Book Review: Grow Your Own, by A Stewart & S Leake

Book Review: Grow Your Own, by Angus Stewart and Simon Leake

The many aspects of urban farming, not just how to grow your own veggies but also how increased awareness of our food production can have environmental, social, health and psychological benefits.

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Over the past decade or so more and more people have become interested in where there food comes from and in growing their own food. This book is a great way to get started.

Grow Your Own discusses many aspects of urban farming; not just how to grow your own veggies but also how becoming more aware of the production of what we eat can have environmental, social, health and psychological benefits.

The authors have a wealth of experience. Angus Stewart is a writer, garden tour leader, nurseryman and a popular presenter on ABC’s Gardening Australia program. Simon Leake is a soil scientist and winner of Horticulturist of the Year in 2016, awarded by The Australian Institute of Horticulture.

Whether you live in an apartment with just a balcony or in a new subdivision with a small block, the engaging style, great photographs and step-by-step methods make this a terrific book for both beginners and more experienced gardeners. Topics covered include establishing the soil and growing environment; fertilising and compost; making the most of small spaces through vertical gardening; and much more.

Readers are also introduced to new growing and composting systems such as Vegepod, a self-contained raised bed growing system, and Composta, a combination worm farm and growing pot – ideal for growing salad greens on the balcony.

Not only does the book present easy to follow sections on setting up your urban farm with topics such as soil testing, selecting the best crops to grow, and composting, it will also serve as an ongoing reference on the inevitable pests and diseases, plant propagation and plant nutrition.

Another great feature of Grow Your Own is the use of case studies such as a roof top garden or raised beds when your local soil is not good. Reading about and seeing what others are successfully producing in their own urban farms might be just the incentive you need to give growing your own a go.

I highly recommend the book.

Reviewed by Jan Kershaw

Rating out of 10:  9

Distributed by: Murdoch Books
Released: November 2017
RRP: $45

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