Thursday, July 29, 2010

Book Review: Incredible Edibles

I've been growing my own veggies in my tiny urban garden for over a decade now, and most of the time I still wonder if I have a clue what I'm doing! I've read quite a few books on vegetable gardening, and most of the time I come away feeling overwhelmed and wondering if I'm ever going to "get it right". So I was delighted to stumble across this book in my library's new additions section.

Incredible Edibles: 43 Fun Things to Grow in the City by Sonia Day is the book I wish I'd had when I made my first foray into urban vegetable gardening. At a sleek124 pages, it's not intimidating at all. It's filled with honest and witty advice about how to effectively grow fruits, herbs and vegetables in small urban spaces.

The book begins with "The Ten Commandments of Growing Food in the City" (which includes encouragement to "Think Twice Before Planting These" - Day is quite upfront about which vegetables aren't going to cut it in your urban garden).

The bulk of the book is made up of a two-page entry for each of the fruits, vegetables and herbs that Day recommends for urban gardening success. These run the gamut from the incredibly commonplace (chives and mint) to some more exotic offerings (asparagus peas and ground cherries, anyone?) Included for each item are the degree of difficulty to grow (ranging from "easy" to "can be cranky"), light requirements, whether it's suitable for container growing, how to start the plant (seeds or started plants),  common problems, when to harvest, how to store, and how many plants to grow. Specific varieties of each plant that are particularly suitable for urban growing are recommended as well. Most of the entries also include a recipe, in case you're not quite sure what to do with your garden bounty. Accompanying the text are food photos stunning enough that you want to reach out and grab them off the page for a little snack.

I certainly picked up a few tips from this delightful little book (and I'm contemplating the addition of ground cherries to my repertoire!) I would highly recommend this book to any novice urban gardener.

(Disclaimer: if you purchase the book through the link in this post, I will receive a small commission from Amazon)

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