Homesweet Homegrown: By Robyn Jasko, 127 pgs. By Kurt

My roommate would really dig this book. She’s always planting things and growing vegetables outside. She’ll spend a few hours each week during the spring and summer shoveling mulch and digging up dirt and doing all kinds of stuff that I wish I did. Instead, I’m the kind of guy who decides it’s okay for me to have a dinner comprised entirely of cookies. Meanwhile, my roommate is cooking things from scratch and canning and planting stuff.

So, needless to say, this book wasn’t written for someone like me. However, I think that if I would ever get off my ass and do some gardening, it would be a good place to start. It covers everything you would want to know about seeds, including when to start growing them, germination times, and lighting. It gives a list of twenty-five different vegetables and details about when, where, and how to grow them. There is a chapter on the different ways of planting. (I know! I thought you just dropped seeds in a hole.) There are also chapters on vegetable recipes and how to store your vegetables. Finally, there is a section of resources for where to buy seeds and other supplies.

This is a good starter guide (on second thought, my roommate might actually find herself a bit beyond the material here) with basic, straightforward information in one compact, handy book. There are also illustrations throughout that keep it from being a dull read. (Perhaps some of my reviews need illustrations?) Maybe this will finally inspire me to do some gardening on my own —but with the promise of cookies for dinner, that’s going to be a tough task. (Microcosm, 636 SE 11th Ave., Portland, OR 97214)