Three gardening books: A review

Every time I visit the public library I make sure to check out at least a couple books on gardening, to broaden my knowledge, get ideas, or just enjoy looking at lovely photos. I’ve found books usually have one strong suit, whether that’s striking pictures or strong content or fascinating narrative. My ideal gardening book (we have several on our shelves already) would have some photos combined with very practical content and concrete facts and ideas for planning and growing a garden.

The Joy of Hobby Farming, by Michael and Aubrey Levatino

The Joy of Hobby Farming, by Michael and Audrey Levatino

First I flipped through this colorful little book. It was definitely photo-heavy rather than content-heavy. The book contains some information about different varieties of crops (a good section on fruits, which helped me identify the type of strawberries in my yard as the “everbearing” variety). However, a large portion focused on animal care, too, which is a step I haven’t yet taken at home. I wouldn’t recommend it as a guidebook for starting gardeners, but it’s got some lovely images and is an easy read. It’s probably most helpful for folks who really do have “farms” or larger plots.

Microgreens, by Eric Franks and Jasmine Richardson

Microgreens: A guide to growing nutrient-packed greens, by Eric Franks and Jasmine Richardson

I am really interested in growing some kind of greens year-round, either in a greenhouse or indoors under a grow light, and I picked up this book because of the intriguing cover. It turns out that microgreens are very much “in” among gourmet culinary and nutrition circles right now. I learned a lot from this book, which is packed with information on growing and harvesting microgreens as well as the types that are available, AND it has a whole section on recipes. The authors have been some of the pioneers in growing these sprout-baby greens tweeners. I’d recommend the book as a starter if you’re interested in growing and eating microgreens.

Food Not Lawns, by H.C. Flores

Food Not Lawns: how to turn your yard into a garden and your neighborhood into a community, by H.C. Flores

I loved the concept of replacing an urban or suburban landscape of tall fescue with gardens and native plants. However, this book felt more like a lecture to me on everything that everyone is doing wrong who is a part of mainstream society at all. When I read a guidebook, I’d rather learn new skills and hear exciting examples of how I can live better than be scolded because I occasionally turn on a television or computer. That being said, the book does seem to be a good resource, but just be prepared for the tone, which seems to focus more on the larger-scale societal problems than it does on the small-scale neighborhood solutions the title suggests.

That’s my book review for today! I hope to write more reviews when I check out my next batch of books.


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