Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square-inch Gardener's Guide to Year-round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting

Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square-inch Gardener's Guide to Year-round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting

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By (author) R.J. Ruppenthal

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  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing Co
  • Format: Paperback | 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 191mm x 264mm x 20mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 10 February 2009
  • Publication City/Country: White River Junction
  • ISBN 10: 160358028X
  • ISBN 13: 9781603580281
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: Black and White Photos Throughout
  • Sales rank: 132,762

Product description

Books on container gardening have been wildly popular with urban and suburban readers, but until now, there has been no comprehensive "how-to" guide for growing fresh food in the absence of open land. Fresh Food from Small Spaces fills the gap as a practical, comprehensive, and downright fun guide to growing food in small spaces. It provides readers with the knowledge and skills necessary to produce their own fresh vegetables, mushrooms, sprouts, and fermented foods as well as to raise bees and chickens--all without reliance on energy-intensive systems like indoor lighting and hydroponics. Readers will learn how to transform their balconies and windowsills into productive vegetable gardens, their countertops and storage lockers into commercial-quality sprout and mushroom farms, and their outside nooks and crannies into whatever they can imagine, including sustainable nurseries for honeybees and chickens. Free space for the city gardener might be no more than a cramped patio, balcony, rooftop, windowsill, hanging rafter, dark cabinet, garage, or storage area, but no space is too small or too dark to raise food. With this book as a guide, people living in apartments, condominiums, townhouses, and single-family homes will be able to grow up to 20 percent of their own fresh food using a combination of traditional gardening methods and space-saving techniques such as reflected lighting and container "terracing." Those with access to yards can produce even more. Author R. J. Ruppenthal worked on an organic vegetable farm in his youth, but his expertise in urban and indoor gardening has been hard-won through years of trial-and-error experience. In the small city homes where he has lived, often with no more than a balcony, windowsill, and countertop for gardening, Ruppenthal and his family have been able to eat at least some homegrown food 365 days per year. In an era of declining resources and environmental disruption, Ruppenthal shows that even urban dwellers can contribute to a rebirth of local, fresh foods.

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Review quote

Library Journal- Many gardening books describe ample land and space as being a prerequisite for growing flowers, plants, and food. And the ever popular container gardening books, generally written for those with little land or space in which to garden, do not always cover the question of raising fresh food that way. Ruppenthal, a business professor and lifelong trial-and-error gardener, here fills a gap in gardening literature and helps readers discover techniques for sustainable food production--even on a small scale--by using every square inch of space that is available to them. His book walks gardeners through assessing their available space and its lighting, deciding what to grow in the spaces they have, and buying (or building) vegetable garden containers. Using his techniques, gardeners will learn to grow herbs, vegetables, fruit, grains, and mushrooms, as well as raise chickens and honeybees and produce fermented foods such as yogurt. It may be nearly impossible to live completely off the grid in an urban environment, but through practice, patience, and creativity, it is possible to establish such a productive urban garden that you can eat some homegrown, fresh food every day of the year. Highly recommended for public libraries, special and academic libraries with strong agricultural collections, and all those who are serious about producing food and creating a more sustainable lifestyle.

Table of contents

Creating a Food System for Your Space Deciding What to Grow in Your Garden Space How to Buy or Build Productive Vegetable Containers Using Vertical Space and Reflected Light Starting Transplants and Cycling Your Crops Growing Fruit and Berries in Your Small Space Sprouting Grains, Beans, Wheatgrass, and Salad Sprouts Making Yogurt, Kefir, and Fermented Foods Cultivating Mushrooms Raising Chickens and Honeybees in the City Making Compost and Partnering with Worms Survival During Resource Shortages Helping to Build a Sustainable Future Notes Resources Index