I give this book 7 out of 10 acorns
This is a book that has sat on my shelf for several years without me giving it a serious read.
I found this book to be a sometimes frustrating read in that I would like a more direct approach at presenting information. For example, Chapter 1 begins, "Im looking out over my backyard, iced tea in hand ...." After that the reader is presented with Hollyhocks, carrots, thyme ...and, at the very end of the paragraph, some 150 words later, is the word soil. When information is presented, it is done well. It is just that too often it takes the author too long to present what I am looking for.
Pages18 and 19 have some solid information on performing a jar test on a soil sample. Page 27 has a soil sample report card. But frequently the discussion follows the author's approach to the discussion on soil compaction where it is mentioned and no means of correcting it is directly approached. Yes, practices are introduced that will reduce soil compaction, but the dots are never connected. For example, the reader is instructed to never till wet soil on page 46, but it is not explained that tilling wet soil might increase soil compaction. Opportunities to teach are sometimes missed by not thoroughly explaining why a specific practice is or is not recommended.
That said, this volume does contain a good selection of lists, charts, and photographs that made it a good resource volume. That is how I use it. It may not be the best choice for a first book on soil building, but it is a worthwhile addition to a library.