Gardening Magazine

Book Review - This Allotment Edited by Sarah Rigby

By Ozhene @papaver

This Allotment: stories of growing, eating and nurturing - edited by Sarah Rigby is an anthology of essays written around themes of allotment owning and growing. I was aware of this book when it was being created as one of the contributers is my friend Sara Venn. I was therefore delighted when I was asked if I wanted to review the book.

Book Review - This Allotment edited by Sarah Rigby

I have not paid for this book, nor have I been paid to write this review. My words and opinions are entirely my own.

The twelve essays that make up this book are all different, they have different styles and approaches but the allotment, nature and growing links them all together. I love books like this, each chapter takes you on a new journey of discovery. There are memories and reflections and conversation and poetry. This means this book is delightfully dip-inable. Whilst I have never had an allotment, this book drew me in quickly as the shared love of growing and nature and what that means to me as a person makes a strong connection with these stories. When Sara Venn writes of her parents' allotment: "Most of all it taught me who I am" a sentiment that I can identify with.

Olia Hercules story is powerful. It is one of gardening, of singing and also of her early years growing up in Ukraine. Singing retains an important role for Olia still, whilst thinking of her homeland, when gardening and when with her son.

Marchell Farrell tells us that the word 'allotment' had no meaning in her Caribbean childhood. She had read of them in history books and were tiny areas of land where enslaved people could try and grow food. Marchelle wonders what they grew and as importantly, what these 'allotments' meant to the people who tended them.

I read this book and I learned, I smiled and I recognised. I love this book, I love the spaces it took me through and will go through again as I reread as I know I will. I can thoroughly recommend it.

The Allotment edited by Sarah Rigby is published by Elliott and Thompson

Take care and be kind.

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