I very much love this book- it’s really as simple as that. The Zero-Mile Diet by Carolyn Herriot is organized in month-by-month chapters that take you, not just through the growing season, but all throughout the year with tips on how to put the garden to bed, and ideas for maintenance work that can happen in the winter and early spring.
This book is especially useful as a quick go-to resource for when you’re in the middle of planting seeds or transplanting plants, and you just need that quick reminder of how deep to sow the seeds or how far apart you should space your plants. It’s also an easy-to-understand, home-garden appropriate reference, for how to make ‘super duper compost’, leaf mulch, as well as more in-depth topics such as taking cuttings, seed-saving and how to take soil samples.
With all of its wonderful photos and recipes, this book mixes old and new organic gardening philosophies and shares well-researched information about a range of topics including perennial food plants, organic agriculture and even how to grow your own sprouts. Carolyn Herriot is no less than a BC gardening hero. Have a peak at her wonderful, uber-inspirational Ted Talk from Victoria here.
That being said, some of the experiences and instructions in the book are very specific to the West coast. For pretty much anywhere else in Canada, we will need to adapt some of the tips and recipes in this book to suit our local climates. For example, unless you have acidic soil as they do on the west coast, you should be careful to not amend garden soils with dolomite lime (when in doubt always amend soil with high-quality compost and it’s hard to go wrong). Watering techniques will need to be adjusted and certain plants such as figs, Swiss chard and broccoli, will have a shorter life span and won’t last throughout the winter.
Bearing this in mind, I promise you that this book will be an invaluable addition to your gardening and cooking book library. Happy Gardening!