Book Review: ‘The Seasoned Gardener’ by Liz Zorab

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The route to self sufficiency isn’t an easy one, but Liz will get us started…

…with her new book ‘The Seasoned Gardener‘.

Liz Zorab is a gardener, writer, author and homesteader – with a range of knowledge, not to be rivalled by many others in her field (both her actual fields and the field of permaculture)! Liz is the owner and creator of Byther Farm, a homestead in the Carmarthenshire countryside – essentially a place where she and her husband, Mr J, grow enough to sustain a remarkable portion of the food that they eat.

With all of that in mind, Liz really is an authority on all things G.Y.O (grow your own) and The Seasoned Gardener is our first step into putting some of that to practice ourselves.

The Seasoned Gardener, Liz’s second book – after Grounded – aims to inspire us to get our hands dirty and think more seasonally than we perhaps once did. As you’d expect, this book takes us through the calendar year in a logical, simple and easy to fathom way, starting with the beginning of Autumn and ending at the tail end of Summer – all the time showing us what Liz does personally to achieve what she has at the farm.

But don’t be fooled, Liz is clear that while the initial workload is immense, the ongoing maintenance actually needn’t be as substantial as you might think. The book breaks down what you can expect to do on a space of this length and breadth into the aforementioned monthly instalments, whilst including her own personal experiences (both past and present) to create a book that feels less instructional and more of a journal of the creation of this space.

That’s not to say that there aren’t elements of instruction throughout, but you’re getting real life experiences through the words of a person that has lived this space – rather than a ‘this is how you should do it’ – you can expect more ‘this is how I do it’ and what might work for you too.

Liz’s true experience shines through here and you’re getting an insight into the personal journey that she and Mr J have been on to get where they are now.

Liz’s approach to self sufficiency really should be admired as she doesn’t beat about the bush – and isn’t afraid of sharing the rough with the smooth. Something that I’m not certain we see from other books of this nature. With this book we see every aspect of what it takes to create a space that gives the yield that it does in terms of harvest, but also the downfalls that you can expect when starting out on a project such as this, or even if you’re well experienced already.

If you’re looking for a book to help and encourage you to grow, in a friendly and realistic manner, then The Seasoned Gardener will do just that in spades (pun, ashamedly, intended). Complete with photos from Liz’s own time on the farm, this is a book suitable for anyone, no matter where they are on their self-sufficiency dream.

The Seasoned Gardener is out on 17th April from Permanent Publications (Permaculture Magazine) with an RRP of just £20 and you can order your copy here now, via Liz’s website.

Do give Liz a follow on Instagram where you can find her at @liz_zorab_byther_farm and look out for her on YouTube where you can find her by clicking here.

And, if you’d like to hear more from Liz, do subscribe to my podcast Tales From The Potting Bench to hear her on a recent episode, where we discuss the book – among other things!

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