One Magic Square: The Easy, Organic Way to Grow Your Own Food on a 3-Foot Square
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

One Magic Square: The Easy, Organic Way to Grow Your Own Food on a 3-Foot Square

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  119 ratings  ·  21 reviews
A Hands-On Guide to Growing Organic Vegetables, Fruits and Herbs-Starting with Just One Square Yard!
Lolo Houbein has been growing food for more than 30 years-and now, drawing on her wide learning and hard-earned experience, she offers a wealth of information on how to turn small plots of land into sources of nourishing, inexpensive, organic food. Amateur gardeners wonderi...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published March 9th 2010 by Experiment (first published 2010)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about One Magic Square, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about One Magic Square

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 343)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Andi
This is one of those books you can crack open at any place within the pages and find something great. Lolo Houbein is very practical, knows how to make the best out of a square yard of growing space, and how to create a thriving permaculture in your own backyard. Having survived a horrific famine during World War II as a child living in Holland, Houbein has very personal reasons for learning to garden efficiently.

She doesn't mince words, and at times you may feel like you are standing in the ga...more
Patricia
Thank goodness I checked this out from the library. This hasn't been the greatest year for gardening, and this book reminded me that I don't have to give everything up--I can plant now and still get good food for autumn.

This book combines a sort of backyard permaculture theory with the Square Foot Gardening concept, although she uses many things planted in a square yard, rather than one thing planted in a square feet. The author lives in Australia, so some of the plants are called by names we wo...more
Pauline
This is the most useful and most beautiful book of last year: for experienced gardeners it is full of practical tips, but for people aspiring to grow their own vegetables, like me, it is a godsend! Houbein takes you step by step from planning your vegetable garden on a square metre to a successful harvest with minimum effort. She convinces that growing your own vegetables does not need to be time consuming and you only need limited space. She shows you how important it is to reconnect with the s...more
Julie
Mar 31, 2010 Julie is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to grow a tiny vegetable garden!
Vanessa Andujo
Aug 20, 2012 Vanessa Andujo rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gardeners, New Gardeners, Organic Gardeners,
Over all this was a great all around gardening book. It covers the basics of soil prep, watering, pests, crop rotation, pruning, problem solving, ect.

A beginner will need to read Part 1 and Part 2 in full before starting. Anyone with some gardening experience can jump ahead where the author suggests to do so.

Even people with gardening experience will get a lot from this book. I believe that this really is a 'must have.' It is informative enough for the average gardener but simple enough to und...more
Stacy
This gardening book focuses on using raised beds to raise vegetables. The author grew up in Holland and later moved to Austalia, so some of her stories are a bit quirky to me as an American, mostly because I can't imagine battling a bandicoot in my own garden. But that's part of what makes it entertaining to read.

This book is a great reference book positively bursting with information acquired over a lifetime of growing her own food. But perhaps the most compelling thing about this book is the a...more
Yellowoasis
I've got the NZ version of this book so it's "One square metre" and the organic bit has been dropped, which is interesting. I really like the can-do attitude and lack of pretension. In fact, the book starts by saying, "Put down this book and go outside and mark off a square metre". You've got to love a book that starts by telling you to stop reading it immediately and get on with your garden! Having said that, I haven't actually done anything yet apart from read the plot descriptions, so it's ea...more
Gary Patton
A great companion to complement "One Square Foot Gardening".

Grow square foot! Grow easy! Grow lots!

Do it in your garden. In pots on your patio or balcony. or most fun, I your local "Community Garden" with your neighbours!

This book and the other above will teach you all you nerd to know ...whether or not you have a "green thumb"!

Grow for fun and prosper!

GaryFPatton
(2013-09-11)
Tamara
Great resource when attempting to design a small/compact food garden. I was mostly interested in the pasta/pizza plots, but there are a lot of other good ideas as well, including stir-fry plots, salad plots, soup plots, etc.

I don't have a 3-foot square to call my own, but maybe I can convince the condo association to do a community garden in one of the shared green spaces? Hmmm...
Ariel
i have read a lot of gardening books. this one is excellent. it seems to cover so much that my other books do and yet puts it all (and more!) into a neat little easy-to-read-and-follow format, with focus on each garden plot itself. i like that. i also like that the author is an older woman who comes from a different experience.
Barry
Inspiring! I can attest to being surprised - from our very amateur efforts at the community garden - by how much food can be grown in relatively small plots given good soil, water and sunshine. Where this book takes me is towards more careful planning of planting & gardening to provide a diverse ongoing bounty.
Lisa
Very interesting! Although, not reading very many adult books anymore, I have no attention span! Lots of new information that'll hopefully improve my garden over the next few years. Especially loved the plans for the different plots (the cancer-fighting one really blew my mind!).
John Cunningham
If you're interested in growing your own vegetables and have an interest in the importance of food security, this may be worth a read. The information is basic, but inspiring, and gets stuck in right from the start towards planning your first square meter.
Patricia
There is a lot of useful information here, although I found it a bit too wordy at times. I borrowed the book from the library but I will need to spend more time with it if and when I start my magic square garden.
Jaclyn
I just couldn't slug my way through before the library wanted it back. Was fairly esoteric for those just trying to get interested in gardening.
Victoria
Easy to read and follow. Practical suggestions with a can-do attitude. A book for keen gardeners and novices alike.
Kate
Too verbose. The content lacked focus, and I was alienated by the tone.
Tracy
I have the South African Edition which is really good.
Trina
very helpful in planing my first box garden!
Maggie
Useful ideas, interesting book
Maxine
indepth and worth the buy
Alison Wizer
Alison Wizer is currently reading it
Sep 12, 2014
Jeffrey Dunster
Jeffrey Dunster marked it as to-read
Sep 07, 2014
Velvetink
Velvetink marked it as to-read
Sep 06, 2014
Rebecca
Rebecca marked it as to-read
Sep 05, 2014
Kirsti Smetana
Kirsti Smetana marked it as to-read
Sep 05, 2014
Alicia
Alicia is currently reading it
Sep 02, 2014
Diana Langie
Diana Langie marked it as to-read
Aug 29, 2014
Minou Fleuriste
Minou Fleuriste marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2014
Clara
Clara marked it as to-read
Aug 26, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Don't Throw It, Grow It!: 68 Windowsill Plants From Kitchen Scraps
  • Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener's Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting
  • The Edible Front Yard: The Mow-Less, Grow-More Plan for a Beautiful, Bountiful Garden
  • Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out, for More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space
  • The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times
  • Perennial Vegetables: From Artichokes to Zuiki Taro, a Gardener's Guide to Over 100 Delicious and Easy to Grow Edibles
  • The Heirloom Life Gardener: The Baker Creek Way of Growing Your Own Food Easily and Naturally
  • Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces
  • Sepp Holzer's Permaculture: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale, Integrative Farming and Gardening
  • Lasagna Gardening: A New System for Great Gardens: No Digging, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding!
  • Eliot Coleman's Winter Harvest Handbook: Four Season Vegetable Production for the 21st Century
  • McGee & Stuckey's Bountiful Container: A Container Garden of Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits and Edible Flowers
  • Edible Landscaping
  • Starter Vegetable Gardens: 24 No-Fail Plans for Small Organic Gardens
  • Little House in the Suburbs: Backyard Farming and Home Skills for Self-Sufficient Living
  • Edible Forest Gardens, Volume 2: Ecological Design and Practice for Temperate Climate Permaculture
  • Urban Farm Handbook: City Slicker Resources for Growing, Raising, Sourcing, Trading, and Preparing What You Eat
  • Apartment Gardening: Plants, Projects, and Recipes for Growing Food in Your Urban Home
Outside the Magic Square Walk A Barefoot Road Tibetan Transit The Sixth Sense Island Girl

Share This Book