When I got my copy of The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener in the mail, I just had to crack it open right away. The most exciting part of this book for me is the details about growing food outside in the garden through the winter. The idea of growing garden fresh vegetables year-round in my Minnesota garden never seemed possible without an expensive heated greenhouse. Well this book has opened my eyes to the possibilities of winter gardening, exciting right?
Niki Jabbour, the author of The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener, gardens through the winter every year despite the cold and snow where she lives in Canada. In her book, she shows us that anyone, no matter what climate you live in, can grow garden fresh produce every month of the year.
The concept of winter gardening is hardcore in cold climates like Minnesota, but it’s not that hard to imagine doing it, and this book is chock-full of the details needed to become a successful year-round gardener.
The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener doesn’t just tell you how cool it is to grow food through the winter, and then glaze over the details – it actually shows you how to do it. In this book you will find detailed information that will give you the confidence to grow your own food year-round, and the tools you need to ensure you are successful.
The first half of the book is filled with tips and detailed instructions on extending the growing season, and growing year-round. Niki takes great care in explaining different types of protective structures, like cold frames, mini hoop tunnels, and hoop houses. She also lists the pros and cons for each one, then gives you step-by-step instructions on how to build these structures yourself, and shows you ways to add these structures to your garden to maximize your success.
In addition, Niki shows you the different ways to protect and insulate the structures during the winter, how to harvest winter crops, and also discusses ways of amending the soil to add the nutrients back that are essential for year-round growing. You will even find details about crop rotation and several garden design plans for growing productive vegetable gardens in The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener.
But Niki doesn’t leave you hanging there. The second half of the book is an index containing tons of different types of vegetables and herbs, and details of what types of crops to choose and grow through each season of the year. This section is also packed with wonderful tips for how to grow these crops.
Niki includes crops for all seasons, but the fact that she includes which types of cold hardy crops to grow through the winter is invaluable. This list, combined with the information provided in the first half the book solidifies faith in the reader that they really can grow food year-round. I will definitely be using this section of the book as a reference for years to come.
If you live in a cold climate, and are at all interested in growing food during the winter, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of this book. Just imagine the look on your friends faces when you walk them out the garden to harvest garden fresh produce in January! Now that would be impressive. Pick up your copy today!
Have you read this book yet? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Photographs reprinted with permission from Niki Jabbour The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener ©2011).