Grow a Sustainable Diet by Cindy Conner, A Review

By Claire Gregory (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

A permaculture is both beautiful and productive.

I’ve been enjoying Cindy Conner’s new book on growing a sustainable diet. She actually makes it sound doable! She begins by identifying why you might want to grow a sustainable diet, then walks through the process of garden planning with garden maps; choosing crops, and more. There are charts and worksheets, as well as photos and diagrams.

As a permaculture educator, Cindy’s focus goes beyond a few tomatoes, peppers, and squash. She provides in-depth, science- and experience-based instructions for creating a permaculture landscape, including cover crops, companion planting, rotations, and choosing and using seeds. As if that weren’t enough, she writes about how to include animals, preserve the food you grow, and build sheds, fences, chicken houses, and many of the other things you’ll need on the way home. Endnotes and an excellent biography round out this outstanding resource.

Grow a Sustainable Diet: Planning and Growing to Feed Ourselves and the Earth by Cindy ConnerFor me, the best part of Grow a Sustainable Diet is the fact that Cindy shows us what it looks like around the homestead. She doesn’t just talk about permaculture; she lives it, and that experience shows. I enjoyed reading about things she’s tried that didn’t work, as well as the things that work. It’s a refreshing change from the hyper-optimism of many garden books, and a look at how you can learn to live differently, right where you are. I recommend it.

Cindy Conner’s blog can be found at Homeplace Earth (click the link in the top navigation bar). It’s well worth a look, especially her 100-mile Food Plan.


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