‘Earthy through and through’

Thursday, 1st June 2006

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SmallholderRough PatchThis review of my book Rough Patch appears in an article on Summer Books for Smallholders in July's Smallholder.

“I loved this. It's subtitled ‘a sketchbook from the wilder side of the garden’ It's the very best in observation and his observations are pithy and succinct.

“There is nothing twee about this book. It is earthy through and through. You can feel the garden, the weather, watch the wildlife and smell the seasons through its pages. Did I tell you I loved it? Oh I did. His description of gardening with hens is so accurate ‘I try my best to protect the veg beds but what can I do?!! Hens are descended from dinosaurs. They've mastered flight.What chance have I got?’ I think that the working smallholder would smile wryly at some of this book and learn about nature from much of it, identifying strongly with world in its pages while the person who loves the countryside, even if sitting an urban garden, would be transported to this busy, almost invisible world of a productive vegetable garden where more creatures than just your veg, are growing. And it has an excellent recipe for Nettle Soup in 30 minutes, even telling you how it tastes - back to our theme of wild food. Enjoy.”

Liz Wright, Editor, Smallholder

You can order Rough Patch online, see link below.

A Year in the Meadow

the meadowTowards the end of Rough Patch I include drawings of the ponies in the meadow just over our garden hedge. I miss the ponies; the owner took them out of the field because of the danger of ragwort poisoning.

The three ponies used to congregate at this lower end of the meadow which is where they were fed and consequently much of the area became trampled mud. It's good to see it greening up again with grasses, cow parsley, buttercup and docks.

My Career in Shreds

shredderThis mini paper shredder which Helen presented us with has proved so useful. You're not supposed to put shredded paper in the council recycling bin, so I've been throwing away the narrow offcuts that I have left over when I've been printing booklets in the studio. Now I shred them and add them to the compost bin where they should help aerate the grass clippings that get piled up in there at this time of year.

Window envelopes (also banned from the council recycling scheme) also go in the mini shredder, but I tear out the plastic windows before I shred them. Odd bits of wrapping paper are also finding their way in and I suppose when I do my accounts I should put the invoice and receipts from 5 years ago in there.



Order Rough Patch online at Willow Island

Richard Bell, richard@willowisland.co.uk

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