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'On The Farm' by Jimmy Doherty - ****

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Rob R

Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 05 12:34 pm    Post subject: 'On The Farm' by Jimmy Doherty - ****  Reply with quote    

To those of you who have seen the BBC 2 TV series called 'Jimmy's Farm' & not read the book- it is definitely worth reading! This is not a BBC book, so there it is coming from a completely different perspective- i.e. in his own words. OK, so the fact that he uses the word 'ton' to mean 'a lot' on just about every other page does start to get a little annoying, but at least you know it's genuinely his work. And the other minor spelling, grammar & technical omissions may just be a publishing hitch.

Things that may have seemed odd in the series are explained in the book, and you also get a much clearer picture of his background & that of the Essex Pig Company. One thing that does seem to be missing, and is often apparent in TV books, is the complete failure to mention that he actually had a film crew following him round! No acknowledgement is made to the publicity the cameras might have brought, or at which point you are hearing about something that wasn't in the series.

The final niggle is the complete failure to mention, as in the series, the effect of planning permission upon his venture. Moving two caravans in and living in them, converting a derelict cart shed to a butchery & opening a farm shop are all things that require the consent of the planners, but no where can I find reference to this reality.

Having overlooked these small omissions from the book, I feel that even if you were disappointed with the TV series, the book will be able to entertain & teach you something. He tells you of his progress throughout his first year on the farm, written according to the seasons, and you get a better appreciation of his commitment to real food & a passion for the rare Essex pig. You also learn more of the relationships he has formed, but as a result of the Essex Pig Company, and those who came with him from his former life, to make the dream a reality.

I recommend you read it.

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