13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Growing advice for the down to earth grower,
This review is from: Grow Your Food for Free (Well Almost) (Paperback)As a keen allotment-holder and sometime writer of gardening blogs (and books!) I'd be the first to say that some of the books out there are really not much use to the serious grower, and misleading to the novice one. Not so Dave Hamilton's book, which fills an empty niche (which is the whole point of a specialist subject book, there are far too many coffee table style allotment books out there, full of lovely pictures and devoid of useful information) and that niche is upskilling and informing the environmentally conscious (and conscientious) frugal food-grower.
I can't recommend it too highly because, apart from anything else, I am horrified at the amount of money I see new allotment-holders spending on their plots, only to vanish after a couple of months: all their expensive kit gets thrown away, or ruined by the weather and then the next person to take on the plot all too often repeats the same process.
By contrast, Dave shows people how to create paths, make wicking beds, build a compost heap (although if you are a novice composter, think twice before using the fence corner as he suggests: you may rot out your fence if you don't get your compost mix right!) and even how to build a shed. He also focuses on rarely discussed areas of allotment life such as foraging and once you get used to growing your own, it's a simple change of focus that reveals food everywhere, going to waste, and allows you to harvest and consume it without damaging the environment.
The illustrations may not suit those more used to stylish allotment books but they have the virtue of being accurate and detailed. The tips, hints and ideas are all superb - if you are a seasoned grower you will still learn something from this book.
I recommend it, even if you don't have a plot of your own yet, because you can get on with foraging, cooking and storing food even before you reach the top of the allotment list.