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Winter is a great time for reading in between looking and ordering from seed catalogs, reviewing garden plans, dreaming of spring.

I make a cup of herb tea and sit a spell remembering the gathering time of last season. What’s your favorite tea from your garden? I enjoy spearmint, red clover and nettles for a winter blend.

This winter while browsing in my local library I came across Jeanne Nolan’s book: From the Ground Up. She takes us on a personal journey and sprinkles in easy to understand gardening tips.

Book: From the Ground Up

Author: Jeanne Nolan

Brief Review: From farm communes and then back to her Chicago roots, she shares her growth as a gardener and as a person. It’s a compelling story that demonstrates how when we follow our passion we cannot possibly know where life will take us. Her skills are needed. She has made an impact on her community and the community at large with her expertise and knowledge.

Her facts on carbon footprint from growing and producing food is saddening especially when we know converting to organic helps air, soil and water quality. I wrote extensively last year on the damaging effects of GMO’s in our food supply yet our leaders continue to turn the other way.

She reminds me of the calming effect gardening can have on children with emotional issues and when children participate in gardening at school, grades improve, behavior can improve.

Best Part: Her appendix: As Jeanne tells her story she sprinkles in garden tips, facts and amazing folks she has come to admire some of whom have become friends on her journey. At the end, Jeanne gives us ten lists with ten easy recommendations such as: How to Grow a Garden in 10 Easy steps or Ten Ways to Tackle Weeds and Pests Without Chemicals and more. I found this to be really helpful and makes the book a great addition to my library.

What’s your favorite gardening book this winter? I love to read and would enjoy hearing what’s at the top of the list for you?

My book: At the Garden’s Gate is published: go to for details.

Enjoy From the Ground Up before planting time. I highly recommend it.


Judith Dreyer, MS, BSN, Writer, Speaker, Holistic Health Consultant and Workshop Presenter, Master Gardener. 

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