Garden/Allotment (Photo credit: Rick Harrison))

I would love to garden more than we do, but we have a very short growing period here in Seattle. Plus our landscaping is 30-years old and the trees that once offered no shade whatsoever on the few hot days a year we have here, are now 50 ft. tall and shade us from sun up to sun down.  Still, we deck garden as much as we can, and we dream of a day when we can have a true vegetable plot.

As a kid, we had a garden, and I remember how much I hated weeding. But now I realize how lucky we were, and I’m so thrilled people are starting to go back to the way we were; before chemicals and processed foods took over our lives.

I’ve recently obtained three great books that will can anyone succeed from seedling to garden and then to table if they’re looking to do so.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Seed Saving and Starting

Written by Sheri Ann Richerson, this book walks you through the entire process of how to save and store your seeds from year to year.  It also shares info on how and when to start your seeds, so they have the best chance when you transplant them into your garden. The book contains plenty of tables for companion plantings, sowing periods, pollination types and more.  She’s also included help for soil prep, location selection, and help for diseases, pests, and critters.

Richardson has written several books for the Dummies series on gardening and plants.  She provide hints and tip on how to identify your seeds, how to get them to germinate, and for the advanced seed saver, she teaches how to cross-breed your plants to create hybrids for your growing conditions.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Small-Space Gardening

This book is likely the one that I’ll thumb through the most this summer.  Written by Chris McLaughlin, a Master Gardener since 2000 and a small-space gardener for 30 years, the book covers vegetables as well as flower gardening.  McLaughlin helps you take a look at the space you do have available and then determine the factors for your specific area.  Then he helps you figure out how to make it work. For instance, no horizontal space? He shares ways to go vertical and he provides ideas for structures you can build to make your space work. McLaughlin also covers the nutritional needs as well as pest problems common in small-space gardening.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Raw Food Detox

Garden Bounty (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So you’ve grown some great vegetables and now what do you do with your abundance? Raw Food eating is consuming foods that have not been heated above 116f because it’s widely believed that in doing so, you’re breaking down the nutrients in them.  This book focuses on clean eating and includes recipes for desserts, soups, entrees, and more.  But it also includes a detox diet where you move from a mixed diet to fully raw to cleanse your body.

Will I try it? Probably not, but I do enjoy the information on what foods in the vegetable patch are high in protein and/or fiber and ways I can add raw food to my diet for the health benefits. Even if I’m not ready to go fully raw now, who knows, I may at some point.

The author, Adam A. Graham, has worked as a live-food chef as well as an instructor at the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center.

So from seed to garden, to table – they’re all covered and done well. Do you have plans to garden this summer?

Buy the Books