Monday, September 12, 2011

Grow your own!

Book: RHS Good Fruit & Veg Guide
Publisher: DK Publishing
Pages: 559
Price: Rs 499 (Hardbound copy)

Eisha Sarkar
Posted on Mumbai Mirror on Monday, September 12, 2011 at 03:20:49 PM

Tired of haggling about the price with the bhajiwala for a kilo of tomatoes? With the inflation rate at 9.55 per cent, you may now want to grow your own food. And if you're worried about the time and space you need to put into this endeavour, fret not. RHS Good Fruit and Veg Guide will show you how to go green without much fuss.

There are few books on gardening that you will find at your neighbourhood bookstore; fewer that cater to urban Indian audiences.  The Royal Horticultural Society’s Good Fruit and Veg Guide teaches you how to grow crops, “whatever your plot size, whether you own a large allotment or a window box” in a cost-effective, eco-friendly and organic way.

Leafing through the pages you learn about choosing crops, using space effectively by vertical gardening, composting and manuring, weeding and creating a healthy garden. The guide showcases over 1,000 of the best fruit and vegetable cultivars (a plant or group of plants selected for desirable characteristics that can be maintained by propagation), chosen for their flavour, reliability and ease of cultivation. Each fruit and vegetable entry has information on whether the plant can or cannot be grown in containers or pots, the best season to sow or plant (bear in mind that the book caters primarily to British readers), the level of resistance to common pests, hardiness, pollination information (whether you need one plant or two plants of the same species) and when the crop is ready for harvest (conditions in India may be different) and lots of pictures of deliciously attractive veggies, fruits and salad leaves.

Though you may have to rely on other sources (the internet or your gardener) to get information about what plants can be grown in a tropical climate like India's, the compact RHS Good Fruit and Veg Guide makes you realise the possibilities which you can explore and build on. “Your options are only limited by your imagination.”

No comments: