Last month I mentioned that I snagged a copy of Emma Cooper’s The Alternative Kitchen Garden and all that I had to do in return was read it and offer an honest review. I have been delving into it on and off and am finally ready to offer more fully formed opinions.
The Alternative Kitchen Garden: An A to Z by Emma Cooper
The format of the book is lots (and lots and lots) of short essays on diverse subjects related to gardening, sustainability, environmental issues and more. Each one takes up a double page, including an apposite photo. That is not enough room to go into great depth but there is more than enough to contain golden nuggets of information. Plants covered range from the familiar, such as carrots, to the less common, such as achocha. Animals range from cats to slugs (with, of course, an entry on vermiculture). There are some fascinating words that were new to me as well; how about rolling your tongue round thigomorphogenesis or getting stuck into some xeriscaping?
If “A-Z” makes you expect comprehensiveness and systematic organisation, you might be disappointed. However, if you want a taster of the possibilities of an edible garden, then the broad scope of this book is perfect. Perhaps it is more of a book for the coffee table than the potting shed but, every time you read a few pages, you will be impatient to get outside and do something interesting with your plot.