If you have been reading this blog lately, you will know that I have been growing tomatoes and strawberries in a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000YHEAZU?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=B000YHEAZU” this EarthBox. /aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=B000YHEAZU” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / I am proud to say that I now have a number of a href=”http://drhelen.blogspot.com/2008/06/afternoon-snack.html”delicious tomatoes /athat I have been sharing with family members and have also been eating daily myself. I have gained a terrific sense of accomplishment from growing my own vegetables and fruit on a small scale. However, I decided to go beyond the basics and am reading a helpful book by Steve Solomon entitled, a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/086571553X?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=086571553X”emGardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times. /em/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=086571553X” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” /br /br /Solomon is a gardening guru who has written eight books and is the founder of a seed company. His current book teaches those with access to 3-5000 square feet of garden land how to halve their food costs in most climates using just a bucket of household waste water, a few hand tools, and a few hundred dollars per year spent on supplies and seeds. One needs a bit of time to do this during the peak growing season–around two hours per day–but if one is around the house anyway, it would be time well spent.br /br /Solomon is not a big fan of garden centers–frankly, I’m not either, some seem overpriced and the one near me has little help and the staff hides in the back or seems annoyed if you ask questions. Solomon explains to readers to beware of vegetable transplants and explains how to find healthy ones. He also describes how to grow your own seedlings and goes on to tell how to find quality seeds to plant. While I am not so dedicated to gardening and don’t know if I will ever be, Solomon decribes his passion as follows:br /br /blockquote…for me, gardening has never been a minor affair. It is life itself. It is independence. It is health for my family. And for people going through hard times, a thriving veggie garden can be the difference between painful poverty and a much more pleasant existence./blockquotebr /br /The book talks about the decline of cheap oil and the threat of hard times to come which may play a factor in prompting people to grow more food themselves. I don’t know if I will get to the point that I will need to grow food to live (I sure hope not!) but I think it is important to be well-rounded and be able to grow a few things myself without relying solely on the grocery store or other means for food 100% of the time. If you feel the same way, you might enjoy Solomon’s book.