My book review of 'Tales from Jimmy's Farm' by Jimmy Doherty
If you remember the tv series tracking the progress of Jimmy Doherty and his wife Michaela creating their farm on the outskirts of Ipswich, you'll possibly be shocked to discover that it was 20 years ago! What's more, the farm has changed shape. It's no longer a few pigs and dilapidated outbuildings, but is now a wildlife park with zebras, meerkats and camels, restaurant and cafes and a hub for events and activities.
In this memoir from Jimmy, looking back over all he and his family have achieved in two decades, you get a real flavour of the man - his passion, commitment, spirit and energy.
While there are now some 45 members of staff running the park, Jimmy is continuing to make television programmes - about food, farming and the environment. He also campaigns and champions local charities, schools, colleges and organisations on any number of causes.
His 'can do' attitude is inspiring and energising, not least because he shares how he hopes we can all feel that we can make a difference. We don't need to provide a home to a Suffolk Punch mare and foal, but we can think about growing our own vegetables, or planting a tree.
The style of the book is warm and inspiring, with plenty of amusing anecdotes about working with animals. His memories and hopes for the future are punctuated by recipes and tips and explanations for his passion for wildlife, nature and farming. It is an informative and entertaining page-turner which echoes how he thinks and speaks, he says. It's uplifting, inspiring and energising - a real tonic!