The nights are growing longer and it suddenly got chilly in Olympia this week. It hasn’t technically frosted yet, but our nighttime temps have dipped to 35ish. This weather means that I can find time to turn my attention back to the books on my nightstand that have been languishing all summer while we spent our daylight hours weeding, plucking, picking, shoveling, etc. So, here’s what’s on my nightstand.
Grow Great Grub, by Gayla Trail.
I must have read this book four or five times already, but everytime I find something new. Gayla Trail is a smart person. She’s one of those garden writers who knows what she’s talking about, and writes factual, true things. The advice in this book is solid, and I always recommend her work to beginning gardeners. I think it’s important to have advice that actually works when you are starting out. Failure is so discouraging when you start gardening, so set yourself up for success.
Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff
We’re always on the look-out for interesting new canning ideas so I get a lot of jam and pickle cookbooks from the public library. Don’t get me wrong, I am crazy for a jar of plain-jane blackberry jam, but inspiration and challenges keep me excited about what’s happening in the kitchen. It saves canning from becoming a chore. I’ve heard good things about this book, but haven’t cooked from it yet.
Permaculture is the idea of designing your space into a sort of ecosystem where each piece supports the others, a sort of “closing the loop” for sustainability and self-sufficiency. Most permaculture examples are BIG, like acres of land, but this book tries to scale the ideas down to a home-sized permaculture system. I don’t think that “real” permaculture is our goal, personally, but I would like to be more closed-loop about a lot of things, so I’m reading this book for inspiration.
Speaking of permaculture – Sepp Holzer has been practicing permaculture for decades in high elevations in Austria. He has a lot more space than we do, but I’m interested to learn about hügelkultur and some other ideas we could apply on a much smaller scale.
I’m also reading 1Q84, but that seems a little out of place here. So, what’s on your nightstand for these long, cold nights ahead?
We were in no way compensated for including any of these books. We either bought them, received them as gifts from family, or checked them out from the public library. All of my opinions are entirely my own.