Smallholder loves…

The joy of books

Book Club

Countryside Kitchen: Farm, Food, Fork

The National Farmers’ Union has bound 77 recipes together that use only British seasonal ingredients cultivated by British farmers. Growers tell their stories and the recipes are straight forward and delicious.

RRP £15.95 exc. P&P (discount for NFU members)

Reasons to love: Educational, Seasonal, Positive

Gift of the Old One written by Eunice ‘Pixie’ Day, illustrated by Kathy Morgan.

This story of an elderly couple and their cherished herd is told in language of spare and simple beauty that is a delight to read and the illustration are simply magical. It has become traditional to share the book with a fellow animal-lover as a Christmas greeting so it comes with an envelope.

RRP £4.95

Reasons to love: Beautiful, Spiritual, Touching

Public Paths by Graham Bathe

This 32-page book explores and illustrates the origins of ancient tracks, droves, bridleways and footpaths which make Britain unique. It explains the origins of rights of way and traces their history, describes the battles to defend our paths, advises on establishing and protecting paths.

RRP £5 inc. P&P

Reasons to love: Photographic, Knowledgeable, Comprehensive

Llama by Helen Cowie

This is the most comprehensive book we’ve come across about the history and biology of the llama and its close relatives the alpaca, guanaco and vicuna. The photography is first class, illustrating the multiple ways that llamas have shaped human history and inspired art and literature.

RRP £12.95

Reasons to love: Photographic, Expert, Fascinating

Allotments by Twigs Way

This well illustrated book considers both the history and the future of the not so humble allotment. It explores starts with the 17th century Digger movement and moves through religion, protest and war, to the influence of ‘food miles’ and GM.

RRP £8.99

Reasons to love: Varied, Historical, Unusual

The Herbal Apothecary by JJ Pursell with photos by Shawn Linehan

A holistic guide that introduces and explains how medicinal plants work and how to use them safely.

It incorporates traditional wisdom and scientific information and teaches how to grow and forage healing plants and then formulate them to increase wellbeing.

RRP $24.95US

Reasons to love: Comprehensive, Educational, Illustrative

The Homebrewer’s Garden by Joe Fisher and Dennis Fisher

An informative and easy to use guide that marries two great passions. Simple steps show how to grow hops, brewing herbs and malt grains to enhance the flavour, aroma, and uniqueness of home-brewed beer while ensuring the freshest, purest, best ingredients possible.

RRP $16.95US

Reasons to love: Informative, Straightforward, Enthusiastic

Up with the Lark by Joan Bomford

Winner of the Countryfile Farming Hero Award Joan began farming aged eight and was the first of the family to drive a tractor and continues now she’s in her eighties. This story tells a tale as much about her love of the soil as about the rural community she belongs to.

RRP £8.99

Reasons to love: Historical, Evocative, Amusing

Children’s Corner

The Hen and the Rain by Yvonne Hacon

Based on Yvonne’s own smallholding, this richly illustrated children’s book reads aloud well because of its rhyming couplets. Nature, weather and wildlife infuse this beautiful reminder of the benefits that winter brings.

RRP £8

Reasons to love: Creative, Educational, Artistic

Farmer Christmas written by Catherine Baddeley, illustrated by Sophie Baugh-Jones

An entertaining ‘find Rusty the Red Robin’ element keeps children engaged throughout this charming story that begins as a family wonder what Father Christmas might look like. Beautifully illustrated this is a proper Christmas heart warmer.

RRP £8.99

Reasons to love: Fun, Interactive, Entertaining