Book review: No Guff Vegetable Gardening
By Donna Balzer and Steven Biggs
Illustrated by Mariko McCrae
In an attempt to explain the various aspects of growing vegetables, many gardening books use lots of scientific names and difficult-to-understand concepts. Finally, No Guff Vegetable Gardening by Donna Balzer and Steven Biggs, offers a no-nonsense approach in plain language that is easy to understand. Both expert gardeners, Balzer and Biggs are a generation apart in age and they often have differing opinions.
Along with Guff, the book’s cartoon character who loves to give out advice, and personal anecdotes, Balzer and Biggs show gardeners that no single way is the right way to grow vegetables. These two hands-on gardeners take you through the process of growing your own food beginning with understanding your climate and weather conditions to harvesting a successful crop. They do it in a humorous way but with serious, need-to-know information.
What makes this book unique?
Visually the book is very different from traditional gardening books. From cover to cover, colourful, cartoon-like drawings and photographs support a lively dialogue between the authors. The chapter on soils is superb. Balzer and Biggs cover the complexities and importance of creating healthy soil in a way that is engaging and easy to grasp.
As a bonus, readers can visit the Garden Coaches Chat website to get additional advice, instructions for projects and to make comments. All in all, the book offers a fun and well-rounded approach to vegetable gardening.
Publisher: No Guff Press (You can purchase the book through the book’s website where Balzer and Biggs have partnered with Alpine Book Peddlers.)