Book Review: Land of Plenty

Title: Land of Plenty
Author: Charlie Pye-Smith
Publisher: Elliott & Thompson
Pages: 288
ISBN: 978-1783963805
Source: Publisher


Land of Plenty takes the readers on a journey through the fields and foods of Modern Britain. The book shows where the food that people eat comes from and how it is produced in these times. The world that we live in is dominated by technology and machines, and the agrarian world that supplies our food has receded in a corner. It has become almost invisible but it exists. In this book, Charlie Pye-Smith brings this same world into the spotlight.

The author travels to different farms across the land of Britain and records the experience of the farmers that he comes across. Besides the general farming issues that farmers face, this book also talks about Brexit and how Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is going to impact the farming world. The author briefly covers the areas of dairy farming, fruit and vegetable production, and finally how all these products find a place in the food industry.

The book is interspersed with statistical data that really makes the reader sit up. Industrialization and technical advancements have always impacted the farming world and mostly in a negative way.

During the Industrial Revolution, there was a great exodus of from the land … By 1851, half the population lived in seventy towns … but there was still a significant workforce of 1.7 million men and women. By the end of the Second World War, the number of farmworkers in the UK had fallen below 1 million and by 2012 there were just 172,000 …

But it’s not all facts and data, and farming stories. There is a romantic element in the book as the author writes beautiful and poetic descriptions of countryside. I enjoyed reading these very much. Here is one-

… a pallid sun was struggling to break through the bruised clouds, but the countryside still looked lovely, with a winding stream and a scattering of handsome buildings in the valley bottom, and irregular fields rising up to gently undulating hills blurred with tall copses of ash and other native trees.

I loved stories that the farmers shared. There was one farmer who speaks of how because of mechanization and the consequent reduction in manual labor on the farms, he feels a sense of loneliness of his farm. Most farmers had farming as a legacy and traced their ancestry through the changes made on their farms over the time. Still others talked about the dark future that they could see.

I enjoyed reading this book. It is very informative and delightful at the same time. I’d suggest to read this book at a slow pace in order to enjoy it thoroughly,

My Rating: **** (4/5)

What do you think about this book? Are you interested in farming? And do you like kitchen gardening? Do share your views. Thanks.

*I was kindly sent a copy by the publisher in exchange for a review. Views expressed are entirely personal and unbiased.*

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