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A Little Piece of Earth: How to Grow Your Own Food in Small Spaces Paperback – February 16, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Maria Finn proves that green-thumbed urbanites needn't feel limited to a few houseplants. Charming illustrations accompany instructions for growing lemons, shitake mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes, figs, and more on windowsills, balconies, patios, and rooftops. Chapters on foraging and community gardening round out the book." ~Sierra Club's The Green Life blog

"A small, lovely book about gardening in tight spots: patios, fire escapes, windowsills." ~Entertainment Weekly

"Finn gets you thinking literally outside the box about endless possibilities for growing exotic produce within apartment limits" ~San Francisco Bay Guardian

About the Author

Maria Finn has written for Saveur, Metropolis, Forbes, The New York Times, ABC.com, and The Los Angeles Times. She is the founder of Prospect & Refuge, a garden-design firm specializing in edibles in urban gardens.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Universe (February 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789320274
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789320278
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #805,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri and when I finished college there, I moved to Homer, Alaska with the goal of earning lots of money so I could travel in Latin America. I earned very little money in Alaska, but fell in love with the raw beauty, the adventures, the storytelling and so went back season after season. First I worked on a small salmon seiner skippered by a woman, and then in remote fields camps where I monitored salmon swimming up rivers for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. I spent a winter in Guatemala developing a fishpond on an orphanage, one teaching English in Seville, Spain, and two hiking and climbing in Peru. I moved to New York City to attend the Creative Writing MFA program at Sarah Lawrence College. I lived in Brooklyn for over 10 years and taught in the English Departments at Hunter College/CUNY and St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights. I moved to Sausalito, California in 2008 and live on a floating houseboat with a rooftop garden that includes a tango floor. This year I have two books being published. "Hold Me Tight and Tango Me Home" (Algonquin) about recovering from heartbreak by learning to tango, and another one, "A Little Piece of Earth, How to Grow Your Own Food in Small Spaces" (Rizzoli) about edible gardening for foodies. I write a weekly newsletter/blog, City Dirt: City Dirt: The Bay Area Weekly Garden Newsletter for Foodies, Foragers, Tree-Huggers and Beauty Lovers. (www.citydirt.net) My author website is www.mariafinn.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Justin McCullars on April 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this expecting tips for a beginner but instead the book focuses more on cute ideas and how to grow in small spaces. It serves better for unique ideas and fails to offer a beginner much advice on problems growing in a small space. If someone is looking for unique planting ideas or how to be a little more "hippy" this is a great book. If a reference is needed, avoid this book and consider it later when gardening skills are more developed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tippy on April 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
A great, fun read that will inspire your imagination. I bought this book at Powells while visiting Portland, OR: the mecca of garden-growing earth lovers. Finn's voice is authentic, warm and encouraging while her specific advice remains a bit laconic. This is by no means the tome for which you will absorb the world's wisdom of food growing. "A Little Piece of Earth" is a delightful primer, targeted at inspiring you to begin your progress, which of course will require referencing other regional gardening guides and, most helpful of all, gardeners and food-growers. Once you get going (with either more space, or more ambition), "The Organic Garden Book" and "Mini Farming: Self Sufficiency on 1/4 acre" are incredibly helpful. But for inspiring your imagination, for both beginners and experienced green-thumbs, I strongly recommend "A little piece of earth".
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Format: Paperback
The first time I read this book, I thought gardening was hard, and my space wasn't right, etc etc. So once I finished, I put it down and failed at some tomatoes. Now, I have a south facing balcony and I've pick it back up with a few cuttings already in the ground. She's a little disorganized in her writing, but I enjoy the anecdotes with the tips. I'm inspired to start up a bit of a gardening community among my colleagues in hopes of diversifying my little balcony garden with what's available. I wish the book was longer and with a little less focus on trees but it's a great reminder that you can have quality herbs and vegetables available year round.
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By Rachel on January 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most small-space garden books that I've purchased seem to assume you have at least a small plot of real earth to plant in, and give scant information about container gardening. This book is much more thorough.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Reynolds on March 30, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a great book. I am an experienced gardner and still found great reference material and information. It was fun to read also.
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