Customer Reviews for

Grow a Sustainable Diet: Planning and Growing to Feed Ourselves and the Earth

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted April 16, 2014

    Grow a Sustainable Diet. Cindy Conner. Review from Jeannie Zelo

    Grow a Sustainable Diet. Cindy Conner.
    Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
    I was brought up with the idea that if we didn't grow it we didn't eat it, with a few exceptions of course. We had a fairly large council house garden, and dad had two allotments nearby, so as well as fruit and veg, we had chickens, rabbits, turkeys ( that was the xmas spending money!) and goats – I still hate the smell of goats milk! So home grown to me seems a natural way of life, and even though we've had some tiny gardens I’ve always tried to grow what I can. I know quite a lot about it by now but there's always room for more info so this book caught my eye.
    Its a useful, practical book. Packed with simple ideas to maximise the use of space, how to plan ahead to avoid feast or famine gluts, how to preserve what you can in the most efficient way. My mum always used to make jams, chutneys, preserve fruits and tomatoes in kilner jars ( we had a Rayburn always on the go for heating and hot water), salted runner beans in huge crocks, and preserved eggs in Isinglass solution. In US – this book is written in US terms – although you seem to go for canning rather than kilner jars we use in UK, it seems a similar premise. Then there's a section on animal husbandry – useful for those with larger gardens or allotments as we had. Its not just a how to gardening book though, but one where Cindy looks at nutritional needs and advises how to get the calories and vitamins etc we need in our diet. There are some things simply not practical to grow – one thing that caught my eye was oils, and Cindy calculated just how much land would be taken up to produce enough oil. As she says if land is short that space is better taken with something more efficient.
    I really like the approach she takes about balance...too often the gardening approach is grow it, and spray to kill weeds and insects. Of course that kills beneficial ones too and there are better approaches such as companion planting, and simply looking over crops and picking off bugs as much as is practical. Cindy shows how gradually if you work to attract birds, frogs etc and grow flowing plants to attract insects an ecosystem comes into play, where by and large problems take care of themselves. Composting too is another thing I’m very keen on and which is covered – Cindy looks at the garden in a holistic way, thinking about the circular approach where every effect has another side to it, and makes best use of this.
    Overall a great book, packed with practical info and balances with an in-depth, scientific look at what’s needed for a healthy diet. Though its most practical if you have a large space its so interesting and informative that I'd recommend it to anyone interested in growing even small amounts of their own food.
    Stars: five – fabulous, informative read.
    ARC supplied by Netgalley.

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  • Posted April 5, 2014

    Grow your own!

    We have been avid organic gardeners for many years and bought this book for more information on permaculture/sustainable processes. We learned, enjoyed the writing style, the forms, the pictures. A beginning gardener could get a good start as well, maybe asking a few questions for clarification, but the author's teaching bacground makes this an easy read, an easy guide to follow.

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