Author, John Forti, presents a collection of brief essays on a variety of garden topics that provide survival and coping skills with the aim of inspiring readers to connect with the land and plants, “rebuild community, restore and sustain [the] environment, and renew [the] quality of life…” As a garden historian and herbalist, Forti recognizes the errors of the past and finds hope for the future in the connection many people have to seeds, soil, and place, and the value they harbor for living in harmony with the environment. In Forti’s words, “This book is about building upon a sense of place to promote health, happiness, and common ground, whether it be for your own backyard homestead, farmstead, or community.

The 58 essays are arranged alphabetically and each one treats a specific topic related to heirloom gardening. Starting with an essay about angelica and ending with one about zucchini, Forti includes essays on artisnal skills, biodiversity, and kitchen craft as well as edible flowers and foraging. The collection is a real potpourri of information and offers something for everyone. Each article is chocked full of information dealing with many different aspects of the topic including historical background, modern ideas, and the personal experiences of the author. The writing style is easy to read, engaging, and enhanced with block print illustrations that add to the charm of the text. Truly, a wonderful reading experience with hope for a productive and rewarding future.