Spring is my favorite time of year (and thankfully it’s only a few weeks away), not because of girls in short-shorts and skimpy tops (even though that helps) but because spring is the start of the growing season.
Gardening to me is akin to a spiritual experience, the awakening of life and growth, with every seed planted possessing the potential to feed a family. If I couldn’t sprout, nurture and harvest the bounty from my garden, I would literally go crazy, even though some people think I’m already there – I’m sure things would get worse if I failed to get my hands in the soil.
Sometimes it’s the small things that keep us sane and I for one would rather work in the garden than rely on the benzodiazepines and bed routine. Over the years, I’ve amassed an impressive survival library – with a large section devoted to gardening. My grandfather always raised a large garden and I learnt a lot from him, but the bulk of my knowledge, was derived directly from books followed by trial and error.
Books on vegetable gardening seem to be like people, in that some are better than others, with one of the best in my library being “The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible” by Edward C. Smith.
Ed’s system is based on W-O-R-D: Wide rows, Organic methods, Raised beds, Deep soil. While I’m not above using the occasional chemical fertilizer, Ed’s W-O-R-D system is sound – offering workable solutions and techniques for anyone wanting to grow a substance garden.
One of the first things you notice when you flip through the pages is the quality of the paper, color photographs and illustrations. To be honest I don’t see how they can sell this book at the suggested retail price of $24.95 and still make a profit, considering the print quality.
The book is broken into 3 sections – covering planning, preparing beds, starting seeds, maintaining the garden, harvesting, compost, pests and a detailed guide to growing individual vegetables. With each including a brief description of the vegetable, when, where and how to plant, and notes on harvesting and storing each.
If you plant a survival garden or plan to, I suggest you head to your local library and check out a copy of “The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible” – a wealth of specific and detailed information, sure to help you grow and harvest to your full potential. You may find this book the only one you need.