Thursday, March 24, 2011

Book Review - Homegrown Herbs by Tammi Hartung

I have been searching (since I first started working with herbs) for an easy to read, simple to carry book that goes over the ways to grow, harvest, care for and use herbs.  That is a pretty tall order and short of tomes too heavy to carry without a footman, I have been disappointed until now.

What I found was a single book that tells me grow it like this, use it like this and by the way it is good for you like this, that is also small enough to carry into my garden as well as recommend it to others, especially those just starting out growing herbs.  Homegrown Herbs by Tammi Hartung is that book.

Who would have guessed that a book with such a normal sounding title would be filled with so much information?  This book can be read by beginners as well as experienced gardeners.  It is lavishly filled with color pictures and wonderfully written prose that gives you a feel for how, where and why Tammi Hartung gardens with herbs.  Everything from starting plants, to maintenance, to harvesting and preserving herbs is given in detail and the recipes for food and other products as well as step by step instructions for making tea, tinctures and salves are all top notch.  The book even has details of over 100 herbs some of which I have never even heard of before (which I did not think possible!)

But the thing that impressed me the most about this book was that never before have I found a book covering the medicinal and health uses for herbs also be a perfect guide to the art of growing and using them too.  My search is over!  The book is about 9 x 12 inches, paperback and only about 3/4 to 5/8 of an inch thick, yet the wealth of information in contains I have not found in books twice its size.  And it is so readable.  I got a copy on Monday and I have been enjoying just reading it ever since.  I know it is a reprint/rewrite of an older book, but somehow it is different, but since I did not buy the other one I cannot compare the two.

Of special note are the charts she has scattered through the text.  They talk about how to grow the herbs, how and when to harvest and a multitude of other pieces of information gathered together in usable lists that I know I will be copying and pasting into my garden journal.

Tonight I expect to go back through the text and gather information to use here and in my lectures as this book is filled with little tidbits to share.

If I have intrigued about this book by Tammi Hartung, Herb Companion Magazine is having a sale on books this week and they have 25% off the cover price of this book included in their sale.  Here is the link to the order form:  Homegrown Herbs

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