240 B5 240mm by 170mm pages with 294 photos, 130 plant profiles and 52 recipes.
This new, down to earth, practical book chronicles Alanna’s exploration of temperate zone, eco-friendly living in a ‘normal’ home in rural Ireland and why this is an imperative today. It’s a tool for the times – anyone can do some of the actions required, with inspiration gained from the plant profiles and low carbon recipes, to poetry and a plethora of tasty visuals to bring the rich flavour of the healthy, eco-peasant way into the realm of your own possibilities.
Contents of Peasant in Paradise:
Chapter 1 – Living with Less
Chapter 2 – The New Peasantry
Chapter 3 – They call this ‘Poor Land’
Chapter 4 – Plants and Animals
Chapter 5 – Wintertime
Chapter 6 – Springtime
Chapter 7 – Summertime
Chapter 8 – Autumn.
Introduction to Peasant in Paradise
The year 2020 was looming with a lead-up of dark warnings from astrologers. Planets would be aligning in significant ways and we were in for some kind of shift, though I couldn’t imagine what the big shake-up, or re-set, could be from. It felt appropriate to offer some courses in eco-living and I put together a programme. But it wasn’t meant to be. A global pandemic and economic mayhem were coming. Things would be changing in a big way indeed!
The pandemic lockdowns of 2020 allowed me greater focus on eco-living and saw me grow more food than I’d ever imagined. And I wasn’t alone, people were emptying the supermarket shelves of veggie seed packs and bicycles sales went exponential. It was the gift of time.
I could experiment with new crops and recipes, nurture nature and get more in tune with my locale. No more jet-setting off for teaching weekends. Travelling generally made me sick anyhow, due to being electro-sensitive. No, this was a year to enjoy health, harmony and the riches of simple living.
So I embraced the eco-peasant life, aiming for as much self-sufficiency as possible. Free from wage slavery. Growing a big variety of plant foods for husband Peter Cowman and self, plus gifts for friends and neighbours. Not growing for selling, which diminishes it’s true cost and value.
And I found that peasanthood was something to be proud of. Not to be confused with the feudal serfdom that continued in Ireland longer than anywhere else. No, I owned my old Irish cottage and a hectare of lovely land with no debts. It was my sovereign domain and despite a diminished income, by living the Good Life frugally I could still pay the bills, follow my heart and pursue wholesomeness. I was loving it!
2020 turned out to be a perfect time for realising the frugal splendour of being a peasant in paradise.
Readers’s Reactions –
“Wow, it’s fantastic! It’s such a happy book!”
“A delight. I think a much needed thing with so many dreaming of living off grid.” – Y.H., Sydney, Australia.
“I like the pictures in the book – I felt happy, alive, the connection of my heart with nature, when seeing the pictures.” – A.K., Malaysia
“Gorgeous. What a gift out of a pandemic!” – E.B., Victoria, Australia
“Peasant in Paradise: Four Seasons Eco-living title reflects the contents showing a gardener’s Voluntary Simplicity pathway to permaculture that will be attractive and empowering to many on a similar journey…. integrity and positivity of thought and action shines through.
“A lot of the methods, species and designs … are applicable to Britain, western Europe, British Columbia, southern Chile and parts of Australia and NZ. I think the food processing and the seasonal theme of the book provides really useful sense of what it is like to live this way and that is applicable anywhere rural and even retro suburban.” David Holmgren, co-originator of permaculture, Feb. 2022
“Moore is a seasoned permaculturist living the dream on a smallholding in Ireland. This is a portal into her year of low cost, eco-living. It covers everything from clothes, how she organises her home, transport, to bathing (love the bath in a glasshouse idea), compost toileting, and growing annuals, perennials, and forest gardening. There are ideas for recipes, ferments, and food preservation and storage. It is obvious that Alanna walks her talk. Much of Alanna’s experimentation can be translated into a more urban setting”. – Maddy Harland, Permaculture Magazine no. 111, Feb. 2022.