Submissions     Contact     Advertise     Donate     BlogRoll     Subscribe                         

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Fresh Food from Small Spaces (again)

[The following is a guest post by Pat Meadows. Yes, we just ran another review of this one, but Pat's extensive knowledge of container gardening and related topics warrants revisiting this book...]


Fresh Food from Small Spaces‘ is an exciting book, an inspirational and
informative book. Ruppenthal’s main topics are container gardening,
sprouting, fermenting, growing mushrooms, and small livestock (chickens and
bees only), making compost and worm boxes. He lists and describes steps
that anyone can take towards helping to build a more sustainable planet and
living more lightly on the earth, as well as being more self-reliant.

I was very glad to see a short chapter on ‘Survival During Resource
Shortages’ and one on ‘Helping to Build a Sustainable Future’. The
‘Introduction’ also touches on these topics.

I was also glad to see that Ruppenthal recommends the use of Self-Watering
Containers. I know from personal experience (and from being the listowner
for a list devoted to Edible Container Gardening) that this is a very, very
superior way to grow vegetables in containers.

What the book is *not*: it is definitely not a how-to book. It is *not* the
only book you’ll ever need about *any* of the topics that it covers. If you
buy the book thinking that it is, you’ll probably be disappointed.

Instead, it gives an excellent general overview and introduction to some
very disparate topics. It gives you ideas for things *you can actually do*.
The author also points you towards more detailed sources of information on
each topic. I doubt if *anyone* could have written a detailed instructional
guide on all of these very different topics.

Major disappointment: the only illustrations are black-and-white stock
photos. Some color photos - and more personal photos - would have been a
great addition. This is really a very glaring lack. (Shame on you, Chelsea
Green Publishers!)

Second major disappointment: no index. I would have expected an index in
anything published by Chelsea Green, a quality publisher.

Major plus: The book is referenced, with endnotes. There is a list of
resources as well.

Ruppenthal writes well, and I would definitely have given this book my unalloyed
praise if it only had better photos and an index. I have no other criticisms.


No comments:

Post a Comment