Growing Your Own Vegetables is a timely update to a classic manifesto on self-sufficiency. Carla Emery was the queen of growing your own food in the last wave of environmentalism in the 1970s, when she wrote the best-selling Encyclopedia of Country Living while living on an Idaho farm.
With a keen eye to our current food safety and economic concerns, Lorene Edwards Forkner has done a lively and thorough job of revising Emery’s work. The theme is self-reliance, the tone is practical, and the advice is no-thrills specific. As a garden designer and former nursery owner, Forkner brings her modern sensibility and knowledge of current cultivars to the project. Her enthusiasm and savvy on every aspect of growing vegetables, from crop rotation to rutabagas, shines through the book’s 1970s format and drawings.
Now that vegetable gardening is more popular than ever, many of us are pondering the mysteries of seeds and sequencing, and trying to determine what ripe looks like. Just in case you weren’t raised on a farm, or had the forethought to question your grandparents on the techniques and skills that were second nature to many in their generation, Growing Your Own Vegetables is the kind of primer sure to instill confidence and get you off to a good start.
Valeria Easton, garden writer
Seattle & Whidbey Island, Washington