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New Urban Farmer [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Celia Brooks Brown
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 11.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

5 Mar 2010
Growing your own vegetables and fruit has never been a more popular pastime, but it is far more than a fashionable whim. People are digging up their gardens to grow their own and taking on allotments; the National Trust is creating 1,000 new plots in the next three years to provide for the number of growing fans. These days we want to eat organically and we need to eat economically, so growing your own makes perfect sense. From her North London allotment, Celia Brooks Brown brings real-life tales of her adventures in vegetable growing, such as the joy of spotting the first emerging spears of asparagus in spring, the battles with snails and slugs over the brassicas and what to plant to help fill The Hungry Gap in the late winter months. As the New Urban Farmer, Celia shares her gardening expertise, picked up since taking on her allotment plot in November 2005 and learnt through a combination of hard graft, trial and error, and shared tips from the other allotmenteers. This knowledge has been distilled into a year-round gardening book that is part-journal, part-gardening manual and part-recipe book with one aim: to inspire you to cultivate and enjoy your own delicious homegrown produce. The New Urban Farmer is divided into four main sections - one for each of the seasons - and within those seasons it is further divided into individual months. For each month of the year Celia starts with a rundown of what is both good to sow and good to eat. Moving through each month, Celia highlights the key jobs for that period along with the main stars of the vegetable plot, finishing up with mouth-watering recipes that will put that month's harvest to best use. For keen growers without an allotment, Celia also gives advice throughout on raising crops in pots, growbags and window boxes. Urban, edgy, green and honest, this is the ultimate book for beginner gardeners.

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New Urban Farmer + 5:2 Vegetarian: Over 100 Fuss-free & Flavourful Recipes for the Fasting Diet
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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Quadrille Publishing Ltd (5 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844008177
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844008179
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 290,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Tells of the wonders of growing in the city, from spotting the first emerging asparagus to the war with snails at her allotment. There is plenty of gardening expertise to boot." --Metro London, 16th Feb 2010

"Growing your own food? Learn from Celia Brooks Brown's four years of trail and error. Part journal, part gardening, part recipe book." --Grand Designs Magazine, March 2010

"Organised by month...each section features a selection of tasty seasonal recipes. With great photography, it's ideal for beginners." --Amateur Gardening, 6th February 2010

"This is one of the most attractive cooking/gardening hybrids, beautifully designed with an engaging slightly scrapbook feel imparting a wealth of cooking and growing information."
--The Bookseller, 12th February 2010

"Growing your own has become ever so fashionable, but Celia Brooks-Brown goes beyond trend-seeking to provide an indispensable guide for wannabe kitchen gardeners"

Brilliantly engaging --BBC Good Homes, 1st June 2010

A beautiful book --The Times, 19th March 2010

About the Author

Celia Brooks Brown is an accomplished professional cook and respected food writer. Since April 2007, she has been writing about the day-to-day goings on at her north London allotment in her online blog for the Times Online. Overall the Times Online is estimated to reach over 23 million global visitors each month. Celia has made countless appearances on TV, starting with Vegging Out in 2001 and continuing with Saturday Kitchen, Market Kitchen, Great Food Live in the UK and The Vicky Gabereau Show in Canada. Celia also regularly conducts her Gastrotours, an insider's guide to the best secret foodie spots around London. Author Location: London

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Suburban Coffee-Table more like 12 July 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We ordered this book as we are in the process of starting up an allotment and growing things in our back yard.
We found it all rather airy fairy.
There was some practical advice on the hows, whats, whens and whys, but it was all mixed in with anecdotes, recipes, arty pictures, etc that makes it seem a bit confused as to what it's purpose is.
It would make a good coffee-table book for wannabe own-growers, but I could not recommend it to anyone who was seriously considering growing their own as there are a plethora of much better books out there.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I like this book. It is not a serious self-sufficiency guide, nor a serious gardening book, but it doesn't claim to be either of those. This is one person's experience and advice re. growing food on an allotment, together with some recipes and some anecdotes. It's a book to dip into every couple of weeks to see what you might want to do at that time of year, in terms of sowing, harvesting and cooking. I haven't read it cover to cover yet, I am doing the regular dip into it, so will probably take the whole year to get through it, which is my practice with other more serious and more detailed gardening books that are divided into months or seasons. However, I have found New Urban Farmer easy to read and useful, despite its beginner level feel. I wouldn't say I have learned a lot from it (I have read many other gardening books and have been growing vegetables on and off for years), but have learned some bits - that you can eat the leaves of courgettes and cucumbers was news to me, but something I will try this summer.

As other reviewers have said, it has the feel of a coffee table book rather than something you keep in the shed or greenhouse, but despite that I do keep it in my practical book corner rather than anywhere near the proverbial coffee table. If you are serious about gardening this will definitely not be your only guide to the gardening year, it's not detailed enough for that, but it does have a fresh feel to it, which reflects the author's previous writing experience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars New Urban Farmer? 21 Mar 2010
By Sir Barnabas VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Apparently this is a "is part-journal, part-gardening manual and part-recipe book "; a fairly accurate description really. The book itself is nicely presented, with lots of uplifting allotment tales to inspire the budding gardener. The book itself is divided into the four seasons, with each season further divided into months or part-months and what jobs should be in the pipeline and what should be sown and harvested at that time of year. In addition to the gardening information there are a number of recipe ideas for your produce which is a nice touch.

As a keen amateur allotmenteer, there are a few problems with this book for me. There is no A-Z reference of veggies and herbs which can make it difficult to find information on specific plants, there is nothing on companion plants and information about crop rotation and composting is rather glossed over. Also, the glossy nature of the book means you're unlikely to want to take it up to the allotment or in the garden. If you want a more functional book that contains lots of practical information, an A-Z plant guide, as well as a gardening calendar, information on companion plants, composting and even has recipes, then you might want to consider Allotment Gardening: An Organic Guide for Beginners

Overall, nice book that would the probably make a nice gift for a beginner, but on it's own will probably prove insufficient.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good signpost for beginners 20 Jan 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a useful book for anyone with little or no gardening knowledge who wants some handholding before taking the plunge. Established gardeners may find some useful tips but generally will not find it of great value and may instead wish to take a look at the permaculture books, such as "Earth Care Manual" by Whitefield or "Food Not Lawns" by Flores and particularly "One-Straw Revolution" by Fukuoka, the master in the field of biointensive techniques.

Biointensive techniques reduce the total acreage required to feed each person per year. One of the models for biointensive techniques, and one of the least labour-intensive ones in the right conditions, is Masanobu Fukuoka's "do-nothing" system of organic farming.

On some of the highest-altitude fields in Japan, his system of "crops that look after themselves" reportedly yields 22 bushels of rice and 22 bushels of winter grains on a quarter acre. That's impressively productive, enough to feed 5 to 10 individuals, but it only takes one or two people a few days of work to hand-sow and harvest a crop because of an elegantly conceived sequence of plantings provides the weed-control, composting and other services automatically, just by doing the right few things at the right time and in the right sequence. This method has spread widely in Japan and more than a million acres in China.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what you might be expecting... 24 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
...as this is not a serious guide to gardening, but rather a loose history in which the author recounts her experiences running an allotment. The focus is on edible produce, and the book also contains simple recipes using common crops. This has the general feel of The Good Life rather than a horticultural manual, and is certainly an easy read. Anyone seriously interested in allotment work should buy any one of a hundred other books before this, but for anyone thinking of dabbling in this area this book might provide some much-needed inspiration. It is the sort of thing you can dip into and out of easily and there are some genuinely useful tips hidden away amongst the anecdotes. Not a classic by any means, but light and enjoyable. Overall it is well-written, educational, nicely presented, and easy to understand.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book!
A great read as well as very informative. Really inspired me! The recipes are also a nice touch, it is very helpful if you areb trying to grow, cook and lie seasonally.
Published 7 days ago by Miss S A Easterling
5.0 out of 5 stars it's a bit different
Keep dipping into it for advice on planting and recipes for whatever time of year it is. It's a bit different and good for ideas.
Published 2 months ago by shrub
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab book!
Within a day of receiving this as a gift I joined the local allotment waiting list... great tips, stories and general inspiration!
Published 10 months ago by Tiah22
4.0 out of 5 stars Great starting point for the novice gardener
I got this book for my wife who has her own veg patch and is a keen (albeit not particularly successful) grower of home produce. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Lumpster
5.0 out of 5 stars great ideas for growing especially if you have a small garden
This is thoroughly recommended.

Why be so upfront about it?

We have a tiny garden - and the space to grow vegetables, etc is extremely limited. Read more
Published on 22 Dec 2011 by Mr. Nadim Bakhshov
5.0 out of 5 stars Down to Earth
The front cover of this book shows the author on her north London allotment. It is clearly not the usual kind of photo that graces the cover of a food or gardening book, for a... Read more
Published on 24 July 2011 by Jon Chambers
4.0 out of 5 stars I nice book full of useful tips
I haven't finished reading it yet but what I have read is interesting with nice little stories attached which is not the norm for a gardening book.
Published on 4 Feb 2011 by Lorraine WB
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good value as a gift for a friend or as a little treat for...
Considering that answers from a variety of experts to almost any conceivable question on gardening (or anything else) can now be found on the internet, it is difficult to see what... Read more
Published on 31 Jan 2011 by Philip Mayo
3.0 out of 5 stars Aspiration not information...
What this book provides is one person's experiences and anecdotes and tales of growing their own, which whilst entertaining and enjoyable and something to discuss whilst sharing... Read more
Published on 4 Jan 2011 by BD
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for those starting out with a veggie plot or allotment
What a wonderful book! I found it informative, helful and inspiring! This is an ideal book for anyone thinking of growing your own veg on an allotment or in your own garden. Read more
Published on 18 Nov 2010 by Mr. L. Moreland
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