All gardeners and farmers should be plant breeders, says author Carol Deppe. Developing new vegetable varieties doesn't require a specialized education, a lot of land, or even a lot of time. It can be done on any scale. It's enjoyable. It's deeply rewarding. You can get useful new varieties much faster than you might suppose. And you can eat your mistakes.
Authoritative and easy-to-understand, Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener's and Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving is the only guide to plant breeding and seed saving for the serious home gardener and the small-scale farmer or commercial grower.
In this one-size-fits-all world of multinational seed companies, plant patents, and biotech monopolies, more and more gardeners and farmers are recognizing that they need to "take back their seeds." They need to save more of their own seed, grow and maintain the best traditional and regional varieties, and develop more of their own unique new varieties. Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener's and Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving shows the way, and offers an exciting introduction to a whole new gardening adventure.
Author: Carol Deppe
This is a practical and engaging guide to transforming an ordinary backyard into a productive farm.
Homesteading is experiencing a revival among both rural and urban residents who want to get back to basics and live closer to the land. With this book, homeowners will obtain both inspiration and instruction for transforming their grassy yard into a lush farm that can produce all the food they need.
The author is an experienced woodworker and homesteader who shows how to plan and design a backyard farm. He offers expert advice for making all of the essential hard-working structures that are needed to sustain small-scale agriculture.
Step-by-step instructions are provided for 10 projects including green houses, beehives, rabbit hutches, raised beds, potting sheds, trellises, fences, and more. Readers learn how to create an irrigation system, harvest rainwater, and keep their farms environmentally sound. Each detailed plan is accompanied by the author's clear, instructive drawings.
More than just a manual, the book also offers entertaining and enlightening interviews with both experts and “average Joe” farmers. We learn what motivates them to become backyard farmers, the lessons that they have to share, and maybe even a couple of funny stories along the way.
Author: Chris Gleason
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.
Author: Phil Nauta
If you're interested in growing your own fruits and vegetables, join the ranks of a blossoming group of DIY gardeners who place a premium on the idea of self-reliance. But like any other kind of gardening, growing edibles is not a one-size-fits-all pursuit: to be successful, you need to know not only which plants grow well in your state or region, but also how to grow them with careful methods and a schedule that caters specifically to your local microclimate. Fortunately for you, Carolinas Fruit & Vegetable Gardening is written exclusively for gardeners who want to grow edibles in North or South Carolina. Author Katie Elzer-Peters, the seasoned Carolinas gardener responsible for the best-selling Beginner's Illustrated Guide to Gardening, equips you with all the information you need to design your edible garden, tend the soil, maintain your plants throughout their life cycles, and-most importantly-harvest the delicious foods they produce. So whether you live in the Research Triangle, the Sandhills, the Outer Banks or anywhere else in the Carolinas, you'll discover the best fruit and vegetable plants for your garden in this beautiful step-by-step how-to guide ... and they'll be on your table before you know it.
Author: Katie Elzer-Peters
History, literature, and botany meet in this charming tour of how humans have relied on plants to nourish, shelter, heal, clothe, and even entertain us. Did you know that during World War II, the U.S. Navy paid children to collect milkweed’s fluffy white floss, which was then used as filling for life preservers? And Native Americans in the deserts of the Southwest traditionally crafted tattoo needles from prickly pear cactus spines. These are just two of the dozens of tidbits that Tammi Hartung highlights in the tales of 45 native North American flowers, herbs, and trees that have rescued and delighted us for centuries.
Author: Tammi Hartung
You've heard it: You are what you eat. The evidence is mounting that what you put into your mouth matters. What better way is there to know exactly what you are eating than to grow some of your own food or get to know your farmer? Celeste has decades of experience providing good, nutritious food for her family. Celeste's Garden Delights will show you how to grow, can, ferment, freeze, dry and root cellar fresh produce. If you can't do it all, just do what you can. Start small. Even if you live in an apartment, you can grow a tomato plant or two in pots on the balcony or patio. Or, you can take a few hours in the summer to buy and prepare berries or corn for your freezer. If you have a lawn and would like to make part of it into a garden, the section on No-Till Gardening will tell you how. Thinking about keeping chickens? Read the section on Backyard Chickens to see if it's something you truly want to do. Food is usually less expensive when it is in season. Get together with some friends to take advantage of bulk buying. Farmers generally give you good discounts if you buy large quantities or "seconds" (food with a few bruises). You can do it! There's no better feeling than having an actual relationship with your food. Homegrown and homemade (or locally grown and made) are truly the best.
Author: Celeste Longacre
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
Enjoy beautiful container plantings with no stress or fuss. Container Theme Gardens offers 42 plans for container arrangements, each using just five specific plants that you can find at your local garden center.
Author: NANCY J. ONDRA
Expert flower grower Lisa Mason Zeigler introduces us to the long-blooming stars of the spring garden, the hardy annuals – those flowers that thrive when they are planted during cool conditions (instead of waiting until the warmth of spring). Forget “Some Like It Hot,” she advises, and give them a cool start. Plant them in the right spot at the right time, nestle their roots deep into rich organic soil, and stand back. In no time at all, you’ll have a low-maintenance, vibrant spring flower garden that keeps on blooming when other annuals are dead and gone.
Author: Lisa Ziegler
This illustrated cookbook celebrates the abundance at farmers market and local grocery store yet to be discovered by the everyday cook. From mustard and kumquats to nettles, fava leaves, sunchokes, and more, the blossoms, berries, leaves, and roots featured in Dandelion & Quince are simple foods that satisfy our need for a diversity of plant life in our diets, grown with care and prepared by our own hands for our families and communities. Discover new ingredients and open up a fresh culinary adventure in your kitchen.
Author: Michelle McKenzie
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