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I am halfway through my twelve-step series ‘Books that have changed my life”. I hope my readers are enjoying this as I am. I so enjoy and appreciate your comments with your book recommendations and to discover you enjoy reading as I do.  


# 5 – The new victory garden

Why:  It taught me I can do this. 

Since I was a boy I longed to to have a vegetable garden. Father would not have it. It may have been against the local laws to have one. More likely Father didn’t want his perfectly groomed suburban backyard dug up for things he argued we could buy at the grocery store.*  When I bought my house I insisted it have a yard I could turn into gardens. Then I got one – and didn’t know what to do. I hadn’t a clue really who to do it. I didn’t have experience nor did I know any gardeners to guide me. It was before the days of the internet so there were no Youtube instructional videos or websites like I got a book from the local Border’s book store. 

‘The new victory garden’ was my first ‘how-to-do-it” book. t was easy to read and the chapters were done on a monthly schedule on what to do. The colorful photos bedazzled me. It became my Bible. I read and reread it every year. Given practice and plenty of trial and error I grew lovely vegetables. Oh how I miss my vegetable gardens!

Not only did this book transform me into the gardener I longed to be, it installed in me ‘it is possible’ – and accomplished through reading a book. I thought gardeners were born, not made. This book taught me otherwise. Prior to Mr. Thompson’s how-to-do it manual all my reads were either school assignments or entertainments – never for instruction. It was my first ‘self-help’ book, not only how to grow greens but the valuable lesson I could read a book and get things done. Who knew? 



*He is dead wrong. Many vegetables homegrown beat the stuff in the store by a country mile. My soul swooned when I first took a bite of a Brandywine tomato or a homegrown melon. There is nothing like it. Later in life I would give Father some of my excess homegrown tomatoes and fanciful-coloured bell peppers. He appreciated them.


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September 2020

Spo-Reflections 2006-2018