September 13, 2013

More Food From Small Spaces. {Book Review} ~ Judith Andersson

* Elephant journal received this item for free, in return for a guarantee to review it. Having said that, the author says what she wants—good and bad, happy and sad.

There are few thing as satisfactory than to prepare a meal out of vegetables you grown on your own.

In More Food From Small Spaces; growing denser, deeper, higher, longer gardens Park offers a handbook on a simple way to cut food costs while experiencing the pleasure of growing your own food. After three decades of gardening she found herself in her tiniest garden ever, (8 x 24 foot) still she managed to produce even larger yields than ever before in gardens three times that size.

This book makes it obvious that Park has both experience and knowledge; while she borrows ideas from other intensive gardening systems such as Square Foot Gardening she still adds alternative solutions and tweaks that she picked up from years of experimenting on her own.

As thin as it may be, this book is still full of useful information and step by step instructions, the reader gets to learn about the value of cultivating microorganism for improving soil quality and it’s filled with hands on instructions and tutorials on everything from double digging to construction of beds and racks.

Another bonus of this book is the compost recipes, perfect for those who lack space and patience for the bulkier traditional ones.

The best part of this book however is the the excessive planting charts: not only do they give a good idea of how to space different plants, but it’s also a useful tool for planning a garden that will give you up to three harvest per season depending on the climate in your area.

The downsides however are plenty; despite the colorful cover, this book only contains black and white pictures—some are helpful, but most feel like “filling” that does little to contribute to the content.

As this is a book for gardening rookies, most of these ideas bring little new information to the table for those who already have some gardening experience.

It would have made much more sense if the reader were introduced to plants suitable for beginners, what equipment to get and what costs that might be involved before presenting detailed descriptions of how to proceed with digging and bed layouts.

A chapter on the most common problem areas and pests would have been more helpful for most, rather than an entire chapter on how to dehydrate and store food.

The intention of this book is to offer affordable solutions to aspiring gardeners with small plots (even as small as 8 x 16 foot) looking for a way to cut food costs in the times of economic insecurity; a quest in which she succeeds.

If you are completely new to gardening and want to learn the basics (and even build your own inexpensive greenhouse) without spending much money, then this is a great book for you.

It gives you what you need to get started and together with the accompanying Youtube channel, it will be plenty to take you through your first year as a gardener. For those of you who already have some gardening experience and are looking to learn beyond the basics and get a bit of garden inspiration for next season, I would recommend looking elsewhere.

Get an idea of how much you can grow in a small space and learn more here:


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 Ed: Catherine Monkman

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