Organic Vegetable & Fruit Growing & Preserving Month by Month (Alan D. Gear) pdf, epub, doc

Organic Vegetable & Fruit Growing & Preserving Month by Month ePub and PDF Available
'Organic Vegetable & Fruit Growing & Preserving Month by Month’ is written by Alan and Jackie Gear, who used to be directors of the HDRA (now known as Garden Organic) and who certainly know a thing or two about organic gardening.

Although the introduction states that this is “a handbook you can pop into your pocket for easy reference”, it is no such thing. Nor is it a coffee table book with lots of lovely photos but no substance. Instead, this is a real gardening manual for anyone who wants to know about growing their own food organically. I do not pretend to have read all of it – it’s not that kind of book.

The first chapter is on gardening basics, and assumes that you’re starting from scratch. If you already have some experience you can skip it and move onto chapter 2. Although this is titled ‘Healthy food basics’, and the opening pages talk you through basic human nutrition, you may become bogged down in the later pages if you’re not a fan of scientific words. There’s a whole section on phytochemicals, which while useful and an unusual find in a gardening book, would be too much to absorb in one go. But if you can manage to read through it, it will give you an understanding of why some fruits and vegetables get labelled ‘superfoods’ in the press – and what effect they will actually have.

The first two chapters form the first part of the book. The second part is ‘The gardening year’, a robust guide to the jobs you’ll need to undertake at any given moment, and what you can expect to be harvesting. Each season also has a handful of ‘features’, which are short pieces on gardening basics that will bring new growers up to speed.

Part 3 is ‘A crop-by-crop guide’, and takes you through over a hundred pages of vegetables, fruits and herbs and the details of their cultivation. Unusually, each entry also contains nutritional information and so this book is ideal if you want to grow and eat your own super-healthy diet. All of the crops commonly grown on allotments and in large kitchen gardens are covered, with recommendations of good varieties to choose. If you like going off the beaten track then you won’t find much about unusual edibles, but there are some less common ones included (such as sea kale, cardoons, medlars and mulberries).

Part 4 is ‘Preserving the harvest’ and walks you through the basics of food preservation methods from clamps to canning. It tells you how to make your own fruit leathers, and there’s a number of jam and jelly recipes. There’s even a section on making flavoured oils and vinegars, something I intended to try last year but never got around to, so a reminder (and some advice!) is timely.

The Resources at the back include all the usual books, magazines, seed and sundry suppliers as well as suggestions of good gardens to visit for kitchen garden inspiration.

This is an information-dense, but not dry, reference book that would be great for anyone serious about starting a vegetable garden or improving their diet by growing their own. It has impeccable organic credentials, and is a nice antidote to some other gardening books that have lots of pretty pictures, but very little substance.

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Book info

  • Author:
  • Publisher:Paul Watkins
  • File: 6.9 Mb
  • Release: 01.01.2011
  • ISBN: 9781906787929
  • Pages 288
  • Rating: 4 (3 votes)


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