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Home > Browse By Topic > Rural Lifestyles > Gardening

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81.

WEEDS: IN DEFENSE OF NATURE'S MOST PLANTS

Richard Mabey
Hardcover

Price: $14.28

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From dandelions to crabgrass, stinging nettles to poison ivy, weeds are familiar, pervasive, widely de…

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From dandelions to crabgrass, stinging nettles to poison ivy, weeds are familiar, pervasive, widely despised and seemingly invincible. How did they come to be the villains of the natural world? And why can the same plant be considered beautiful in some places but be deemed a menace in others?

In Weeds, renowned nature writer Richard Mabey embarks on an engaging journey with the verve and historical breadth of Michael Pollan. Weaving together the insights of botanists, gardeners, artists and writers with his own travels and lifelong fascination, Mabey shows how these "botanical thugs" can destroy ecosystems but also can restore war zones and derelict cities; he reveals how weeds have been portrayed, from the "thorns and thistles" of Genesis to Shakespeare, Walden and Invasion of the Body Snatchers; and he explains how kudzu overtook the American South, how poppies sprang up in First World War I battlefields, and how "American weed" replaced the forests of Vietnam ravaged by Agent Orange.

Hailed as "a profound and sympathetic meditation on weeds in relation to human beings" (Sunday Times), Weeds shows how useful these unloved plants can be, from serving as the first crops and medicines, to burdock inspiring the invention of Velcro, to cow parsley becoming the latest fashionable wedding adornment. Mabey argues that we have caused plants to become weeds through our reckless treatment of the earth, and he delivers a provocative defense of the plants we love to hate.

82.

APARTMENT GARDENING

Amy Pennington
Paperback

Price: $18.95

No yard? No problem. With more than 80 percent of the American population living in urban areas, Urban Pantry author Amy Pennington details how to start your own garden in the heart of the city. Wheth…

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No yard? No problem. With more than 80 percent of the American population living in urban areas, Urban Pantry author Amy Pennington details how to start your own garden in the heart of the city. Whether you're a veteran gardener or a novice getting your hands dirty for the first time, this book provides hands-on advice to start using urban space in a sustainable, efficient and inexpensive manner. Learn how to creatively grow squash on windowsills, flowers in planter boxes and cucumbers on trellises: Every inch of your home offers an opportunity for something planted, pickled or preserved. Be a part of the rapidly growing do-it-yourself movement! Pennington's friendly voice paired with Kate Bingham-Burt's illustrations make greener living an accessible reality.

About the author:

Amy Pennington is a gardener, writer and girl about town. She runs her own gardening business called Go Go Green Garden and is the author of Urban Pantry. Pennington lives in Seattle.

83.

TOMATOLAND

Barry Estabrook
Hardcover

Price: $10.99

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Supermarket produce sections bulging with a year-round supply of perfectly round, bright red-orange tomatoes have b…

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Supermarket produce sections bulging with a year-round supply of perfectly round, bright red-orange tomatoes have become all but a national birthright. But in Tomatoland, which is based on his James Beard Award-winning article, "The Price of Tomatoes," investigative food journalist Barry Estabrook reveals the huge human and environmental cost of the $5 billion fresh tomato industry. Fields are sprayed with more than 100 different herbicides and pesticides. Tomatoes are picked hard and green and artificially gassed until their skins acquire a marketable hue. Modern plant breeding has tripled yields, but has also produced fruits with dramatically reduced amounts of calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C, and tomatoes that have 14 times more sodium than the tomatoes our parents enjoyed. The relentless drive for low costs has fostered a thriving modern-day slave trade in the United States. How have we come to this point?

Estabrook traces the supermarket tomato from its birthplace in the deserts of Peru to the impoverished town of Immokalee, Fla., aka the tomato capital of the United States. He visits the laboratories of seedsmen trying to develop varieties that can withstand the rigors of agribusiness and still taste like a garden tomato, and then moves on to commercial growers who operate on tens of thousands of acres, and eventually to a hillside field in Pennsylvania, where he meets an obsessed farmer who produces delectable tomatoes for the nation's top restaurants.

Throughout Tomatoland, Estabrook presents a who's who cast of characters in the tomato industry: the avuncular octogenarian whose conglomerate grows one out of every eight tomatoes eaten in the United States; the ex-Marine who heads the group that dictates the size, color and shape of every tomato shipped out of Florida; the U.S. attorney who has doggedly prosecuted human traffickers for the past decade; and the Guatemalan peasant who came north to earn money for his parents' medical bills and found himself enslaved for two years.

Tomatoland reads like a suspenseful whodunit as well as an exposé of today's agribusiness systems and the price we pay as a society when we take taste and thought out of our food purchases.

84.

MODERN HOMESTEAD

Renee Wilkinson
Paperback

Price: $16.04

CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $26.95 AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

Everything you ever wanted to know about homesteading, all with a cool, modern style. From windowsill…

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Everything you ever wanted to know about homesteading, all with a cool, modern style. From windowsills to backyards, cities hold more potential for growth than just urban sprawl. We can grow vegetables, raise small livestock, and fill our cupboards with canned decadence. Renee Wilkinson offers something for everyone, regardless of space or green thumb know-how.

Wonder what it takes to raise clucking chickens? Wilkinson walks you through every step. Musing about what will grow best on your balcony or fire escape? She gives you garden designs and choices. Pondering what to do with your honey harvest? Try out a homemade lip balm recipe. Unsure what to make with your bounty of herbs and veggies? A rustic yet elegant goat cheese and zucchini panina might just do it.

While Wilkinson may use her grandmother’s old canning tricks or her aunt’s favorite recipes, this young, thoughtful gardener still manages to make her spread her own and delivers the best information on growing, raising, harvesting, and making from your own plot.

About the author: Renee Wilkinson is the creator of Hip Chick Digs, a popular blog dedicated to urban homesteading, edible landscape design and sustainable living. Garden spade in hand, Wilkinson is completing a graduate degree in landscape architecture and continues to inspire urbanites everywhere to get their hands dirty in their own city homesteads. She lives on a tenth-of-an-acre city lot in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and three chickens.

85.

CHASING CHILES

K. Friese, K. Kraft, G. Nabhan
Paperback

Price: $9.87

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Chasing Chiles looks at both the future of place-based foods and the effects of climate change on agric…

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Chasing Chiles looks at both the future of place-based foods and the effects of climate change on agriculture through the lens of the chile pepper — from the farmers who cultivate this iconic crop to the cuisines and cultural traditions in which peppers play a huge role.

Why chile peppers? Both a spice and a vegetable, chile peppers have captivated imaginations and taste buds for thousands of years. Native to Mesoamerica and the New World, chiles are currently grown on every continent, since their relatively recent introduction to Europe (in the early 1500s via Christopher Columbus). Chiles are delicious, dynamic, and very diverse — they have been rapidly adopted, adapted and assimilated into numerous world cuisines, and while malleable to a degree, certain heirloom varieties are deeply tied to place and culture — but now accelerating climate change may be scrambling their terroir.

Over a year-long journey, three pepper-loving gastronauts — an agroecologist, a chef and an ethnobotanist — set out to find the real stories of America’s rarest heirloom chile varieties, and learn about the changing climate from farmers and other people who live by the pepper, and who, lately, have been adapting to shifting growing conditions and weather patterns. They put a face on an issue that has been made far too abstract for our own good.

Chasing Chiles is not your archetypal book about climate change, with facts and computer models delivered by a distant narrator. On the contrary, these three dedicated chileheads look and listen, sit down to eat, and get stories and recipes from on the ground — in farmers' fields, local cafes and the desert-scrub hillsides across North America. From the Sonoran Desert to Santa Fe and St. Augustine (the two oldest cities in the United States), from the marshes of Avery Island in Cajun Louisiana to the thin limestone soils of the Yucatan, this book looks at how and why climate change will continue to affect our palates and our producers, and how it already has.

86.

THE ONE-BLOCK FEAST

Margo True
Paperback

Price: $24.99

Based on the James Beard Award–winning blog The One-Block Diet, this all-in-one home gardening, do-it-yourself guide and cookbook shows you how to transform a backyard or garden into a self-sufficient…

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Based on the James Beard Award–winning blog The One-Block Diet, this all-in-one home gardening, do-it-yourself guide and cookbook shows you how to transform a backyard or garden into a self-sufficient locavore’s paradise.

When Margo True and her fellow staffers at Northern California–based Sunset magazine walked around the grounds of their Menlo Park office, they saw more than just a lawn and some gardens. Instead, they saw a fresh, bountiful food source, the makings for intrepid edible projects, and a series of seasonal feasts — all just waiting to happen.

The One-Block Feast is the story of how True and her team took an inspired idea and transformed it into an ambitious commitment: to create four feasts over the course of a year, using only what could be grown or raised in their backyard-sized plot. She candidly shares the group’s many successes and often humorous setbacks as they try their hands at chicken farming, cheese making, olive pressing, home brewing, beekeeping, winemaking and more.

Grouped into gardening, project and recipe guides for each season, The One-Block Feast is a complete resource for planning an eco-friendly kitchen garden; making your own pantry staples for year-round cooking and gifts; raising bees, chickens and even a cow; and creating made-from-scratch meals from ingredients you’ve grown yourself. Chapters are organized by season, each featuring a planting plan and crop-by-crop instructions, an account of how that season’s projects played out for the Sunset team, and a multicourse dinner menu composed of imaginative, appealing and ultra-resourceful vegetarian recipes, such as:

Butternut Squash Gnocchi With Chard and Sage Brown Butter, Egg and Gouda Crepes, Whole Wheat Pizzas With Roasted Vegetables and Homemade Cheeses, Fresh Corn Soup With Zucchini Blossoms, Braised Winter Greens With Preserved Lemons and Red Chile, Summer Lemongrass Custards, Honey Ice Cream

Generously illustrated and easy to follow, this ultimate resource for today’s urban homesteader will inspire you to take “eating local” to a whole new level.

Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, MOTHER EARTH NEWS is recommending books to readers. For 40 years, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has been North America’s “Original Guide to Living Wisely,” creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.

87.

GATHERING: MEMOIR OF A SEED SAVER

Diane Ott Whealy
Hardcover

Price: $25.00

Daughter of Iowa farmers, Missouri homesteader and mother of five, Diane Ott Whealy never anticipated that one day she would become a leader in a grass-roots movement to preserve our agricultural biod…

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Daughter of Iowa farmers, Missouri homesteader and mother of five, Diane Ott Whealy never anticipated that one day she would become a leader in a grass-roots movement to preserve our agricultural biodiversity. The love for the land and the respect for heirloom seeds that Ott Whealy shared with her husband, Kent, led to their starting Seed Savers Exchange in 1975.

Seed Savers Exchange, the nation’s premier nonprofit seed-saving organization, began humbly as a simple exchange of seeds among passionate gardeners who sought to preserve the rich gardening heritage their ancestors had brought to this country. Seeds that Ott Whealy herself inherited from her paternal grandparents were the impetus for the formation of Seed Savers Exchange, whose membership has grown from a small coterie to more than 13,000. Its influence has been felt in gardens across America.

Ott Whealy’s down-to-earth narrative traces her fascinating journey from Oregon to Kansas to Missouri then back home to Iowa where, in 1986, Heritage Farm became the permanent home of Seed Savers Exchange. Her heartwarming story captures what is best in the American spirit: the ability to dream and, through hard work and perseverance, inspire others to contribute their efforts to a cause. Thus was created one of the nation’s most admired nonprofits in the field of genetic preservation.

88.

THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO GROWING WINDOWSILL PLANTS

Angela Williams Duea
Paperback

Price: $15.93

CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $24.95 AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

A windowsill is among the best possible places to put a plant that provides ample sunlight, brightens the look of yo…

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A windowsill is among the best possible places to put a plant that provides ample sunlight, brightens the look of your home from the outside, and adds what amounts to a filter to the air coming in and out of your home. In winter, they can add a touch of color to an otherwise drab view, and in summer they thrive. But not every plant grows well in these conditions: According to Garden Guides, as many as 40 percent of most houseplants don't need nearly that much sunlight. The selection of the right houseplants for your windowsill is a necessary step to ensuring they survive and thrive.

This book will guide you through the steps needed to select the perfect plants for your windowsill and cultivate them to both fit in with your space and to survive the conditions, whether inside or outside. You will learn everything you need to know to effectively plant windowsill plants and improve how your home and your windows look to the world outside. You will learn, through a series of detailed charts, which plants are best suited to the cramped space of a windowsill and which ones will only give you problems. You will learn how much light each plant needs and how much water and food they need and whether you need to supplement natural provision of these resources. You will learn how to care for your plants while keeping away pests and animals that may eat the leaves or dig up the dirt.

Top experts in gardening have been interviewed and their insights will help you learn what works and what doesn't work for your windowsill plants. From first planting, whether by seed or potted plant, you will have every resource you need to keep your windowsill plants alive and thriving in their new environment with this book.

89.

HOMEGROWN AND HANDMADE

Deborah Niemann
Paperback

Price: $22.95

Our food system is dominated by industrial agriculture, and has become economically and environmentally unsustainable. The incidence of diet-related diseases including obesity, diabetes, hypertension,…

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Our food system is dominated by industrial agriculture, and has become economically and environmentally unsustainable. The incidence of diet-related diseases including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cancer and heart disease has skyrocketed to unprecedented levels. Whether you have 40 acres and a mule or a condo with a balcony, you can do more than you think to safeguard your health, your money and the planet.

Homegrown and Handmade shows how making things from scratch and growing at least some of your own food can help you eliminate artificial ingredients from your diet, reduce your carbon footprint and create a more authentic life. Whether your goal is increasing your self-reliance or becoming a full-fledged homesteader, it’s packed with answers and solutions to help you:

  • Take control of your food supply from seed to plate
  • Raise small and medium livestock for fun, food and fiber
  • Rediscover traditional skills to meet more of your family’s needs than you ever thought possible
This comprehensive guide to food and fiber from scratch proves that attitude and knowledge is more important than acreage. Written from the perspective of a successful, self-taught modern homesteader, this well-illustrated, practical and accessible manual will appeal to anyone who dreams of a simpler life.

90.

AQUAPONIC GARDENING

Sylvia Bernstein
Paperback

Price: $29.95

Aquaponics is a revolutionary system for growing plants by fertilizing them with the wastewater from fish in a sustainable closed system. A combination of the best of aquaculture and hydroponics, aq…

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Aquaponics is a revolutionary system for growing plants by fertilizing them with the wastewater from fish in a sustainable closed system. A combination of the best of aquaculture and hydroponics, aquaponic gardening is an amazingly productive way to grow organic vegetables, greens, herbs and fruits, while providing the added benefits of fresh fish as a safe, healthy source of protein. On a larger scale, it is a key solution to mitigating food insecurity, climate change, groundwater pollution and the impacts of overfishing on our oceans.

Aquaponic Gardening is the definitive do-it-yourself home manual, focused on giving you all the tools you need to create your own aquaponic system and enjoy healthy, safe, fresh and delicious food all year round. Starting with an overview of the theory, benefits and potential of aquaponics, the book goes on to explain:

  • System location considerations and hardware components
  • The living elements — fish, plants, bacteria and worms
  • Putting it all together — starting and maintaining a healthy system
Aquaponics systems are completely organic. They are four to six times more productive and use 90 percent less water than conventional gardens. Other advantages include no weeds; fewer pests; and no watering, fertilizing, bending, digging or heavy lifting – in fact, there really is no down side! Anyone interested in taking the next step toward self-sufficiency will be fascinated by this practical, accessible and well-illustrated guide.

About the Author: Sylvia Bernstein is the president and founder of The Aquaponic Source. An internationally recognized expert on aquaponic gardening, Sylvia speaks, writes and blogs (www.theaquaponicsource.com) extensively about this revolutionary technique.

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