Good Reads

Garden, Good Reads, Home and Garden, Life & Style

Our Favourite Allotment Books

books for allotments

Looking for some great allotment books?  Right this way!

You know sometimes when it’s really wet and windy outside, maybe sleeting a bit, and the last thing you want to do is go outside, but you feel a bit guilty that you’re not working on your allotment/garden?  Well, on those days, we curl up on the sofa with a nice cup of tea (or hot chocolate if we’re feeling a bit decadent) and get stuck into our favourite allotment books and magazines.

Our Favourite Allotment Books

We have quite a few allotment books and magazines that we’re drawing inspiration from for our allotment and I thought it might be useful if I share some of our favourites:

Homegrown Revolution by James Wong

james wong homegrown revolutions

James Wong’s Homegrown Revolution*

My partner is obsessed (obsessed!) with this book.  He bought it two years ago and it’s rarely far from his side!  James Wong provides advice on plants that you can eat that you might not have known were edible such as hostas, dahlias and daylilies, and more.  It’s essentially permaculture, although James doesn’t refer to it as permaculture in the book, and the aim is for you to have a pretty and productive kitchen garden.  Consequently, we’re planning on planting a load of hostas (apparently great in a stir fry!).

allotment books

Permaculture Magazine

permaculture magazine

Permaculture Magazine

My partner subscribes to Permaculture Magazine, and he says it’s an incredibly useful resource.  The design isn’t the greatest, and sometimes they veer a bit too far into the hippie side of thing for his liking, but he gets excited every month when the postman pops it through our letterbox and has garnered a load of ideas and inspiration from it.  By the time he’s finished reading it, it’s always very well-thumbed, with pages marked for future reference!

permaculture resources

Organic Gardening The No-Dig Way by Charles Dowding

Charles Dowding’s Organic Gardening The No-Dig Way*

Another dog-eared long-standing favourite, Charles Dowding explains the concept and ideas behind no-dig gardening and its practical applications.  My partner is a convert to this method of gardening – once you start reading the book you realise that it makes good sense not to dig the soil and let nature take its course.  We’ve accidentally misplaced this one, for now, so no photos am afraid, but it is pretty good!  So good he even gets in Permaculture Magazine (see the front cover of the above photo!!).

Any other favourite allotment books?  Do share!

PS: check out these inspiring allotment ideas, if you are looking for more inspiration.

Good Reads, Life & Style

Sell Your Crap, Pay Your Debt, Do What You Love

Need some anti-consumerism inspiration?  Check out this video where we’re urged to sell our crap, pay your debt, and do what you love. 

Quite often, when I’m doing something in the kitchen.  Or perhaps editing images for the blog.  Or anything else that means I can focus on two things at the same time, then I listen to TED talks while I work.  It’s a good way to listen, learn, and be inspired.  Especially when it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day!


There’s this one anti-consumerism TED talk that I keep coming back to again and again.  It’s by Adam Baker.  In it, Adam shares his powerful and inspiring personal account of how he and his wife found “freedom” by ditching consumerism.   

Adam and his wife sold most of their possessions, defying the ‘status quo’ of how people often perceive success.  In the process, they paid off their $18,000 consumer credit and student debts. They also restructured their lives to minimise debt and get the most out of life.  Instead of consumerism, they now focus on experiences and living in the moment instead of relying on possessions to make them happy.

Adam’s key point of the whole twenty-minute talk is so succinct it hurts.  Put simply it’s “sell your crap, pay your debt, do what you love“.

adam baker man vs debt - sell your crap, pay your debt, do what you love

One of the parts of the talk where I find myself nodding furiously is when Adam quotes Nigel Marsh (speaker of another great TED talk).  Here he says “There are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation.  Where they work long, hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.”

Another great moment is when Adam says “if you don’t answer this question [what does freedom mean to me] then there is a corporation, company or product that is happy to answer it for you”.

While the main focus of Adam’s talk is debt reduction, I think there are some very very strong parallels with sustainable living.  Learning to be happy living with less and rejecting consumerim is definitely key.  Therefore, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the video – it’s incredibly engaging:

Sell Your Crap, Pay Your Debt by Adam Baker

If you can’t see the video, you can watch it here.


 ps: the gist of the talk reminded me of the late comedian Bill Hicks.  I could watch his DVDs time and time again and never get bored!

ps: more anti-consumerism inspiration here.