box Set it would be naive to assume that Hugh's smallholding operated soley down to his quaint bartering technique but it does provide an intrinsically warming and a humerous approach to the idyllic, country life and asks questions of the quality of food the general public consume. Overall this Box Set comes highly recommended, is well worth the money and highly compulsive.