Still dealing with a dying computer, but now most of my important data is backed up, so I can use my mac without fear. But if I disappear for a little while, you know why.
I'm reading some books at the moment, in preparation for Spring and Gardening. I actually picked the first one up in the Fall. The Vegetable Gardener's Bible is pretty decent. It covers a bunch of gardening basics, using the "W-O-R-D" system- Wide rows, Organic methods, Raised beds, Deep soil. It also has a pretty wide reference section for plants, which is what I've been primarily looking at. It's all pretty simple, aimed at the Beginner Gardener. I don't have any qualms about the book, although it's not like I'm doing a ton of gardening at the moment. A foot or so of snow and frozen earth sort of prevent me from getting to that point. Hurry and get here Spring! I do think that I probably will not be using the "W-O-R-D" system, at least not yet. Instead, I found another method I'm much more interested in.
Starter Vegetable Gardens: 24 No-Fail Plans for Small Organic Gardens is really nice. I immediately took to the book, for many reasons. One of my big worries for this Spring is that I didn't prepare my Garden beds in advance. The other was the fact that at this point in time, I can't afford a tiller, and while I know I can borrow one from a friend, it's not something I want to do. The techniques in this book helped eliminate that need, at least for now. The author, Barbara Pleasant, uses bags of soil, IN the bags, to help establish garden beds. I love it! Just put down the bags of soil, cut them open, create drainage holes and watch your garden grow. By the following year, you've got an established bed, ready for more use.
The book is really simple too- with step by step instructions that make it really hard to go wrong. There is enough variety in plans, from Beginner to Advance to make it interesting, yet all the plans seem sensible and flexible enough for personal variety. And all of the plans have a 3 year expansion plan, which I love. Starting off (somewhat) small, and seeing what I find to be manageable is such a brilliant idea. I'm usually pretty impulsive on these things, so having a set basic plan, with room for some ambition (and maybe some over-zealousness...) is a good thing.
Your Backyard Herb Garden: A Gardener's Guide to Growing Over 50 Herbs Plus How to Use Them in Cooking, Crafts, Companion Planting and More. I've only paged a bit through it, but it looks pretty good- it lists shade preference, soil preference, cultivating tips and even basic uses. I'm totally dumb when it comes to Herbs, so this will hopefully help me not kill them when I use them. Which I have a bad habit of doing. You know you can only use parsley once, and it never grows back? That's my assumption based on experience. It could be I just don't know how to cut it right. That's actually probably the case...
So, until Spring gets here, I get to read and plan. I'm looking into some indoor greenhouse options so I can start some seedlings soon. It seems like such a long time before I can get started because the frost date here is so late.