Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

Book review: Taste of the Unexpected

A Taste of the Unexpected. Mark DiaconoA Taste of the Unexpected. Mark Diacono by Diacono

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a bit different to other veg gardening books I have read. It doesn’t include the usual suspects of carrots, spuds and tomatoes, but tells you to make a wishlist of things you would like to eat and then see if it is possible to grow them. And surprisingly you can actually grow quite a few unusual things in the UK.
The book includes fruit, veggies, nuts and seeds, herbs.
I like the way Mark Diacono writes and regularly read his blog posts.
This book certainly gives you things to think about growing that are definitely a little out of the ordinary. After all, you can buy spuds and carrots anywhere can’t you? (Saying that though, this is my first proper growing year so i have included these in my small veg patch. But I might have a think about including some of these “unexpected” plants in the future.)

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Book Review: Grow Something to Eat Every Day

Grow Something to Eat Every Day. Jo WhittinghamGrow Something to Eat Every Day. Jo Whittingham by Jo Whittingham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is great for telling you what to sow, harvest and maintain in the vegetable garden for each month. If you like lots of colourful photos there are plenty here, in fact every page is full of them with the text mainly in boxes next to the pictures. But there are also full pages dedicated to a single type of veg and suggestions on good reliable varieties to grow.
It’s a shame this has to go back to the library, it may be a book I will actually buy.

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Book review: Meet the Microorganisms, The Organic Compost Guide (Kindle edition)

Meet The Microorganisms - The Organic Compost GuideMeet The Microorganisms – The Organic Compost Guide by Victor M. Barnes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a great guide to how to make compost for your garden. What to put in, what to leave out and how to keep it all healthy and rotting away. There is also a section for trouble shooting if your compost pile isn’t doing what it should.

Ideal for beginners, but also helpful for those who already make their own compost but are maybe having some problems with it.

Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be available on Amazon at the moment.

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Kindle book review: How to Grow Successful Tomatoes

How to Grow Successful Tomatoes by Helen Crapnell

My rating 2/5

This was a free Kindle book at the time I downloaded it, but is now 77p.  I wouldn’t pay for it to be honest.  It is very short and basic, and has a lot of typos in it.  You could get all the information in it from a magazine article or a chapter in a veg growing book.  It might be ok for a complete beginner who has never bought a gardening book or magazine and has been given a packet of tomato seeds.

Reading a lot!

Oh dear, nothing of gardening interest to report at the moment.  The weather is cold and wet and the things I planted in the autumn seem to be trundling along nicely.

In the meantime I have been reading quite a lot.  If you would like to see what I’ve been reading, pop over to my other blog Knitsamadworld.

There will be an update here soon!!

Big Green Smile

Happy New Year!!

I’m a bit late off the mark but there you go.  I’m not going to do a round up of last year’s gardening and green efforts because basically I was just getting started.  This year will be the one to really get going but again I’m not going to list resolutions because I never stick to them.

So for my first post of 2012 I want to praise great service.  Back in August I posted about some items I’d bought through Planet Organic.  One of these items was the Eco2Life cleaner system where you initially buy the product with the spray bottle and subsequently just buy refills thus cutting down on packaging and waste.

Eco2Life system

When it came time to order refills I discovered that Planet Organic no longer stock them so I had to find another source. After “googling” I came across a site called Big Green Smile.  They have a great range of eco-products so after having a look around the site I put an order together.  That was yesterday morning.  My order arrived this morning!!  How quick is that??  It was well packaged in a cardboard box and the filler was more scrunched cardboard so all recyclable.

If your order is over £10 you can request 2 free samples – I chose to try Yes to Tomatoes face wash and moisturiser (the two sachets in the middle of the photo).  Also if you refer a friend they get a £10 voucher off an order over £25.  So if anyone would like to take advantage of this offer, let me know and I’ll refer you. (in the interest of full disclosure I would also get a voucher!)

I will review the various products as I use them.  I currently have a load of laundry in using the Method laundry liquid, and I’ll be attempting to clean my oven in the next few days.  I didn’t have much success using baking soda, salt and vinegar so I am going to try the e-cloth first (we’ve used the glass one and it’s amazing!) and if I struggle with that then I’ll try the OrangeMate.

As for the Eco2Life cleaners, they are really good.  There is no horrid chemical smell and they clean really well.  I even got some permanent marker off one of my tiles today with the multipurpose cleaner.  And the bathroom one keeps my bath sparkling!

Not very exciting to be talking about cleaning products, but if you care about using fewer chemicals and not harming yourself or the environment, give Big Green Smile a look.


Book review: An Inconvenient Truth

An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About ItAn Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It by Al Gore

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Whilst I was reading this book (which only took me less than 2 hours this morning) it seemed very basic, with lots of colourful pictures and very basic representations of graphs etc. Sentences like “a scientist said that…..” or “some scientists think that……” with no reference to who these scientists were! It was only when I finished the book and looked properly at the front cover that I realised it was a young person’s edition for 12 years and up!! Whoops, that explained it!. Luckily I’d bought it secondhand from and have relisted it for sale on that same site.
Anyway, if you have/know a child around the start of high school this would be a good introduction to global warming issues. It covers topics like melting of ice caps, CO2 emissions etc and how it is the human population of the earth which is causing all the problems. It does suggest a few changes we can make like hybrid cars and CFL lightbulbs but doesn’t go into details (I would hope this was covered in the adult edition).
However it passed a couple of hours hiding from the nasty weather (a consequence of our disregard for the planet perhaps?).

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