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Grow the Good Life: Why a Vegetable Garden Will Make You Happy, Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise Hardcover – February 15, 2011
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“Not only does Owens make an utterly convincing case––in terms of health––for getting out your shovel and creating a vegetable garden, her enthusiasm for the sheer fun of the endeavor is bound to win you over.” ―Ruth Kassinger, author of Paradise Under Glass
“Michele Owens is truly the most eloquent, cosmopolitan, and opinionated garden writer since Katharine White. In Grow the Good Life, she makes a passionate and compelling case for returning vegetable gardening to its rightful place in the day-to-day lives of every American family. It is a witty, entertaining, and highly persuasive read.” ―Amy Stewart, author of Wicked Plants
About the Author
Michele Owens is a cofounder of Garden Rant, one of the most popular and influential gardening blogs. Her articles about gardening have appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine and Organic Gardening. She lives in Saratoga Springs and Salem, NY.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is not your typical "how to" book on vegetable gardening. You'll find no lists of what to grow, when to plant, when to harvest. Instead, Owens mixes in her own personal experience of growing vegetables with information from various studies to provide a compelling case for the vegetable garden. She helps us all understand not only why we want to grow vegetables, but also how easy it can be to do so and how doing so nourishes us in many ways. Read it to gain the confidence to grab a shovel and start your own garden. Or read it to be re-inspired if you already grow vegetables.
Grow The Good Life is a fast, fun read, but with all the great tips and insights it contains, delivered in Owens' witty, down-to-earth voice, it deserves to become a classic. If ever a book could compel folks to get off the sofa, go offline and head outdoors, this is the one.
And boy, do we need some prodding to get us growing more of our own produce! Owens starts off with a thoughtful exploration of why so few of us bother to plant vegetable gardens--currently, less than 2 percent of Americans grow any of our own food--and then makes an eloquent, convincing case for why we ought to give it a try.
If you think gardening is too much hard work, or takes up too much time, or means you have to run out and buy a bunch of specialty tools and strange chemicals, think again. Owens explains that the key to successful gardening is to cultivate a healthy soil that will give you healthy plants--and she explains how easy it is to do that through the simple no-till method of gardening known as sheet mulching or lasagna gardening.
It's no coincidence that Rodale Books is the publisher of Grow The Good Life. After all, "healthy soil, healthy plants, healthy people" was the mantra of J.I. Rodale, the organic farm and garden visionary who launched the Rodale publishing empire back in 1942. He also established the non-profit 'test farm' that has been on the cutting edge of sustainable agriculture and is now known as the Rodale Institute, located in Kutztown, Pennsylvania.Read more ›
Sure, there's information on good and bad gardening practices (very well-researched - I was one of those called upon to offer critiques on the scientific portions of the book - critiques which were taken to heart and applied by the author). But the soul of this book is how enriching gardening can be to your life and the lives of those around you. This is offered by way of personal experiences expertly mixed with scientific information and current events to produce an easy to read and highly informative text. The writing is infectious and you'll soon find yourself turning pages to find out more about garden coaches, soils, root cellars, and the food that you can produce on your own land. This is a fun read and, if I had a neighbor or relative who I wanted to inspire to get outdoors and do something, this is the gift I would give them (I'd give it to them around March or so that they'd be able to get right out there and garden!).
You'll leave this book wanting to dig your hands into the soil and grow something - and I think that's the most important and meaningful thing I can say about it. This is a work which will inspire you to get out there and grow something. And in the process you'll find yourself learning!
A great book for the experienced gardener, and an exceptional one for the newbie.
Although there are some how-to aspects of the book, especially in the laying out of the garden and mulching sections, this is more of a why-to book. Maybe even a why-ever-not book. Although Michele has an enviable-sized space for her own garden, the information here will translate to any garden size and in fact much of the book encourages starting small, slow, and easy. From the neophyte gardener to those of us who have a fair number of harvests to our name, this book will make those flames of gardening zeal grow and grow until they begin to grow the good life in your own life right there in your own garden.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really great book, super infomative. Though not a how-to on gardening, it's definitely a compelling read as to why you SHOULD garden!Published 12 months ago by Mineka Chungwen
Michele Owens will put redemptive dirt-filled wrinkles in your backyard soul. Her writing is nurturing philosophy and spirit that makes you wish to start immediately getting down... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Bruce R. Otto
Not just a book about gardening. This is a love song for gardens and gardeners and every thing that joins them.Published 21 months ago by Ms Kimberley J Bell
I grow a large vegetable garden and I was hoping for more tips on what the author does to grow her food, but I didn't get that so I was a bit disappointed. Read morePublished 23 months ago by lilmommy
This book has supplied all the confidence and inspiration needed to just get out there and try a kitchen garden.Published on April 21, 2014 by Becky menso
Outstanding story of what it means to be a food gardener in body, mind and soul. I wish there were more books like this that help the reader to understand the relationship we have... Read morePublished on April 4, 2014 by Pam Duffy
Makes you want to get up and garden! The author calms your fears that you don't have to stress about doing it perfect according to some specific gardening guru; instead she... Read morePublished on March 19, 2014 by Mira Peck
Mrs. Owens obviously enjoys her garden and does give some great advice and information regarding gardening. Read morePublished on January 31, 2014 by Shanna Zak
I don't know why Liberals think it is their right to impose their, often erroneous, opinions on unsuspecting readers. See the review written by CStraughn. Read morePublished on April 29, 2012 by Alverna