Flowerpot Farm: A First Gardening Activity Book by Lorraine Harrison

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Flowerpot Farm: A First Gardening Activity Book by Lorraine Harrison

Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sam Tyler
Reviewed by Sam Tyler
Summary: A great beginner's guide for a youngster thinking about growing their own fruit, veg or flowers. The use of pots means that they can go ahead and get their wellies on in any size garden.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 64 Date: February 2014
Publisher: Ivy Press
ISBN: 9781782400813

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With the demand for us to eat seemingly more fruit and vegetables every day, the world of grow-your-own is back. Why buy from the supermarket when you can release the kids into the garden to graze like cattle? However, before you do this, perhaps you should pick up a book like ‘Flowerpot Farm’ by Lorraine Harrison and Faye Bradley which will show them how to create their own fruit, veg and flower garden no matter how small a space they have to work with.

‘Flowerpot Farm’ is certainly an informative book that has its heart in the right place, but is that enough? It really is a mini DIY guide for first time farmers and takes you on a step by step guide on how to create a flowerpot garden. What is one of those you may ask? Essentially it is growing food and flowers in anything that can hold soil from the traditional pot to more innovative solutions like an old wellington boot (although your food may take on a slightly whiffy flavour in this case).

Harrison takes you through getting the pots together, adding the soil, the seeds, regular feeding etc., but also mentions best practise like decent labelling so you know what are carrots and what are parsnips. There are loads of very entertaining and genuinely informative side panels that not only tell you what to do, but why you are doing it. Who hasn’t had a child asking them why, why, why? Now then can read why for themselves, themselves, themselves.

If you follow the instructions in ‘Flowerpot Farm’ you will end up with some edible food stuffs within a few weeks, but there is an issue with the book. Whilst Harrison’s writing is clear and precise, it is let down somewhat by Bradley’s illustrations. I do not mind naïve illustration, but many of the pictures in ‘Flowerpot Farm’ are just poor. I am not a good drawer, so to say that the pictures are only slightly better than what I could do myself is a little damning. However, is this just a matter of taste? It is more than that. Harrison’s instructions are well written, but require some illustrations to help youngsters understand exactly what she is asking for. Bradley’s sense of scale can make it a little more confusing that it needs to be – and who was the hand model?

Preying on pictures may be picky, but for pubescents planning on perfect plants it can make a real difference. With the help of an adult there should be no real issue whether some of the drawings don’t make much sense, but it would of been nice to hand over the book to a 7 year old and have the confidence they could embark on this adventure themselves. A book that works, but may needs supervision.

If this book appeals then you might like to look at The Big Green Book by Ian Winton and Fred Pearce and Gaia Warriors by Nicola Davies.

Buy Flowerpot Farm: A First Gardening Activity Book by Lorraine Harrison at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Flowerpot Farm: A First Gardening Activity Book by Lorraine Harrison at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Flowerpot Farm: A First Gardening Activity Book by Lorraine Harrison at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Flowerpot Farm: A First Gardening Activity Book by Lorraine Harrison at Amazon.com.


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