Everyone loves to prepare a meal with ingredients fresh from their own garden. But for most of us, no matter how plentiful our harvest, homegrown produce comprises only a fraction of what we eat. And while many gardening guides will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about individual crops, few tackle the more involved task of helping you maximize the percentage of your diet you grow yourself.
Grow a Sustainable Diet will help you develop a comprehensive, customized garden plan to produce the maximum number of calories and nutrients from any available space. Avoid arriving in August buried under a mountain of kale or zucchini (and not much else) by making thoughtful choices at the planning stage, focusing on dietary staples and key nutrients. Learn how to calculate:
- Which food and cover crops are best for your specific requirements
- How many seeds and plants of each variety you should sow
- What and when to plant, harvest, and replant for maximum yield
Focusing on permaculture principles, bio-intensive gardening methods, getting food to the table with minimum fossil fuel input, and growing crops that sustain both you and your soil, this complete guide is a must-read for anyone working towards food self-sufficiency for themselves or their family.
Cindy Conner is a permaculture educator, founder of Homeplace Earth, and the producer of two popular instructional DVDs on sustainable gardening. Her passion is exploring growing a complete diet in a small space while minimizing the use of fossil fuels.
Upon hearing Cindy Conner speak at the Mother Earth News Fair in Asheville, NC this weekend, I knew I had to purchase her book. She is a passionate speaker and compassionate person who was kind enough to talk to me about her experiences and provide me with helpful advice and encouragement for my gardening endeavors. Her innovative, efficient, and realistic approach to gardening is beautifully written in her book and truly engages me as a reader. I am yet to finish the book, but find it very difficult to put down. I love her guidelines for choosing crops to grow, mapping out garden space, and utilizing every inch of soil 12 months a year to make gardening easier and more efficient while continually improving soil with each successive planting. This book is a must-read for everyone regardless of prior knowledge or skill level. Whether you intend to grow crops for yourself, your family, or community, “Grow a Sustainable Diet” will help you achieve your goal and will be a delight to read.
Grow a Sustainable Diet. Cindy Conner. Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews. I was brought up with the idea that if we didn’t grow it we didn’t eat it, with a few exceptions of course. We had a fairly large council house garden, and dad had two allotments nearby, so as well as fruit and veg, we had chickens, rabbits, turkeys ( that was the xmas spending money!) and goats – I still hate the smell of goats milk! So home grown to me seems a natural way of life, and even though we’ve had some tiny gardens I’ve always tried to grow what I can. I know quite a lot about it by now but there’s always room for more info so this book caught my eye. Its a useful, practical book. Packed with simple ideas to maximise the use of space, how to plan ahead to avoid feast or famine gluts, how to preserve what you can in the most efficient way. My mum always used to make jams, chutneys, preserve fruits and tomatoes in kilner jars ( we had a Rayburn always on the go for heating and hot water), salted runner beans in huge crocks, and preserved eggs in Isinglass solution. In US – this book is written in US terms – although you seem to go for canning rather than kilner jars we use in UK, it seems a similar premise. Then there’s a section on animal husbandry – useful for those with larger gardens or allotments as we had. Its not just a how to gardening book though, but one where Cindy looks at nutritional needs and advises how to get the calories and vitamins etc we need in our diet. There are some things simply not practical to grow – one thing that caught my eye was oils, and Cindy calculated just how much land would be taken up to produce enough oil. As she says if land is short that space is better taken with something more efficient. I really like the approach she takes about balance…too often the gardening approach is grow it, and spray to kill weeds and insects. Of course that kills beneficial ones too and there are better approaches such as companion planting, and simply looking over crops and picking off bugs as much as is practical. Cindy shows how gradually if you work to attract birds, frogs etc and grow flowing plants to attract insects an ecosystem comes into play, where by and large problems take care of themselves. Composting too is another thing I’m very keen on and which is covered – Cindy looks at the garden in a holistic way, thinking about the circular approach where every effect has another side to it, and makes best use of this. Overall a great book, packed with practical info and balances with an in-depth, scientific look at what’s needed for a healthy diet. Though its most practical if you have a large space its so interesting and informative that I’d recommend it to anyone interested in growing even small amounts of their own food. Stars: five – fabulous, informative read. ARC supplied by Netgalley.
- Title: Grow a Sustainable Diet: Planning and Growing to Feed Ourselves and the Earth
- Autor: Cindy Conner
- Publisher (Publication Date): New Society Publishers (March 4, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: | 0865717567
- ISBN-13: | 978-0865717565
- Download File Format: EPUB, PDF