I started gardening this year for the first time in my twenty odd years of existence upon this earth, save for the time I planted tulips as a wee child of 7 or so years, or the time I scattered some carrot seeds out in the yard and thought that maybe they’d grow without any help from me.* (Spoiler alert: I’m still waiting.) But this year, I was bit by the gardening bug early May (literally and figuratively at this point, considering how much of a mosquito trap I am), and so towards the beginning of June, armed with a bag of potting soil and an egg carton in hand, I planted some tomato seeds and watered them diligently. Anyone who has ever planted tomatoes ever now knows how this is going to end: it’s August, and my tomato seedlings are nice and strong (and absolutely adorable), but it’s probably going to be too little too late for them to fruit fruitfully this year. They’ll probably grow just enough to give me hope before dying back down due to frost or lack of sunlight without ever having given fruit, even if I bring them indoors or otherwise attempt to lengthen the growing season. With this heavy knowledge in mind (the heaviness in my heart contrasted against the plant light from lack of fruit), I turned my efforts towards planning for next year, as clearly, my transgressions against Demeter this season were too great; I must revise my strategy and offer up new libations to the goddess of fertility.
Which is where Grow. Food. Anywhere. by Mat Pember and Dillon Seitchik-Reardon comes in! We’re just going to overlook the endpapers a little bit on this one, because they basically reduce all of Canada into one growing condition apart from some tiny slivers that are Toronto and surrounding Southern areas, as well as both the east and west coasts. It also neglects to note the tree line, which might be of some importance if you’re trying to grow food. BUT! The rest of this book is still incredibly useful as an introductory primer to gardening for beginners like me, covering a nice variety of different ways to garden, from growing veggies in your yard to a raised bed to pots and other containers to indoors. They also cover a range of different potential pests to your garden and what to do about them, ranging from insect to mammals (such as children)! While I’m holding out some hope for this round of vegetables in my garden, I feel much better equipped for the next round armed with this colourful volume.
For more resources on gardening in tight spaces and/or a sorely mistimed start to the growing season (and how to extend the season), take a look below the cut!