The Comic Book Guide to Growing Food

The Comic Book Guide to Growing Food was immensely successful — as soon as I finished it, I went to the local farmers’ market and bought a tomato plant. (We’ll see if I’m able to grow and harvest it!)

Written by Joseph Tychonievich, art by Liz Anna Kozik, and published by Ten Speed Press, this guide to, as the subtitle has it, “step-by-step vegetable gardening for everyone” is very approachable and friendly. It contains a huge amount of information, but without, imo, becoming overwhelming (a problem other graphic novel gardening guides have had).

Mia is a software developer who wants to eat healthier. Her neighbor George doesn’t get computers but has a gorgeous garden. The two help each other out, mostly with George giving Mia advice and guidance on why and how to start a garden.

The Comic Book Guide to Growing Food

The art is direct, easy-to-read, and comfortable in its pastel coloring. Each chapter sets out another topic; the reader can learn along with Mia about the decisions to be made and the factors to consider. They include

  • location
  • what to start growing (with a list of what’s easy to grow to start with)
  • when to plant given local climate
  • how to choose and set up containers and beds
  • how and why to buy plants
  • and how to plant and weed and care for your vegetables and herbs.

I really liked the encouraging advice to start small, and the way the key points are set out and easy to understand. It feels very possible, particularly with the emphasis on herbs as a starting point. There are also lists of websites and future reading and an index to the advice pages, to make this usable as a reference guide as well.

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