Kay Sexton’s idealistic vision of self-sufficiency is rudely shattered by immersion into the alien and hostile world of archaic rules and regulations, hosepipe standoffs, competitive vegetable-growing and biblical-scale pest invasions.
However, when she scrapes the mud off her caked wellingtons, she begins to find her way, and the feeling is all the sweeter for having navigated the initial hurdles and oddities. Interspersed with quirky anecdotes and caricatures that any allotment-holder will recognise, such as how to disappear to avoid another cucumber from an over-generous neighbour, what to do with an overachieving courgette patch, practical hints and tips and delicious recipes (her radish pizzicato served with hot cheese scones or wholemeal bread sounds delightful).
For Kay Sexton it’s all in the quirk. Minding my Peas and Cucumbers is a very enjoyable addition to the growing canon of allotment literature.
Minding my Peas and Cucumbers: Quirky Tales of Allotment Life by Kay Sexton (Summersdale) £9.99