Grow, Cook, Eat is about growing your own food, a subject that is near and dear to my heart. Maybe I’ve watched too many zombie apocalypse movies or maybe I’m just a homesteader at heart, but I think the world would be a better place if we got rid of the corporations farming and got back to growing our own food. Unfortunately, this book is little more than snippets taken from Pinterest pages. 2 out of 10 stars. One of the worst gardening books I’ve ever read.
I was expecting some basic gardening instructions in this book, but they amounted to a few paragraphs on each subject and nothing more. In particular, the author spends very little effort instructing the beginner on how to amend their soil to be ready for planting (“sprinkle the amendments in the soil test over each bed”). The composting instructions amounted to two paragraphs (my compost bin had more instructions than that). Since I am not a novice gardener, I know a little about drying and storing seeds. The author doesn’t tell you to dry them and instead suggests putting them in a bag and freezing them. That’s very bad advice. I would rather have had the proper planting instructions and foregone the many blank pages of white space.
This was another gardening book where I found several projects stolen directly from old Pinterest pins. Like chopping herbs, adding olive oil, and freezing them in ice cube trays. Or the recipe for Nona’s Pesto (exactly the same name too). That bothered me. The growing instructions were incomplete and often inaccurate. The recipes were common ones found in any cookbook (like pesto, chervil butter, herb-infused vinegars and oils, and marinades).
There is a trend among publishers of gardening books to have editors write them rather than real gardeners. They take a few professional photos and add a ton of white space to the book and print it on glossy paper in China. That’s not what I’m looking for. I’d like actual instructions from a real gardener. It was obvious within the first chapter that this author is not an experienced gardener. Perhaps the publishing company pays her enough to restart her garden each year, but most of us don’t have that kind of money. Avoid this book.
Reviewed by Betsy.