LOCAL BOOKSHELF

“In chaotic times, it’s easy to become nostalgic for the last time U.S. citizens came together in force to grow food,” writes Acadia Tucker, author of “Tiny Victory Gardens: Growing food Without a Yard.”

  Tucker is referring to past war times when the U.S. “pitched victory gardening as a way for Americans to do their patriotic duty, and leaned on slogans like ‘Food is Fighting,’ and ‘Be a Soldier of the Soil.’

  It is not surprising that the pandemic and climate change have inspired many to turn to grow at least some of their own food.

  Fresh ideas are found throughout the book, but especially in the section, Designing for Small Spaces.

  Tucker outlines how to make your mini-gardens visually appealing by using advice she once received from a florist: “Aim to thrill, fill and spill, she said, an adage apparently every florist knows. In other words, think of your arrangement as structural, with three layers of interest.”

  Tucker elaborates on this concept accompanied by Emily Castle’s charming illustrations. There is also a chart provided of compatible plants that will work well together in a tiny space. Knowing which plants will grow well near each other makes this book a must-have for every container and raised bed gardener.

  As far as the actual containers go, Tucker provides practical information in the section, Pots & Planters, but also creative choices: “I have repurposed rusty watering cans, busted wheelbarrows, leftover Easter baskets, decorative buckets, cast-iron bathtubs, a landlocked canoe, cinder blocks, hollow tree stumps, and even dresser drawers,” she shares.

  “Tiny Victory Gardens” is the perfect mix of the science of planting and the creativity of design.

  There are several useful reference charts found throughout the book. Crop Cheat Sheets is one example and will help determine which plants will be suitable for your space. Herbs, Fruits and Vegetables each have a section devoted to planting, growing and harvesting tips. The book concludes with an Upkeep section including useful tools and organic pest control tips.

  “Tiny Victory Gardens” is a great book for beginning gardeners and those who have already taken up gardening in small spaces.

  Tucker shares, “Cultivating your own food source is a meaningful way to promote resilience in your household and, by sharing your knowledge with neighbors-along with the fruits and vegetables of your labor-it can do the same for your community.”

Andrea Farnsworth is an assistant librarian at Mt. Caesar Union Library in Swanzey, New Hampshire.