If you are looking for a book on why to garden instead of how to garden, consider reading Grow the Good Life by Michele Owens (2011, Rodale, $24.95).
In ten chapters, Owens tells the story of her own garden and how she became a vegetable gardener even though she grew up in a sea of lawns with virtually no gardens around her. Though my own experience is different from Owens’ story, namely because I grew up with a dad who always had a vegetable garden, I applaud Owens for telling her story, which is more like that of many people who are now thinking about gardening and growing vegetables.
This is not your typical “how to” book on gardening. You’ll find no lists of what to grow, when to plant, or when to harvest. Instead, Owens mixes in her own personal experience of growing vegetables and building up good soil, with information from various studies and experts to present a compelling case for the home vegetable garden and why everyone should have one.
Read it to gain the confidence to grab a shovel and start your own garden. Or read it to be re-inspired if you already grow vegetables. Regardless of whether you agree with all she writes about gardening and life, you’ll find it hard not to agree with her that anyone can grow vegetables and join the ranks of other gardeners.
To quote Owens, “No matter how different from me they may be, I find that I can always talk to gardeners. Yes, we share an interest, but the sense of community among gardeners runs deeper than the common topic of conversation and transcends vastly different ways of living. The respect for nature and the confidence that comes from shaping a piece of earth make gardeners at bottom alike. And even the most worldly gardeners recognize a sense of the miraculous in each other.”
I think more than one non-gardener will read this book and decide to try to grow a few vegetables, and many a gardener will read it and want to grow more.
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