As Heard on The Daily Gardener Podcast:
Today's Grow That Garden Library Book Recommendation: New Vegetable Garden Techniques by Joyce Russell
Joyce Russell has been gardening for forty years, and she's my favorite type of gardener - practical and generous with her knowledge. She has loads of experience growing fruit and vegetables, feeding her family with her garden harvest.
Joyce and her photographer husband Ben have collaborated on a few garden books. Their first book, The Polytunnel Book: Fruit and Vegetable all Year Round, is a perennial best-seller. They also released, Build a Better Vegetable Garden in 2016.
In NVGT, Joyce highlights 23 projects for gardeners to try on their own. I especially loved the plan of using a carrot clamp for preservation. Joyce shares that a carrot clamp preserves carrots outside for months. It also works for other root vegetables like potatoes, beetroot, and parsnips.
Now, creating a clamp is pretty straight forward. You can follow along with the beautiful images in Joyce's book (thanks to Ben, no doubt). To create a clamp, you simply cut the tops of your carrots, leaving about 2.5 cm of the green stem.
Lay the carrots in a circle with the tips of the carrot lying pointed to the middle of the ring. Insulate the pile of carrots with straw or rushes. Then cover with soil.
Then, when you want a carrot, you make a door by pushing your hand through the layers of soil and insulation. Take out as many carrots as you need. The pile will slump down as you extract your produce.
It's a simple, secure outdoor storage that works like a charm.
Joyce also offers excellent step-by-step instructions for creating an onion string and garlic plait, how to trial different mulches, how to create simple and effective flappers to scare birds away, how to build a simple frame to protect fruit crops and she offers an excellent basic basil pesto recipe on page 172 - in addition to all of the wonder growing techniques that she shares throughout the book.
SI HORTUM IN HORTORUM PODCASTUM IN BIBLIOTEHCA HABES, NIHIL DEERIT.