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Companion planting techniques have been used for centuries to facilitate better, more nutritious, and more abundant crops. Did you know that beets will grow better if surrounded by mint or garlic, but tomatoes should not be planted near cabbage? Flax helps protect some root vegetables from pests, and tomatoes will thrive when planted near carrots (though the carrots may wind up stunted). Your celery will be happier if it’s far away from corn, but broccoli and dill make a terrific garden pair. It’s a lot to think about, but there’s no reason to feel overwhelmed. With Companion Planting for the Kitchen Gardener, you’ll have all the information you need in clear, concise terms and with charts and garden plans you can copy or modify to suit your family’s needs.
Starting with the basics of organic gardening, such as how to prepare quality soil and the importance of cover crops and organic fertilizer, authors Allison and Tim Greer explain the principles of companion planting, how plants interact, and how you can use that information to your garden’s benefit. There is an entire chapter devoted to each of the 15 most popular vegetables, with charts, diagrams, and descriptions of each … a treasure for gardeners with busy lives who want an easy reference guide for planning their ideal kitchen garden. Full of gorgeous, full-color photographs and easy-to-follow diagrams, this is a beautiful, useful guide for the home organic gardener.
Author: Allison Greer
If you've ever thought about pursuing a self-sufficient lifestyle on your own rural homestead or survival retreat but feared you didn't have the money or skills to do it, you simply must read this book. It’s a gold mine of practical steps and instructions to take you from dreaming about an off-grid, independent lifestyle to living one!
There are hundreds of things to think about before planning and starting your new life, and this book will save you valuable time and money by steering you down productive paths and making you carefully consider others. Just some of the areas it covers include:
Author: Steven D. Gregerson
The Little Veggie Patch Co. DIY Garden Projects includes more than 38 of their best projects for those young and old wanting to transform their outdoor living space. Also included are a variety of projects for experienced handy folk and quirky ideas that will involve the youngest members of the family. The ideas range from incredibly quick and simple (such as creating a self-watering milk-carton planter, growing micro-herbs, and hanging milk-crate planter boxes) to large-scale building projects (such as making vertical gardens from pallets and how to build a playhouse from recycled apple crates). Written in a personable, approachable style, with stories to accompany each project as well as clear step-by-step instructions with colorful photographs to match, The Little Veggie Patch Co. DIY Garden Projects will inspire the green thumb in every reader.
Author: Mat Pember & Dillion Seitchik
Eat your vegetables — and plant them too!
Plant the pits, roots, shoots, and seeds of almonds, anise, avocadoes, beans, celery, citrus, dates, fennel, figs, gingerroot, kiwi, mango, mustard, papya, peanuts, persimmon, pineapple, pomegranate, sesame, squash, turnip, tropical guava...and more!
You can also have houseplant fun with fruits, nuts, herbs and spices. From the common carrot to the exotic cherimoya, dozens of foods have pits, seeds, and roots waiting to be rescued from the compost bin and brought back to life on your windowsill. Planted and nurtured, the shiny pomegranate seeds left over from breakfast, and the neglected piece of gingerroot in your refrigerator will grow into a healthy, vigorous houseplants — kitchen experiments in the wonder of botany.
Author: DEBORAH PETERSON
Our industrialized food system is failing us, and as individuals we must take more responsibility for our own health and food security. Leaf crops produce more nutrients per square foot of growing space and per day of growing season than any other crops, especially vitamins and minerals commonly lacking in the North American diet. As hardy as they are versatile, these beautiful leafy vegetables range from the familiar to the exotic. Some part of this largely untapped food resource can thrive in almost any situation.
Eat Your Greens provides complete instructions for incorporating these nutritional powerhouses into any kitchen garden. This innovative guide shows how:
Beginning with a comprehensive overview of modern commercial agriculture, and rounded out by a selection of advanced techniques to maximize, preserve and prepare your harvest, Eat Your Greens is an invaluable addition to the library of any gardening enthusiast.
Author: David Kennedy
Since Rosalind Creasy popularized the concept of landscaping with edibles a quarter-century ago, interest in eating healthy, fresh, locally grown foods has swept across the nation. More and more Americans are looking to grow clean, delicious produce at home, saving money and natural resources at the same time. And food plants have been freed from the backyard, gracing the finest landscapes — even the White House grounds!
Creasy’s expertise on edibles and how to incorporate them in beautifully designed outdoor environments was first showcased in the original edition of Edible Landscaping (1982), hailed by gardeners everywhere as a groundbreaking classic. Now this highly anticipated new edition presents the latest design and how-to information in a glorious full-color format, featuring more than 300 inspiring photographs.
Drawing on the author’s decades of research and experience, the book presents everything you need to know to create an inviting home landscape that will yield mouthwatering vegetables, fruits, nuts and berries. The comprehensive Encyclopedia of Edibles — a book in itself — provides horticultural information, culinary uses, sources and recommended varieties; and appendices cover the basics of planting and maintenance, and of controlling pests and diseases using organic and environmentally friendly practices.
Author: Rosalind Creasy
Long before sunflower seeds became a popular snack food, they were a foodstuff valued by Native Americans. For some 10,000 years, from the end of the Pleistocene to the 1800s, the indigenous peoples of the plains regarded edible native plants, like the sunflower, as an important source of food. Not only did plants provide sustenance during times of scarcity, they also added variety to what otherwise would have been a monotonous diet of game. Nevertheless, the use of native plants as food sharply declined when white men settled the Great Plains and imposed their own culture, with its differing notions of what was fit to eat. Those notions tended to exclude from the accepted diet such plants as soapweed, lambsquarter, ground cherry, prairie turnip and prickly pear. Today it is strange to think of eating chokecherries, which were a key ingredient in that staple of the Indian diet, pemmican.
Based on plant lore documented by historical and archaeological evidence, Edible Wild Plants of the Prairie relates how 122 plant species were once used as food by the native and immigrant residents on the prairie. Written for a broad audience of amateur naturalists, botanists, ethnologists, anthropologists and agronomists, this guide is intended to educate the reader about wild plants as food sources, to synthesize information on the potential use of native flora as new food crops, and to encourage the conservation and cultivation of prairie plants.
By writing about the edible flora of the American prairie, Kelly Kindscher has provided us with the first edible plant book devoted to the region that Walt Whitman called "North America's characteristic landscape" and that Willa Cather called "the floor of the sky." In describing how plants were used for food, he has drawn upon information concerning tribes that inhabited the prairie bioregion. As a consequence, his book serves as a handy compendium for readers seeking to learn more about historical uses of plants by Native Americans.
The book is organized into 51 chapters arranged alphabetically by scientific name. For those who are interested in finding and identifying the plants, the book provides line drawings, distribution maps, and botanical and habitat descriptions. The ethnobotanical accounts of food use form the major portion of the text, but the reader will also find information on the parts of the plants used, harvesting, propagation (for home gardeners), and the preparation and taste of wild food plants.
Author: Kelly Kindscher
Savor your best tomato harvest ever! Craig LeHoullier, tomato adviser for Seed Savers Exchange, offers everything a tomato enthusiast needs to know about growing more than 200 varieties of tomatoes — from sowing seeds and planting to cultivating and collecting seeds at the end of the season. He also offers a comprehensive guide to the various pests and diseases of tomatoes and explains how best to avoid them. No other book offers such a detailed look at the specifics of growing tomatoes, with beautiful photographs and helpful tomato profiles throughout.
Author: Craig LeHoullier
Longtime Maine farmer and homesteader Will Bonsall possesses a unique clarity of vision that extends all the way from the finer points of soil fertility and seed saving to exploring how we can transform civilization and make our world a better, more resilient place.
In Will Bonsall's Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening, Bonsall maintains that to achieve real wealth we first need to understand the economy of the land, to realize that things that might make sense economically don't always make sense ecologically, and vice versa. The marketplace distorts our values, and our modern dependence on petroleum in particular presents a serious barrier to creating a truly sustainable agriculture.
For him the solution is, first and foremost, greater self-reliance, especially in the areas of food and energy. By avoiding any off-farm inputs (fertilizers, minerals and animal manures), Bonsall has learned how to practice a purely veganic, or plant-based, agriculture—not from a strictly moralistic or philosophical perspective, but because it makes good business sense: spend less instead of making more.
What this means in practical terms is that Bonsall draws upon the fertility of on-farm plant materials: compost, green manures, perennial grasses, and forest products like leaves and ramial wood chips. And he grows and harvests a diversity of crops from both cultivated and perennial plants: vegetables, grains, pulses, oilseeds, fruits and nuts—even uncommon but useful permaculture plants like groundnut (Apios).
In a friendly, almost conversational way, Bonsall imparts a wealth of knowledge drawn from his more than 40 years of farming experience.
"My goal," he writes, "is not to feed the world, but to feed myself and let others feed themselves. If we all did that, it might be a good beginning."
Author: Will Bonsall
The latest addition to the best-selling Wisdom and Know-How series is a complete home reference for everything you need to know about gardening — from soil and fertilizers to growing flowers and vegetables.
Garden Wisdom and Know-How is a large-scale practical guide to planting and maintaining a garden, indoors or out. The chapters are organized by topic — garden techniques and tricks, the flower garden, the edible garden, container gardening, garden design and landscaping, attracting wildlife, and so on — and packed with information. Readers will discover tips and techniques for maintaining a garden year-round; harvesting herbs; designing by bloom season; turning garden refuse into garden rewards; building teepees, trellises and other plant supports; and much more.
Featuring handpicked selections from dozens of publications from Rodale Books, this massive collection is full of indispensable and trusted advice from some of the most respected gardening authors in the world. And with hundreds of black-and-white illustrations and photographs as well as step-by-step projects, key gardening resources, and essential information on countless plant species, Garden Wisdom and Know-How is a must-have volume for both the aspiring and the experienced gardener.
About the author
Judy Pray is a freelance book editor. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.
About Rodale Books
Rodale Books publishes award-winning, best-selling titles on gardening, health, wellness, fitness, food, nutrition, inspiration/spirituality and the environment. Some of their best-known gardening books include Rodale's Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, Your Backyard Herb Garden, The Complete Compost Gardening Guide and Garden Primer.
Author: Editors of Rodale Gardening
Gardening With Confidence: 50 ways to add style for personal creativity is designed to give you insight on the basics of adding and arranging the components of your garden. The confidence you'll gain in knowing how to add design features, while developing your own personal style, will help take your garden to the levels seen in the fantastic gardens that inspired you to begin your own work of art.
Author: Helen Yoest
Good Garden Bugs is an easy-to-follow reference to beneficial insects that provide pest control, allowing your garden to grow full and bountiful.
Aphids, caterpillars, grubs and slugs are not only creepy-crawlies: They can wreak havoc on your garden and plants. But fear not! You don't need dangerous chemicals to enjoy a lively, healthy garden. The secret? More lady beetles, fewer aphids! Wildlife in your garden (especially insects) can be natural pesticide alternatives. From mantids to beetles to wasps, spiders, and everything in between, entomologist Mary Gardiner tells you how to identify these beneficial bugs, how to enhance your home landscape as a habitat, and how to work with them to grow and enjoy your garden.
Author: Mary M. Gardiner
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