Growing Perennial Foods: A Field Guide to Raising Resilient Herbs, Fruits & Vegetables, by Acadia Tucker – Book Review
Growing Perennial Foods: A Field Guide to Raising Resilient Herbs, Fruits & Vegetables
Growing Perennial Foods is a primer to rejuvenation farming and gardening. The author, Acadia Tucker, said it best, “I wrote this book with the beginner in mind. It is for gardeners who want more resilient plants that can withstand extreme weather… It’s for anyone who has never grown food before and wants to start. It’s time.”
While this book is intended for beginners, long-time gardeners will find it as refreshing as a spring rain. Rejuvenation—the very word makes you sit up straight and breathe deeply of the common sense practices that Growing Perennial Foods uses to revitalize the soil, enhance the plants, and be the best steward of our environment.
Krishna Chavda is the illustrator of this work. The colorful jacket and line drawings further enhance Acadia’s prose.
Section One: Let’s Grow Some Food
Acadia writes about soil science, the carbon cycle, soil testing, planning, planting, and maintaining the garden in an easy to read style. Her passion and enthusiasm for growing food encourage readers to GROW. Whether you are a long-time gardener or new to the world of growing and caring for edible plants, Acadia has provided sound, easy-to-follow instructions.
The first step is to test your soil, and then to feed your soil with leaves, straw, and grass clippings, which break down into compost and feed the organisms that enhance soil life. Soil is a living organism and can be enhanced by feeding with organic matter, which in turn has the reciprocal effect of enabling the soil organisms to proliferate and enhance plant life.
Acadia provides a seasonal guide to regenerative gardening practices through the four seasons, which includes directives for composting, mulching, planting, pruning, and fertilizing, as well as watering, supporting plants, and pest management.
Section Two: Herbs
The section on herbs contains detailed profiles of twelve culinary herbs. Basil, chives, lavender, fennel, oregano, rosemary, and thyme are just a few of the favored twelve. Each herb is given about five pages featuring its history, companion plants, regional compatibility, planting, growing, challenges, and harvesting.
The prize at the end of each featured herb is an easy-to-make recipe. One example is the chive and parsley hummus recipe at the conclusion of the discussion in the section on chives.
Section Three: Fruits
The section on fruits features eight different berry plants, including blackberry, blueberry, and strawberry. My favorite is blueberry, as I grow a small grove of fourteen blueberry plants.
This section was again divided as before to include history, varieties, companion plants, regional considerations, planting, growing, challenges, and harvesting, including the best ways to preserve these fruits. Acadia included a recipe entitled My Mom’s Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes.
Section Four: Vegetables
This section features fourteen favored vegetables, including my favorite – tomato. I learned via this book that growing tomatoes with chives, onions, and parsley provides strong smells to repel bugs; marigolds and nasturtiums provide a host location for aphids, and basil enhances a tomato’s flavor. The featured recipe is Roasted Tomato Soup.
Great for new and experienced gardeners alike, Growing Perennial Foods is worth the purchase for the recipes alone. The book provides a short primer on general gardening topics, including composting and organic pest control, along with individual plant profiles for a wide variety of herbs, vegetables, and fruit. But, more than the academic knowledge, you will experience the love and passion Acadia Tucker has for the earth and making it a better place for all to enjoy.
Where To Buy
This soft-cover, 280-page volume is published by Stone Pier Press and is available for purchase at bookstores and through Amazon.
Last update on 2020-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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