"an edible gardening primer"

I finished reading Grow Great Grub: Organic Food for Small Spaces by Gayla Trail. The title is a bit misleading, because really, this book is for anyone. It's about growing great grub, period, whether your space is small or large. I got the book from the local library, but I'm tempted to run to Powells and buy myself a copy to use as a reference. My copy of her first book, You Grow Girl, is dog-eared from all the times I've checked on it. That's because both of her books are filled with recipes (such as one for Dark Opal basil jelly), creative projects (like sewing yourself a gardening apron), and gardening ideas, tips, photos, and words of encouragement such as:

"I'm not going to lie to you. There is a heck of a lot to learn when it comes to growing a food garden. But you don't need to know everything now in order to begin. You'll learn over time through doing, succeeding, and yes, even failing. To become a food gardener, you need only a little direction and a plant or two to begin with. Expanding from there, your experience and confidence will grow along with your garden. And most important, remember this: without a doubt, you will make mistakes. All gardeners do from time to time, even the experienced ones. Grant yourself permission to learn through messing up, and before you know it, you'll find yourself with bowls of strawberries, bundles of fresh herbs, the perfect tomato sandwich, and your own fantasy food garden." (7)

These words hearten me when my bean and zucchini seeds don't sprout (are they getting eaten or rotting in the soggy, soggy ground?) or my best tomato plant gets demolished by a chicken because I foolishly had it out in the open. It reminds me to look at my ripening strawberries, my tall garlic, the flower buds on my peas, the increased population of my bees, and my many other garden wonders.

One more thing about Grow Great Grub: not only is she a gardening goddess, she also produces the entire book almost entirely by herself (and I believe with the help of her mister), including words, photos, and layout.

In other lit. news, I read with the American lit. juniors The Great Gatsby and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (fun book to teach). I also read The Bean Trees, and a book on butterfly gardening. I've also dipped into scads of books, short stories, poems, and graded hundreds of papers (sweet, sweet summer vacation=bliss of reading whatever I want and no grading!).

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