Growing with the Seasons: A Sharing of Insights Into the Creative Aspects of Organic Gardening
The basic elements of any garden are always the same: seeds, soil, sun, and water. It is in the search for that perfect combination that leads the gardener into the broader aspects of each element. The transitions made during the growing season tell many stories about not only seed, soil, sun, and water, but also about one's self. Each season brings its own discoveries, whether using new methods to overcome old problems, celebrating an innovative success, or dealing with the failures and setbacks that befall any gardener. "Growing With The Seasons" gives many tools and plans for the garden, but lets the reader assemble them as they want and need, traveling the roads of personal discovery, reaching a fruition that is productive, satisfying, and universal. This book is also the evolving story of the authors' endeavors to provide ideas, concepts, and encouragements for the practical application of a personal and joined effort of beneficial direction to make the world a better place bringing about a planned harmony within ourselves and the people around us. Those who have attended the Giannangelos' workshops, bought produce at the Ramah Farmers Market in New Mexico, and met with the authors at community gatherings inspired "Growing With The Seasons." Frank and Vicky Giannangelo both lived in Denver, Colorado, when they were children. Vicky's family moved to Washington State where she went to high school and graduated from the University of Washington with a double major degree in philosophy and economics. Frank's family moved to Prescott, Arizona where he went to high school, and upon returning from Viet Nam, graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in literature. They met on San Juan Island, Washington, and were married in 1986 where they first began creating organic gardens. In 1993, they moved to Sedona, Arizona and spent three years creating formal gardens for a local community. They moved to New Mexico in 1997 and began gardening and helped start the Ramah Farmer's Market. Vicky created and is the webmaster of their website, www.avant-gardening.com. Frank teaches at a small school on the Ramah Navajo Reservation. They give spring workshops on organic gardening, basic rockwork, labyrinths, and strawbale wall construction, and established the annual Ramah Area Garden Tour.
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On the surface, Growing with the Seasons is an evocative series of short muses about an organic garden in a small New Mexico community. It carries the reader through the four seasons with bright images of suppers with friends, wild weather, and putting up vegetables for the long cold winter, all illustrated with an abundance of lovely photographs,
The greatest value of this book, however, is not found in its advice on gardening. The Giannangelos have written a touching and accessible treatise on how to live better in the world and with each other, using their garden as a teaching companion. This is not so much a book about gardening, as it is a wonderful reminder to live a happier and more connected life.