this week at work we were sent an advance copy of the book “grow great grub: organic food from small spaces” by gayla trail. if you are not familiar gayla runs the website you grow girl. of course i was excited to get a new book in the mail, as i have a great obsession with books, but quickly the question comes to mind, does the world need another gardening book? especially one that is not written by me? of course i figured if i reviewed it here there might be the chance that more advance copies would come my way.
i was skeptical, but flipping though, the first thing i noticed was the gorgeousness of the photographs. full of luscious,glossy, pictures of tempting plants and vegetables – its total veggie porn. then slowing down and reading passages i was really struck by the tone of the book. so many books make growing vegetables out to be a hard process, but i contend that they have all the genetic information locked inside of them to grow. you, like a good manager just need to make sure they have everything they need, when they need it. there is no need to make a big fuss of things. i was happy to see she too takes this position.
heavily focused on container gardens, of particular help is recommendations of which species and varieties do well in containers and what size they need. it’s got a heavy diy ethic running though the whole thing, reusing containers, making do with what’s at hand.
along with growing information it also has information on canning, freezing and drying, as well as a few recipes. all this in under 200 pages and with plenty of pictures. this of course means it’s not especially comprehensive, but that’s just the point, it’s a great starter book for folks that are just getting started, especially those who never thought they could because they didn’t have enough land.
so would i buy this book? in detroit we are not really suffering from land issues, so on a personal level i have really no need to own this book. but i’m glad to have it around, at work we field enough questions from folks interested in container gardens that it’s helpful to pull this off the shelf, recommend it and show them a few helpful tips. and even at home and work we do a small amount of container gardens, so i’m glad to have it around.
for those living in a high density area and with little gardening experience this would make a great first book.