Book Review: Vegetable, Fruit and Herb Growing in Small Spaces by John Harrison (Kindle Edition, 2010)

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Description; You don’t need an allotment or even a garden to grow your own..
This book covers all you need to know to successfully grow in containers, window boxes or even hanging baskets. If you do have a small garden, it tells you how to get the most from it.

……

This simple, straightforward guide, written in plain English with black and white illustrations, is not designed for the coffee table. It’s a manual to help those who really want to provide something for the table by their own efforts.

This book is a good reference for the beginner. It is nicely divided into chapters about fruit, vegetable, herbs, tools etc. However it is only useful as an initial reference and it is not the practical ‘how to’ guide I was expecting it to be. There are definitely a lot of really useful tips for many of the foods described, drawing on the author’s extensive experience growing his own. However, when faced with a packet of seeds/ a fresh cutting this is not the correct place to search for step by step instructions for turning them into dinner.

On the upside the writing style is really easy to read, not alienating at all. I enjoyed every minute and read the whole thing cover to cover, so to speak. It is available in Kindle format which is really nice and it was cheap, less than £5 on Amazon. If you buy it on the author’s website it is a little bit more expensive but you get it signed and he will give you free seeds with it. If I didn’t have a Kindle I would definitely choose to buy it from his website. The book doesn’t contain any photos but it doesn’t really need any. There are illustrations where necessary and these come out crisp on the Kindle version.

Maybe it is my fault that I was a bit disappointed by the lack of instructions, maybe I misunderstood the product description. I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed that John didn’t include just a little bit more detail about each crop so as to make this into a really good reference. All that said it is definitely a really good place to start if, like me, you have no idea where to begin, what you can grow in pots or you just want some inspiration. I am planning to read it again as I enjoyed it thoroughly and it is not too long. This time I am definitely going to take notes and make myself a growing ‘wish list’.

Info (as of March 21st 2011): Paperback on Amazon £3.89; Kindle Edition on Amazon £3.70; Paperback from John’s website, signed, with £5 voucher (for Harrod Horticulture Online) and £10 worth of free seeds £5.99; John’s website http://www.allotment.org.uk/

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