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I found this the most absorbing of Carol Drinkwater’s reports from her Provence Olive Farm, a sink or swim account of attempting to free the farm and its inhabitants from the dangerous chemicals needed to bring an Olive crop to fruition, the culprit - the olive fly who can devastate unprotected crops. It is the bees that point the way to the dangers, dying in their thousands, they lead the author on a quest to determine her future, stay or go, fight or give in. An absorbing read that reveals the state of organics in France, the stifling bureaucracy that growers have to deal with and behind the political rhetoric how little help to struggling organic growers is available.
The Olive Farm series:
Like for Like Reading:
Je T’Aime à La Folie, Michael Wright
Instructions for Visitors: Life & Love in a French Town, Helen Stevenson
After almost two years of solitary travelling, Carol Drinkwater returns home to her olive farm in Provence to find that France is at the forefront of an organic revolution. 2 per cent of French farming has gone 'bio', become organic, and others are following. Consumers are waking up to the dangers of processed foods, while back in the Midi the traditional farmers, Carol's neighbours, are dejected.
Spraying their crops guaranteed larger yields as well as fruits not blighted by insects. It takes three years of hard toil to gain a 'Bio' ticket...why bother? Several organisations are calling upon Provencal farmers to offer their holdings as experimental ground for pest control. Should Carol's farm be included, or is this a brave new world beyond her organic dreams? Olive farming at Appassionata is halted.
Quashia, the gardener, is not pleased: 'We must spray!' He threatens to quit, and sets off for a three-month sabbatical. The daily setbacks and joys of life on the olive farm unfold as Carol digs deeper into the crises facing us, particularly those living off the land. In this sixth volume of her acclaimed series she turns to beekeeping and the production of her own honey.
Carol has long dreamed of an alternative way of life, fresh produce, care of the earth. But when her findings throw up shocking facts, should she ignore these discoveries, take them further or stay within the boundaries of her farm?
|Publication date:||12th May 2011|
|Publisher:||Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co|
|Primary Genre||Biographies & Autobiographies|
Carol Drinkwater was our Guest Editor in May 2011 - click here - to see the books that inspired her writing. Carol Drinkwater is a multi-award-winning actress who is best known for her portrayal of Helen Herriot in the BBC television series All Creatures Great and Small. She is also the author of over twenty books, both fiction and non-fiction. Her quartet of memoirs set on her olive farm in the south of France have sold over a million copies worldwide and her solo journey round the Mediterranean in search of the Olive tree's mythical secrets inspired a five-part documentary film ...More About Carol Drinkwater