To quote the author, ?This is a book about growing. Not only food, but ourselves.?
The progression of the events and seasons of a year in a recently-acquired allotment provides both framework and foundation for a delightfully readable and beautifully-presented reflection on what contributes to true human happiness. This is neither a rural nor a religious book, but touches on many issues that are significant for denizens of rural communities and countryside churches. On virtually every page there is unearthed a deep spirituality that emerges from, and is enthused by, the liberating experience of owning an allotment, and taking control of a parcel of land and the provision of at least a portion of one?s own sustenance.
It does not, however, simply record a desire to return to some idyllic and mythical past; neither is it a polemic for a strictly organic way of life. Rather it provides a vital and varied connection between the rhythms of activities centred on the allotment and the pushes, pulls and priorities of contemporary life. ?The allotment? is far more than a place or a pastime; it is a vibrant community that helps interpret and enliven the larger world; and it extends far beyond the physical confines of one plot of land in Edinburgh ? drawing in friends, colleagues, and even numerous contacts on the Web.
With a light and humorous touch, Antonia Swinson weaves her own experiences and concerns ? family, land, economics, consumerism, social justice ? into the seasons on the allotment. For her, and for us, they truly are all part of a single whole.
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