It’s story time!
I’ve got a list of 2-3 books per subject that I need to get under my belt before starting to put in my garden in January/February. Most of these I found either via Amazon lists or westcoastseeds.com and then a little from chatting with a few people who actually know what they’re doing (hopefully because they read these books). I would still love some of your submissions and/or comments. Choosing books from the comments/reviews online always seems risky. My Dad also gave me a few old school gardening books that are a great start for me to figure out what I want to grow, and when they should be planted.
So, without any further ado here’s the list:
- All that the Rain Promises and More: A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms – by David Arora
- Mushrooms Demystified – by David Arora
- Choosing and Keeping Chickens – by Chris Graham
- Chickens: Tending a Small Scale Flock for Pleasure or Profit – by Sue Weaver
- The Chicken Health Handbook – by Gail Damerow
- Starter Vegetable Gardens – by Barbara Pleasant
- Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades – by Steve Solomons
- Perennial Vegetables – by Eric Toensmeier
So how did I choose what I did and why? The mushroom books were a no-brainer. The reviews are excellent, uncontested and there are LOTS of them. Even a guy who bought them not realising he didn’t live in the pacific northwest was happy with his purchase. Ridiculous.
Choosing the chicken books was a bit harder. I might not even get them all. There is SO much information online about raising chickens as it is. That said I will certainly get the one about chicken health. That’s the kind of thing where learning about prevention can make all the difference (who wants a dead chicken!? Oh yeah, not a DISEASED dead chicken). So I’ll probably get that one and maybe the Chris Graham book if I have some extra cash (so probably not). The other problem with the chicken books is that most of them are geared towards people with MANY chickens who are looking to sell the eggs, the meat and to start breeding and selling chicks. Although I may one day look to do the latter illegally (SHH!) I’m not going to have enough eggs to sell since I can only have 4 chickens at once. Since I’m getting pullets (hens to lay) they won’t be prime eating chickens so when I do slaughter them I’ll be stewing them myself. A lot of the chicken books are also pretty old, and feed seems to have changed a lot. There was one (not on the list) that I was interested in because it talked about formulating your own feed. I think that would be pretty awesome in terms of using up extras from the table and garden, but it seems unnecessary when organic chicken feed is available at Mark’s Pet Stop for $18 a bag (lasts 3 months). I’d rather just supplement with the other stuff.
Finally the gardening books. This was hard for a completely different reason. I wanted EVERY book out there. I tried to narrow my search to keep myself in check. I focused on books about:
- organic gardening (if I can get the soil)
- starting your first vegetable garden (that’s Barbara Pleasant’s book -with a name like that how could I refuse?)
- permaculture/perennial gardening – looking at gardening as a year-round venture. My next community centre class is about gardening year-round. it seems so difficult but I’m sure there are SOME things that will make it, especially in the polytunnel I have planned.
So, that’s how I ended up with my list for gardening. They’re all available on westcoastseeds.com, but I’m not sure if that’s my cheapest route. I’m wondering if I could get a free copy in order to review them on here, but that’s probably pushing my luck.
Anyway, if you have any thoughts on my choices, or know of a book that I should include and haven’t, use my handy-dandy new comments feature to school me.