Grow Great Grub: Organic Food From Small Spaces
Reviewed by Claudia Alarcón, Fri., May 28, 2010
Grow Great Grub: Organic Food From Small Spacesby Gayla Trail
Clarkson Potter, 208 pp., $19.99
With the growing trend to "go local," more and more people are choosing to grow their own herbs, fruits, and vegetables at home: It's a great way to control the exact varieties that you eat and add some interesting new things to your menus, and with research, you can grow those best suited to the climate where you live. As one who has been gardening organically for nearly 20 years, I love to see new gardeners give it a go. This is a nifty little guide book for the novice gardener, especially those with limited space. After all, Gayla Trail gardens on a rooftop in Toronto, and my first garden on an apartment balcony in Austin consisted of herbs, chiles, and tomatoes growing on wooden produce crates rescued from the restaurant where I worked.
Trail covers every base to get started, whether you have a small backyard, an apartment balcony, or a tiny patio. From choosing containers to building raised beds, making compost and soil mixtures, starting seeds, and companion planting, the book is full of useful tips designed with economy and frugality in mind. Cool projects like growing potatoes in a trash can and the make-it-yourself upside-down tomato bucket will encourage anyone and are fun for kids. Each plant described includes container-growing suitability and best varieties for the job, plus recipes for using the fresh rewards from the garden as well as preserving the fruits of your labor. Even for seasoned gardeners, the book offers useful tips and money-saving ideas, like the self-watering pot, the holey hosiery onion holder, and the make-your-own chile ristra. With beautiful color photos throughout, this handy little companion will make you get out in the garden and get your hands dirty.