Great garden read: Food Security for the Faint of Heart, by Robin Wheeler

As the global economy nosedives and price of gas ricochets, Robin Wheeler’s newly released Food Security for the Faint of Heart reassures us that we can glean more than we think from our own gardens. This is an engaging, common-sense guide to foraging food, preserving your harvest, using herbal medicinals and improving the quality of our meals through tough times. In one of her many anecdotes, Robin reminds us that food is often all around us and we don’t know it:

Like most people visiting Asia, I have experienced the constant dripping of a rain of epiphanies during my stays. One of these occurred on a trip to Northern Thailand, as I was standing at the edge of a new friend’s yard. I admired the grove of towering bamboo that edged her garden boundary, in a row so straight I could have marked it off with a piece of thread, with not a single trace of bamboo growing out into the road. “How do you do that?” I asked her. “How do you keep the bamboo from growing all over the place, outside of your yard?” “Well, that’s easy,” she replied. “Everyone knows how good bamboo shoots are in their dinner. The minute one shows its head outside of my garden, someone takes it home.” “Oh,” I said. “In Canada, we hack down the bamboo and throw it in the bushes, and buy bamboo shoots in a can at the store.”