Excellent Beginner’s Guide
By Robyn Jasko, Illustrated by Jennifer Biggs
Microcosm Publishing, $9.95, 128 pages
Need a push to finally start a vegetable garden? Robyn Jasko gives that gentle yet insistent nudge with her book Homesweet Homegrown. In clear and easy-to-read text, Jasko explains “how to grow, make and store food, no matter where you live.” Topics discussed include garden prep and planning; information on commonly grown vegetables; planting setup; making garden-related tools like a rain barrel, weed killer and a drip irrigation system; simple, staple recipes like garlic soup and roasted beet salad; and storage and processing techniques, like canning, freezing and fermenting. At the end is an excellent list of resources to quick start gardening. All DIY projects are uncomplicated and beginner friendly, sometimes using common household items like newspaper, vinegar and an old garden hose.
“Food is power, so it’s time to take matters into our own hands and start something. And this book will show you how to grow, store and make as much food as possible on the cheap.”
Jasko really takes the scary factor out of gardening with this small and unassuming book. Everything from the charming inked drawings to the clean setup to the organized layout makes starting a garden seem infinitely less overwhelming. This certainly qualifies as a dummy’s guide to vegetable gardening and food production, especially for all those gardeners with more enthusiasm than experience.
Reviewed by Andrea Klein
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