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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
“A garden should be easy and fun to care for—don’t complicate things unnecessarily.” This is the slogan of author Inger Palmstierna. In Greenhouse Vegetable Gardening, she helps readers find the joy of cultivating in their very own greenhouses. Palmstierna is a gardening authority with vast knowledge on everything that grows. With infectious enthusiasm, this garden writer and horticulturist explains how to cultivate a successful garden or orchard.
The greenhouse is the place where green thumbs are realized and your imagination can run wild. Palmstierna believes that the greenhouse provides opportunities, but does not demand. Greenhouse Vegetable Gardening is an accessible book with many beautiful pictures and practical instructions. The topics covered include:
In addition to providing a garden year-round, the greenhouse can also be a beautiful addition to your yard and can be customized to match your tastes. You’ll learn the basics on what to consider when buying, laying the foundations for, and decorating your greenhouse—as well as how to plan and use one. Soon after you’ll be ready to explore the many types of vegetables and flowering plants that thrive in greenhouses.
So get ready to enjoy fresh vegetables and flowers year-round!
Author: Inger Palmstierna
Millions of people now are gardening in America today. And the good news is that the "tipping point" for organic gardening is here to stay. Green is the new black. Grow Organic is an easy-to-read book that includes eight chapters on everything from soil management, to companion planting, to beneficial bugs for flowers and veggies. Each chapter contains quick tips for beginning gardeners and advanced quick tips in every chapter for experienced gardeners more than 250 in all. Co-authors Doug Oster and Jessica Walliser have nearly 50 years of gardening experience between them. Each chapter also includes "Tell-All" sections that share special methods they ve learned in their own gardens 'been there, done that' lessons.
Author: Doug Oster/Jessica Walliser
You can have fresh, sustainable foods and delicious, handcrafted dishes … right at home!
Vibrant, crisp greens. Juicy, vine-ripened tomatoes. Sweet, mouthwatering strawberries. With Grow. Cook. Preserve., you'll grow sustainable produce right in your own home. Whether you have a giant backyard or just a balcony, this book shows you how to build a thriving garden and feed your family nutritious, homegrown food all year long. From where to plant and what crops to sow to maintaining a balanced ecology, you'll learn everything you need to know about cultivating sustainable foods, including how to:
Whether you're looking to lower your carbon footprint or just want to serve your family fresh, organic meals, Grow. Cook. Preserve. will help you build a sustainable lifestyle from the ground up.
Author: Helen Lynne Culpepper
Authors Colin McCrate and Brad Halm show you how you can make your food garden much more productive, no matter how big or small it is. You’ll learn their secrets for preparing the soil, selecting and rotating your crops, and mapping out a specific customized schedule that makes the most of your space and your growing season.
Author: COLIN MCCRATE AND BRAD HALM
Decades before the terms "eco-friendly" and "sustainable growing" entered the vernacular, How to Grow More Vegetables demonstrated that small-scale, high-yield, all-organic gardening methods could yield bountiful crops over multiple growing cycles using minimal resources in a suburban environment. The concept that John Jeavons and the team at Ecology Action launched more than 40 years ago has been embraced by the mainstream and continues to gather momentum. Today, How to Grow More Vegetables, now in its fully revised and updated 8th edition, is the go-to reference for food growers at every level: from home gardeners dedicated to nurturing their backyard edibles in maximum harmony with nature’s cycles, to small-scale commercial producers interested in optimizing soil fertility and increasing plant productivity. Whether you hope to harvest your first tomatoes next summer or are planning to grow enough to feed your whole family in years to come, How to Grow More Vegetables is your indispensable sustainable garden guide.
Want to read more? Preview this book: Building the Soil, Building the Future.
Author: John Jeavons
Are some plants aphrodisiacs, or is that just a myth? Garden expert and plant detective Helen Yoest takes us on a romp through history, lore and ethnobotany to find out how 50 of these plants got their "hot" reputation - and what modern science has to say about it. Discover which common garden plants and favorite edibles have that "something extra," and why. Plants With Benefits is filled with lush photography, growing tips, and recipes for preparing teas, potions and tasty treats for your pleasurable use.
Author: Helen Yoest
The family that gardens together, grows together!
In this beautiful, project-by-project guide, mom and master gardener Stacy Tornio will inspire gardeners young and old to explore, innovate and cultivate through simple projects that will get a garden growing at any time of year. Your whole family will be inspired to:
Author: Stacy Tornio
Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 2nd Edition: Guiding Principles to Welcome Rain into Your Life and Landscape is the first book in a three-volume guide that teaches you how to conceptualize, design, and implement sustainable water-harvesting systems for your home, landscape, and community. This revised and expanded second edition increases potential for on-site harvests with more integrated tools and strategies for solar design, a primer on your water/energy/carbon connections, descriptions of water/erosion flow patterns and their water-harvesting response, and updated illustrations to show you how to do it all. The stories of people who are successfully welcoming rain into their life and landscape will inspire you to do the same!
Author: Brad Lancaster
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