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In an organic garden, plants in optimum health thrive abundantly, produce harvests with amazing taste, and possess the ability to fight off plant predators. When they don't, there's often something lacking in their proper nutrition. Maybe they are missing beneficial microorganism companions, or perhaps they are short of the energy needed to reach their full nutrient-dense potential. The solution is to "start with the soil," but healthy soil doesn't happen just by composting, fertilizing or companion planting alone. The solution can be found in Building Soils Naturally, which gives gardeners a hands-on plan for creating productive, living soil by using a practical, holistic approach - crafted right in your garden.
We all need a personal sanctuary: a place where we can be in harmony with the natural world and can nurture our bodies, minds, and souls. And this sanctuary doesn’t have to be an exotic destination, it can be in your own backyard. In Creating Sanctuary, Jessi Bloom taps into multiple sources of traditional plant wisdom to help readers find a deeper connection to the outdoor space they already have … no matter the size. Equal parts inspirational and practical, this engaging guide includes tips on designing a healing space, plant profiles for 50 sacred plants, recipes that harness the medicinal properties of plants, and simple instructions for daily rituals and practices for self-care.
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."
When you read Growing Fruit With a Smile, you cannot resist a feeling that Kurdyumov is teaching some kind of ‘gardening magic’, reveals the ultimate secrets of mastering what people call a ‘green thumb’. And it’s not just because he shows you how to start an orchard without buying a single nursery tree; how to influence the taste of the fruit any way you like; how to grow five-pound pears; how to grow apricots in Zone 2; or how to train trees into stunning shapes without any pruning. There’s more to it. We tend to view growing fruit as hard work full of challenges: sweating to improve the soil, fighting drought and pests, trying to heal sunscald, then figuring out how to do proper pruning etc. And Kurdyumov shows us how to have more fruit with fewer trees, how to achieve amazing results with less effort — and all those color photos of the garlands of fruit show you his approach works! Ultimately you realize that there is nothing magical in that — it’s just that Kurdyumov offers genuine understanding where many other authors limit themselves to cookie-cutter instructions.
In his insightful new book, Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind, contrary farmer Gene Logsdon provides the inside story of manure — our greatest, yet most misunderstood, natural resource. He begins by lamenting a modern society that not only throws away both animal and human manure — worth billions of dollars in fertilizer value — but that spends a staggering amount of money to do so. This wastefulness makes even less sense as the supply of mined or chemically synthesized fertilizers dwindles and their cost skyrockets. In fact, he argues, if we do not learn how to turn our manures into fertilizer to keep food production in line with increasing population, our civilization, like so many that went before it, will inevitably decline.
With his trademark humor, his years of experience writing about both farming and waste management, and his uncanny eye for the small but important details, Logsdon artfully describes how to make fertilizer and humus by managing farm manure, pet manure and human manure.
About the author
Gene Logsdon farms in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. He is one of the clearest and most original voices of rural America. He has published more than two dozen books. He writes a popular blog at OrganicToBe.org, is a regular contributor to Farming Magazine and The Draft Horse Journal, and writes an award-winning weekly column in the Ohio Progressor Times.
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 and products to readers. For more than 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.
Do you want to learn to turn food scraps into valuable compost? Do you believe in taking responsibility for the waste we create? People all over the world are turning their food scraps into nutrient-rich worm compost through starting their own worm bin. This book contains everything you need to get started worm composting in one easy-to-read book. Topics include what type of worms to buy, how to construct a bin, maintain the right environment, and how to foster a thriving worm herd. The Worm Bin Troubleshooting and FAQ sections cover the rest. The author demonstrates that worm composting is a year-round activity that is easy, fast, convenient, good for the earth, good for your plants, and fun.
Spend less time in the garden … and get more results! This book demystifies the growing of fruit and vegetables and shows that, with the right approach, it can be done successfully as a weekend project or slotted into a busy week. This book will appeal to the complete novice planning a new vegetable garden as well as the more experienced gardener who is looking to save time and increase productivity.
There’s a lot that goes into gardening. Organize your garden plans while learning new skills with this organic gardening collection!
Mother Earth News Guide to Organic Gardening, 6th Edition
It’s never too early to start planning this year’s garden. Where to plant your herbs? Where should your row of cabbage grow? How many tomato plants should you have? The sixth edition of the Guide to Organic Gardening from Mother Earth News is a great reference to help you plan your bountiful garden this year. Starting with soil, fertilizer, seed starting, what plants you should grow, and so much more, this guide is 100 pages of helpful articles to help you grow your best garden yet!
Mother Earth News Guide to Fall Gardening
Gardeners are learning that the end of summer doesn’t have to be the end of their gardening season. With the help of the Mother Earth News Guide to Fall Gardening, you can continue your garden well into autumn. With nearly 100 pages of articles, this guide covers how to stash produce for winter, plant the best crops for the season, protect crops with hoops and greenhouse, and more.
Mother Earth News How to Grow and Preserve Your Own Food, 6th Edition
Get more from your garden this year! This sixth edition of MOTHER EARTH NEWS How to Grow and Preserve Your Own Food is filled with expertly written articles on growing a successful, bountiful garden and preserving fresh vegetables and fruits. You’ll learn how to eat in sync with the seasons, make easy compost, dry and freeze produce from your garden, and more.
Mother Earth News Guide to Fresh Food All Year, 4th Edition
Eat better. Save money. That’s the theme of the fourth edition of the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Guide to Fresh Food All Year. This 100-page guide shows how to grow, maintain, and harvest your own food all year long. A wide variety of articles (20 in all!) cover everything from growing the best tomatoes to building a mini-greenhouse, from preserving fresh food to making homemade butter.
Mother Earth News Guide to Growing Your Own Food, 7th Edition
Perfect for anyone looking for tips and tricks to eat better and save money, the seventh edition of the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Guide to Growing Your Own Food has advice for growing tomatoes, preserving fresh food, raising chickens for meat, and much more!
The “garden to table” movement is inspiring another generation of gardeners, but many of them have questions. How important is composting? Is seed saving really worth it? Focusing on sustainable, organic growing practices and plants, The Backyard Gardener is a comprehensive handbook that will help get them started. Kelly Orzel covers everything from soil selection to growing and harvesting. Sidebars such as “Garden Center Survival Tips” offer useful advice to help readers build their confidence and know-how. This guide also features photographs of beautiful plant bed designs, propagation techniques, and much more.
This book turns the compost bin upside down with a natural six-way gardening system of keeping compost heaps right in the garden, rather than in some dark corner behind the garage. The compost and plants live together from the beginning in a nourishing, organic environment.
Author Barbara Pleasant's bountiful, compost-rich gardens require less digging, weeding, mulching and even less planting. And here's one of the best parts — no more backbreaking slogs from compost bin to garden. Pleasant and co-author Deborah Martin even identify the plants that benefit most from compost and how the elements of a composted garden work together. Their natural six-way compost gardening system provides the ruling principles for successfully improving every garden with healthy compost.
Humanure: waste or resource? Joseph Jenkins answers this question in this guide to reclaiming and recycling human waste through composting. Offers simple and practical solutions anyone can use.
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 its 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.