A pretty unbiased Ditch the Dirt Book Review. A while ago I ordered the new book from titled Ditch The Dirt, written by Rob Laing, CEO of Farm.One which is also based here in New York. I’d heard about what they’re doing a while back through some friends in the venture community. Since then I have been following their progress and development as a company. So I was pretty excited to learn that we’d be getting a book on indoor farming from someone who’s had so much success in urban agriculture. My initial thoughts were that this book would help facilitate growing food at home, and it’s description on Amazon, pretty much states just that.
“Growing plants hydroponically―in water instead of soil―is easier thank you think. Ditch the Dirt will teach you the basics of hydroponic growing at home, including how to set up and take care of your garden, information on the most interesting edible plants, and delicious ways to use your harvest in your next meal.”
So I ordered it on Amazon and got to reading, and I have to say the book’s a short read. Literally went through it in an afternoon and I wouldn’t say I read quickly. The book is aesthetically pretty and a nice addition to any bookshelf, but that’s not why we ordered it. The book has a ton of valuable information on the types of plants you can grow in hydroponic environments at home, their needs, etc…
It is not however a book about hydroponics, or how to set up systems to grow your food at home. For that we are now reading –DIY Hydroponic Gardens which thus far has been immensely more valuable in terms of building the damn things. But I digress.
Ditch the Dirt starts with a quick overview of hydroponics. What it is, a bit of history on it and shows a few simple diagrams of the different systems like ebb and flow. The section on building your own hydroponic system is 2 pages long. So if you’re looking to learn how to do hydro at home. This is not the book for you.
However, if you’re looking for an intro to growing hydro at home, it’s a good “oh that’s interesting” book. If you’re any kind of serious about growing at home, you’ll want to move on to something more advanced almost immediately afterwards. So while the book may not be a comprehensive guide to hydroponics, it does shine nonetheless.
Ditch the Dirt with your own DIY grow shelf.
At about 60 pages in you get to the real heart of the book, and this is where it really it excels. Ditch the Dirt is in the massive collection of what to the daily diet are unique and uncommon greens; that you can grow hydroponically, which if you think about it makes sense considering the authors main gig. An indoor farm in Manhattan growing rare herbs and greens, year-roun
The book is fundamentally an instruction manual on how to grow a literal ton of rarer greens in hydro – and the list is impressive and presented in a very aesthetically pleasing manner. The paper is good, the photos excellent, and the paper is glossed and pretty. More importantly you get the plant’s origin, what it looks like, seed to sprout time, seed to first harvest time, and some culinary information on what to pair it with. Which is in all actuality pretty great.
Recommendation: Ok. So do we recommend it? Depends what you want it for? If it’s to learn how to hydro at home. The answer is a hard no. If you are however looking for into on how to expand your hydro collection; are looking to find greens to grow in your hydroponic setup at home, or basement, or a shipping container then totally get it.
The other book I’m reading seems a lot more promising in terms of actual instructions on how to build Hydropoinc systems at home, and I’ll be working on putting one together in July so stay tuned and sign up to our newsletter. If any of these books interest you, just follow the links as each purchase helps us out a bit.