I wrote a book. I’m not really someone who likes to talk about his accomplishments, which is why I haven’t really mentioned this to you before, but I’ve been getting a lot of questions from readers asking about this book. I guess it’s time to share.
In spring of 2017, I was approached by Appetite (a division of Random House) to write a garden book for them. At that time, Random House hadn’t done a gardening book in more than seven years and they were coming to me because they felt I had a fresh voice to do something different.
Over a fantastic meal and a little too much great wine, they asked what kind of garden books I liked — and I blurted out that I prefer cookbooks and online sites for my information. Realizing my audience, I got very quiet very quickly. Thankfully, my dinner guest agreed (phew). I went on to explain that there are some great garden writers out there, but I like a different style of book, something not so perfect and polished.
So, that is exactly what I wrote.
Vegetables, Chickens and Bees is my version of a gardening book. In the title it says that this book is an honest guide to growing your own food anywhere, and that was my goal — transparency. In this book, I am being 100 per cent honest with my successes — and my failures.
I’ve tried a lot of methods for growing plants throughout my career and while chickens and bees are relatively new for me, I wanted to be honest about the things I did wrong in hopes that others can learn from my garden fails.
There are a lot of reasons why people want to grow their own food. Prices continue to go up, more attention is being given to the humane and ethical treatment of animals used for meat production and scary words like GMO and carcinogens have entered the farming world. We are concerned about what we eat and where it comes from. It makes sense to start growing our own food in our outdoor spaces, whatever they are.
The challenge is, there are a lot of different types of outdoor spaces where you can grow food and most of today’s homeowners have no idea how to understand the growing criteria of their owns spaces and how to match that with all the growing methods and techniques.
My book is a guide to helping understand what is right for you by helping you understand what is wrong as well. This is the book you want to read before you start your garden or beehive or chicken coop. No matter what level of gardening experience you have, you will learn something you didn’t know before. The technology and information related to food production is always changing and Vegetables, Chickens and Bees takes all of that confusion and makes it easy for you.
I promise that you’ll laugh (with me ... and sometimes at me), but you’ll come back to this book over and over as you continue your own journey toward feeding your family in a safe and rewarding way using sustainable food growing practices.
Carson Arthur is an international landscape designer and media personality with a focus on environmentally friendly design and low maintenance outdoor rooms.