Rebecca’s Pick: The Comic Book Guide to Growing Food by Joseph Tychonievich & Liz Anna Kozik
It’s that time of year again when the beautiful weather makes me feel inspired to start growing plants. Time and time again I’ve gone to a big box store and bought some of those almost-dead plants on the clearance carts (you know, so I don’t feel bad when I kill them) and then, within a few weeks I get discouraged as the few plants that I’ve attempted to start growing die.
Yes, I’ve perused books on gardening, but they’re all so bogged down with facts that my eagerness gets the best of me and I skim what I think is enough and move on.
Thus, I have no living plants, aside from the few that are hardy enough to make it on their own.
Enter my newly found source of hope: the Comic Book Guide to Growing Food.
Listen, I consider myself pretty smart, but apparently, a picture book may be just what I need for this kind of information. It doesn’t hurt that the story behind this beginner’s guide to gardening is cute, too.
George and Mia are neighbors who strike up a conversation that starts with technology and ends with talks of gardening. It turns out Mia, like me, wants to have plants, but really doesn’t know where to start, despite Googl-ing and Pinterest-ing our little hearts out. In return for her help George becomes Mia’s gardening guru and guides her (and subsequently the reader) into the world of vegetable gardening.
Even though it’s a very simple book, I felt myself relating so much to Mia’s enthusiasm and then going “oh, okay” when George made her think realistically and explained the right way to do something. He gave tips on topics like determining what size garden to plant when you’re first starting out, choosing plants that are easy to grow, and whether you should start in a container or in the ground. The Comic Book Guide to Growing Food was sprinkled with helpful rules for beginners like “grow things you love…that are easy to grow.”
There are also several websites and links for further information, and even a couple of quick recipes to try once you’ve successfully planted and harvested your first vegetables. While it doesn’t go too in-depth with any one concept, it felt helpful and reassuring for someone like myself who wants to start gardening as soon as possible – but also be a realist about our capabilities as a beginner.