Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Since I haven't made it out to the garden in days, I thought I'd show you a glimpse of my bookshelf. Er, bookSTACK. The pile of things I'm reading that lives next to my bed and off of which I had to clear legos and bobby pins in order to take a suitable picture. On our last trip to the library I braved going upstairs into the "adult section" which I never go to because they actually take the "no wrestling in the library" rule seriously upstairs (that's a library rule, right?), and my kids are still working on that. Anywho, I was looking for books that would help me figure out how to use my dad's greenhouse but ended up on the "homesteading" section. I found some really neat books!
If you are thinking of trying to grow enough food to sustain (or partially sustain) your family, I highly recommend The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan. There are all sorts of helpful tips in there about crop rotation and what to plant when, as well as sections on raising livestock on a small scale. The book I found most inspiring was Grow Great Grub by Gayla Trail. Her book is geared towards people growing food in small, urban settings, so I thought I wouldn't care for it, but she has so many wonderful projects in the book, as well as gorgeous photography. I have already started growing my own micro greens in old plastic containers, and plan to use her instructions to make a hanging tomato planter out of a paint bucket. The best find of all, however, was The $64 Tomato by Henry Alexander. Someone probably misfiled it, or didn't know where to put it, because it is more of a non-fiction novel about a man and his garden. I found it highly entertaining to read about the misadventures of somebody else and realize that I am not the only person in the world who spends their spare time dreaming up ways to destroy gophers.
The best part of checking gardening books out of the library is how they inspire me. I tend to be a bit lazy when it comes to getting out and getting dirty when there is nothing to actually harvest - I guess I need that instant gratification of bringing in something for dinner to justify the next 10 minutes of cleaning dirt out from under my nails. But reading about other people's gardening successes makes me excited to get out there and turn over the compost pile and pull weeds.