Dave Riley's Reviews > Tropical Food Gardens: A Guide for Fruit, Herbs and Vegetables in Tropical and Sub-Tropical Climates

Tropical Food Gardens by Leonie Norrington
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's review
Aug 25, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: gardening
Read in August, 2009

What a gem of a book! Your everyday general vegey growing book is anchored in temperate climates and focuses on what you can grow. This book moves to the tropics -- and sub tropics (where I live) and addresses the question of what I can't grow. That means what you can grow is given the attention it deserves.

The hot wet season in the Tropics is brutal on the edible flora we are accustomed to in the Western Diet, so you need to adapt your approach and your plantings to work around such harshness. I've not come across any text as considerate as this one for doing just that.

With excellent reviews and growing notes for a range of species this book captures both the challenges and the many rewards of a tropical garden. You can sweat a lot over what you can sneek into your sowing schedule but really it comes down to experience and Leonie Norrington aggregates a lot of that.

The book also takes you out of the standard Permaculture straightjacket here in Australia which is so often dismissive of form and draws you closer to the French potager tradition where function and access rules over ideology. (see my review of Joy Larkcom).

The other features that draw you in i are the stunning illustrations by Colwyn Campbell and Norrington's relaxed chatty style. This is a writer who has written a gardening book and given that y she also fronts for the ABC's Gardening Australia, she is a writer who knows who onions.
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