Considering that the gardening season is still growing strong, I figured it would be a good time for another book review, this time of Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times by Steve Solomon. In the interest of complete disclosure, I’ve had this book listed on my Recommended Books list for quite some time now, so this will be a positive review.
Why I Initially Bought This Book
I was initially interested in this book for two reasons: 1) I didn’t know much about gardening at all and 2) I wanted to know how to garden “in hard times”! My problem with most traditional gardening methods is that they seem to require a lot of active gardening; this is especially true of intensive gardening methods that attempt to more efficiently utilize less land.
So long as water is not a scarce resource I have no problem with such intensive methods. Sadly, it is precisely this finite resource that will be lacking when times are tough. This book, like no other I have read, emphasized how I could attempt to garden in hard times. And, that is what I love about it.
The Book’s Contents
So many useful topics are covered I feel like I would do the book an disservice in attempting to explain the book. Suffice it to say that Solomon covers everything I wanted to know about gardening in general. From explaining the basics of gardening to seed starting to tool maintenance and even composting, I think I read the book cover to cover (or at least most of it) in a day. He also covers other critical topics such as insects and plant disease, soil improvement, and even how to grown specific vegetables.
With regards to gardening in a SHTF situation, Solomon really does a good job of explaining how to properly space crops, how to build and dig beds, actual watering needs, techniques for maximizing plant growth, and so much more. Really, I was amazed at what this guy knows.
Even if you’re not into “survival gardening” you’ll learn so much from Solomon that you’ll thank me for pointing it out if you have any interest in gardening. Most importantly, however, is the knowledge you’ll gain if you ever needed to know how to garden for real and not just for fun.