Welcome to Bepa's Garden!
This blog is about organic gardening, healthy eating and healthy living.
Each month I will be posting Garden To-Do Lists, Tips & Techniques, Garden Project Plans, Photos from the Garden, Recipes and Book Reviews.
I hope you enjoy reading and I hope I can inspire others to start a backyard garden!
Happy Gardening!
~Rob~

Monday, April 28, 2014

"Grow a Sustainable Diet" a book review


Grow a Sustainable Diet 
planning and growing to feed
ourselves and the earth
by 
Cindy Conner


Over the winter I have read numerous books that have inspired me to become better at growing most of our own food, and to work harder towards doing this as a career.

"Before we feed others, however, we need to know how to feed ourselves." ~ Cindy Conner

"Grow a Sustainable Diet, planning and growing to feed ourselves and the earth", is probably one of the most comprehensive book I have read to date about growing your own food and doing it sustainably. I've learned several new techniques for growing as well as planning the gardens, an area I seem to have the most difficult perfecting.

The author, Cindy Conner, covers every aspect of growing from planning the gardens, choosing crops for nutrition, calculating how much to grow, companion planting and seeds. She uses the bio-intensive method of gardening, something I have talked about several times, and replenishes the soil with use of cover crops and compost. She discusses mapping out our garden so you know how much growing area you have and with the use of her worksheets you can easily:

plan How much to Grow
calculate Plant / Harvest Times
create a Plant / Harvest Schedule
track your Seed Inventory
and
calculate Seeds and Plants Needed

The worksheets are extremely useful, especially in the School Garden, because I have to figure out when to start seeds so the plants are ready for our fundraisers. I also need to create a plant/harvest schedule so we can get the most yield from our garden. (Over the weekend we added 11 new beds and increased our growing area to over 1200 square feet!) I have already begun using the worksheets to plan the garden, and the children will be using the information to calculate our estimated yield and will then compare it to our actual yield.

There are also chapters on companion planting and crop rotation, two subjects I have been trying to learn more about. There are resources listed in each chapter where you can find additional information on each topic.

This book is an excellent resources, one I highly recommend if you are interested in learning about sustainably growing your own food. I have begun using the worksheets this year and we started implementing many of the techniques found in the book in both our home garden and the school garden. The worksheets have become teaching tools we can use with the children, not only to grow more sustainably, but to also incorporate other lessons like art and math into the school garden, and to help foster a deeper appreciation of nature.

"Grow a Sustainable Diet" has already become one of my most valuable resources!

~Rob~

Morning Glory seedling in soil block.

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