A Bluedot Favorite Read: Grow Now



Emily Murphy’s new garden book inspires “how we can save our health, communities, and planet — one garden at a time.”

During a recent interview with Kaitlin Mitchell about her new line of eco-friendly garden tools, she enthusiastically told me about a must-read for home gardeners: author Emily Murphy’s Grow Now: How We Can Save Our Health, Communities, and Planet  — One Garden at a Time, published in 2022. 

I quickly ordered it and dove in, barely putting it down. Here was a book describing everything I felt about my gardening experience. This book reinforces my belief that taking out my grass and replacing it with an edible garden, filled with native milkweed and pollinator-friendly flowers, would not only create a healing space for my family but for the Earth. 

This is not a steps-to-growing-tomatoes guide, but a book on how we can fight climate change at home, in our gardens, one flower at a time. It's about shifting perspective. It’s not enough for edible gardens to be organic and pesticide-free; we need to invest in our soil, create biodiversity, sequester carbon, and grow native, all from the comfort of home. 

Grow Now takes us on a journey, backed by science and hands-on experience that highlights how gardeners are redefining the garden:

  • Through the book, Emily Murphy offers practical tips on how to return our space back to nature (rewild), build soil health, create biodiversity, and grow beautiful, nutritious foods. 
  • She reminds us to be creative and work with our space, instead of pushing our garden to be something it is not. A rooftop micro flower farm in Berkeley is inspiring, as are her ideas for planting native plants in the forgotten hell strip (the space between the sidewalk and street), joining a community garden, or growing in containers on your balcony. 
  • She also delves into the philosophy that “gardening is climate activism” and a form of social justice right in our front yard. She shares how growing food in our own communities is “healing the bonds broken through environmental injustices.”

Latest Stories

A Kinder Silk

Throughout the ages, silk products have been symbols of grace, luxury, and refinement. However, the standard...

Climate Champ: Joanna Underwood

I arrived early to Joanna Underwood’s charming 1800s brownstone near Union Square in New York City....

Building Houses and Independence

In 2022, Pakistan was devastated by unprecedented floods that left millions displaced and without homes in...

Safeguarding Buffer Zones

Arun Akshaylal Naika has lived his entire life in the Pench village in Madhya Pradesh. As...
Laura McLean
Laura McLean
Laura McLean is a native San Diegan who is the plant expert co-owner of Sweet Seedlings, and has spent over 20 years working for a nonprofit and as a marriage and family therapist. She has transformed her yard into an urban vegetable and pollinator garden, and strives to connect mental health, self-care, and a commitment to our earth with every seed she sows.
Read More

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here