Allottment & Smallholding books to provide a little nudge of inspiration

Before we took up this smallholding we got an allotment, and then two. On July 14 2006 we stood on our first allotment, looking at the plot the local council had thoughtfully ploughed that day (something we learned the hard way is that is not the best thing to do when the site is covered in Twitch (Couch Grass)). Within 6 weeks we took out first crop off it – a butternut squash!
Round and about that time I read quite a few books about the experience of growing your own and thought it might be interesting to show a few of the ones I remember and still own. These are light hearted , easily read books – I’ll put the more serious tomes in another post…

First up – Allotted time: Twelve months, two blokes, one shed, no idea by Robin Shelton.
Close to the veg: A book of allotment tales by Michael Rand

Both very different books, both about individuals not only trying to grow their own but also trying to find something out, or cure themselves of something. Both good tales about how growing your own can improve your mental health. The first is quite humorous, the second slightly bookish in parts. Both quite importantly show the actual work you need to do to get something back from an allotment.
Then the yearning for more, some animals, some land, a sustainable life…

The Fat of the Land – John Seymour
Classic text – this was his first and details his life and how he first started out in smallholding way back in the 50’s. He became the granddaddy of self-sufficiency in this country with his books and magazine articles.

Scenes from a Smallholding by Chas Griffiths – This and a few more volumes in the series were a great insight into how it could all go wrong. They are quite humorous and greatly readable but cover all basics, pros and cons.

Fruit farm in England by Lt. Colonel T.A. Lowe – I liked this book for the shear optimism of it. During the war, whilst suffering the Blitz in London the writer took out, got some land and started an Orchard. Commuting between the two he grubbed up trees, planted them and then got on with war life. His tree types are still in use today.

And finally here is a up to date picture of the Goslings, at 1 ½ weeks old. Not let out on grass yet – but starting to eat and drink for England – they have doubled and doubled again in this time.

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