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Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Good Garden: How One Family Went From Hunger to Having Enough - Katie Smith Milway

Release Date - September 2010

Katie Smith Milway
Sylvie  Daigneault
Kids Can Press

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

In Honduras, Maria Luz Duarte's family struggles to put food on the table. When dry weather and poor soil nutrition lead to small crops, Maria's father must go away and find a job to earn enough money for next year's seeds.

While he's gone, Maria returns to school and learns that they  have a new teacher. Not only does this teacher teach the student important lessons like math and science, he also teaches Maria about composting, using flowers for pest control, and building gardens in a terrace fashion to help retain water and keep soil from washing down the hill. With his guidance, Maria may be able to save her family and make sure there is always plenty of food on the table.

The Good Garden is a charming story. It's all common knowledge to many Americans, but not every culture does recycle food scraps, lawn clippings, and leaves. It's a great way to introduce children to composting, companion gardening, and creating a garden that will last. The characters are enjoyable and the illustrations certainly draw you in. I'd certainly call this book a must-have!

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