Urban Gardening Books

I am fascinated by the idea of gardening.  I want to feel warm earth between my fingers, and bite into a juicy tomato right off the vine.  I want to preserve my crop and line the beautiful jars in rows that I can admire, and 'shop' from.

I think it all started when I was little.  My parents have always had a garden.  Like all other families: they had good years and bad.  Sometimes we had issues with pests or drought or flooding.  Gardening is always a gamble, but it was one that we won big with most of the time.

Hubby and I don't have the square footage my folks do though.  Our house is on a small-ish lot which is almost totally shaded by enormous maple trees.  There is a patch of the deck/patio which gets a good amount of sun daily, but it is a small patch to be sure.

For the past few years I've delved into container gardening, and it's been great fun (though with mediocre results).  I keep trying though, because I know that someday I'll get it figured out.

not my garden.  pic via bing! images.
I recently ordered two books from Amazon.com about Urban Gardening.  The first is "The City Homesteader" (Self-Sufficiency on Any Square Footage) by Scott Meyer.  The second is "Urban Homesteading" (Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living) by Rachel Kaplan with K. Ruby Blume.

Both books offer a lot of wonderful information and ideas for making the most of small spaces. 

The "Urban Homesteading" book is a bit heavy-handed with the political aspect of gardening and spends a lot more time than I felt was necessary detailing things like Global Warming and Carbon Footprints.  I don't choose to garden or preserve my own food out of a desire to be kind to the planet, or whatever.  I do it because it's smart, frugal and tradition.  But I digress.  This book is full of great pictures and some wonderful ideas.  I don't have the space (or the accommodating neighbors) needed to grow animals, but the sections on goats and chickens were especially great.  This one won't be my go-to book, but it will serve as a handy back-up.

I fell in love with the second book "The City Homesteader" almost from the first page.  Filled with whimsical illustrations, it keeps to the basics.  There are a lot of well thought out and detailed projects in this book, as well as a lot of general information that will be very helpful.

After reading the section on berries, I realized that we should plant raspberries (and I now know just the place to do it).  I also learned how to make a potato barrel, a compost pile, and a rain barrel.  I discovered why my heirloom tomatoes didn't produce much last year.  I now want to get a strawberry pot and make some of those upside-down tomato planters (the book tells how to make your own).  There are tips on growing indoors as well as all the helpful outdoor tips.  I also found the edible plant identification section to be very informative.  I know that I'll be using this book a lot.  It is full of wonderful illustrations and great information.  It's a fun read even if you have lots of room to plant, but I'd definitely  recommend it to anyone with a space problem for sure.

Note: Review based upon my own opinion only.  I was not compensated in any way.


  1. Hmmm... maybe I should look into those books. I am definitely curious about gardening and I LOVE the results, but as I say to people, I have a tendency to kill flowers. Just a gift I suppose!

  2. Hi There!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier today. I'm following you back from What's cooking in the burbs. I look forward to checking out your blog. Have a great night!



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