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

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  145 ratings  ·  23 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
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Published March 9th 2010 by Experiment (first published 2010)
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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
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
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
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
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
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
hilarious, quirky, informative .. great book.
Phoenix Blackdove
I really like the plot designs in this book, and the fact that the author lives in the same city as me is really nice too. It took me another read-through to appreciate how well laid-out many of the plots are, and I look forward to using them in my garden this year.
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!

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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Easy to read and follow. Practical suggestions with a can-do attitude. A book for keen gardeners and novices alike.
Too verbose. The content lacked focus, and I was alienated by the tone.
I have the South African Edition which is really good.
very helpful in planing my first box garden!
Useful ideas, interesting book
indepth and worth the buy
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Born in Holland, Lolo Houbein came to Australia at 24 with her husband and children after growing up in an atmosphere of war. She studied the University of Adelaide, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Australian Literature, Anthropology and Classics in 1975. She later studied at the University of Papua New Guinea, and gained a Graduate Diploma in Teaching from the Adelaide College of Advanced Education ...more
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