UPDATE(22 Feb 2017): A lot has changed in five years, so I came back to fix the broken links before sharing this throwback post.
Disclosure: “Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.”
Whenever I get to this time of year, I start thinking about gardening and fresh produce. It is still cold here, but this is the time to start doing my research for what I want to plant a couple months from now. In addition to perusing the seed catalogs, I usually check the library to see what new books are available. Here are the ones I got on my last library trip.
Farm Fresh North Carolina is a handy little guide for finding U-pick farms, farmer's markets, and the like all over NC. I know that most people turn to the internet for travel guides these days, but sometimes I want to have an actual book in hand.
The Vegetable Gardener's Container Bible is a book that I borrowed from the library, but I want a copy of my own. I can see myself referring to this book at the beginning of each gardening season. With my health issues, if I want to continue to have a garden I will need to do it in containers. This book shows you how to make your own self-watering containers and gives suggestions about vegetables and herbs that are happy growing together in the same pot.
Urban Pantry isn't a gardening book, but it fits in with my craving for fresh produce this time of year. There are a few pages at the end of the book about having a kitchen garden, but this is primarily a cookbook with tips on how to stock a kitchen with seasonal items on a budget. The recipes in this book seemed to be aimed more at foodies than at a simple cook like me; there was only one recipe that I was even tempted to try (Fizzy Ginger Soda).
I'm currently reading Locavore's Handbook. The subtitle is The Busy Person's Guide to Eating Local on a Budget. The book starts with a brief account of the author's 250 Year -- an experiment a lot of food activists are taking on which involves only eating foods that are grown within a 250-mile radius of your home. The author lives in New York City so there is a bit of a bias toward what foods are in season in that part of the country, but there also seems to be enough information for people in other parts of the country who want to try the locavore lifestyle. The first takeaway I've gotten from this book is a list of the Dirty Dozen. I've known for a while that there are certain foods and vegetables that absorb pesticides more than others but I didn't have a list. This is going up on the fridge!