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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
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.
Author: Joseph Jenkins
To grow produce of the highest nutritional quality the essential minerals lacking in our soil must be replaced, but this re-mineralization calls for far more attention to detail than the simple addition of composted manure or NPK fertilizers. The Intelligent Gardener demystifies the process while simultaneously debunking much of the false and misleading information perpetuated by both the conventional and organic agricultural movements. In doing so, it conclusively establishes the link between healthy soil, healthy food, and healthy people.
This practical step-by-step guide and the accompanying customizable web-based spreadsheets go beyond organic and are essential tools for any serious gardener who cares about the quality of the produce they grow.
Author: Steve Solomon, Erica Reinheime
Growing vegetables, fruits and herbs from seed has many benefits for both the gardener and the planet. Seed saving helps gardeners maintain important regional varieties that are well suited for specific conditions, encourages plant diversity, and helps promote plants with the best texture, flavor and variety.
The Manual of Seed Saving is an authoritative guide from experts around the globe. Supported by research from the global conservation organizations Arche Noah and Pro Specie Rara, it features information on how to maximize seed quality and yield for more than 100 crop plants. It includes popular market plants like asparagus, carrots, corn, rhubarb, spinach, squash and tomatoes. Plant profiles include critical information on pollination, isolation distances, cultivation, harvest, storage, and pests and diseases.
The Manual of Seed Saving is an essential reference for all food producers, including vegetable growers, market gardeners and farmers.
Author: Andrea Heistinger
Composting has never been easier! Learn how to incorporate Brett Markham's amazing composting techniques to maximize your vegetable output, increase your self-sufficiency, and be kind to the ecosystem.
Markham, author of Maximizing Your Mini Farm: Self-Sufficiency on ¼ Acre, is here to help you get started in this new handbook that covers everything you need to know about composting. Whether it's your mini farm or flower garden that needs nourishment, Markham explains how to compost just about anything you can grow … and reminds us that developing your own composting practices can not only be fun but saves money and encourages self-sufficiency. Learn to make a backyard compost structure with Markham's easy-to-follow directions and learn the science behind how your food scraps become food for plants. In The Mini Farming Guide to Composting you'll find instructions that make composting simple, with checklists, extensive tables, measurements, diagrams and photographs taken by the author.
Author: Brett L. Markham
Due to the revived interest in vegetable gardening, people are again turning to the age-old practice of companion planting as an effective way to avoid chemicals and reduce labor simply by placing the right plants next to each other in the garden. This book is designed to help gardeners mix and match various companion plant pairs and groups to create healthy, harmonious botanical communities. All you have to do is choose from the extensive plant directory to find the perfect plant pals. Each central crop has a row of colored dots along the top and bottom of the strip showing its "requirements"--that is, what it's looking for in a companion plant, whether it be a support while growing and a pest deterrent or a soil conditioner and a nutrient accumulator. Turn the strips and match the dots to find your plants' best friends. The more dots that match, the better the chance your plants will flourish.
Author: Josie Jeffery