Book Review: 'The Alternative Kitchen Garden – an A-Z' by Emma Cooper
This is a delightful book. Emma Cooper has produced a really informative and entertaining book that is a valuable addition to any gardener’s collection of reference material.
Emma’s own ‘alternative kitchen garden’ is in the back of a modest house in urban Oxfordshire. Since moving in and converting it from a neglected wasteland in 2001 she and her partner have both left lucrative, high pressure jobs to downshift and concentrate on food and growing. The book conveys Emma’s infectious enthusiasm for the whole business of cultivating your own fruit and veg. And it’s an eclectic mix of information about mainstream crops likes spuds and carrots with useful info on things like composting and making use of your local Freecycle group. A tip I picked up on is that Dandelions give off the same gas (ethylene) as bananas and so can be used in the same way to help ripen other fruit.
It does not pretend to be a comprehensive listing of every aspect of home growing but it certainly covers enough ground to make it very useful. All the information is written in an easily accesssible style that will help both novice and experienced gardeners alike.
The Alternative Kitchen Garden is published by EJ Members Permanent Publications and retails at £14.95.