by William Alexander
How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for the Perfect Garden.Gardening time is here, is it not? And if you are a gardener, then this is a must read. As the title suggests, we who deign to plant and attempt to grow things sometimes do not know the actual cost of the fruits of our labors. This book is one man's experience at gardening (or really, small-scale farming), working in concert with nature to provide his family with fresh, healthy produce.
But the best-laid plans, and all that.
The author tells us how his family moves to a small, rural town in New York where his wife sets up her medical practice. They buy an old house, pay too much for it, and then pay even more to renovate it. Scarcely finished with that, the author looks longingly at the wild acreage surrounding the hosue and begins plannning for a fantastic garden.
Our hapless gardener becomes a victim first of landscapers, then of pests of the large and small variety, disease, weather, and simply exhausting labor. Nevertheless, he pushes on and year after year manages to produce for his family wonderful fresh produce.
The cost is great when he sits down to calculate the cost of his home-grown produce. But he does not give up -- the benefit is too important.
The author tells his experiences with humor and interesting detail, including helpful information to other gardeners. I enjoyed this book, though I am no vegetable gardener --flowers only, for me. But for anyone who likes to dig in the earth, and enjoys the hopefulness of planting a seed or seedling and seeing where you can go from there, wiill enjoy this book as well.