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Posted on 05 July 2012 by urbangardencasual.com

Book Review: Country Home Kitchen Garden Planner by Darrell Trout

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

The other day, I was at my local library not to get a book but instead trying to place a flyer up for The Maxwell Project (kids gardening project).

As I was standing there, waiting my turn, I decided I would go take a look at their gardening books.

To my surprise or disappointment, I found that the gardening section consisted of three narrow shelves.

Some of the books were so old that they were discolored, brown with frayed edges. Somehow I thought as I looked at these books, that the wear and tear was not due to use but the lack of use.

As my eyes traveled down the shelves, I saw a book that caught my eye. It looked modern, fresh and full of new ideas. While I am not saying that the old books were of no value, I am not, but in my opinion it is always a good idea to have a mix of the old and new. Unknowing to me, this is exactly what this book represented.

Once I got the book home, I was able to view it in a clear light. The cover was full of colorful vegetables and herbs while the back of the book was Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 05 March 2012 by urbangardencasual.com

Book Review: The Backyard Homestead edited by Carleen Madigan

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

The Backyard Homestead is an excellent reference source that combines farming advice with good old fashion recipes.

The Backyard Homestead provides knowledge that has been gleamed from the many books on self-sufficiency produced by Storey publishing.

The premise that The Backyard Homestead is based on is raising animals, fruits, grains, and vegetables on a quarter of an acre.

The Backyard Homestead claims that on this quarter of an acre an individual can harvest 1,400 eggs, 50 pounds wheat, 60 pounds of fruit, 2,000 pounds of vegetables, 280 pounds of pork, and 75 pounds of nuts.

The Backyard Homestead is divided into 7 chapters that cover the whole gamete of farming and more.

Chapter 1-The Home Vegetable Garden

This chapter provides the basic gardening knowledge. It covers planning, how to plan to reap more, container gardening, cool verses warm season crops, and vegetables A to Z. All in all The Backyard Homestead provides all the vegetable garden knowledge that is needed for a successful garden in the first chapter.

Chapter 2-Backyard Fruits and Nuts

In this chapter a full array of plants and care are Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 15 September 2011 by urbangardencasual.com

Book Review-Eco-Yards: Simple steps to earth-friendly landscapes

Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

As a child growing up, I learned a valuable lesson in toxic chemicals and how they consume life.

May dad worked for the Board of Health and was responsible for eradicating mosquitoes.

As the habit of day required, DDT was broadcast over areas that had a mosquito problem.

When we had a mosquito problem at home, we treated the situation the same and that was with DDT tablets.

So on a bright summer day, my dad and I went to the creek and through in several handfuls of DDT. Once that was done, it was time to water my horse so down to the creek we went.

Pudd, my beloved horse, quenched his thirst in the flow of water and DDT. No one knew the consequence of this little action but I quickly learned that lesson even before the scientific studies. Pudd got sick several weeks later and Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 07 April 2007 by urbangardencasual.com

Book Review: Square Foot Gardening: A New Way to Garden in Less Space with Less Work – By Mel Bartholomew

Square Foot Gardending - UrbanGardenCasual.comBy Reggie Solomon

Square foot gardening is the ultimate urban gardening solution!

I stumbled upon this book at the Yale Bookstore this afternoon, and it has changed the way I will forever approach urban gardening.

The Square Foot Gardening book by Mel Bartholomew who also once hosted a similarly-titled television series on public television, is built around gardening in a 4′ x 4′ square subdivided into a grid of sixteen 1′ squares. Mel’s system, which can be organized via a raised bed or at ground-level, incorporates an ingenious vertical trellising design to accommodate vining vegetables such as tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, squash and melons.


The square-foot gardening system is ideal for the urban gardener because it’s suited for small spaces, maximizes growing space by eliminating wasted space between rows, and accommodates vertical growing.

Read the rest of this entry »

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