Pan MacMillan. Australian, Nonfiction. Softcover RRP $45.00
Reviewer - Sandy Fussell
The Little Vegi Patch Co. is a gardening guide that focuses on growing vegetables in small spaces.
I wasn’t expecting to learn anything. I already know a great deal about vegetables and container gardening. I have other vegetable reference books but none of them are set out so beautifully or so easy to read and locate information. The photographs are delicious, and the power of a mouth-watering image to inspire a morning working in the garden should never be underestimated.
The vegetable information pages (A-Z of Edible Plants) detail growing guidelines, space considerations, soil preparation and potential problems. Other useful information includes sections on composting, worms, fertilising, water, saving seeds (which I found particularly interesting), recycling and even building a scarecrow.
There are detailed descriptions on how to use small spaces and recycled products – raised beds, no-dig gardening, propagating in toilet rolls and a golf club trellis. The discovery of the ‘spud tower’, a wire cylinder lined with straw and a centre of compost, allowed me to finally grow potatoes in my suburban backyard.
The authors, Fabian and Mat, belong to families who take great pride in their freshly grown produce. The book is filled with personal anecdotes. They admit a passion for home-grown tomatoes, one I enthusiastically share. When Mat’s Italian grandparents migrated to Australia, the most treasured possession was packed in the middle of the suitcase, in a jar, in a jar, in a jar – Nonno’s finest tomato seeds.
This book is a visual feast and a wealth of information. It is an invaluable reference for all things vegetable – small spaces and otherwise. I can’t imagine any vegie gardener who would not love to receive this book as a gift.
Visit the Little Vegie Patch Co. website http://littleveggiepatchco.com.au/