Review

Grow Your Own, Eat Your Own

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Grow Your Own

Product details

Product name: Grow Your Own, Eat Your Own

Reviewer: Kate Arneman

Author: Bob Flowerdew

Publisher: Kyle Cathie

Price: $49.95

G Rating:

4

If you have a window box of herbs or a pot planted with strawberries, it's all very well to simply pick what you need as you go. However, if you have a more extensive vegie garden or some fruit trees, you'll inevitably find yourself at some stage with more produce than you can use or give away - what's known as a glut.

A combined garden manual and cookbook, Grow your Own, Eat Your Own is bursting with ideas on growing, storing, preserving and cooking home-grown produce so that you can enjoy it all year long.

We're talking about more than making jam here. Organic gardening guru Bob Flowerdew, who appears to be Britain's answer to Peter Cundall, though slightly more hippyfied, gives an introduction to the full gamut of preserving techniques.

These range from the well-known (drying, freezing, bottling, making jam, jellies, syrups, pickles, chutneys and sauces), to the more unusual (salting, leathering - which involves drying a thick fruit puree to create a sweet, chewy 'leather' - smoking, crystallising, candying), to the truly ambitious (making cider and wine).

The section of the book called "Coping with gluts" addresses each family of vegetables and fruits in turn - with information about optimal harvesting, appropriate preserving techniques and unfussy but alluring recipes (raspberry ripple ice cream, artichoke pate, potato and leek soup - yum!) that allow the flavours of the produce to shine.

Flowerdew employs a lovely British turn of phrase ("Carrots can be grown in deep pots most successfully") and a seemingly endless supply of practical tips ("A dead refrigerator makes an excellent fruit store - insulated and rodent-proof"), making Grow Your Own, Eat Your Own a fantastic and friendly reference book to have at home.

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