River Cottage – Spring Review: Natural Born Fillers

June 3, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

RIVER COTTAGE, Wednesday 3rd June, Channel 4, 8.00pm ALERT ME

Ah Hugh, the man who dared to dream.

While the majority of us were happily wandering, half-dazed around strip lit air conditioned warehouses, pulling pre-prepared vacuum packed meals off cold steel shelves, Hugh had the courage to wonder if we’d not lost something of ourselves in the way we treat our food.

Retiring to River Cottage with nothing but a handful of seeds, a rusty hoe and a head full of dreams Hugh swiftly became the foremost advocate in these little isles for growing your own and getting back to nature.

In the first episode of the latest installment of River Cottage: Spring, Hugh takes a look at that stalwart of the spring growing season – the humble pea – and joins in on the debate about veal production in this country.

In his inimitable style, Fearnley-Wittingstall and his rosy cheeked oh-so-wholesome helpers make foraging in hedgerows seem like a trip to Disneyland. There’s something so Famous Five in all the goings on down there in the Dorset wilds that it’s hard not to get sucked into the enthusiasm for a simpler way of life. Before you know it you’re razing your back yard and planting a load of sprouts ready for Christmas. And that’s exactly why I like watching River Cottage; Hugh’s passion for this way of life is infectious.

And to prove it, this series of River Cottage features a collaborative project between people who wish to grow their food but have no space to do so, and those who have land to spare. All of which will, I’m sure, proves that sharing hard work and labour can bring communities together, or something wholesome like that.

I suspect that many people, myself included, watch River Cottage as a form of catharsis, an easing of the guilt built up from too many microwave ready-meals and dubiously sourced chicken breasts.

It’s comforting to know that somebody out there is flying the flag for ethical living, and I’ve every intention of joining the movement once I’ve made enough money to buy that freehold down in Devon.

Jack McKay