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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Family Kitchen Garden: How to Plant, Grow, and Cook Together » User review

"For your daily pesticide ration, you could continue...at the local supermarket."

  • Aug 27, 2009
  • by
As people become more aware of the benefits of eating locally, it stands to reason that more would be interested in learning how to grow their own food - even if it is just in a limited capacity. In addition, teaching children where our food truly comes from and the satisfaction that growing it yourself can have is an invaluable tool to help combat obesity and global warming at the same time.

While there are many books for beginning gardeners, there are few good ones designed specifically to help families get their children involved. This one fits the bill, and it does it well - though it need not be exclusively for families. There are many full-color photos demonstrating techniques, as well as images of the fruits and veggies themselves. The book is broken down into three main sections, which are then broken down further. For example, the first section is titled THE BASICS - it covers such things as planning, climate, soil, weeds, pest control and fertilizing (and even more!). The authors state straight-up that this book is intended for an organic garden, and their methods/hints/tips bear this out.

The second section is called MONTH BY MONTH - each month is broken down into what to sow, what to plant, what to do, what to harvest and what to eat/create (including a recipes). I've read many different gardening books, but for the uninitiated, this is one of the best at breaking everything down by month.

The third section is called A - Z OF PLANTS, and it is also very well done. It's broken down by veggies, fruits, herbs and flowers, making it easy to find something in a hurry. It shows what can be grown in containers, what is easy, medium or slightly tricky to grow, and a smiley face to show what is particularly suitable for younger children to grow. Each item is broken down into its group and family, soil and position, sowing/planting/spacing, aftercare, companion planting, problems, harvesting and uses, and varieties. Each page also includes a beautiful full-color photo of that item.

In the back, there are charts to show: average time between sowing and harvest, how much of each fruit or veggie would be needed for a family of four, and a typical planting chart. There is also a nice index.

The only (very minor) thing about the book is that it is written for those in England and close-by. Some of the terminology is a little bit foreign to us here in the US. However - having said that - the authors have made every effort to explain the terms and to make it user-friendly for us here in the States.

The book would be a terrific addition to any family's gardening library - and with the abundance of color photos, many children would be happy to go through the book looking for the fruits and vegetables they would like to plant! What a wonderful way to get them to eat their recommended fruits and veggies.

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About the reviewer
Beth C. ()
Ranked #277
I'm a SAHM of two, a board member of my son's charter school, and an avid reader. I am also an Amazon Vine member and the wife of a retired Coastie.
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About this book


“This is an indispensable handbook for starting a family kitchen garden. Growing your own vegetables and herbs will transform both your cooking and the way your children eat.”
(Alice Waters )

“Fun, easy-to-complete projects." (Denver Post)

"This book shows how to get parents and children together in the garden and in the kitchen."

(Cleveland Plain Dealer)

"Monthly tasks and an encyclopedia of vegetables, as well as recipes like a luscious rhubarb cake, make this book as useful as it is irresistible." (Seattle Times)

"Creative activities and healthy recipes." (Library Journal)

“Readers will also find an occasional recipe. Parsnip crisps, anyone? You’ll say yes once you see them.”

(Columbus Dispatch)

The last half of the book is an A-to-Z vegetable, fruit, herb and edible flower guide that would be helpful to any gardener who isn’t satisfied with the amount of information crammed on the back of a seed packet.

(Austin American-Statesman)

"Excellent primer for gardening with kids ... long on useful information and growing plans, and doesn’t rely on tired pinecone critters to entertain." (Kiwi Magazine)

“A garden lets you get back in tune with the seasons and nature, grow some of your own healthy food, and do something for your body and soul.” (New York Daily News)

"This is an introduction to productive gardening than any novice could benefit from reading."

(Gardens Illustrated)

"Helpful to those who need reminders of when to ...

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ISBN-10: 160469050X
ISBN-13: 978-1604690507
Author: Karen Liebreich
Genre: Home & Garden
Publisher: Timber Press
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