Friday, April 2, 2021

The Modern Homestead Garden: Growing Self-sufficiency in Any Size Backyard

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The Modern Homestead Garden is a tutorial gardening guide written by Gary Pilarchik. Due out 27th April 2021 from Quarto on their Cool Springs Press imprint, it's 160 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats (ebook available now). 

This is a well written and efficient guide to planning, siting, building, planting, growing, and harvesting a garden (mostly aimed at food production) for beginning to intermediate home/suburban gardeners. The author's aim is to show readers how to increase their food security by tending and growing their own vegetables. It's a flexible book and there are good information-dense takeaways for suburban (and possibly urban) dwellers in addition to people who live in rural areas and probably have more room for a large garden. In fact one of his good pieces of advice to beginners is to proceed slowly and systematically and NOT just try to provide for your family's entire food needs in one go (guaranteed to result in disappointment). 

The book has a logical layout with information arranged intuitively: what homesteading means in the modern use of the word, first gardens, choosing what to grow and planting, choosing and starting seeds & transplants, growing, semi-permaculture with earthen and raised beds, container gardening, garden tending, troubleshooting, edible landscaping, and how to use/store the harvest. There's also a cross-referenced index.

This is a good beginner to intermediate guide for people who are interested in decreasing their impact on the environment and find themselves floundering a bit to know where to start. I would recommend this one for public or school library acquisition, gardening and maker's groups, community gardens, and related groups as well as would-be home gardeners. There is unlikely to be much in-depth info which would be of use to truck-farmers or actual homesteaders. (In fact, the author himself says in the introduction that it's not necessary to leave your community or move off grid to have a homestead).

Four stars. Beautifully illustrated in color throughout.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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