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109 Reviews
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab !
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...
Published 22 months ago by Di Stapley

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Rating applies to Kindle version
I need to emphasise that this review relates to my purchase of the book for my Kindle Paperwhite.

On that basis, beware! It's not a user-friendly - or even usable - digital representation of the book. Parts of the book cannot be viewed at a readable size (and it is not possible to change the font size) and where section can be selected and read, it can only be...
Published 3 months ago by CJH France


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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab !, 12 Sep 2012
This review is from: James Wong's Homegrown Revolution (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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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, 16 Nov 2012
This review is from: James Wong's Homegrown Revolution (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. I'm much more reassured after reading James Wong's book.

I had no idea that Shuttlecock fern crooks were edible. I think I'd read it somewhere before, in fiction, but with a feeling of disbelief because I thought they were mildly toxic. I have a shuttlecock fern (I think: the mail-order nursery did a good job of mislabelling a whole batch of plants they sent me so I'm not sure). Perhaps I'll try them now I know how to prepare them.

Dahlias. OK, I've looked at the tubers before and wondered, but it turns out they are edible and were a foodstuff before they became popular as flowers. Trouble is, I haven't got room to grow them. Another tub, maybe.

Wasabi. I want to grow this, now, thanks James, especially if it grows in shade. The problem is, it apparently needs damp too, something which isn't a feature of the Essex climate.

New Zealand Yams is another thing I'd like to grow, but again, I don't have anywhere to grow them.

I was chuffed to find that the Calamondin oranges are actually used when green as limes because I recently bought one heavily reduced from the supermarket because it was on its best before date (seriously!). I was going to use the little oranges in windfall marmalade, but I'm a tad worried about pesticides as it's supposed to be an ornamental. I ought, as James Wong puts it, to allow it to "detox" for six months to a year. But those little oranges do look rather tempting.

The Japanese honeysuckle on my fence has now had a stay of execution. I never knew I could use the flowers in tea.

I have grown or am currently growing quite a few of the plants in the book. I have grown Physalis, and like them, but they were leggy and unproductive. Perhaps I was too kind to them. I also grew a dwarf form, but the fruit were dwarf too, which annoyed me. I grow tomatillos but I'm not sure about the flavour. It's lemony, but to me has undertones of washing up liquid. I made some chutney with one crop but didn't really like it. I might persist with them and get to like them. (I used not to like courgettes but love them now.) I knew Houttuynia cordata was edible, and used to grow it, but the smell is just revolting to me, sort of dank, but I feel the same way about Vietnamese coriander, coriander itself, and even jasmine, so I think it's a personal antipathy. Houttuynia grows so easily it can be invasive.

I have wanted a tea bush for years. It wasn't until a trip to the Eden Project that I realised they will grow here, though I fear it may be a little hot and dry in Essex.

James Wong's book is a revelation in that there are far more interesting and edible plants available than I was aware of, things which are garden ornamentals or houseplants, or just easy to grow. I wish my garden was big enough to grow all these shrubs and plants which are hardy in the UK but which have, by chance, fallen out of favour. And I miss my allotment. I really, really miss my allotment.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Let the Homegrown Revolution Begin', 19 Sep 2012
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This review is from: James Wong's Homegrown Revolution (Hardcover)
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. This section in particular has lots of 'I can do that', 'that makes sense' and 'I did not know that' moments, instantly making you say "Yes I do know a bit about gardening after all" and making you eager to get out there and do some gardening.

The next section belongs to the 80 exciting new edibles. Each plant is introduced, followed by a 'how to grow them' guide and a 'harvesting and eating' guide covering their texture, taste, how to cook them and what to eat them with, accompanied by an illustration and photo of each plant, many also with a related recipe.

To end, is a section dealing with 'Garden Essentials' containing a 'Geek Speak Glossary', 'List of places to inspire' and a 'Suppliers Directory'.

What I love most about this book is the engaging and flowing way it is written, it's full of useful information which is easily absorbed and retained and rather than scare you it excites and inspires you to be adventurous, to get out there and grow these new unusual edible plants.

Even if it is still your intention to grow your normal fruit and veg, why not make space for a few of these new edible plants, you may be surprised where it leads!
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4.0 out of 5 stars James suggests plants that are both easy to grow and of little interest to slugs etc, 3 July 2014
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MaxC (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: James Wong's Homegrown Revolution (Hardcover)
If you're tired of a constant battle with slugs and bugs in your veg plot, this book is worth your attention. James suggests plants that are both easy to grow and of little interest to slugs etc. There is also a marketing spin off in garden centres where you'll find seeds for some of James' suggestions marketed with the same picture as on this book, to make tracking them down a little easier.
It certainly gave me plenty of new ideas.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and informative, 19 May 2014
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This review is from: James Wong's Homegrown Revolution (Hardcover)
Heard the reviews and interviews at the time of release of this book. Lots of interesting low maintenace plants in here. Have planted a few in my allotment on this books recommentdation. fingers crossed.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Rating applies to Kindle version, 24 April 2014
I need to emphasise that this review relates to my purchase of the book for my Kindle Paperwhite.

On that basis, beware! It's not a user-friendly - or even usable - digital representation of the book. Parts of the book cannot be viewed at a readable size (and it is not possible to change the font size) and where section can be selected and read, it can only be read paragraph by paragraph.

Not one to be beaten, I downloaded the Kindle app to enable me to read it on a laptop / pc but then established that this book has not been produced in a format compatible to being read on a pc.

It may be more successful on a Kindle Fire or similar - I can't check - but if you only have a black and white Kindle and decide to purchase it, check to see whether you are satisfied and if not, via your return it to Amazon for a refund - I have.

However, I'm reasonably convinced that the book itself is good and the contents worth reading so I will be buying it in book form.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant new plants, 25 Mar 2014
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This review is from: James Wong's Homegrown Revolution (Hardcover)
This book is really inspiring, loads of interesting ideas and new plants to discover. Cant wait to try growing some.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fab!, 5 Feb 2014
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This review is from: James Wong's Homegrown Revolution (Hardcover)
I love this book! Interesting and a breath of fresh air to growing food!I would recommend it to anyone to try and look at growing something abit different without hassle.As a new allotment member I was slightly daunted by the usual expected array of crops.Cant wait to try some!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Breath of fresh air, 19 Dec 2013
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This review is from: James Wong's Homegrown Revolution (Hardcover)
Love this book, more interesting and exciting than a lot of gardening books. Very good price and the delivery time was quick.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great ideas for growing unusual plants, 26 Nov 2013
By 
BE CARTER (Plymouth,Devon) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: James Wong's Homegrown Revolution (Hardcover)
James Wong can always be relied on to come up with new and unusual ways of growing and using plants.This book inspires you to try some of his suggestions on growing and eating plants that are not the norm.I'm not sure that I want to try some of them but it would be fun to experiment and as he says to grow things other than the usual carrots and cabbage.
The pictures are attractive and the information is set out simply.
I have enjoyed reading it and will certainly try to grow one of the plants suggested.
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James Wong's Homegrown Revolution
James Wong's Homegrown Revolution by James Wong (Hardcover - 13 Sep 2012)
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