As those of you who follow my instagram feed know, I’m a member of a cooperative garden. There are 14 of us and we garden an abandoned city lot in our neighborhood. The Sustainable Food Center insures the lot and pays our water bill; we collect dues and pay them back. We don’t do plots, just one big garden space to maximize ideal growing for certain crops.
Hey look, it’s Stella of Stella’s beets fame in our garden (for those of you who’ve taken my classes or been to a beets canning demo!)
A volunteer squash that kept growing and growing, turns out it’s a pumpkin; thanks compost!
Since joining this group more than a year ago, my garden knowledge has quadrupled. A little hands on action and cycling through the seasons in the garden is primarily what it took for me to get a better grasp of gardening. My first encounter with perennial vegetables came in the form of spinach. I thought I was doing our garden a favor by pulling up the spinach plant that was on its last limbs. I did know the growing season to be over for spinach; however, I didn’t know that that type of spinach re-seeds if you leave it alone and grows all by itself the following year, aka it’s a perennial.
Thankfully my fellow gardeners are understanding and patient. It’s kind of cool to learn by doing (making mistakes along the way, of course) and relying upon fellow gardeners to share knowledge of what has worked and not worked for us in the five years since they started the garden. The pay off of growing food with others is immeasurable.
When Chelsea Green asked if I’d like to host another giveaway I jumped at the chance to share another of their great garden and DIY food books. Eric Toensmeier’s book Perennial Vegetables: From Artichoke to ‘Zuiki’ Taro, a Gardener’s Guide to Over 100 Delicious, Easy-to-Grow Edibles seemed like a fine fit for where I’m at with gardening.
I’ve spent the last few weeks leafing through (pardon the pun) this great book. I love the organization of the book, how it discusses garden techniques, basics, problems, diseases and pests at the front and then delves into perennials with maps of US growing areas, plant family information including history and preferences for good growing (and the option to grow them as annuals in places where they won’t be perennials). I think this is an excellent book for the beyond basics gardener looking to implement low-maintenance perennial growth in the garden.
Enter by filling out the form below by June 12 June 16 at midnight CDT. The form places you on Chelsea Green’s email list alone and will not be shared elsewhere. You may easily and definitively unsubscribe upon receipt of the first email. Though commenting isn’t the way to enter this giveaway, I’d love to hear about your favorite perennials in the comments section or any similar perennial mistakes you’ve made (like my spinach situation).
Also, per the publisher’s request, the giveaway is open to US residents only. Thanks to my international peeps for understanding.
Disclosures: Chelsea Green sent me a review copy at no cost and I may receive a small commission if you purchase the book via the Amazon link above. Commentary and opinions are my own.