Monday, June 22, 2015


Summertime is gardening time for me. Those are my beets (first time I've ever planted beets -- can't wait to roast the root and saute the greens) and my basil (aka Pesto Plants). I also have tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic and onions (also the first time for those), rosemary, parsley (mostly for the black swallowtails), and chives. In the community garden where my environmental club has a plot, we have tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, carrots, onions, and beans.

Here are a couple of great books for the gardeners out there:

Jo MacDonald Had a Garden
by Mary Quattlebaum
illustrated by Laura J. Bryant
Dawn Publications, 2012
review copy from the public library

This picture book follows the traditional rhyme (I dare you to read it without singing it!), but substitutes sun, soil, worms, seeds, water, bird, plants, food, treat, and when winter comes, rest.

There is wildlife hidden in the illustrations. In the back, Quattlebaum includes information about the plants and animals and gardening.

EIEIO: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm
by Judy Sierra
illustrated by Matthew Myers
Candlewick Press, 2014
review copy -- gift from a fellow gardener

In this version, Old MacDonald starts with a house and a big back yard -- a yard that takes a lot of mowing. So much mowing that he gets a goat. After the goat, MacDonald gets a chicken. But not just ANY chicken! This one has a diploma, a suitcase monogrammed with LRH, and a plan that includes improving the soil, planting, and selling the harvest to the neighbors! In the end, Old MacDonald has an urban garden with no less than seven raised beds, plants in containers (and an old bathtub), and rows of grapevines and sunflowers. It's a new vision for what a yard can be. EIEIO.

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