4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
J. Don Bell, author of My LIfe in the Dirt, lives in North Dallas and has done a lot of research about processed supplements and natural nutrition. For quite a while, he was frequenting stores every two or three days, buying fresh herbs and garden produce to make nutritional smoothies and other healthy foods. He eventually realized that by growing his own herbs, fruits, and vegetables, he would gain even fresher and more nutritious garden produce. One problem... he didn't live on a farm. He was living in a Dallas suburb with a lawn that looked like that of many of his neighbors--grass, flowers, shrubs--a fairly traditional surburban yard.
He started his organic farm by investing in something called "EarthBoxes," which are mini-gardens in a box. They are made for folks who have very little land for growing food. After that, he talked his wife into allowing him to dig up a twenty-by-twenty-five-foot area of their lawn and his life as a surburban farmer was on its way.
The author has done extensive research, and he gives a lot of valid reasons for becoming a grower of his own produce. He does not let the readers breeze through without thinking of their own life and eating habits. He asks a question or two at the end of each subject that he addresses. If there are two sides to an issue, Mr. Bell presents both sides. He then tells the readers what his own position is and why, leaving the readers to make their own choices.
This is a book full of information about healthy food-growing habits and natural supplements. The author goes into a lot of detail about what different foods add to one's diet. He has added several foods to his garden that most folks call weeds; dandelions are one of his favorite weeds in a specially allotted patch in his garden. He tells about the many nutritional values of dandelions and of the other nutritional weeds that he grows.
His writing style is rather folksy, but it does not affect the validity of what he is writing about. In fact, I felt that it made the book more readable and understandable. There is a bit of humor sprinkled in, and when he does get scientific for a paragraph or a page, he warns his readers in advance and asks them to bear with him or just plain skip over it to the next part.
I did find a few minor editing errors, but they didn't detract from the quality of the information. Overall, this was an interesting, well-written, very informative reaad. Therefore, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
My husband and I grow a few vegetables and herbs in large plant pots and buckets. If we adopt even just a couple of his teachings into our small bucket garden this spring, I'm sure it will make a huge difference in the quantity and quality of our yield.
There isn't space in this review to adequately cover all the things Mr. Bell tells that he has learned over the many years about growing organic produce and home-grown nutrition, but for anyone who has an inkling to even start a box garden, this book is so well worth the read. I highly recommend My Life in the Dirtto any would-be gardener, as well as the veteran gardener. There is something for everyone, whether you are new or old to gardening, in this book.
My Life In The Dirt: Adventures Of A Suburban Organic Farmer
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like Ramona's review? Post a comment saying so!