My friend Erika mentioned this book to me about a year ago, called “You Grow Girl” by Gayla Trail. I was in the midst of my permaculture high from finishing up “Gaia’s Garden” by Toby Hemenway, so I didn’t really let her recommendation sink in…

(By the way – just to pat myself on the back – I got “Gaia’s Garden” from Jay for Christmas last year. So all things considered, the food forest is quite underway considering it’s been less than a year since the word permaculture was even introduced to me. Pat, pat.)
Okay, so back to “You Grow Girl”. I was walking through the Powell’s Books for Home & Garden on Hawthorne, where they have a fabulous selection of cookbooks, gardening-related books, even one or two on keeping urban chickens. Here was this great little book I remember my friend Erika mentioning, and it was on sale to boot. I snapped it up and it has been such an awesome addition to my armchair gardening.
Basically, I would describe the book as a hip-lady’s guide to gardening. She gives advice and inspiration to anyone who has ever wanted to keep a green-thing, whether you have a huge backyard or just a small fire escape. Her advice is very practical, sassy, and easy to follow. She emphasizes organic gardening, includes a how-to-compost section, and even covers natural pest control with beneficial insects. There are also tons of fun gardening-related projects from stepping stones to planter boxes to sleek-looking copper plant tag holders. I am not quite so crafty that way, so I will probably never make the “Not Your Grandmother’s Gardening Apron”, but I would certainly wear one if a crafty friend made it for me out of some recycled vintage fabric (cough… Anne… cough…).
The book does not go as deep as a book all about permaculture for the experienced gardener, but I found her writing really refreshingly fun and simple. It is overwhelming to garden on your own for the first time and I remember feeling like I had missed out on some huge class everyone took that taught them how to grow everything. This is the perfect book to make it fun and start you off easy. There are some great things even for the experienced gardener, as long as you are someone who is always looking for some hip new tricks.
(Side note, it reminded me of this parenting book called “The Hip Momma Survival Guide” that my sister swore by when she had my nephew. There are also a whole new slew of knitting and crochet books hitting the market for the young, hip urban ladies.)
One of the best discoveries I made through reading this book was uncovering her fabulous blog as well! Check it out HERE. It’s now on my list of daily reads, and she updates quite often. Hope you enjoy it too and feel free to share any good books with me as well! It’s going to be a long cold winter!
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Written by Renee Wilkinson