The Planet Whizbang Idea Book for Gardeners by Herrick Kimball offers a great combination of tools, tips and stories to enlighten and inspire just about any gardener. From sturdy trellis systems, cloches and raised beds to biochar and Brix meters, this is one you'll come back to year after year. (Yes, this is written by the creator of the Whizbang Chicken plucker.)
Sprinkled throughout the text are excerpts from old books, magazines and almanacs dating back to the 1800's. So often we think we're creating something new, when we are really rediscovering what was lost. Take this featured quote by E.P. Roe from The Home Acre (1886) about cheaper vegetables:
I am often told, “It is cheaper to buy fruits and vegetables than to raise them.” I have nothing to say in reply. There are many cheap things we can have. Experience has proved that one of the best things we can have is a garden, either to work in or to visit daily when the season permits. We have but one life to live here, and to get the cheapest things out of it is rather poor ambition.
I couldn't agree more. We need to take the best from the past and team it up with the best new ideas to create a better future. Herrick strikes me as the sort of fellow who understands this wholeheartedly.
How The Planet Whizbang Idea Book for Gardeners is Organized
There are 35 sections to the book, plus a list of additional resources. Some of the projects covered include:
- How to Make and Use Solar Pyramids
- How to Make Your Own Forever Plant Tags
- How to Harvest and Use Wood Stove Biochar
- An Introduction to Soil Remineralization
- An Introduction to Brix and Brix Testing
One “project” that I implemented right away (that had me thinking “I should have thought of that” was How to Make a Whizbang Pocket Cultivator. Herrick re-purposed an old fork by giving it a nice tape-padded handle for an easier grip. This hand cultivator is then used to work up the soil in tight areas between closely spaced or small plants. The last time I swung through Goodwill, I hit the mis-matched silverware bin and found myself a nice bent tine fork with a chunky handle. Ta-da! Hand cultivator.
Pros and Cons of The Planet Whizbang Idea Book for Gardeners
- Lots of food for thought – literally dozens of ideas, plus the historical excerpts
- Clear illustrations to help you replicate the project at home
- Conversational tone of writing, easy and comfortable to read
- Some photos would be nice, but I understand that increase the cost of the book significantly
- I need more hours in a day to build more of these things, or my kids need to get building… 😉
You may also enjoy our other Gardening posts, including:
- Build Your Own Simple Seed Starting Shelves
- 5+ Terrific Tomato Trellis Ideas
- Cleaning and Sharpening Garden Tools
Just for the record, I received nothing for doing this review other than a copy of this book and another book of Herrick's, Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian. I believe that this is an exceptional book that my readers will enjoy, so I chose to share it with you.
Note: This post did include a giveaway when it first went live, but the giveaway has ended.