Book Review and Giveaway: Don’t Throw it, Grow it!

I think I’ve mentioned before that I really like finding and supporting smaller publishers. You have to respect what they do. By publishing lesser known writers, they are providing us with a true cross-section of what our world is like. More opinions= a freer society in my opinion. I came across Storey Publishing a few months ago. I love their mission statement:

To serve our customers by publishing practical information that encourages personal independence in harmony with the environment.

Storey Publishing publishes a lot of well-known gardening books but I wanted to find something a little different. I found Don’t Throw It, Grow It!: 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps and knew I wanted to give it a try. Free plants from scratch? Yes, please!
My first impression of the book was that from a design standpoint, it’s well done. The use of color,  illustrations, typography and layout is top-notch. That being said, I wish they could have incorporated at least some photographs. I would love to see what a Meyer Lemon tree looks like when grown indoors. In a way, it almost makes it seem unbelievable that these seeds can be grown indoors without the “proof” of pictures. This is a minor complaint but I am always a sucker for good color photography.

The book is 150 short pages and divided into 6 chapters. There is a little how-to basic gardening in the beginning and then the book is divided according to vegetables, fruits and nuts, herbs and spices and the regions of Latin America and Asia. The author warns in the introduction that most seeds grown outside of the US that have been imported have gone through an irradiation process, killing the DNA and therefor making the seeds sterile. In my neck of the woods, we don’t have a lot of fruits available for purchase that are not grown outside the US so my options are a little limited.

There are some tips I’ve heard before such as growing and eating your own bean sprouts (yummy and cheap) and then some I have not heard before (sweet corn sprouts, anyone?). There are plenty of plants discussed in the book that I have never heard of before (loquat, litchi, daikon, etc.) so it is educational, however, I’m not sure how I would ever get my hands on something like that in my region.

Who this book is for:

  • People in urban areas who want to grow a few houseplants for free.
  • People who have children and are very interested in teaching them about how plants grow but don’t have a garden.
  • Retired folks with a lot of time on their hands who want to grow something exotic.
  • People with patience, space and access to a lot of interesting fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts and spices (non-imported).

I definitely want to get my hands on a Meyer Lemon and grow one of those indoors. It would be neat to take it outside in the summer and bring it indoors over the winter like we do our 5-year old Habanero.  According to the book, it may bloom in its 4th year. Wow- that’s a long wait. But I think it would be worth it!!

Storey Publishing was very kind in providing me with a copy of this book to giveaway on my blog.

Because I am mailing the book myself, I can only open the contest to U.S. readers at this time. The winner will be announced Friday morning, April 9th. Deadline to enter is Midnight, Thursday night.

To enter, please leave a comment below telling me if you have ever started anything indoors from seed with kitchen scraps. (If you haven’t, just tell me what you would like to try to grow indoors from kitchen scraps.)

Good luck!

**Update** The winner of this giveaway via is #3, Jessica. Congrats!


  1. Jodi
    Posted April 5, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    The extent of my indoor growing would be house plants(I have 14, and love them). I have attempted tomato plants without success. I think I would try to grow kiwi…if possible 🙂

  2. Posted April 5, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    No, I haven’t. My children (and myself) would love this!

  3. Jessica
    Posted April 6, 2010 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    I haven’t ever tried to grow anything indoors but I think it would be great since I have no place for a garden. I think maybe tomatoes or some basil and fresh mint (which I cook with often!)

  4. Jay Sherman
    Posted April 6, 2010 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Have tried to grow things many times from seed. There were some good helpful tips in this book!

  5. Posted April 6, 2010 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I haven’t tried growing anything for kitchen scraps… I’ve had indoor flowers, and I use to always want to grow an apple tree when I was younger out in the yard.. And once I think i tried keeping the seeds in a Dixie cup for a a few days before it “disappeared”…
    But I think I’d like to try and grow….. Avocados [Cause that’s what looks like is on the cover – and I love Avocados and then I could make Guacamole… Yum!]

  6. Paula Peterson
    Posted April 6, 2010 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I have’t tried to grow from seed, but since I live in an apartment I would like to try to grow some herbs. This book was very helpful!

  7. Posted April 6, 2010 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Looks like a good book. I already do a lot of composting with kitchen scraps. I don’t really know to much about seed saving techniques, but it seems like a fun hobby to get into. Last year I got a hold of some heirloom roma tomatoes that had excellent taste and flavor. The seeds came from a guy who saves seeds from stuff he eats. I should have saved some seeds for myself.

  8. chiquita
    Posted April 6, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Ooh, how exciting! My kinda book 🙂
    I’m currently growing two pots of green onions (the first pot I posted a link to – they’re about 10″ high now, and I’m going to harvest them really soon), and I’ve tried carrots as well as daikon before because we cook Japanese food (my mom’s Japanese, as is my hubby)…but only got as far as getting the leaves to grow. I’d also love to try the lemon tree!

  9. Posted April 6, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    I have never tried to grow any food indoors…have only had small success with it outdoors. Maybe this book could help me out!

    Please sign me up! 🙂

  10. bridget
    Posted April 9, 2010 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I have saved some peach pits from last year that I hope to start soon.