Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener’s Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting

Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener’s Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting

Books on container gardening have been wildly popular with urban and suburban readers, but until now, there has been no comprehensive “how-to” guide for growing fresh food in the absence of open land. Fresh Food from Small Spaces fills the gap as a practical, comprehensive, and downright fun guide to growing food in small spaces. It provides readers with the knowledge and skills necessary to produce their own fresh vegetables, mushrooms, sprouts, and fermented foods as well as to raise bees and

Rating: (out of 24 reviews)

List Price: $ 24.95

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5 Comments

  1. P. Meadows says:

    Review by P. Meadows for Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener’s Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting
    Rating:
    [Update: I read the book again; and I wish I had given it five stars rather than four. I cannot seem to edit the number of stars. But just pretend that I gave it five stars, OK? Thanks!]

    ‘Fresh Food from Small Spaces’ is an exciting book, an inspirational and informative book. Ruppenthal’s main topics are container gardening, sprouting, fermenting, growing mushrooms, and small livestock (chickens and bees only), making compost and worm boxes. He lists and describes steps that anyone can take towards helping to build a more sustainable planet and living more lightly on the earth, as well as being more self-reliant.

    I was very glad to see a short chapter on ‘Survival During Resource Shortages’ and one on ‘Helping to Build a Sustainable Future’. The ‘Introduction’ also touches on these topics.

    I was also glad to see that Ruppenthal recommends the use of Self-Watering Containers. I know from personal experience (and from being the listowner for a list devoted to Edible Container Gardening) that this is a very, very superior way to grow vegetables in containers.

    What the book is *not*: it is definitely not a how-to book. It is *not* the only book you’ll ever need about *any* of the topics that it covers. If you buy the book thinking that it is, you’ll probably be disappointed. Instead, it gives an excellent general overview and introduction to some very disparate topics. It gives you ideas for things *you can actually do*. The author also points you towards more detailed sources of information on each topic. I doubt if anyone could have written a detailed instructional guide on all of these very different topics.

    Major disappointment: the only illustrations are black-and-white stock photos. Some color photos – and more personal photos – would have been a great addition. This is really a very glaring lack. (Shame on you, Chelsea Green Publishers!)

    Second major disappointment: no index. I would have expected an index in anything published by Chelsea Green, a quality publisher.

    Major plus: The book is referenced, with endnotes. There is a list of resources as well.

    I would definitely have given this book my unalloyed praise if it only had better photos and an index. I have no other criticisms. Ruppenthal writes well, too, by the way.

    [...]

  2. J. Caldwell says:

    Review by J. Caldwell for Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener’s Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting
    Rating:
    I ordered this book because it seemed well reviewed and the title is exactly what I have to deal with – square inches.

    However, after getting it I have to say this was really a disappointment. To begin with, the book is not well-edited, and the same general observations on gardening are repeated in many different places throughout the book – it felt like the author had to fill space.

    There were very broad chapters on how to keep chickens, bees, grow mushrooms, make your own kefir, etc. but without any sort of in-depth knowledge. Mostly, just a vague overview with references. There are good websites referenced throughout the book but overall, anyone with a little time and Google can probably do better to find the same information online, in far more detail.

    I had been hoping for a true play-by-play breakdown of maximizing space and food production, but no luck. If you are looking for concise, informative, and practical tips, move on. If you have absolutely no idea how to garden, then maybe this would be a good starting point. But I’m still searching….

  3. A. Chase says:

    Review by A. Chase for Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener’s Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting
    Rating:
    This book is INCREDIBLE! It really helped me understand the possibilities for urban gardening. Who would have thought you can grow so much food in so little space? Apartments, condominiums, townhouses, balconies, windowsills…this book shows you how to use any space to grow food. Ruppenthal’s writing is very down to earth, plain English, accessible for all levels of readers and beginning gardeners. Great resource for city gardening. I really think this book is something new–I’ve read a lot of books, but never anything like this. If you have limited space or need a gift for someone who lives in an apartment or condo, then try Fresh Food From Small Spaces.

  4. Tracy Fox says:

    Review by Tracy Fox for Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener’s Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting
    Rating:
    Perhaps I just misinterpreted what this book would cover, but I was disappointed at how little information was available on raising food year-round. The “year-round” really only refers to fermenting and sprouting. There is a page devoted to the work of Eliot Coleman who gardens in greenhouses outdoors in Maine, which really isn’t small space gardening. There are passing references to growing peas and beans, herbs and small fruits indoors but no suggestions beyond setting them in a sunny windowsill (which really doesn’t work for most of the country).

    I was hoping for a detailed discussion of growing lettuce on a light stand, overwintering pepper plants, etc.

  5. ilex says:

    Review by ilex for Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener’s Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting
    Rating:
    but as an experienced small-space gardener and home food producer, I didn’t learn anything new. It is nice that container gardening, fermenting, chickens, sprouting, and emergency food storage are all in one book, but each chapter offers only an overview. At the end he gives resources for further reading, but most resources he lists are books I already own. If you’re completely new to small-scale home food production, it’s a great, easy-to-read resource. But if you already know the topics, you probably don’t need this book.

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