Mar 032017
 

This post contains affiliate links.

Growing Through Reading

The coffee is already made, Jack is still asleep, George is off to school … sounds like the perfect time to catch up on some reading.  Sounds like the perfect time, but it is not.  Alas, we have an appointment over the lunch hour, so must spend time on other activities this morning.

Jack tried to convince me, yesterday, this meant we had no time for school today.  He tried. And failed.  Much to his disappointment.  “This is one benefit of home schooling, Jack.  We can make it work with whatever our day brings.”

I highly doubt he sees this as very  high on his list of reasons he likes being schooled at home.

Before I had a Kindle I was able to read ebooks on my computer.  If you are wanting to do the same, go here to download the free application.

After spending years gardening in various ways, assuming I knew it all, I have come to realized the error of my ways.  I have wasted money and time trying to recreate the wheel.  Yes, the lessons stuck, but so does the memory of frustration and disappointment when things were not working.

Spending a few hours reading about other’s experiences gardening, their lessons learned, both good and bad, can pay off in big ways.  There is no need to reinvent the wheel.

Here are three books, all with high ranking reviews, which seems to fit the motto – “learn from those who have gone before you.”

Compact Farms: 15 Proven Plans for Market Farms on 5 Acres or Less; Includes Detailed Farm Layouts for Productivity and Efficiency has 4.3 stars and is currently a #1 Best Seller.  The reviews, both in print versions and ebook versions, mention the great photos and plans laid out in the book.

“Small is beautiful, and these 15 real farm plans show that small-scale farmers can have big-time success. Compact Farms is an illustrated guide for anyone dreaming of starting, expanding, or perfecting a profitable farming enterprise on five acres or less.”

Straw Bale Gardens Complete: Breakthrough Vegetable Gardening Method – All-New Information On: Urban & Small Spaces, Organics, Saving Water – Make Your Own Bales With or Without Straw has 710 reviews and rated at 4.7 stars.  I have not personally gardened this way, but have seen a good friend of mine use this method with success.  

I can see where this method would be useful in overcoming various challenges – slugs, wet areas, limited water supply, poor soils, etc.  It is one method of gardening I plan to research more and possibly may utilize this year.

Though it says it is for “tight urban settings” at least one reviewer used it on a larger rural garden where the soils were extremely poor, and reaped great results.

“Straw Bale Gardens Complete contains all of the original information that has set the gardening world on fire. But it also goes much deeper, with nearly 50 pages of all-new advice and photos on subjects such as growing in a tight urban setting, making your straw bale garden completely organic, and using new fertilizers and conditioning products.”

The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, 2nd Edition: Discover Ed’s High-Yield W-O-R-D System for All North American Gardening Regions: Wide Rows, Organic Methods, Raised Beds, Deep Soil has a rating of 4.8 stars and 508 reviews.  

This sounds like a great overall reference book for your garden.  The author is from Vermont and has a large (2,000 sq ft) garden.

“Everything you loved about the first edition of The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible is still here: friendly, accessible language; full-color photography; comprehensive vegetable specific information in the A-to-Z section; ahead-of-its-time commitment to organic methods; and much more.”

Tip: Don’t forget you can sign up for Swagbucks to earn free gift cards to use on deals on Amazon.

Jan 282017
 

thinking oustide the garden box books collage

This post contains affiliate links to books I would love to read this week, instead of washing the dishes or doing laundry or, well, you get the idea.  Perhaps instead you can read them and let me live vicariously through you.  If you choose to do so, please leave a comment and let me know what you thought of the book.  Actually, I have read one of the books on the list this week, which is why it is on the list.  I loved it so much that I will probably read it again … once the dishes are washed and the laundry is done. 😉 Who am I kidding, I will fall asleep tonight reading by my book light, as I always find time somewhere in the day to read at least a little something.

Push the Zone: The Good Guide to Growing Tropical Plants Beyond the Tropics (The Good Guide to Gardening Book 3) by [the Good, David]

Push the Zone: The Good Guide to Growing Tropical Plants Beyond the Tropics (The Good Guide to Gardening Book 3)

If you are looking for a new challenge or adventure in gardening, this might be the thing for you.  Meeting a plants needs leads to the results you are desiring, even if you have to artificially fulfill those needs.

My mother-in-law was great at this, being able to start and grow fruit trees several zones north of where they ‘should’ grow.  How?  She understood the need of the plant and was able to meet it.  Yes, it took a bit of extra attention.  However, she was able to reap the rewards – fruit she would otherwise have had to purchase at the store, shipped in from another country usually.

You might already know one side of your house has frost longer in the day than another part, or that the bushes on a particular side of your house grow larger than their counter parts around the corner, or perhaps you have found a particular plant will not grow at all in your yard, but the neighbor up the hill grows them so much they are a weed.  The difference could be as simple as a difference in microclimates.

I personally saw this happen with two different blackberry bushes, planted 3 feet apart.  One grew several feet higher each year than the other, due mainly to how far away from the wall of the house it was.  It happened to get an hour or so more of sun each day; everything else about their site (soil, water, impact of human traffic, etc.) was the same.  The extra sunlight created enough of a difference in the growth, and as a result the crop and spread of the second plant was much greater than the first.

Instead of taking the harder route, like I have done in the past, learn from someone who has already put in the work and research.

The author does give a disclaimer in the introduction: he can’t help you grow limes in a Minnisota backyard or find the girl of your dreams; but it may help you grow the desired plant that would grow if you were only a few hundred miles south.

All the Presidents' Gardens: Madison's Cabbages to Kennedy's Roses-How the White House Grounds Have Grown with America by [McDowell, Marta]

All the Presidents’ Gardens: Madison’s Cabbages to Kennedy’s Roses—How the White House Grounds Have Grown with America

Are you tired yet of hearing me rave about this book?  Yes, I liked it that much.

Not only did I learn about the gardens found on our presidents’ lawns, but also about gardening history, history of our country, and an appreciation for life through the past several hundred years.

Can you imagine being able to walk across the lawn of the White House?  Let alone assuming it was the public’s right to do so?  How about the President’s family keeping the family milk cow on the front lawn? Or being expected the President’s family to personally host and cook for all dignitaries and visitors, usually from their own gardens.  Things have definitely changed over the years.

The ebook version of this book is only a few dollars right now.  This would make a great clutter free, early Valentine’s Day present for yourself, or a gardener in your life. 😉

Pepper Growing: Everything You Need to Know About Peppers Growing by [Anderson, William]

Pepper Growing: Everything You Need to Know About Peppers Growing

I miss the blessing of having frozen peppers available on hand; ones I was able to either grow of buy at a local produce auction, straight from the grower.  This fact is driven home constantly as I see the current price of peppers at our local grocery stores – $1-$1.50 per pepper!

With the warmer than normal winter and a move to a warmer climate, my body is screaming “It is spring! Get planting!”  However, I know winter is not yet done.  Then I saw this book and read the begging of the introduction, “I will tell you in the following pages about different types of peppers and how you can easily grow them indoors.” (emphasis is mine)  Wait, what?!  Grow them indoors?!  Now this is definitely making my gardening brain think outside the garden box in terms of which plants I can grow in the midst of winter, inside my house.

This 37 page ebook is currently free if you have Kindle Unlimited. Otherwise it is just over $5 (i.e. 5 store-bought peppers) for an ebook and also available in paperback.  There are currently no reviews, though for a price of a few peppers, it may be worth it to check out.

And yes, my brain often thinks in gardening currency, especially if I happen to be selling or purchasing produce at that time.

Jan 202017
 

This post contains affiliate links to some great reads.

growing through reading 3 books collage

The love of books and the love of gardening are not mutually exclusive, as Beatrix Potter successfully demonstrated. To that extent, here are three books which caught my eye recently.  They are each of vastly different garden topics and aspects.

Something they all have is common is they are available both in print and ebook versions.  These are also not free books, though they sound very much like something that would be worth paying for.  They also all have over 100 raving reviews, as in 98% give them 4 or 5 stars, which can often be hard to find.

The world of gardening books has taught me a lot these past few years, and these three books promise to add to that knowledge.  They are all going to be added to my reading list and hopefully consumed soon.

Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life: The Plants and Places That Inspired the Classic Children's Tales by [McDowell, Marta]

Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life: The Plants and Places That Inspired the Classic Children’s Tales

The book is divided into 4 sections; a biography of Beatrix Potter, a description of her garden through the season, a guide to visiting her gardens, and a plant list. I was familiar with Potter’s illustrations in her children’s books, but was unaware of her other artwork.. She began doing botanical illustration as the age of 10. In addition to some of Potter’s artwork, there are also photographs of Potter and her gardens, so photos taken by Potter herself and some more contemporary. I enjoyed reading a biography that did not attempt to sully the person’s reputation. This book made me want to get out in my own garden and visit Potter’s gardens if I should visit England in the future.

And the review from Not Yet Old makes me want to visit this book.

Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use by [Gladstar, Rosemary]

Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use

As I look ahead to a year of growing a mobile garden, herbs were at the top of my list of plants.  I love having fresh ones to use for cooking.  To be honest, I have not explored the material on herbs and their usage as much as I could have.  I knew they could be used for medicinal purposes, but have never tried it.  This sounds like it would be just the thing to have on hand for gaining such knowledge.

The Market Gardener: A Successful Grower’s Handbook for Small-scale Organic Farming

A great reminder that one does not need vast acres to have a successful garden or farm.  Over the years I have found the best results when I look to non-traditional methods, those who look to the natural process and try to mimic it rather than fight against it.

The thing about this book that caught my eye was this sentence in the description, “Growing on just 1.5 acres, owners Jean-Martin and Maude-Helène feed more than two hundred families through their thriving CSA and seasonal market stands and supply their signature mesclun salad mix to dozens of local establishments.”  (emphasis is mine) Imagine what we can do in our small back yard garden for our family, or even perhaps our neighbors.

Since the move to a new place with a different flow and culture, I have had serious doubts about having a road side stand again.  And to be honest, I doubt I will.  I enjoyed having it, getting to know our neighbors and blessing them with produce, but it does not look like it would work as well in this setting.  It was nice to have a bit of extra income during the summer months.

Perhaps I will visit the idea again, once we are no longer renting, and do something similar to what is described in the book.  Till then, I will continue to grow in my knowledge and from the experience of others.  You  never know what you might learn.

Feb 132016
 

These ebooks are currently $0.00 on Amazon.  Click on the links below each picture to be taken to the page where you can download a digital version of the book.  Before purchasing the books, please double check the price to make sure it has not changed.  Before I had a Kindle I read these on my computer.  If you are wanting to do the same, go here to download the free application.  These are not affiliate links.

Here are 10 free ebooks found on Amazon which I thought looked interesting and informative.  Several of them I got for myself, to read either now or later.  While I often read at home at night, I also like to have a selection of books for when I am in the car, waiting at an appointment, or for quiet times.

The books are grouped by similar topics to help you find something that may interest you.  I hope you find something to enjoy and learn from.

Gardening

Urban Gardening Guide

Gardening 101: Friendship Gardens

Homesteading

Homesteading The Easy Way Including Prepping And Self Sufficency: 3 Books In 1 Boxed Set

Weekend Homesteader: April

Heirloom Seeds: An Introduction to Organic Heirloom Seeds, Growing Them, and Their Benefits

Foraging: The Complete Beginners Guide – 28 Crucial Steps To Foraging Wild Edible Plants And Herbs The Easy And Safe Way!

Herbs

Herbs, Herbs and more Herbs: A handbook on everything you need to know to use herbs effectively (How to dry herbs at home – How to dry foods 2)

Herb Gardening For Beginners, Planting An Herb Garden Made Easy: How To Grow Herbs And Dry Herbs

Straw Bale Gardening

Straw Bale Gardening: The Complete Straw Bale Gardening Guide How to Grow More Vegetables and Herbs in Straw Bale Garden with Limited Space.

Straw bale gardening for beginners: Ultimate guide to grow fruits, herbs and vegetables in backyard straw bale garden

Straw Bale Gardening: Simple Step by Step Guide to Successful Gardening without Any Digging

Vermiculture (Worms)

Worm Composting: The Ultimate Guide to Worm Composting for Life

Get the Garden of your Dreams with this Composting and Wormery Guide!

Indoor Gardening

Apartment Gardening

Indoor Gardening: The 12 Best Herbs to Grow On Your Kitchen Window. Tips and Techniques to Create Your Own Culinary Herb Garden

Growing House Plants for the Beginner Enthusiast

Urban Organic Gardening Indoors: A Step-By-Step Beginner’s Guide to Growing A Garden Indoors

Cooking

Cook What You Have A Guide to the Lazy Garden and the Lazy Kitchen

May 282015
 

These ebooks are currently $0.00 on Amazon.  Click on the links below each picture to be taken to the page where you can download a digital version of the book.  Before purchasing the books, please double check the price to make sure it has not changed.  Before I had a Kindle I was able to read these on my computer.  If you are wanting to do the same, go here to download the free application.  These are not affiliate links.

Here are 10 free ebooks found on Amazon which I thought looked interesting and informative.  Several of them I got for myself, to read either now or later.  While now may not be my busiest time of the year, reading wise, I still find time each day to read something.  I also like to have a selection of books for when I am in the car, waiting at an appointment, or for quiet times.  I hope you find something to enjoy and learn from.

A Beginner's Guide to Patio and Kitch...

 

A Beginner’s Guide to Patio and Kitchen Herb Gardens: 21 Herbs You Can Grow at Home (Gardening Quick Start Guides Book 5)

How To Grow Healthy & Tasty Tomatoes...

How To Grow Healthy & Tasty Tomatoes (How To eBooks Book 46)

Perennial Flowers: A Gardening Primer

Perennial Flowers: A Gardening Primer

Garden Party: A Guide to Throwing an...

Garden Party: A Guide to Throwing an Awesome Party in Your Garden

No Work Urban Front Yard Vegetable Ga...

No Work Urban Front Yard Vegetable Gardening Simplified: The Easiest Way To Get Fresh Tasty Organic Veggies For Your Whole Family (Food and Nutrition Series Book 1)

Apartment Gardening Today: Learn to G...

Apartment Gardening Today: Learn to Grow a Complete Garden in a Small Space 

Berries: An Introduction To Growing O...

Berries: An Introduction To Growing Organic Backyard Berries

Famous Flowers And Butterflies: Beaut...

Famous Flowers And Butterflies: Beautiful Blossoms and Flowers for Kids

How To Dry Herbs: A Comprehensive Gui...

How To Dry Herbs: A Comprehensive Guide on Drying Herbs for Your Kitchen Spices and Seasoning

Gardening 101: Friendship Gardens

Gardening 101: Friendship Gardens

 

 

 

 

Sep 142014
 

It isn’t always  possible to be outside in the garden.  The next best thing is looking at pictures of gardens or reading about them.  I find I can never learn enough about the things you love.  So, for those times when it is raining, you are stuck inside for a meeting or in a car going somewhere, here are a few books to add to your reading list.

These gardening ebooks are currently $0.00 on Amazon.  Click on the links below each picture to be taken to the page where you can download a digital version of the book.  Before purchasing the books, please double check the price to make sure it has not changed.

Before I had a Kindle I was able to read these on my computer.  If you are wanting to do the same, go here to download the free application.

Gardening: 33 Easy and Effective Gardening Tips and Timesavers You Need to Know

Mint: The Miracle of Mint! Unlock All The Health, Beauty, & Healing Properties Of This Amazing Herb (Mint – Herbal Remedies – Healing – Natural Medicine – Essential Oils – Herbs)

Natural Pest Control – Simple Tips And Tricks To Keep Your Backyard And Plants Bug Free (Natural Pest Control, Easy Ways To Get Rid Of Pest, Natural Ways, … Ways To Keep Your Backyard Pest Free,)

Vegetable Gardening: 20 Drop Dead Simple Vegetable Gardening Techniques to Get the Most Out of Your Vegetable Garden Every Year

Organic Gardening For Beginners: Easily Start Your Own Healthy & Natural Garden: Backyard Organic Gardening, Raised Bed Gardening, Backyard Homestead (Urban Hillbilly Book 4)

Container Gardening Made Easy: The Essential Guide For the Beginning Gardener

Starting a New Garden (VOL. 2): How to Plant Seeds and Seedlings, Care for Your Plants, and Grow 12 Simple Vegetables, Plus Shade Gardening (Growing Organic Vegetables at Home)

Seed Starting: Beginners Guide To Seed Gardening!

Growing Berries: How To Grow & Preserve Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, Gooseberries, Redcurrants,Blackcurrants & Whitecurrants

The Ultimate Vegetable Container Gardening Guide for Beginners: How to Grow Healthy Vegetable & Herb Gardens in Small Spaces & Containers (FREE BONUS): vegetable gardening, herb gardening

Patio Planters: & Vertical Gardening – Designs & Wood Working Plans Volume 2 (Patio Planters: & Vertical Gardening – Designs & Wood Working Plans)

Jun 122014
 

It isn’t always  possible to be outside in the garden.  The next best thing is looking at pictures of gardens or reading about them.  I find I can never learn enough about the things you love.  So, for those times when it is raining, you are stuck inside for a meeting or in a car going somewhere, here are a few books to add to your reading list.

These gardening ebooks are currently $0.00 on Amazon.  Click on the links below each picture to be taken to the page where you can download a digital version of the book.  Before purchasing the books, please double check the price to make sure it has not changed.

Before I had a Kindle I was able to read these on my computer.  If you are wanting to do the same, go here to download the free application.

Backyard Chickens Guide For Beginners: Easy Steps To Starting A Chicken Coop, Raising And Feeding A Brood Right In Your Backyard (Choosing Coops, Chicken … Raising Chickens, Chicks, Chicken Coops)

Growing Organic – 2-Book Combo: Companion Planting And Pest Control In An Organic Vegetable Garden

The Complete Composting Guide for Beginners: Grow Your Own From Home!

Backyard Chickens Book Package: Beginner’s Guide to Raising Backyard Chickens & The Backyard Chickens Breed Guide (Modern Homesteading)

Growing Herbs, How To Grow Herbs in Beds, Containers, Pots, Baskets, Window Boxes

50 Popular Types of Herb (The Herb Books)

Gardening for Dummies: How to Protect Your Garden

Modern Homesteading – Self Sufficiency. 5 Books Bundle Beginners Guide: Canning & Food Preservation; Raised Bed Gardening; Raising Chickens; Growing Organic … Vermin Control (K.I.S.S Quick Bites)

Growing Herbs: Indoors, in Pots, in the Garden, Herb Recipes And a Medicinal List: Indoors, in Pots, in the Garden, Herb Recipes And a Medicinal List (Vegetable Gardening)

Lavender the Universal Herb (Herbal Amicus Book 2)

The Herb Garden (The Herb Books Book 4) 

Garden Design and Landscaping – The Beginner’s Guide to the Processes Involved with Successfully Landscaping a Garden (an overview) (‘How to Plan a Garden’ Series)

Organic Gardening: Your Guide to Growing Healthy Organic Produce

Backyard Bird Guide: Attracting Wild Birds to Your Yard

grow your own vegetables in small spaces

Apr 042014
 

Here are some ebooks that are currently $0.00 on Amazon.  Click on the links below each picture to be taken to the page where you can download a digital version of the book.  Before purchasing the books, please double check the price to make sure it has not changed.

Before I had a Kindle I was able to read these on my computer.  If you are wanting to do the same, go here to download the free application.

How To Control Garden Pests Organically 

Organic Gardening: 7 Easy Steps to Freedom, Fun, and Fantastic Health By Growing Your Own Organic Food

Garden Design and Landscaping – The Beginner’s Guide to Successfully Landscaping a Garden (‘How to Plan a Garden’ Series)

Global Gastronomic Adventures Presents A Real Taste of Canning & Preserving ( canning & preserving Cookbook): Canning & Preserving Recipe Cookbook

Healthy Living From Your Own Back Yard: 9 valuable vitamins to grow at home

Survival Seeds: The Heirloom Seed Saving Handbook

Backyard Chickens: The Beginner’s Guide to Raising and Caring for Backyard Chickens (Homesteading Life)

Indoor Gardening Made Easy: How To Grow Herbs & Vegetables In Your House

The Ultimate Organic Gardening Guide: Gardening Basics from A to Z for Beginners with Organic Gardening Tips for a Healthy Garden (organic gardening, gardening, organic gardening how to)

Simple Gardening Tips

Survival Seeds: The Emergency Heirloom Seed Saving Guide

Container Gardening Made Easier: The Fun, Easy Way to Grow Vegetables, Flowers and Herbs: a Complete Guidebook

Organic Gardening Book Package: Organic Gardening: Your Guide to Growing Healthy Organic Produce & Seed Saving for the Organic Gardener

Retaining Walls – Plan Design and Build Allan Block Residential Landscape Walls up to 6 ft. High (1.8 m) – A Complete Installation Guide

AB Courtyard Collection Installation Guide – Create Outdoor Patio Walls, Ponds, Kitchens, BBQ’s and More

The Allure Of Chocolate

Vertical Gardening: What You Need to Know to Grow Organic Vegetables and Fruits for Your Family

Worm Farming: Everything You Need to Know To Setting up a Successful Worm Farm

Raised Bed Gardening – 5 Books bundle on Growing Vegetables In Raised Beds & Containers

How NOT to Kill Plants