When Patrice Newell left a highly charged urban life to live in the country, friends warned her she'd be bored in no time. Fifteen years later, she's doing more in a day than most of us do in a week. And Elmswood is no ordinary property, it's a biodynamic farm with beef cattle and olives.
The Olive Grove is a celebration of rural life, from the disastrous to the comic. It also has an eye on the bigger issues: localism versus globalism; natural farming versus the use of chemicals; the need to sustainability. And in a nation where city dwellers own shares in huge, anonymous agricorporations, there are welcome reminders of the value of personal involvement. Not to mention the odd cooking tip.
An intensely human story, The Olive Grove is instructive, insightful, inspiring - and full of commonsense. At Elmswood, where life is vigorous and never dull, Patrice Newell proves that growing food can be as creative an act as cooking it.