The Mund Colophon

Grow Your Own Cows

by Reb Williams

Should we publish?

You decide!

About Reb Williams
Extracts from:
On the front page of the Observer in a gigantic pile of recycling
Chapter One
Dilapidated, crumbling, vermin-infested, spidery dumps
Chapter Two
The mirror can’t hurt you
Chapter Three
Little forests of soil testing kits
Chapter Four
Old Grandpa Shepherd's grizzled old face melted forever
Chapter Five
Just one overgrown, overlooked marrow makes about fourteen jars of chutney
Chapter Six
a huge, talon-ridden white vulture with an enormous beak
Chapter Seven
If you’ve never driven thirty or forty miles with a calf in the back of your car, I recommend it
Chapter Eight
All this self-sufficiency lark didn’t exist in a vacuum
Chapter Nine
Gang-Ging Up
Chapter Ten
There was nothing to do but hide behind the piano eating crisps
Chapter Eleven
The bass bits in At The Name of Jesus really set you up for the day
Chapter Twelve
Six sets of beady little eyes looked up at me
Chapter Thirteen
You could easily pretend that there was a monster there about to burst through and eat us
Chapter Fourteen
Cows come into season like dogs
Chapter Fifteen
If you’ve ever felt guilty at not ‘eating seasonally’… if you’ve ever wondered whether Jamie Oliver’s kids crave burgers and chips… if you’ve tried Growing Your Own but just got bored… this book may be for you.

And I need your help to decide whether to publish.

I wrote an article about my eco-freaky childhood for the Guardian’s “Experience” column. People kept telling me I should write the whole story – so I have. What I want to know now though is whether I should invest in actually printing it.

What's it about?
I was three when my father quit his job at a London ad agency to chase the 70s self-sufficiency dream. Family legend has it he had his midlife-crisis moment in a railway station WH Smith. He read a book about green economics and came home ready to sell up and leave the rat race straight away.
The original plan was to convert an old watermill so we could generate our own electricity, but what we could actually afford was a bungalow on just under an acre of land in west Oxfordshire. Neither of my parents had farmed before - they had both lived in cities for most of their lives - and it wasn't so much a farm they had bought themselves as a large garden. But, undaunted, we dug up the garden for vegetables and got ourselves half a dozen hens, a hive of bees, a cat and (of course) that cow.

I express sincere gratefulness for your devoted?inspiring assitance, but most significantly, for new friendship.

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This book doesn't tell you how to live the green dream, but it makes you feel less guilty when you don't. It's about what it's like to be a kid in the middle of a slightly wonky back-to-the-land experiment. Often very surreal, sometimes very funny, basically growing up in The Good Life, only without Felicity Kendal's bottom (sorry).

Now it's up to you.

Click on the illustrations for Chapter One, Chapter Four or Chapter Seven and you will get short extracts from the book. If you want to read more and it makes you chuckle, vote yes. If you don’t like it, vote no.

Either way please forward this website to people you think might enjoy reading it… I need to know if it’s worth printing or if my friends are just being polite.

Thank you


P.S. Like the illustration? See more at

Read Reb's blog on WordPress.
Be a fan of Grow Your Own Cows on Facebook.

An evil temper
Chapter Sixteen
I started thinking about popping down the shop and just buying a pack of Lurpak
Chapter Seventeen
My father was flat on his back with his legs in the air
Chapter Eighteen
My mum’s particular skill for burning herself
Chapter Nineteen
A row of red ants exploring their way in a line up her leg
Chapter Twenty
A bit of a love hate relationship
Chapter Twenty-One
We hadn’t wasted anything and that was the main thing
Chapter Twenty-Two
The endless power struggle between a man and his Dexter
Chapter Twenty-Three
I usually ploughed straightaway into the nearest drift
Chapter Twenty-Four
Unfortunately there weren’t any pirates or drug smuggling rings in rural Oxfordshire
Chapter Twenty-Five
I always opened my little ‘Tuck’ pot with fear
Chapter Twenty-Six
About as punk as West Oxfordshire ever got
Chapter Twenty-Seven
In the rat race you only have to get up early five days instead of seven
Chapter Twenty-Eight
The Battle Of Cliff's Field
Chapter Twenty-Nine
I pass myself off as a normal person
Chapter Thirty
All writing copyright © Rebecca Williams 2014. All illustration copyright © Maria Smedstad 2014

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