Book Review: The Resilient Gardener by Carol Deppe

Author Carol Deppe has combined her years of vegetable breeding and gardening with her personal experience with celiac disease and other life challenges to give readers a very accessible book filled with innovative ideas and proven techniques for producing good food.

Deppe has structured the book in two sections, with the first focused on practical gardening, developing gardens that provide nutrition, good taste, and optimal health in good times and bad. She has developed 33 golden rules of gardening as a skeleton for a gardening methodology, and weaves her personal stories into the narrative with humor and humility. Her Harvard Ph.D. hardly shows.

In the second section she extends those principles with detailed information about growing and using five crops: potatoes, beans, corn, squash, and eggs. These are the crops that form the base of gardening to survive in hard times, regardless of whether the trouble is caused by a family emergency or an increasingly erratic climate.

Deppe gives the reader a trip into the Little Ice Age and Buffalo Bird Woman’s food preservation techniques, as well as a range of details about food production from the simple to the sophisticated. This is an excellent book, one you can dip into repeatedly as you absorb her very different approach to food production and thriving in hard times.

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