How To Grow Food: A Step-by-step Guide to Growing All Kinds of Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs, Salads and More

Overview

A comprehensive, no-nonsense guide to kitchen gardening on any scale.

"Filled with rich illustrations and photographs, this book will appeal to a wide range of gardeners, making this a useful book for all types of public libraries."
—American Reference Books Annual 2012

"Gianfrancesco's easy-to-understand-and-follow guide provides clearly ...

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2014 Paperback Good 057 Item may show signs of shelf wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. Includes supplemental or companion materials if applicable. Access ... codes may or may not work. Connecting readers since 1972. Customer service is our top priority. Read more Show Less

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Overview

A comprehensive, no-nonsense guide to kitchen gardening on any scale.

"Filled with rich illustrations and photographs, this book will appeal to a wide range of gardeners, making this a useful book for all types of public libraries."
—American Reference Books Annual 2012

"Gianfrancesco's easy-to-understand-and-follow guide provides clearly delineated, step-by-step, fully detailed and remarkably informative instructions for growing an exciting spectrum of edible plants."
—Booklist

How to Grow Food is a complete, illustrated guide to the hundreds of plants that are easy to grow in the home garden. The author emphasizes gardening techniques that can be applied to any size of garden, from a window box to a small side yard plot to the biggest backyard.

This practical book features a comprehensive directory of more than 125 crop plants, from traditional choices to more unusual varieties, to suit all growing conditions in all regions using simple organic and biodynamic gardening methods. Gardeners can choose from roots and tubers; leafy crops; seed and fruit crops; grains; peppers and chilies; stem and flower crops; tree fruits; soft, bush and cane fruits; tender fruits; nuts; herbs; and edible flowers.

How to Grow Food features thorough instructions and a month-by-month calendar of tasks, plus:

  • Types of gardens and choosing the best site
  • Designing, preparing and planting a productive garden
  • Maximizing the use of space, such as vertical planting and fruit cages
  • Harvesting, storing and preserving
  • Training and pruning plants for maximum yield
  • Tools, pests, weeds and growing from seed
  • Helpful dos and don'ts
  • Plant ratings related to variety, value, maintenance and season
  • The author's special selection of star plants.
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Editorial Reviews

American Reference Books Annual 2012 - Shannon Graff Hysell
[Review of hardcover edition] Filled with rich illustrations and photographs, this book will appeal to a wide range of gardeners, making this a useful book for all types of public libraries.
Chicago Botanic Garden - Adele Kleine
[Review of hardcover edition] Richard Gianfrancesco, plant scientist, has written a complete book on growing food. With a scientific attention to facts, he has produced a book that covers every aspect of growing fruits and vegetables. The book has four parts: site selection, a growing directory, core information on basic techniques of growing, and preserving your crop. The growing directory, the main portion of the book, rates each beautifully photographed plant on its monetary value, maintenance, and freeze/store capability. A summary of sowing details, and the author's crop ratings are accessible in easy form. The book includes, with appetizing pictures, recipes for chutney, pickles, plum jam, and tarragon and orange jelly.
Victoria Times-Colonist - Helen Chesnut
[Review of hardcover edition] Thorough is the word to describe this user-friendly guide... How to Grow Food combines eminent practicality with great visual appeal.
Inc. National Garden Clubs
[Review of hardcover edition] This practical, highly recommended guide to growing food is impressive: the author has ably taken on the task of detailing how, where, and what to grow in a garden. As a plant scientist, Richard Gianfrancesco speaks with authority on the culture of a broad range of crops, sorting out those that grow well together under similar soil conditions and in rotation. He advises on choosing the best site, be it on a large plot, in a container, or under cover. The text contains steps on designing the food garden, starting with selecting the right location, placement of permanent structures and vegetable beds, as well as other utilitarian crops. A directory of food crops — vegetables and fruit plus nuts, with information on their selection contains descriptions of popular crops, which includes the best types, their garden placement, care, harvest, and storage.
Booklist Spotlight
[Review of hardcover edition] Gianfrancesco's easy-to-understand-and-follow guide provides clearly delineated, step-by-step, fully detailed and remarkably informative instructions for growing an exciting spectrum of edible plants.
Washington Gardener - Erica H. Smith
[Review of hardcover edition] This is a gorgeous book, full of photos and drawings both pretty and useful, and Gianfrancesco packs in a lot of textual information as well.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781770853171
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/25/2014
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Gianfrancesco is a plant scientist and gardening book author. He has coordinated hundreds of garden plant tests and trials, which have been widely published internationally.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Foreword
About this book
Introduction

Part One
Where To Grow

Types of gardens
Choosing the best site
Designing your food garden
Growing undercover

Part Two
Growing Directory

Vegetable and Salad Crops

Root Crops

Potato
Sweet potato
Carrot
Parsnip
Beet
Turnip
Radish
Rutabaga
Onion
Shallot
Garlic
Jerusalem artichoke
Celeriac

Leafy Crops

Cabbage
Brussels sprouts
Kale

Mizuna
Chinese cabbage and Pak choi
Spinach
New Zealand spinach and Swiss chard
Lettuce
Chicory and endive
Arugula

Seed and Fruit Crops

Pole beans
Bush beans
Fava beans
Peas
Snow peas and Snap peas
Zucchini
Squash and Pumpkin
Marrow
Cucumber
Sweetcorn
Eggplant
Sweet pepper
Chili
Tomato

Stem and Flower Crops

Broccoli
Cauliflower
Kohlrabi
Florence fennel
Leek
Salad onion
Celery
Asparagus
Globe artichoke and Cardoon
Sprouting seeds
Microgreens

Edible flowers

Herbs

Bay
Basil
Chervil
Chives
Cilantro
Dill and Fennel
Lovage
Marjoram and Oregano
Mint
Parsley
Rosemary
Sage
Tarragon
Thyme

Fruit Crops

Tree Fruit

Apple
Pear
Plum,Gage and Damson
Sweet cherry
Acid cherry
Peach, Nectarine and Apricot
Fig

Soft Fruits

Strawberry
Raspberry
Blackberry and hybrid berries
Black currant
Red and White currants
Blueberry
Cranberry
Grapes

Gooseberry
Rhubarb

Tender Fruit

Kiwi
Passion fruit
Cape gooseberry
Melon
Citrus fruit

Nuts

Hazelnut and Filbert
Almond
Walnut

Part Three
How To Grow

Tools and equipment
Growing from seed
Buying plants
Pruning and training fruit trees
Growing in containers
Watering in the garden
Organic gardening
All about soil
Making compost
Dealing with weeds
Pests and diseases

Part Four
Preserving Your Crop

Preserving Equipment

Jams
Jellies
Pickles
Chutney
Drying
Freezing

Sowing summary
Crop selection summary
Hardiness zones
Index
Acknowledgments

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Preface

Foreword

When I was a child, the joy of gardening was all in the eating! Picking fresh peas, raspberries and plums from the garden and eating them was one of my favorite summer activities. As gardening has become a much bigger part of my life, the practice of growing and nurturing the plants has become much more important. Fortunately for me, I now have my own children who share my childhood passion, and as long as I grow what they like, I can spend as much time as I need tending my garden.

As a garden researcher for the past 10 years I've conducted many trials on how to use your time most effectively in the garden and how to get the best out of your plot. How to improve your soil, reduce watering, select appropriate crops and specific varieties and reduce pest and disease damage will all save time in the long run, whatever the size of your garden. Spending time on learning the basics as well as debunking some of the time-heavy myths that many gardening books still profess are worth learning now. But whatever you do, make sure gardening stays a pleasure and not a chore.

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