Thursday, December 06, 2012

Any Size, Anywhere Edible Gardening

Thursday, December 6, 2012

20.5° here on the mountain this morning. The wind is a constant 6 mph and my two morning walks with Karl the Wonder Dog were expectedly shorter this morning as he doesn’t care for fresh snow and cold winds. Karl seemed to spend too long by the platform bird feeder trying to figure out why it was surrounded by deer tracks and not birds, but as a dog, the absence of bird seed would not register with him anyway. I figure I should set up a game camera and catch an image of the deer which must stand on their hind feet to lick off all the seed.

As we returned to the house I put a couple more logs on the fire and settled down to finish a great new gardening book by William Moss. I like Moss a lot and I like anything Cool Spring Press releases too!  I only have “Best Management Practices” left to read and can say how much I have enjoyed the read. Any Size, Anywhere Edible Gardening offers solid information on how to garden successfully just about any place. It is a confidence builder for those who need help growing a green thumb. It offers a format for success and William’s “how-to” information is so clear it will leave a picture in your memory to make garden building easy.

There was a time when gardening was taken for granted as almost everyone had experience as a gardener and people could identify fruits and vegetables without having to think. Back then was not like today at the supermarket when the clerk puts a turnip on the scale and asks “Beet?” or a zucchini and asks “Cucumber?” Some of that innate knowledge and experience from the old days is absent and books like Edible Gardening are needed to help us make a comeback.

Owning a nursery gives me ample opportunity to see the need for good gardening information and the need to help would-be gardeners build their confidence to take the first step. The current price and quality of store bought fruits and vegetables are also encouraging us to rethink “growing our own”. Media releases about contaminated food tell us that our home grown food is not contaminated and that encourages us to try gardening.

Edible Garden represents itself as “The No Yard, No Time, No Problem Way To Grow Your Own Food.” and Moss is very successful in his presentation. Our latest sociological research reminds us how many people are returning to suburbia and we know that those moves mean that gardening must be adapted to the geography that smaller space provides. This book discusses containers, both purchased and homemade, and how to fill them with the best growing mix for the best results. It offers descriptions and pictures of food crops that will produce well in containers and discusses the part of gardening no one likes—dealing with undesirable insects and surprise plant diseases.

If you have never gardened before, or know someone who has not gardened but might like to, consider Edible Gardening as a holiday gift. Maybe consider putting a copy of the book in a suitable growing container with packages of seed (William recommends many) or even a bag of good potting mix. It’s the kind of holiday gift that you can continue to complement during subsequent holidays and you’re guaranteed to receive ongoing feedback on how the new hobby is progressing. I’ll bet you might even get a chance to sample the produce!

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where the thermometer refuses to budge and the sun is having trouble breaking through the clouds. Might be a good day to go online and look at seed companies and think through what you might like to try in containers. Most companies now identify seeds that will produce plants that will succeed in containers. You could also check out Cool Springs Press, a printer I like because it bills itself as Growing Successful Gardens  

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
On Facebook as Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens and also as George Africa
On Twitter as vtflowerfarm

No comments: