The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

The Planet Whizbang Idea Book for Gardeners

Planet Whizbang Idea Book for GardenersI usually find something negative to say about every book (along with lots of positives), but Herrick Kimball's The Planet Whizbang Idea Book for Gardeners is an exception.  This is self-publishing at its best --- quirky but polished.  If I had to say something negative, I'd beg for an index, but the table of contents is really specific enough to help you find projects within its pages.  Other than that, there's nothing not to love about the Idea Book.

The instant you open The Planet Whizbang Idea Book for Gardeners, you'll be drawn in by the simple line drawings that are informative but also fun.  Think of Bill Mollison's Introduction to Permaculture and you've got the right idea.  I don't know why, but projects always look simpler with line drawings.  However, if you want photographic proof that Kimball's projects are possible, you'll also be pointed toward a hidden website as soon as you buy the book, which allows you to see plenty of photos of the author's work in action.

I'll write more about the projects themselves in later posts, but suffice it to say that many sound quite intriguing.  Kimball also did a great job of excerpting gardening advice from books and magazines of the 1800s, which is a time when gardening was a serious fact of life for most people.  I thoroughly recommend the chapter by E.P. Roe titled "How to Grow Strawberries of the Largest and Finest Quality" --- the method outlined is nearly identical to the one I use, which produces berries so large and delicious that everyone wants to visit us in May and June.

Okay, I did think of one more negative.  Once you buy a copy of The Plant Whizbang Idea Book for Gardeners, you'll realize you need to buy two more to give away as gifts.  But that's a good problem, right?

This post is part of our Idea Book for Gardeners lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Anna, you may already be aware of this, The Home Acre, by E. P. Roe is available online at Project Gutenberg It is a good read, he was ahead of his time. Here's a quote: "Why do not our schools teach a little practical natural history? Once, when walking in the Catskills, I saw the burly driver of a stage-load of ladies bound out of his vehicle to kill a garter-snake, the pallid women looking on, meanwhile, as if the earth were being rid of some terrible and venomous thing. They ought to have known that the poor little reptile was as harmless as one of their own garters, and quite as useful in its way. "

Comment by Michael Tue Mar 18 21:37:37 2014

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