Grow Without A Garden: 101 Plants. You too can eat off your balcony! …patio, terrace or rooftop. From the author of An Illustrated Guide to Growing Food On Your Balcony, comes a new illustrated book featuring one hundred and one edible and medicinal crops for containers, rooftops and small spaces. This new guide is just as accessible, practical and unpretentious as its predecessor. Each beautifully hand drawn plant illustration is accompanied by condensed yet thorough instructions for successful growing, making it easy and user-friendly for new gardeners.
I am quite literally drawing from my experience as a gardener, spending the last seven years producing food on a rooftop with soil only seven inches deep. The focus is on productive and adaptable plants that are easy growing in the variable conditions of container gardens. I am committed to publishing recommendations that I can say from experience are reliable. I don’t miss a number of culturally-specific plants that aren't found in most gardening books currently on the market. These include vegetables such as jute leaves, long beans, cress, fava beans, purslane, fenugreek, and okra, and herbs such as epazote, rau ram, and shiso. I also include nutritious and medicinal "plants which grow themselves" like dandelion, lambsquarters, chickweed, motherwort and red clover.
The profile page about each plant explains everything from the required growing conditions, propagation method, planting calendar, and container size, to plant origin, companion plants, troubleshooting, benefits and uses.
The garden supplies include mostly recycled and affordable items so as to encourage low-cost gardening. The book is tailored Southern Ontario growing conditions, though information is also transferable to urban areas elsewhere. Publication of this book is part of a larger project of engaging people locally in growing their own food. The history of the first book speaks to the potential for this new illustrated guide to once again flourish. In the GTA food is increasingly expensive (especially organics) and access to garden space is very limited. My new book will promote food growing as a tool for increased nutrition and gardening not as a hobby but as a path to self-sufficiency. With millions of GTA residents living in high-rise apartment buildings, there is a large audience for this resource!
Risks and challenges
The possible risk related to this book project is that compared to my first book, it is larger and has more colour in its pages - both of which require a higher printing cost. One thing people have loved about the first book is its accessibility: both the simplified and accessible information and the affordable price. So I don't want to fall short of my fundraising goal, and thus be forced to do a much smaller print run, which would raise the cost of each book significantly. I think I am in a good position to avoid having this happen because I have two great sources of support already for the project - a successful grant from a local community foundation, and some saved-up revenue from sales of my first book. These two will allow me to do my print run as planned. My back-up plan is already in place: I have reached out to two individual investors who are willing to lend me some of the funds if needed. So I'm pretty sure this print run will succeed either way! Oh - and the other risk would be not completing the production of such an ambitious project. But I have been working on it since January and the plants are all illustrated, the information for each plant's "how-to" profile page is written, and I'm in the final stages of layout and editing!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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