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This review is from: Organic Gardening: The Natural No-dig Way (Paperback)
In my earlier review of Dowding's book on winter vegetables I was more disparaging of this book than I now think is justified. I've warmed to it, and found much useful information in it. The part about the no-dig method, in particular Dowding's experiments to test its efficacy, are admirable, and a really good read to boot. In fact, chapters 1-7 comprise a really good introduction to gardening in general and the no-dig method in particular.
Part 2, in which the various vegetables, herbs and fruit are listed, is actually a reference book, and, again, contains and awful lot of useful information. I was initially irritated by the jump from the discursive Part 1 (chapters 1-8) and this latter part, but if you treat it as what it is then it makes perfect sense to have it here. I also applaud Dowding's appendix (err...not his actual appendix! I'll get me coat....), and the table on page 29 (when to sow etc) is very useful.
Still...some aspects remain irritating: The recipes (why bother? I've yet to see a gardening book that's also a good cookery book, and vice versa for that matter, and this is no different); the reference section is useful, but as a practical gardening reference not a patch on Hessayon's classic "Vegetable and Herb Expert", which I'd still recommend to anyone; and then there's Chapter 8: "The Moon". Ok, it's only a few pages in length, but after a wholly admirable and rational argument in favour of the no-dig method, backed up by his own tests, we get this hocus pocus, with references to astrology (for crying out loud!). Come one Mr Dowding! You can do better than this! If you think there's something there please make a rational argument to this effect. Ok..rant over. :-)
Overall though, a worthwhile buy. I differ from most reviewers though in that I do think it has flaws.