Summertime in the Southwest is a good time to get caught up on your reading. Yes, you can get up early and garden before it gets too hot, but by about 10 in the morning it’s time (for me) to head indoors. I like to sit and cool off before I shower off, and that’s when I reach for a book from that stack of unread books. People share books with me, publishers send me review copies, and the pile just keeps growing.
I get review copies of books from publishers that most folks have never heard of, like Greenwoman Publishing, based in Colorado Springs – almost local! I’ll be honest with you, many of those review books do not make it to the pages of my blog because I don’t feel they are worth the ink – or electrons – to write about. Some books are poorly written, some books simply won’t work for our area, and some books contain flat out incorrect gardening information no matter where you live. Please Don’t Piss on the Petunias is none of those.
Raising Kids, Crops, and Critters in the City
I opened the book to a random page and started skimming through the story of “Puff the Tragic Rabbit.” Within a few sentences I had to flip back to the start of the chapter to read more about poor Puff. Perhaps it was because I used to keep rabbits myself. My Theodore bunny was sadly a singleton orphan and nurtured by Lura, my Siamese cat, alongside her four kittens. She trained Theodore to use the litter box too. But back to Puff. I read his story (no spoilers) and then had to go back to the beginning of the book and start with chapter one – Eight Years to a Garden.
If you know me, you know I eschew drama in my life. I loath the drama queens where every little thing in their life is overwhelming. That “Oh no, my fingernail broke on the night of my cousin’s wedding,” stuff leaves me cold. I am not a follower of soap operas. Indeed, I scarcely read fiction because so much of it is poorly written. And yet I found myself sucked into the drama of author Sandra Knauf’s life. In this book, she tells the oftentimes dramatic story of trying to live country in the city in a light-hearted yet compelling manner.
Urban chicken farming is no picnic, as a number of you reading this may know. Sandra discovered this fact as well and tells the tale in the chapter “Chicken Chronicles.” Again, no spoilers, but Sandra ends the chapter with the discovery by her young daughter Lily, “That happiness can make tears come to your eyes.” Other chapters are as well written and heartening.
This book is well worth it! I encourage you to link/write directly to the publisher here and get an a copy.
Want to learn more about gardening in the Southwest? Look for my free lectures at your local Pima County Library branch, Tubac Presidio, Tucson Festival of Books and other venues. After each event I will be signing copies of my books, including Southwest Fruit and Vegetable Gardening (Cool Springs Press). Note, this is an Amazon link and if you buy the book I will get a few pennies.
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