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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Looking for a better way to feed yourself and your family? A healthier, more enjoyable way? Imagine a store-bought piece of fruit or vegetable. Who knows where or when it was harvested, but it probably was underripe when picked and shipped a fair distance, perhaps even halfway around the world. Sounds rather unsustainable, doesn’t it? And the taste confirms it. Face it, store-bought foods are not always the best option. With ever-increasing food prices, less reliability, and even countless recalls of certain products due to various issues like e-coli contamination, it makes sense to grow as much as you can of your own food, if not all of it. Even if you live in a small space, like an apartment, there are ways to maintain a healthy gardening experience. Like, for instance, raised gardens.
Peter Shepperd’s book, Introduction To Raised Bed Gardening, is just the book to help you get started, or even offer some advice and suggestions for the more seasoned gardener. The book is well organized and an interesting read. It begins with the author’s garden journey, which had its roots in his memories of the tasty food that came from his grandmother’s garden. Memories sparked the author and he decided to aspire to his grandmother’s wonderous garden produce. I share a similar bond that sparked my interest in gardening, as my great-grandfather had a superb garden, with everything from gladioli to vegetables and his specialty, rhubarb. I aspire to grow as prolific a garden as he did. Great-Grandpa grew most of his produce directly in the ground, but he also had raised gardens.
I have developed an interest in the raised garden approach and this book has provided me with some excellent suggestions and advice. I was fascinated with Peter Shepperd’s approach to presenting his material. After summarizing his own personal attraction to gardening and, in particular, raised gardens, he launches into a fascinating look at the history of gardening. Then he discusses the benefits of not only gardening but specifically raised gardening. Some of his points I already knew, but others added an interesting dimension to my argument in favor of raised gardens. He then systematically goes through the procedure of planning, preparing, and considering all viable options for the best raised garden given the limitations of one’s personal space. This is not only an excellent resource but also an interesting read.