07 March 2011

Minding My Peas and Cucumbers

Written by Published in Book Reviews

Essential reading for anyone with an allotment or one of the tens of thousands on a waiting list for one in the UK, or for those wanting to enjoy a flavour of this formidably English preoccupation, Minding my Peas and Cucumbers is an amusing and thoughtful insight into the strange world of allotmenteering

Kay Sexton’s idealistic vision of self-sufficiency is rudely shattered by immersion into the alien and hostile world of archaic rules and regulations, hosepipe standoffs, competitive vegetable-growing and biblical-scale pest invasions.

However, when she scrapes the mud off her caked wellingtons, she begins to find her way, and the feeling is all the sweeter for having navigated the initial hurdles and oddities. Interspersed with quirky anecdotes and caricatures that any allotment-holder will recognise, such as how to disappear to avoid another cucumber from an over-generous neighbour, what to do with an overachieving courgette patch, practical hints and tips and delicious recipes (her radish pizzicato served with hot cheese scones or wholemeal bread sounds delightful).

For Kay Sexton it’s all in the quirk. Minding my Peas and Cucumbers is a very enjoyable addition to the growing canon of allotment literature. 

Minding my Peas and Cucumbers: Quirky Tales of Allotment Life by Kay Sexton (Summersdale) £9.99 

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