Monday, 22 August 2011


This weekend we picked up some of the River Cottage Handbooks at the Hodges-Figgis book store.  The handbooks are based on the BBC television show with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.  His tv program is about getting more in touch with the food we put on our table and home-farming.  Hugh began the series by moving into a gamekeeper's cottage at an estate in Dorset and tried his hand at being a "smallholder."  I had never heard of that term before the show, basically it means trying to put food on your plate by growing it yourself--or as much of it as you can--on a small plot of land.  Hugh quickly realises it's a lot harder than it looks, and yeah, you do have to buy some stuff at the store.  You can't do everything yourself.

Anyway, the thing I got out of the show was the desire to do a bit more gardening, and looking for food in my environment.  I am so keen on getting a fishing pole now and catching some pollock (a local fish.)

My other half and I have been making bread recently, and she's getting really good at it.  I'm interested in growing fruit trees like the Orleans Reinette apple they raved about on the show.  That's a French variety that was introduced in 1776!  We plan on collecting the entire series of River Cottage Handbooks.  They are written by experts in their field, who have appeared on the River Cottage show.


  1. Have you found the books helpful, or is it still too early to tell?

  2. You should read the Barbara Kingsolver book "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle". It is all about she and her family moving to the country and living off what they could grow themselves for one year. They had to buy some local items (honey etc), but raised their own chickens and veggies. The dad missed his coffee dreadfully and their younger daughter would have murdered for a banana, but they survived the experience and were glad to have done it.

  3. @ Jessica. These book are great. I'm especially enjoying the bread one. I finally found out why my bread was coming out of the oven heavy (I wasn't kneading it properly). I recommend the bread making book personally. I want to get the Preserves one next!