Vegetable gardenIt would be hard not to be happy that we have gained another hour of sunshine, courtesy of daylight saving time. As Chicagoans, we are reminded that we have braved another winter and will soon delight in the coming spring with thoughts of our flowers and our gardens.

It is also a great time to start thinking about growing your own herbs and vegetables; but if you have only a little plot of land (as I do) this can be a challenge. At the library, we have several books that can help to make your garden a success, no matter what space you have.

Small-Space Vegetable Gardens guides you through your assessment of space, preparation, through sowing to finally growing! Each chapter is ripe with colorful and simple directions for a happy garden. Even if you find you can only fit a few containers for growing, Bellamy will help you optimize your soil to produce healthy plants.

America Farm to Table, and after paging through its contents you will want to start cooking as soon as the vegetables reach the kitchen counter!

Each recipe includes commentary by Batali that serves to connect you back to the land or its farmer with the mouth-watering dish featured. Batali has also linked a few recipes to the TV show The Chew (where they were first introduced) such as his Eggplant and Angel Hair Turrets on page 154.

Batali puts it right: “The concept of ‘farm to table’ has become an obsession in the media…I believe that the fundamental truth of supporting local small farming may in fact be a panacea for many of our twenty-first century problems in both nutrition and regional development.”[p. 9]

I hope that if you are planting a garden or planning a meal, you will consider these two new books, or others we have on the shelves. With more daylight hours now and the arrival of spring, we can enjoy being outside in our garden.


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