Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Going Organic


November is definitely going to be my month of shameless self-promotion. Yesterday, my radio spot, today, my book. Well, it's not really my book. But my garden is in it, and I worked on it, and it has some of my photos and words in it, plus my wife Pam's illustrations, too. So it feels like 'my book', even though it's Don Burke's book. It's called 'Organic', it's all about growing food the organic way, and it has just gone on sale in bookshops everywhere in Australia. And, quite frankly, I'm thrilled!

This is the cover. It's a hardcover book, 304 pages, and priced at just $29.95, so it's brilliant value, although I guess I'm biased, aren't I? We've been working on the book for more than a year. My garden is just one chapter in the book (we're the 'gardening in small spaces' inner-city gardening bit, and there's another chapter on a great country vegie garden and the young family making all that happen).

As well as providing stacks of info and tips on growing all the different vegies, herbs and fruits, plus some recipes, the book follows a whole year of vegie garden in the backyard of a family of beginner vegie gardeners. We helped Teresa and her kids set up their vegie beds, prepare the soil and plant it out. Then they took over looking after it all, but of course our gardening experts, Don Burke and Geoffrey Burnie, offered lots of tips along the way and helped out with some of the work, too. We grew a full set of summer and winter crops, and those chapters are filled with step-by-step how-tos and advice, plus planting plans, pest control tips and everything else an organic vegie grower would like to know. And at the back of the book you'll find a full A-Z of vegies and how to grow them, plus chapters on fruits, herbs and organic pest control.

Here's the opening page of our chapter. There was no way anyone else was going to write about our garden, and so I wrote this bit. It just tells the story of how things have grown and changed over the years, plus there are tips on herbs, composting, feeding soils and other food growing tips, as well as Pam's illustration of our garden layout.

In fact, Pam's illustrations are used in several places throughout the book, including the planting plans for each of the beds for summer and winter crops at Teresa's place. This is just one of them, and they're all really lovely, but then again, I might be just a bit biased!

And if any of my relatives are reading my blog, guess what you're getting for Christmas - our book, with us in it!

Working on a 300-page gardening book is a long, hard, slog. It's a lot of work, especially when it's in addition to my day job on the magazine. But once you get the real deal in your hands, the published book, all the thoughts of those long nights poring over text and photos disappears and all you feel is excitement and a sense that you've accomplished something worthwhile that will actually help a lot of people do what they love - growing their own food.


6 comments:

Liss said...

Oh wow! Jamie that is something to be VERY proud of. Its on my christmas list and I will be sure to mention it over at my blog with a link to here...

The illustrations are gorgeous!! On my Christmas list :D

Dot said...

Well done Jamie!! The book looks fantastic from what you've shown, a real tribute to all the work that you and Pam have put in. I can't wait to head over to Dymocks and check it out =)

prue said...

That is so awesome! Congrats. It looks like it is going to be very speccy.

Kenno said...

Cant wait to grab a copy - if it's as informative as your blog, it will no doubt become a rapid best-seller.

howtoshuckanoyster said...

WooHOO! How exciting! I am definitely buying a copy ASAP. Well done!

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