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Contemplating a Food Garden – Book Review

Food Gardens - LivingHomegrown.com

When it comes to gardening, we just can’t catch a break here in Southern California.

What I mean is – our gardening weather never stops. We can grow food & flowers 365 days a year here and that can be….exhausting.

Oh, I can hear you rolling your eyes at me.

Stop it!

I am fully aware that this sounds as bad as someone complaining that they are “cursed with good looks”.

Poor thing.

No, I am not complaining about my year-round gardening weather. It has some definite benefits!

All I am saying is that in order to mentally and physically regroup as a gardener, it is important to take a break – even a self-imposed one.

So every winter, I take a month or two off and let the weeds run wild during our 70 degree winters. This allows me to enjoy my holidays, reflect and plan the next gardening year.

It is rejuvenating.

So no matter if your garden is covered in snow right now or you just need a self- imposed break, I’d like to suggest a book to help you dream about next year’s garden.

It even has a Canner’s Garden design in it!

Ground Breaking Food Gardens - LivingHomegrown.com

Ground Breaking Food Gardens

I’ve known author Niki Jabbour for several years through our connections in garden writing. She is a very talented writer and radio host living near Halifax, Nova Scotia and she wrote an award-winning book on winter gardening a few years ago.

In her latest book, Ground Breaking Food Gardens, she did something very clever.

She called upon her extensive connections in the gardening world and asked them to contribute their take on food gardening to her book. What she ended up with is an extensive collection of ideas to satisfy every imaginable craving.

The subtitle for the book is: 73 plans that will change the way you grow your garden. It totally fits.

Niki wove together some very inspiring designs, plant lists and even stories from some of the top horticulturists, garden designers, authors, bloggers, TV and radio hosts.

Oh…and me (on page 117).

In the end, Niki managed to create a book that is meant to be savored as each design offers a completely different way of looking at growing food.

And that is why it is so perfect for this time of year when we all desperately need a moment to slow down and plan.

Different Locations:

Hanging Gutter Garden - LivingHomegrown.com

You may be wondering how everyone contributed something completely different. I mean, all food grows the same right?

Well first, the book includes different locations to grow food.

Some designs are for larger growing areas like a standard backyard or larger plot of land. Others are for growing in unusual places such as a rooftop, a wall or (gasp) the front yard.

But many designs are for those with very little space (“Beautiful Balcony Edibles”) or even no space at all (“Hanging Gutter Garden”).

Different Perspectives:

Food Gardens - LivingHomegrown.com

What I also found interesting is how many garden designs focus on a different garden purpose or theme.

Oh sure, they all grow food for consumption. But they each have a different approach to producing and using the food.

For example, there are garden designs for growing everything from cocktails, to chili, to power foods like quinoa and flax.

There is a “Canner’s Garden” that shares expected crop yields and a lovely “Backyard Brewer’s” garden that incorporates hops into the landscape.

There are also several designs for homesteading.

My friend Jessi Bloom contributed a design for incorporating your chickens into the landscape. And my own design is an expansion of my personal urban backyard. (See below)

Theresa Loe Garden - LivingHomegrown.com

If you treat yourself and order this book now, you will have it during the wind down time after the holidays. That’s the perfect time for some garden inspiration.

And we all need some of that.

Am I right?

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. The price is the same for you, but a small portion goes to the support of this blog.

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy® and is the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two teenage boys and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.

6 Comments:

  • Sara says:

    I had this book out of the library for a long time and didn’t get a chance to do more than flip through it. I’d really like to settle down and spend a little more time with it and some garden dreaming.

    • theresa says:

      Yes Sara,

      I found it was the perfect “curl up by the fire” book. I hope you get a chance to do that over the next few weeks. 🙂

  • Bobby Deems says:

    Thanks Theresa and Happy Holidays to you and all you love too! Thanks for the heads-up on this book too. AFTER the holidays, I’ll definitely order it. Sounds good and nobody can ever pass-up new ideas. Bobby D.

  • alicia says:

    I know I’m late in commenting since this was published back in December but I just stumbled on it! Absolutely love this book! I plan to go to the library this weekend to see if they have it. I’m so excited for my garden this spring I plan to take a few concepts from you Theresa and from this companion planting chart (http://www.saferbrand.com/blog/buddy-companion-planting-vegetables/) to create an awesome layout!! can’t wait!!

    • theresa says:

      So excited that you are using that book Alicia. So many experts all rolled into one. Your garden will be epic! Keep me posted on your progress. 🙂

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