Thursday, December 3, 2009

Gifts for gardeners: Books (part 2)

Earlier, I focused on books for gardeners interested in native plants. In this post, I will focus on books for gardeners interested in vegetable gardening and local food.

1. All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. I have to admit it - this is the only book on vegetable gardening that I own. For begining vegetable gardeners, this is a great book. It provides step by step instructions on how to create a vegetable garden that has few weeds and a lot of produce per square foot. My husband and I refer to this book as the "bible".

2. Ominvore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. If you aren't convinced of the benefits of eating locally grown food, this book will convince you. And if you are already a convert, this book will provide new information about industrial food production and the benefits of eating locally.

3. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and Plenty by Alisa Smith and J. B. Mackinnon. These two book cover somewhat the same territory. In both, the authors try to live for a year eating only local food. In the Kingsolver book, her family raises a good portion of their food. In Plenty, an urban couple in Vancouver tries to source all of their food within 100 miles of their house. I was inspired by both of these books.

4. Fresh Food Fast by Peter Berley and Vegetarian Suppers by Deborah Madison. Once you grow - or buy - all of these vegetables, you need to know how to cook them. These are both great cookbooks for cooking seasonal vegetables. I am not a vegetarian, but I love these vegetarian cook books.

5. Food Matters by Mark Bittman. I have not read this one, but it is on my list. This is a mix of The Omnivore's Dilemma and a cookbook. Mark Bittman is a food writer for the New York Times, and in this book, mixes his own personal food conversion (and weight loss) with recipes.

What have I missed? What books on local food or vegetable gardening do you refer to again and again?

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