This week, we’ll cover a book by another one of my mentors – a man I’m also lucky enough to call a friend.
Let’s face the dirty truth: gardening books are often boring. And good gardening ideas are few and far between.
Sure, there’s the occasional laughter-inducing tome, such as Ruth Stout’s epic Gardening Without Work… or the infectious enthusiasm for geometric horticultural engineering found in Mel Bartholomew’s Square Foot Gardening.
But most gardening books do little to stir the mind.
How many time do we need to be told the proper C/N ratio of compost? Or the spacing of beans? Or the cold-tolerance of kale.
We Gooders are looking for more. We need the burning vision of a Sepp Holzer to stir us… or the green vistas of Geoff Lawton’s food forest Edens.
Today’s book nestles in the sweet spot somewhere between the down-to-earth and the skyward-reaching tendrils of imagination.
If you’re looking for gardening ideas, this is the book for you.
This book = pure idea generation
Herrick Kimball is the inventor of the Whizbang Chicken Plucker, the Whizbang Wheel Hoe, the Whizbang Cider Press the Whizbang Garden Cart and he’s the maker of Classic American Clothespins that are better than their high-strung ancestors.
But… on to this week’s book!
I first had the chance to read The Planet Whizbang Idea Book for Gardeners during the cold days of winter back in 2014 and found it to be a great inspiration for the upcoming gardens of 2015.
This is truly a book of ideas. If you’re a DIY person, a dreamer, a tinkerer or an experimenter… Kimball sets forth a big batch of homemade and home-tested ideas and basically says “Here – take these gifts and build with them and on them!”
Gardening ideas covered include remarkably inexpensive and sturdy T-post trellises, tri-grown carrots, refurbishing antique garden hoes (which I have done myself with great success!), creating biochar, building solar pyramids, siphon-tube rain barrels and a lot more.
Along with the many ideas and profuse illustrations, Kimball includes snippets and essays from vintage gardening books, letters, almanacs and bulletins. The wisdom of the past twines through the pages, reflecting Kimball’s Christian Agrarian philosophy of working with his hands and caring for the land generationally.
Mineralization, tool design, insect control – the gardening ideas are introduced to the reader one after the other, daring him to set down the book and get out in the workshop or garden with a brilliant new plan.
The Planet Whizbang Idea Book for Gardeners is my kind of book – and I think you’ll like it too.
You can get a copy here.