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Weeding and Reading

Weeding and reading’

Southend Libraries : October 2009 booklist

Enjoy Reading, Love Allotments and ‘Growing Your Own’?

At libraries you’ll also discover shed-loads of free reading ideas, as well as details of allotment sites, gardening clubs, local Farmer’s Markets, Eco-volunteering opportunities and reading groups.

Libraries also offer free loan of energy monitors and “recycled reads” (Booksales!)

Don’t forget with free Internet and reservation services you can also use the ‘online anytime’ catalogue – 24/7! Simply visit www.southend.gov.uk/library

  • Get Buzzin’

Keeping Bees by Paul Peacock (Gaia Books) is a very useful addition to several new titles published on beekeeping. It includes step-by-step photos showing you how to handle and check your bees, along with a seasonal hive checklist and recipes using your honey. Another title to try is Beekeeping in the Self-Sufficiency series by Joanna Ryde.

  • Dig this!

Dig that Garden, Save the Planet by Johnnie Dominic is a handy little guide to getting started as an Eco-gardener.

  • Good together

Companion Planting by Brenda Little offers practical advice on good (and bad) garden companions. Arranged alphabetically for easy use, this is a handy guide to working with nature for better results.

  • Time Management

The Half-Hour Allotment by Lia Leendertz is aimed at those who want to enjoy the benefits of an allotment, but are pressed for time. Tried on her own plot, the author uses methods that could help you grow lots – in no time at all

  • Bob A Job

The No-Work Garden by Bob Flowerdew is a book many people will find instantly appealing – a sort of gardening without the boring bits. As you’d expect from the organic guru, some of his suggestions are off the (tyre) wall, but it could help you get the most out of your garden for a lot less effort.

  • Farmers’ delight

Back to the Farmer: A guide to seasonal farm food by Nick Jones & Nick Forde is a pocket –sized listing of over 130 Farm Shops and Farmers’ Markets in London and the Home Counties (Southend appears in the “Essex Experience” section on pages160-1). Contains a list useful website listings.

  • Small is beautiful

Successful Allotments is a little book with big ideas. Published by Impact press as part of their Green Essential series, it aims to help you easily create an organic garden or plot. Other simple step-by-step guides include: slugs, ponds, compost, and wildlife. For more details visit www.impactpublishing.co.uk

  • Post Punk Kitchen

Vegan with a vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz is a quirky cookbook, which both devoted and aspiring vegans will enjoy. Like good music, cooking is best when it’s experimental and innovative. With over 150 delicious recipes you can be kind to animals and also your wallet. Cooking for Crass fans!

  • Cooking the Books

Having successfully grown all your own veg, why not try some of the new recipes given in Rose Elliot’s Vegetarian Supercook. Flavour-filled weekday meals and menus from all over the world inspire without spending hours in the kitchen.

  • The “Original” Economy Gastronomy

Interested in the recent history of allotments? Then travel back in time with Ration Book Cookery from English Heritage. With recipes adapted for the modern kitchen, this fascinating book provides a true taste of the times, including Mock Marzipan, Curried Carrots and Passion Dock Pudding!

Other titles about the “Dig for Victory” era include Bombers and Mash by Raynes Minns, Spuds, Spam and Eating for Victory by Katherine Knight, We’ll Eat Again by Marguerite Patten The Wartime Kitchen and Garden by Jennifer Davies’, featuring BBC veterans the (late great) Harry Dodson and Ruth Mott.

  • Plot to Pot

Michelin-starred chef Paul Merrett and family share their experiences of breaking free from supermarket shopping to live off the produce from a small London allotment. Using the Plot – Tales of an Allotment Chef is an honest and amusing memoir / cookbook of how one family tries to make a difference.

  • Food for free

Seaweed and Eat It is memoir, natural history guide and cookbook rolled into one. This inspirational book shows you how to make use of the wild larder by getting the whole family involved in foraging for free feasts. Packed with recipes and clear advice it puts the adventure back into mealtimes.

  • Shaker Table

Get back to basics with Norma MacMillan’s cookery book In a Shaker Kitchen.

This fantastic collection of 100 traditional American recipes is based on home- grown ingredients, simply prepared and beautifully presented. Included are vegetarian dishes, breads, puddings and thirst-quenching fruit and herb drinks.

  • The Best things in life…

Fun shouldn’t be a costly or stressful business. The Book of Idle Pleasures by Tom Hodgkinson and Dan Kieran lists 100 simple, free delights such as libraries, garden sheds, looking at maps, gathering food from hedgerows, whittling, slippers, cloud watching and learning the names of trees.

  • New Kid on the Plot

Valentine Low decides to quit his world of dinner parties and take on an allotment. One Man and His Dig, charts the entertaining first year in the life of a plot novice coming to terms with Sheds, Slugs and Curly Kale. and Squirrels.

  • Green Guerrillas

Richard Reynolds new book On Guerrilla Gardening looks at the world-wide green revolution that’s transforming neglected public areas and unloved shared spaces through innovative and inspirational illicit cultivation.

Magnificent Seven: Why not dig around these useful websites?

Simon Wallace @ Southend Borough Libraries, October 2009

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