Sunday, 11 December 2011

Bookcase: the River Cottage handbook series

Personally, I could write a post on every one of these books, I own 6 of the 8 or 9 there are in the series so far. I love them. They are informative, modern, interesting and well written. The veg book is the only gardening book (other than the fruit one, which I think I took in a bath with me to read!) which I have devoured from cover to cover without skipping bits.

Each book is written, not by Hugh F-W, but by someone knowledgable on the subject, who you'll probably have seen if you watch any of his programmes. So the hedgerow book is written by John, hughs foraging friend. The bread book is written by dan, his baker. The veg and fruit books are written by Mark, the head gardener at river cottage. You get the idea. Don't even get me started on 'pam the jam', I think you can guess that she wrote the preserves book!

Each book is divided into roughly the same sections, an introduction, telling you why you really should bake your own bread/grow your own veg/bottle the veg you grew/foraged, and what you'll need to do it. The majority of the book is taken up with alphabetised sections of recipes/plants and explains about each one really rather well, without losing you in a mire of technical words. Then, in the case of some books (hedgerow/fruit/veg) Hugh has written some recipes to use the ingredients you've grown, and in the veg/fruit books again, there are really helpful chapters on how to set up a good veg plot.

If all that's not enough, they are cloth covered, and the photography is gorgeous.

all images from amazon


  1. You took a book on fruit to the bath? Did I read that right? Love cloth covered books – they just feel so tactile! :)

  2. Ooh - I might need to get these for my brother, and for myself! Great review!

  3. Yes Zoe, I did :) don't you judge me! ;)

  4. Oh, I've never seen these! After your rec I will definitely ask for the veg one for my bday. I need al the help I can get....