Book review: Tropical Food Gardens: A guide to growing food, herbs and vegetables

97818764734192.5/5 stars

Better than nothing, but here’s hoping for some structure in the next edition

ISBN:1 876473 41 X

Published 2001 by Bloomings Books Pty Ltd

Author: Leonie Norrignton

Illustrator: Colwyn Campbell

156 pages with illustrations

There aren’t enough books about the specialised topic of growing food in tropical gardens, so it was exciting to find this book at the local bookstore. Leonie Norrington does give tips for a limited range of tropical fruits and vegetables. The format of the sections on fruits and vegetables starts with a paragraph about her own experience in growing them, then a combination of growing hints and background information.

It was a but frustrating to read though. It reminded me of an open garden that I visited last year. It was a permaculture garden run by some hippies in a local share house and it was a random mess. The yard looked like a dumping ground for straw and unidentified plants. There was no way of knowing what was where. The only useful part of the visit was that visitors were handed a piece of paper on entry listing all of the fruits and vegetables that they had ever grown. I like structure and appreciate organisation, so it was a stressful and pointless visit for me. Even though I use this book regularly, the experience is similar. It’s a bit more of a stream of consciousness or memoir than a reference book. And for my previous few hours in the garden each week. I’d rather a reference book.

Still, because its the only one of its kind that I own, it’s better than nothing, and I’m grateful that Leonie Norrington took the time to write it. I’ve taken the time to transcribe the useful information into a separate document that I can use for reference. Perhaps a future edit will improve things.

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