Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Books on Growing Edibles

Ableman, Michael. Fields of Plenty: A Farmer's Journey in Search of Real Food and the People Who Grow It. Chronicle Books, 2005.
The author, from Salt Spring Island, B.C., traveled to one Canadian farm in the Kootenays and to a number of farms in the US, none of which practice industrial agriculture. Although not about home gardens, the book is an inspiration about better ways of producing food.

Gordon, Katherine. The Garden That You Are. Sono Nis Press, 2007.
Five gardeners/farmers in the Slocan Valley, B.C. are featured. There are many beautiful photos of their gardens, along with recipes and gardening advice.

Haeg, Fritz. Edible Estates: Attacks on the Front Lawn. Metropolis Books, 2008.
The author/artist redesigned three front lawns, in California, Kansas, and New Jersey, to grow vegetables, herbs, and fruits. This book takes Primeau's book (below) on front yard gardens one step further! But don't feel that you have to be an artist...

Hoff, Trish, "Doing Double Duty" in Gardens West, March 2008, p. 24-30.
The article, with photos of Canadian gardens, gives advice on how to combine edibles with ornamental plants in a garden. Along with the usual vegetables, there is information on growing small fruits and edible perennials: horseradish, asparagus, Jerusalem artichoke, sorrel, and rhubarb.

Louv, Richard. Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. Algonquin Books, 2006.
Unstructured time in nature is essential for our well being, helping us realize that we're part of a larger universe and seasonal changes. This book concentrates on the importance for children to spend time outside on the land. Reading this book led me to volunteer with the Landed Learning Project at the UBC Farm, where city children learn to plant a vegetable garden.

Primeau, Liz. Front Yard Gardens: Growing More Than Grass. Firefly Books, 2003.
With so many great photos of front yard gardens, this book provides a great motivation to rip out grass in your front lawn. It features a few Canadian gardens along with ones from the US. It is a great book despite having few references to planting vegetables.

Smith, Alisa and J. B. MacKinnon. The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating. Random House Canada, 2007.
By now, everyone has heard of this book, written by two young people here in Vancouver, B.C. Unfortunately, because they lived in an apartment and were working in a tight time frame, they did not have the opportunity to grow their own food.

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