Monday, October 4, 2010

A Book to Recommend: Don't Throw It, Grow It!: 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps

When I was looking around at books for sale at the MEN Fair, this book just sucked me in. It was the quirkiest, weirdest book about growing that I'd ever seen. I had to get it, especially with the fun growing potential with my kids.

This book teaches you how to grow everything from peanuts to pomagranates to pineapples all from the seeds and roots and tops that you would normally throw away. (Did you know you can grow new leeks from the rooty ends you cut off?)

Each plant entry features the common name, the Latin name, plant type, growth rate, method of growing, light requirements, a detailed description of what the plant looks like, how to grow it and what the fruit tastes like. Throughout the book there are also interesting, related origin facts. The book is filled with fun, retro art drawings of the plants and the easiest plants to grow are marked with an "EASY" starburst. The text print is green with accents of darker green and bright orange used in the artwork. The green text is rather soothing on the eyes. A helpful index is also located in the back.

1. nitty-gritty growing techniques
2. plants from common vegetables
3. plants from fruits and nuts
4. plants from herbs and spices
5. plants from latin america
6. plants from asia

The only downside is that leeks aren't mentioned in the book. I think it's got a good overview of a lot of plants, fruits, and seeds you can grow from scraps, but obviously not all are mentioned. Some plants I've never heard of are mentioned, so while I don't know if I'll ever grow or eat them, they are interesting to read about. It would be nice if the book was spiral-bound as well so the book can be laid flat for easier reading-while-doing.

Overall, this book is a fun, funky read that gets me really excited about growing something on my windowsill this winter. It helps bring exotic plants to your own home and trying the plants described in its pages is an adventure waiting to happen! I think it would make a great gift for gardeners at any skill or age level. Check it out!

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