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You'll find a bumper crop of vegetable gardening books on the shelves today, but it is a very rare title that actually contains new information. Straw Bale Gardens teaches gardening in a way that isn't only new but is thoroughly innovative and revolutionary to home gardening. It solves every impediment today's home gardeners face: bad soil, weeds, a short growing season, watering problems, limited garden space, and even physical difficulty working at ground level. Developed and pioneered by author and garden expert Joel Karsten, straw bale gardens create their own growing medium and heat source so you can get an earlier start. It couldn't be simpler or more effective: All you need is a few bales of straw, some fertilizer, and some seeds or plants, and you can create a weedless vegetable garden anywhere-even in your driveway.
Karsten's step-by-step guide offers all the information you need to make your own straw bale garden today. In this lushly photographed volume, Karsten shares all of the secrets he has developed over years of teaching eager students the miracle of straw bale gardening. You'll learn how to locate and choose straw bales, then how to condition and plant them for the earliest possible start. You'll master Karsten's methods for combating plant pests and maximizing space by applying the principles of vertical gardening to his straw bales. Whether it's seedlings or seeds, veggies or flowers, there is practically no limit to the plant varieties that will prosper in a straw bale garden-and with Karsten's breakthrough gardening guide, you can do it all yourself.
Author: Joel Karsten
The Bio-Integrated Farm is a 21st-century manual for managing nature’s resources. This groundbreaking book brings “system farming” and permaculture to a whole new level. Author Shawn Jadrnicek presents new insights into permaculture, moving beyond the philosophical foundation to practical advanced designs based on a functional analysis. Holding his designs to a higher standard, Jadrnicek’s components serve at least seven functions (classical permaculture theory only seeks at least two functions). With every additional function a component performs, the design becomes more advanced and saves more energy.
Author: SHAWN JADRNICEK
Eric Toensmeier argues that agriculture—specifically, the subset of practices known as “carbon farming”—can, and should be, a linchpin of a global climate solutions platform. Carbon farming is a suite of agricultural practices and crops that sequester carbon in the soil and in aboveground biomass.
Author: Eric Toensmeier
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.
Author: Barbara Pleasant/D. Martin
In The Earth Moved, Amy Stewart takes us on a journey through the underground world and introduces us to one of its most amazing denizens. The earthworm may be small, spineless, and blind, but its impact on the ecosystem is profound. It ploughs the soil, fights plant diseases, cleans up pollution, and turns ordinary dirt into fertile land. Who knew?
In her witty, offbeat style, Stewart shows that much depends on the actions of the lowly worm. Charles Darwin devoted his last years to the meticulous study of these creatures, praising their remarkable abilities. With the august scientist as her inspiration, Stewart investigates the worm's subterranean realm, talks to oligochaetologists (the unsung heroes of earthworm science) who have devoted their lives to unearthing the complex life beneath our feet, and observes the thousands of worms in her own garden. From the legendary giant Australian worm that stretches to 10 feet in length to the modest nightcrawler that wormed its way into the heart of Darwin's last book to the energetic red wigglers in Stewart's compost bin, The Earth Moved gives worms their due and exposes their hidden and extraordinary universe. This book is for all of us who appreciate Mother Nature's creatures, no matter how humble.
Author: Amy Stewart
In this timely new book, thrifty and resourceful Alys Fowler shows that there is a way to take the good life and refashion it to fit in with life in the city. Abandoning the limitations of traditional gardening methods, she has created a beautifully productive garden where tomatoes sit happily next to roses, carrots are woven between the lavenders and potatoes grow in pots on the patio. And all of this is produced in a way that mimics natural systems, producing delicious homegrown food for her table. And she shares her favorite recipes for the hearty dishes, pickles and jams she makes to use up her bountiful harvest, proving that no-one need go hungry on her grow-your-own regime.
Good for the pocket, good for the environment and hugely rewarding for the soul, The Edible Garden urges urbanites everywhere to chuck out the old gardening rules and create their own haven that's as good to look at as it is to eat.
Author: Alys Fowler
The essential resource for modern homesteading, raising chickens, and growing and preserving foods, The Encyclopedia of Country Living covers how to cultivate a garden, buy land, bake bread, raise farm animals, make sausage, can peaches, milk a goat, grow herbs, churn butter, build a chicken coop, catch a pig, cook on a wood stove, and much, much more. This comprehensive resource is the most authoritative guide available to leading a sustainable lifestyle and living off of the land.
Carla Emery started writing The Encyclopedia of Country Living in 1969, during the back-to-the-land movement. She continued to add content and refine the information over the years, and the book went from a self-published mimeographed document to a book of 928 pages.
This 40th Anniversary Edition reflects the most up-to-date resource information and is the most personal version of the book that became Carla Emery's lifework. It remains the original manual of basic country skills that have proved essential and necessary for people living in the country, the city, and everywhere in between.
Author: Carla Emery
By the turn of the 19th century, thousands of acres of glass houses surrounded large American cities, becoming a commonplace symbol of the market garden and nursery trades. But the possibilities of the indoor garden to transform our homes and our lives remain largely unrealized.
In The Forest Garden Greenhouse, Jerome Osentowski presents a wholly new approach to a very old horticultural subject. Osentowski is one of North America’s most accomplished permaculture designers, and here he shows how bringing the forest garden indoors is not only possible, but doable on unlikely terrain and in cold climates, using near-net-zero technology. Different from other works on greenhouse design and management, this groundbreaking book advocates for an indoor agriculture using permaculture design concepts—integration, multifunctions, perennials and polycultures—that take season extension into new and important territory.
Osentowski, director and founder of Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute (CRMPI), farms at 7,200 feet on a steep, rocky hillside in Colorado, incorporating deep, holistic permaculture design with practical common sense. It is at this site, high on a mountaintop, where Osentowski (along with architect and design partner Michael Thompson) has been designing and building revolutionary greenhouses that utilize passive and active solar technology via what they call the “climate battery”—a subterranean air-circulation system that takes the hot, moist, ambient air from the greenhouse during the day, stores it in the soil and discharges it at night—that can offer tropical and Mediterranean climates at similarly high altitudes and in cold climates (and everywhere else). Osentowski’s greenhouse designs, which can range from the backyard homesteader to commercial greenhouses, are completely ecological and use a simple design that traps hot and cold air and regulates it for best possible use. The book is part case study of the amazing greenhouses at CRMPI and part how-to primer for anyone interested in a more integrated model for growing food and medicine in a greenhouse. With detailed design drawings, photos and profiles of successful greenhouse projects on all scales, this inspirational manual will considerably change the conversation about greenhouse design.
Author: Jerome Osentowski
Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman are America's foremost organic gardeners (and authorities). Damrosch wrote The Garden Primer, and Coleman is the author of the bible for organic gardening, The New Organic Grower. Today they form the face of the locavore movement, operating their extraordinary Four Season Farm in Maine. And now they've written the book on how to grow what you eat, and cook what you grow.
The Four Season Farm Gardener's Cookbook is two books in one. It's a complete four-season cookbook with 120 recipes from Damrosch, a master cook as well as master gardener. She shows how to maximize the fruits (and vegetables) of your labors, from Stuffed Squash Blossom Fritters to Red Thai Curry with Fall Vegetables to Hazelnut Torte with Summer Berries.
And it's a step-by-step garden guide that works no matter how big or small your plot, with easy-to-follow instructions and plans for different gardens. It covers size of the garden, nourishing the soil, planning ahead, and the importance of rotating crops ... yes, even in your backyard. And, at the core, you'll find individual instructions on the crops, from the hardy and healthful cabbage family to 14 essential culinary herbs.
Eating doesn't get any more local than your own backyard.
Want to read more? Check out this book review!
Author: B. Damrosch, E. Coleman
The most comprehensive and entertaining single-volume gardening reference ever printed is now 100 percent organic. This beloved classic has been revisited by author Barbara Damrosch to reflect the latest research on plants, soils, tools and techniques.
The updated edition includes expanded information on planning an organic garden, recommended plants and the best tools. Ecological issues are addressed more extensively, covering lawn alternatives, the benefits of native species, wildlife-friendly gardens and how to avoid harmful invasive species. More attention is also paid to plants native to the South, Southwest and West Coast, while cold-climate gardeners are given detailed advice on how to extend the growing season. Simply put, this new edition is a richer and fuller compendium than ever before, including more text and illustrations, additional garden plans and expanded plant lists. This new version of Damrosch's classic guide rejuvenates the original material while maintaining its primary appeal — practical, creative ideas and friendly style.
Author: Barbara Damrosch
Tired of genetically modified food? Every day, Americans are moving more toward eating natural, locally grown food that is free of pesticides and preservatives ... and there is no better way to ensure this than to grow it yourself. Anyone can start a garden, whether in a backyard or on a city rooftop; but what they need to truly succeed is The Heirloom Life Gardener, a comprehensive guide to cultivating heirloom vegetables.
In this invaluable resource, Jere and Emilee Gettle, co-founders of the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company, offer a wealth of knowledge to every kind of gardener ... experienced pros and novices alike. In his friendly voice, complemented by gorgeous photographs, Jere gives planting, growing, harvesting and seed saving tips. In addition, an extensive A to Z Growing Guide includes amazing heirloom varieties that many people have never even seen. From seed collecting to the history of seed varieties and name origins, Jere takes you far beyond the heirloom tomato. This is the first book of its kind that is not only a guide to growing beautiful and delicious vegetables, but also a way to join the movement of people who long for real food and a truer way of living.
Author: Jere Gettle & Emilee Gettle
Many people want to grow fruit on a small scale but lack the insight to be successful orchardists. Growing tree fruits and berries is something virtually anyone with space and passionate desire can do—given wise guidance and a personal commitment to observe the teachings of the trees. A holistic grower knows that producing fruit is not about manipulating nature but more importantly, fostering nature. Orcharding then becomes a fascinating adventure sure to provide your family with all sorts of mouth-watering fruit.
The Holistic Orchard demystifies the basic skills everybody should know about the inner-workings of the orchard ecosystem, as well as orchard design, soil biology, and organic health management. Detailed insights on grafting, planting, pruning, and choosing the right varieties for your climate are also included, along with a step-by-step instructional calendar to guide growers through the entire orchard year. The extensive profiles of pome fruits (apples, pears, asian pears, quinces), stone fruits (cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums), and berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, gooseberries, currants, and elderberries) will quickly have you savoring the prospects.
Phillips completely changed the conversation about healthy orcharding with his first bestselling book, The Apple Grower, and now he takes that dialogue even further, drawing connections between home orcharding and permaculture; the importance of native pollinators; the world of understory plantings with shade-tolerant berry bushes and other insectary plants; detailed information on cover crops and biodiversity; and the newest research on safe, homegrown solutions to pest and disease challenges.
All along the way, Phillips' expertise and enthusiasm for healthy growing shines through, as does his ability to put the usual horticultural facts into an integrated ecology perspective. This book will inspire beginners as well as provide deeper answers for experienced fruit growers looking for scientific organic approaches. Exciting times lie ahead for those who now have every reason in the world to confidently plant that very first fruit tree!
Author: Michael Phillips
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