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Talking Dirt: The Dirt Diva's Down-to-Earth Guide to Organic Gardening Paperback – February 23, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Perigee Trade; Original edition (February 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399535659
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399535659
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.4 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,027,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The problem with most gardening books is that they’re sooooo serious, with all the “do this” and “for heaven’s sake, don’t do that” rules. Who said they can’t be funny, too? Not Spiegelman, that’s for sure. While offering plenty of sound and sensible organic gardening advice, Spiegelman lightens the load (much the way prescribed soil amendments do) with quippy asides and pithy observations that make the experience feel more like a casual conversation with a good, green-thumbed friend than a lecture from a stuffy horticulturist. All joking aside, it’s evident Spiegelman knows whereof she speaks. A transplanted Manhattanite who found herself gardening in California, Spiegelman wisely enrolled in master gardener classes before she killed so many plants she’d qualify for a “most wanted” poster at the local nursery. She shares her hard-won knowledge glibly but with a great deal of gravity, too. Gardens are fun, yes, but the benefits they provide, from the aesthetic to the ecological, should be taken seriously. --Carol Haggas

Review

"It's hard to resist a gardening book that's both chock-full of information and fun to read. It doesn't matter if you are a novice gardener or more experienced, Annie shows the way to growing and enjoying a natural, sustainable, organic garden."
-Nell Newman, cofounder and president of Newman's Own Organics

"Annie Spiegelman (aka the Dirt Diva) understands what gardening is really about: having fun . . . even when you aren't having fun! This book is laugh-out-loud useful and smart. Frankly, it's the best book on organic gardening that I've seen in 11 years (since mine came out). The Dirt Diva Royal Horticultural Society is the only gardening club I really want to be a member of."
-Maria Rodale, CEO of Rodale Inc., MariasFarmCountryKitchen.com

"Talking Dirt is wonderful-even for those who don't have a garden . . .yet."
-Christiane Northrup, MD, author of the New York Times bestsellers Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause

"Fun, factual, and filled with ideas. What sets Talking Dirt apart from all other organic gardening how-to guides is Anne Spiegelman. Her writing has an easy style, is easy to understand, and makes organic gardening easy to put into practice. The information is presented with personality and wit, making this book a must-have resource for the aspiring organic gardener."
-Michael C. Metallo, president of the National Gardening Association

"What Skinny Bitch did for vegetarianism Talking Dirt may do for organic gardening. Annie Spiegelman's book is the perfect primer for a generation raised on supermarket food and flowers but who are searching for something fresher and more satisfying. As comfortable among the cabbages as she is in a fashion boutique, Spiegelman succeeds in making the intricacies of gardening without toxic chemicals exciting and rewarding. With a light, swift tone and ample instruction, this is the organic gardening book for busy people."
-Brian Clark Howard, environmental journalist and web editor for The Daily Green

"Beautifully combining passion, humor, and a deep-rooted care for the planet, Spiegelman is the organic femme fatale. She understands the importance of our own backyards to build a better future, one shovelful of compost at a time. What a fantastic book."
-Helge Hellberg, executive director of Marin Organic and host of An Organic Conversation Radio Show

"Spiegelman's tone is reminiscent of the 'Samurai Shopper' column in the New York Times... entertaining and effective."
-Brian Halweil, author of Eat Here and senior researcher for World Watch Institute

"Spiegelman tells the lighthearted story of her own transformation from weekend gardener to a 'Dirt Diva.' Talking Dirt is full of tips all gardeners should take to heart to make their plot organic and nurture their plants the way nature intended."
-Tom Szaky, CEO and founder of TerraCycle Inc.


More About the Author

Raised in the asphalt jungle of New York City, with a can of Raid in her hand, Annie Spiegelman moved to the Bay Area over ten years ago and became a passionate environmentalist and Master Gardener. She is the author of two previous books on gardening (and life). ANNIE'S GARDEN JOURNAL: Some Thoughts on Roses, Life, Weeds, and Men and GROWING SEASONS: Half-baked Garden Tips, Cheap Advice on Marriage and Questionable Theories on Motherhood.

Her third book entitled TALKING DIRT (Penguin Group), an organic gardening how-to guide, was published in 2010.

Maria Rodale, CEO of Rodale Inc. says,"Annie Spiegelman (AKA the Dirt Diva) understands what gardening is really about: having fun...even when you aren't having fun! This book is laugh out loud useful and smart. Frankly, it's the best book on Organic Gardening that I've seen in 11 years (since mine came out). The Dirt Diva Royal Horticultural Society is the only gardening club I really want to be a member of.
"

And another endorsement from Nell Newman:

It's hard to resist a gardening book that's both chocked full of information, and fun to read. It doesn't matter if you are a novice gardener or more experienced, Annie, "The Dirt Diva," shows the way to growing and enjoying a natural, sustainable, organic garden.

-Nell Newman, Co-founder and President of Newman's Own Organics


Readers can visit her website at www.dirtdiva.com

Spiegelman writes a popular organic gardening column entitled 'Dirt Diva' in the Bay Area's Pacific Sun newspaper while also working in film production as a First Assistant Director.

She claims she spends her days dodging bullets from the cutthroat publishing business, the maniacal movie industry and her teenage son. And rarely uses medication.



Customer Reviews

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See all 8 customer reviews
So I went in with a negative mindset. ...Until I began reading.
Chandler
This book is a great read for anyone who is new to gardening in general or simply organic gardening techniques.
Jenn
The author's informative and funny style makes for an enjoyable AND practical read.
Willa M.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am in a major gardening and landscaping obsession right now as my reviews and purchases note. Consequently, my reading is consisting almost entirely of books on the subject.

Most books, however, are geared towards the writer's personal style, interests, or region. I was so impressed that this book was uber thorough in capturing it ALL. What I mean by this is that our front yard is very formal and traditional, yet our backyard is ALL native plants to our region, some xeriscaping, waterfall, organic veggie garden and only native groundcovers as opposed to grass in "grassy" areas. Yes, we have covered it all. And so did she. This takes the reader from garden design, to composting, to compost tea (your plants will love it), to laying out a vegetable garden, to really, really super gardening tips, to formal and traditional gardening to worm beds to weeds to proper pruning to zen gardens.

zzzzz. That sounds so boring. Expecially to anyone not yet INTO gardening. And that's the best pard. This book is funny and entertaining. NOT boring.In fact, I typically go through gardening books looking for info on what I'm focusing on at the time, but this is one of the very, very few that I actually read cover-to-cover and word-for-word. I lost the book for 3 weeks (had it in a bag in my pantry, I still don't know why...) and I actually felt like I had misplaced an action novel in the midst of coming to the climax of its plot. That sounds crazy to say about a gardening book...but the style is highly unusual, full of upbeat and "real" wit and wisdom and, most importantly, I learned a tremendous amount in spite of already thinking I had mastered the art.

I'll be honest, I opened the book and didn't expect to be "wowed". I am a visual person and it contained no pictures.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Willa M. on February 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been making sad attempts at organic gardening for years, and I have used many resources (books, websites, magazines, etc.) and after reading just HALF of this great book, I am convinced it's the best I have come across. The author's informative and funny style makes for an enjoyable AND practical read. There is some great information about urban gardening, container gardens and small plots as well as the more traditional gardening tips. I have more ideas now and I am more confident about my chances of success for this summer's garden. I plan on getting copies for all my gardening friends!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gwyneth Horderpayton on March 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
Talking Dirt is the perfect gardening book for the beginner or amateur gardener. It is entirely approachable, inviting, downright edible. And you feel really good and wholesome after consuming it. It is stuffed with practical tips, facts that are both ethically and practically relevant, and personable insights on how to make the creation of a perfect ecological garden in your own backyard really fun. The book is just the kind that will end up stained and dog eared, for years floating around the kitchen, the garden, the tool shed. The young kids growing up with this book will perhaps go off to some urban college, make their way in an urban landscape for years, then one day in their forties, they will spot this filthy book in the corner of someone's house in the suburbs. They will exclaim, 'oh my God, I remember this book!', then curl up and consume it, dreaming of one day making their own garden wherever they have a little bit of dirt.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like that this book gives you information that you otherwise would not know if starting a garden whether it be flowers or a veggie one. I belong to the town's garden club and by reading this book it will help me not only with my own personal garden but I can share some of the ideas with the other ladies in the club. Thanks
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