Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fresh reviews: Back to the Land

Here's a lovely book to get someone for Christmas.

Back to the Land, by Lynda Hallinan (editor of NZ Gardener and Homegrown magazines), follows Lynda's activities on her Hunua lifestyle block over the course of a year.

It's set out like a humourously revealing daily diary and divided into four sections - winter, spring, summer and autumn.

I absolutely flew through this book. Lynda is so witty and the pictures of her gardens so gorgeous, I laughed and sighed in equal measures.

Highlights of the book for me

  • When Lynda admits she would rather garden than clean - and that her house is not particularly clean. Hurray! A woman who openly admits she doesn't do it all. 
  • The name of her dog - Mr Puppy Doo-hawg. Had me giggling every time I read it. I was already in a giggly mood from the rest of Lynda's witty writing, so Mr Puppy Doo-hawg sent me over the top.
  • All the gorgeous photos taken by Sally Tagg and Lynda herself. Back to the Land is overflowing with them, influenced I'm guessing by Lynda's years as a magazine editor. Photos include her amazing flowers, vegetables, family, chooks, cows, dogs and more.
  • Recipes! So many of them and all based on things Lynda grew, raised or foraged herself. She's got me thinking about what drinks I could brew at home now.

This book is exactly the type of thing I would normally read during Christmas holidays at the beach. It's both relaxing and inspiring at the same time.

I already own Back to the Land thanks to the fabulous people at Penguin, but if I didn't, it would be on my Christmas wish-list. All I can do now is hope it makes it onto your Christmas wish-list.


  1. It sounds like a fun book, Emma!! I shall have to look out for it!! :)

  2. Hi Emma
    Do you live in Hamilton? I'm reading your blog for the first time and you mentioned the Grey St Salvation Army (my stomping ground also). I may have a strange gift for you, if you are interested. It's some Caspian Sea yoghurt. You can read my blog post about it here http://www.peacefulgreenday.com/2012/11/hello-kefir-meet-my-gut.html. I am having to avoid dairy because it kicks off migraines, and I want to share this yoghurt with as many people as possible (a) becauase it's so easy, delicious and probiotic and (b) so that one day if I can have yoghurt again, at least someone I gave it to will still be culturing it for me! Leave a comment on my blog if you're keen. We are in Hillcrest, so I can easily drop it off if you are a Ham East local.
    I need to give it away fast though - it's smelling a bit strong!


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