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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Milkwood by Kirsten Bradley and Nick Ritar

Do you want to know how to grow your own food, forage or how to keep bees?

A decade ago, Kirsten Bradley and Nick Ritar ditched city life and started a small permaculture farm, with a dream of living simply. Now, Milkwood showcases their skills for down-to-earth living.

Kirsten and Nick share their modern take on age-old practices in this gorgeously presented book with photographs throughout. They share five diverse ways to grow and eat local.

Described as the essence of summer, the chapter on tomatoes begins with a lesson on varieties and choosing the best tomatoes for your situation. From seedling stage to ripening and harvesting, there's a step by step guide to growing tomatoes. Recipes include tomato passata, fermented salsa, dried tomatoes, wakame salad and shakshouka.

Learn about the lifecycle of a fungi, how to cultivate mushrooms at home and make a mushroom garden. Recipes include pickled mushrooms and shiitake salt.

Milkwood has everything you need to know to get started in natural beekeeping. This includes hive design, utilising local knowledge and a bee-centric approach. Then discover how to use products of the hive on harvest day including honey, honeycomb and beeswax. There's a great section on how to make your own re-usable beeswax wraps.

Create a seaweed harvesting kit and learn how to successfully forage. Recipes include ginger seaweed salad, seaweed butter, pickled kelp and a slow cooked stew.

I particularly enjoyed the chapter on wild food; how to make a foraging toolkit and a useful guide on wild food mapping. Milkwood's sustainable plant to plate ethos will inspire you to grow, keep, cook and make!

Reviewer: Andrea Molloy Allen & Unwin, RRP $49.99


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