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The Green Life: Book Roundup Wednesday: Urban Gardening and Foraging

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March 10, 2010

Book Roundup Wednesday: Urban Gardening and Foraging

Book review Every Wednesday, we review a selection of new and upcoming books addressing a specific aspect of environmentalism. This week we’re recommending books about finding, growing, or raising food in urban areas.

Fat of the Land: Adventures of a 21st Century Forager (by Langdon Cook, $27, Skipstone, 2009): Former fast-food consumer Langdon Cook started foraging to impress his future wife. Now a seasoned gatherer, Cook shares his acquired love of finding dinner in unexpected places. Each chapter concludes with a recipe featuring wild ingredients such as dandelions, wild nettles, berries, mushrooms, and clams.

A Little Piece of Earth: How to Grow Your Own Food in Small Spaces (by Maria Finn, $20, Universe, Mar. 2010): Maria Finn proves that green-thumbed urbanites needn't feel limited to a few houseplants. Charming illustrations accompany instructions for growing lemons, shitake mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes, figs, and more on windowsills, balconies, patios, and rooftops. Chapters on foraging and community gardening round out the book.

Public Produce: The New Urban Agricuture (by Darrin Nordahl, $30, Island Press, 2009): City planner  Darrin Nordahl examines the impact of public gardens, profiling successful efforts and detailing opportunities for change. Nordahl weighs in on food literacy, foraging, community health, and public policy.

Keeping Chickens: All You Need to Know to Care for a Happy, Healthy Flock (by Ashley English, $20, Lark Books, April 2010): According to author Ashley English, chickens are "the easiest and most rewarding creatures for a fledgling urban, suburban, or rural homesteader to manage." This accessible guide covers the basics of chicken care for beginners, including choosing a breed, building a coop, feeding the flock, and cooking the eggs.

--Della Watson



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