This time of year I start pouring through spring garden catalogs, magazines & books. One of my favs is Grow Great Grub by Gayla Trail. Over the past few years I've started to exceed my gardening space & I needed inspiration for alternative gardening.
Grow Great Grub focuses on organic gardening in smaller spaces. Considering my postage stamp front garden, deck & backyard planters aren't exactly large, I decided to buy a copy. The book is divided into 3 sections, 1. Prepping, 2. Types of Plants & 3. Harvesting. In each section, Gayla ranks different gardens & plants by difficulty and offers expert instructions on a variety of growing options. One of my favorite subsections is on growing sprouts and greens seed in toilet paper rolls. She realizes that not everyone has access to grow lamps or heat mats and focuses on what is affordable for all; free toilet paper rolls, cheap organic seed packets, and soil. There are options for every space (windowsill to outdoors) and every level of gardener.
Throughout the book, she recommends her favorite varieties of veg, herbs & flowers in addition to small space composting and the importance of plant rotation so that you can grow for years to come. Gayla wraps up by offering numerous cooking & preserving ideas, and come September I'm reading this section on a weekly basis. She offers up fantastic recipes for immediate cooking as well as pickling, drying, & canning. This year I'm hoping to make my first ristra. Ristras are bundles of hot peppers that are carefully chosen and tenderly assembled into a bouquet and allowed to dry for several weeks.
So what are you itching to do in the garden this year?