Back to the Land: A Year of Country Gardening
Gardening guru Lynda Hallinan grew up on a dairy farm in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it settlement in the Waikato. When she left the country as a know-it-all teen to study journalism in Auckland, she was seduced by the city and vowed never to go back to the land. Fate had other ideas. Having met a man with land, she's now happily ensconced with her husband, Jason, and young son, Lucas, on a 20-hectare property at the foot of the Hunua Ranges, with a pantry full of preserves, a shed full of home brew, 26 cattle, 12 ewes, a geriatric ram called Rambo, 13 chooks, three ducks, four cats and two dogs. She's ditched her high heels for gumboots, high street shops for online seed catalogues and mail-order nurseries, and has let her gardening talents loose creating a country-sized vegetable garden and heritage fruit orchard.
In Back to the Land, Lynda shares with characteristic wit and good humour a full year of her gardening exploits. Peppered with practical advice and recipes for making the most of her harvests, Lynda's monthly accounts of country life reveal her unstoppable energy and down-to-earth enthusiasm for living off the land.
Lynda Hallinan is editor-at-large of NZ Gardener magazine and a weekly columnist in the Sunday Star-Times Sunday magazine. In 2007 she made an ambitious (some might say nutty) New Year's resolution to spend 12 months living self-sufficiently in the city, growing all her own food in a 733-square metre Auckland garden. In 2010, having met her soon-to-be husband, Jason, she started all over again on a 20-hectare property 45 minutes from the city. Lynda is a regular stallholder at the Clevedon Farmers' Market and also writes her own blog.