Gardening with Short Growing Seasons, written by Graham Saunders, Director at Environment North and Lakehead University lecturer, was launched on May 16th 2009, just in time for spring planting. Gardening addresses many of the challenges faced by gardeners in Zones 1, 2, and 3 and reveals some past history of vegetable production in so-called “impossible” situations in the North.
The book presents ways to take advantage of extended daylight, sunshine, and available moisture. Many people with decades of gardening experience contribute to these chapters with a range of tips on improving soil, avoiding frost damage, and outsmarting insects and larger garden invaders. Practical information on starting gardening, when to plant and how to extend the limits of our growing season can make the wonders of home-grown food practical year round.
Interested in purchasing a copy/copies? Please contact Marietta Buzzie at 807.343.8110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gardening with Short Growing Seasons, by Graham Saunders
Reviewed by Scott Pound
Over most of Canada the last spring frost occurs in late May and first fall frost can happen as early as late August. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for growing vegetables outdoors. We have what Graham Saunders calls “an intense growing season,” or what many others would call just plain “short.”
But that doesn’t mean gardeners in the north can’t enjoy the earth’s bounty just as much as those in warmer climes. Knowledge of special gardening methods and design features can add a zone or two onto your gardening prospects. Add in the odd bit of “weather luck” and you’re growing Cantaloupe and Eggplant in Thunder Bay.
Graham Saunders’ wonderful book Gardening with Short Growing Seasons presents the fundamentals of gardening alongside techniques for skirting the limitations imposed by a short growing season. Dedicated to “the encouragement of all growers” this compendium of information, tips, and lore will enhance any gardener’s prospects and seems destined to become a local classic.
Straightforward, thorough, and well organized, the book takes readers through everything from climate, soil, and planning to planting, weeding, feeding, and harvesting. Readers will especially appreciate the long section in the middle of the book that provides detailed growing information vegetable by vegetable: from Artichokes to Zucchinis.
Mr. Saunders is a congenial and very knowledgeable guide. He’s been gardening in the Thunder Bay area for 40 years. He’s also a director of Environment North, a member of the Lakehead University faculty, and the weather columnist for the Chronicle Journal.
As author, his knowledge permeates the book, but many others contribute as well so that the book is as much a community venture as it is the work of a single author. A long roster of locals contribute photographs, diagrams, and illustrations and the book includes many sidebar tips from another local master gardener, Connie Nelson.
There’s a healthy balance between the science and folkore of gardening. Next to formulae for calculating heat loss in a greenhouse you’ll find a picture of Hent and Reiny Smit’s homemade greenhouse made with recycled windows from the Atikokan high school.
Although the book is incredibly thorough and quite learned (the section on manure includes the etymology of the word—it’s French for “hand work”) there is nothing doctrinaire or heavy handed about the presentation. The section on compost details four different container designs. Pick the one that suits your needs.
Overall, the book is written in clear, concrete prose that’s easy to follow. It includes helpful diagrams and maps and lots of drawings and photos. The publishers—The Food Security Research Network—have done a remarkable job on a small budget. My only quibble is that the book could stand to be sturdier. I plan to use my copy for many years to come.
|Admin Powered by:|