The $64 Tomato : How One Man Nearly Lost his Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for the Perfect GardenWhy I am recommending this book:
You don't have to be a gardener to enjoy reading this book. If you have ever been involved with trying to create something meaningful and faced major obstacles; obstacles that made you wonder if you should quit and just call it a day, You will want to read this book. If you want a shot of inspiration to get "through it all", then this book is for you, too.
When the author of this hilarious horticultural memoir plants a large vegetable garden and a small orchard on his Hudson Valley farmstead, he finds himself at odds with almost all creation. At the top of the food chain are the landscaping contractors, always behind schedule, frequently derelict, occasionally menacing. Then there are the herds of deer that batter the electrified fence to get at Alexander's crop, and the groundhog who simply squeezes between the wires, apparently savoring the 10,000-volt shocks. Most insidious are the armies of beetles, worms, maggots and grubs that provoke Alexander, initially an organic-produce zealot, into drenching his entire property with pesticides. He braves these trials, along with hours of backbreaking labor and the eye-rolling of his wife and children, for the succulence of homegrown food. He also manages to maintain a sense of humor, riffing on everything from the ugliness of garden ornaments to the politics of giving away vegetables to friends. Alexander's slightly poisoned paradise manages to impart an existential lesson on the interconnectedness of nature and the fine line between nurturing and killing.