Book Review: How To Grow Food

How To Grow Food: A Step-By-Step Guide To Growing All Kinds Of Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs, Salads, And More, by Richard Gianfrancesco

One of the entertaining things about this book is the way that the author deals with the problem of the various pests that afflict food crops. As a practical-minded person who enjoys eating, my favorite aspect of gardening is the gardening of edibles, and this book is an edible gardening book, and so in that sense it is right up my alley. There are, of course, always tradeoffs to a book like this one. Gardening is highly dependent on a lot of factors and is by no means an easy thing, and books about gardening are highly interesting in the way the way that they seek to discuss gardening in as broad a process as possible. When people live in a variety of areas in the United States it is often a challenge to write in such a way that one could do the same thing in Florida as one does in, say, the Pacific Northwest. There are quite a few climate zones in the United States and the conditions in those areas are quite different, and so it can often be hard for authors to deal with this complexity.

This book is about 250 pages long in terms of its contents. These contents are divided into four parts. The book begins with a foreword, information about the book, as well as an introduction. After that the first part of the book discusses where to grow food, including the types of gardens that exist, how one chooses the best site within the garden, how to design one’s food garden, and growing food undercover. The second part of the book, which is the longest by far, then looks at the growing directory of different food plants, starting with vegetabl3 and salad crops like root crops, leafy crops, stem and flower crops, and herbs, fruit crops like tree fruits, soft fruits, and tender fruit, and nuts. Included in each of these crops is a discussion of what sun or shade conditions they like, what pests they deal with, and what season one plants and harvests them. The third part of the book then discusses how to grow plants, including tools and equipment, growing from seed or buying plants, growing in containers, watering, gardening, organic gardening, soil, compost, weeds, and pests and diseases. The fourth part of the book then discusses how one preserves one’s foods in terms of equipment, jams, jellies, pickles, chutneys, drying and freezing. The book then ends with a sowing summary, crop selection summary, hardiness zones, an index, and acknowledgements.

Overall, this is a practical sort of work. While most people would probably not read this book for fun the way that I like to, there are a great many people who read books on gardening and who enjoy gardening and who want to know more information about how to grow edible plants. Growing fruit trees, vegetables, herbs, and salad plants of various kinds is something that a lot of people do and some people just need a bit of encouragement from a book like this one to do the task. The author sought a wide degree of popularity and a lot more copies of books sold and so the book is a rather general one. As one might expect who has any familiarity with the pests that afflict food crops, this book comes off as being somewhat optimistic as to what a gardener may expect when trying to grow food crops. At least in my observation, the crops that the author says are easy to grow are (perhaps unsurprisingly) not easy to grow at all. But few people would take up gardening as a habit if they were aware at how difficult it was to actually grow things.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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