Reading About Gardening and Food

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Today, the temperature is in the 70s. For Sunday, they’re talking
30s and snow. Go figure. All I can say is it’s almost spring in Kansas.

So, of course, my mind turns to warmer temps and my
container garden. The last couple of years, I’ve planted tomatoes, peppers,
basil and oregano. Think it’s about time for me to diversify a bit? Me, too.
Which is why it was so great to have Grow
Plants in Pots
, a book from Martyn Cox and DK Publishing, cross my desk.

This gorgeous, packed book contains a garden’s worth of
information and spectacular images. From the opening section on Designing with
Containers, I was drawn into this book, and my head is spinning with ideas for
my own container garden. I know I don’t have the space or the talent to make my
garden look like one in these photographs, but I’m dreaming big, believe me!

 The next two sections focus on specific varieties: Foliage
and Flowers, and Fruit and Vegetables. More beautiful photos have me thinking I
can expand my containers to include colorful blooms and different veggies.
Plant descriptions are accompanied by tips for growing, suggestions for pots
and combinations of plants for each pot, and additional varieties. It’s a
fascinating book to read, flip through and hoard, just like the tomatoes and
peppers I hope to plant this year. Maybe I’ll add lettuce and more herbs this

Grow Plants in Pots
is scheduled to be released in April – just in time for gardeners pulling out
those containers from the garage.

Pre-order your copy of Grow Plants in Potsat Grit’s Bookstore.

From Abrams Publishing comes another great-looking book, The Complete Kitchen Garden by Ellen
Ecker Ogden. Filled with 14 designs for a variety of kitchen gardens, the book
also includes tips on getting a garden started, tips for growing the specific
gardens, great illustrations of the gardens, gorgeous photographs and, get
this, recipes that make use of the produce found in each garden. It’s a
wonderful book to leaf through, and if you have the room and the inclination,
I’m sure you’ll find some inspiration in these pages.

One of the gardens is a container garden, and although the
plan obviously is for a space larger than mine, I hope to put to use some of
the tips. And a couple of the recipes sounded simply divine!

To order a copy of The Complete Kitchen Garden, visit the Grit Bookstore.

While not a gardening book, Diet for a Hot Planet, by Anna Lappe, takes a closer look at our
food system with the goal of nudging us all toward growing more of our own food.
Not only in response to food security issues and lowering our carbon footprint,
but for the simple fact that homegrown produce tastes better.

The eating-local movement is growing, and Lappe drives home
the point that locally grown food is better for us healthwise and environment
wise. She also points out that changing our views of food, how it’s grown,
processed and transported, and how we eat may be just what we need to save the
planet – and ourselves.

Diet for a Hot Planet
is a dense read with lots of facts and figures, and it paints disturbing images
of what we may face in the future. Overall though, the book is a treatise on
our future as a community, a nation, a global entity, and a glimpse at what we
can do to change that future. I found myself marking something on every other
page, and I know there were many more points I could have marked. It’s a
fascinating, disturbing and invigorating book.

Check out our Grit Bookstore to order the thought-provoking Diet for a Hot Planet

As a companion title to Diet
for a Hot Planet
, I would recommend Farmer
by Temra Costa. An inspiring
look at the sustainable food industry, Farmer
spotlights 30 women who are
making a difference as they go back to the land and connect with food. They
each advocate a more nurturing food system, not only for the health of humans
but for the health of the planet, and while they each are doing it in slightly
different ways, they all ask and answer myriad questions concerning food and

How do you get involved in the local food movement? Here’s
the answer. Want to start a community-supported agriculture program? Take a
look. Hope to change local policy concerning the raising and selling of locally
grown produce? Look for help in these pages. And do you want to learn more
about locally grown food, renewable energy, and sustainable food movements? Look
no further. You’ll find it in Farmer Jane.

Visit the Grit Bookstore to order Farmer Jane.

Enjoy and read a chapter for me! See ya soon.