zine, [zeen] noun. 1. abbr. of fanzine; 2. any amateurly-published periodical. Oxford Reference


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Growing Things: A Guide for Beginning Gardeners

Growing Things: A Guide for Beginning Gardeners
digest, 40 pages, $3 ($1 shipping in US; $2 outside)
Growing Things is a little zine that Joshua put together out of desperation after seeking for a good zine about basic gardening to include in his distro (Ms. Valerie Park Distro) but not finding anything suitable. With promptings and contributions from friends, he took the initiative to produce the publication that he found lacking. Joshua starts out by making it clear that he and the other contributors are not experts and have no formal training in gardening (especially the science thereof), and that there are myriad ways of going about things. What works for one may not work so well for others. I am pleased that he stated this upfront because as an avid gardener (and as someone who is trained in the profession), I did find a few of the things in this zine to be a bit “off” from my experience and perspective. However, I also agree that everyone’s gardening experience is unique, and in fact, Joshua’s summary of the zine provides very succinct examples of how starkly different the experiences of gardeners can be and how, as I have always felt, gardening is a trial and error, seat of the pants adventure regardless of how long you’ve been doing it or how trained and educated you are concerning it. The content of the zine is exactly what you would expect from a zine about basic gardening: making garden beds, container gardening, planting, weed control, insects, composting, seed saving, watering, plant nutrition, etc. A bit of the writing is less about the how-to and more about the joy of gardening. All in all it’s a very informative zine and a great introduction to the world of gardening. Joshua was correct in (albeit reluctantly) deciding to put together the zine he had been wishing existed, because the outcome is a very approachable, well put together, straightforward gardening primer.
Ms. Valerie Park Distro
PO Box 2645
Olympia WA 98507

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