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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."
We all need sanctuary, and we can find it in our own backyards. From natural living expert Jessi Bloom, Everyday Sanctuary is a fully illustrated creativity workbook filled with writing prompts and exercises that help you create a garden that will nourish your spiritual and emotional well-being. You will learn how to deepen your connection with nature, establish practices that calm and nourish, and tune in to seasonal cycles. Guided activities will help you select plant allies for health and healing, design and install your own Garden of Eden.
Nearly a century ago, the idea of “local food” would have seemed perplexing, because virtually all food was local. Food for daily consumption (fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, and dairy products) was grown at home or sourced from local farms. Today, most of the food consumed in the United States and, increasingly, around the globe, is sourced from industrial farms and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), which power a food system rife with environmental, economic, and health-related problems.
The tide, however, is slowly but steadily turning back in what has been broadly termed the “farm-to-table” movement. In Farm to Table, Darryl Benjamin and Chef Lyndon Virkler explore how the farm-to-table philosophy is pushing back modern, industrialized food production and moving beyond isolated “locavore” movements into a broad and far-reaching coalition of farmers, chefs, consumers, policy advocates, teachers, institutional buyers, and many more all working to restore healthful, sustainable, and affordable food for everyone.
Divided into two distinct but complementary halves, “Farm” and “Table,” Farm to Table first examines the roots of our contemporary industrial food system, from the technological advances that presaged the “Green Revolution” to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz’s infamous dictum to farmers to “Get big or get out” in the 1970s. Readers will explore the many threats to ecology and human health that our corporatized food system poses, but also the many alternatives (from permaculture to rotation-intensive grazing) that small farmers are now adopting to meet growing consumer demand. The second half of the book is dedicated to illuminating best practices and strategies for schools, restaurants, health care facilities, and other businesses and institutions to partner with local farmers and food producers, from purchasing to marketing.
No longer restricted to the elite segments of society, the farm-to-table movement now reaches a wide spectrum of Americans from all economic strata and in a number of settings, from hospital and office cafeterias, from elementary schools to fast-casual restaurants. Farm to Table is a one-of-a-kind resource on how to integrate sustainable principles into each of these settings and facilitate intelligent, healthful food choices at every juncture as our food system evolves. While borrowing from the best ideas of the past, the lessons herein are designed to help contribute to a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable tomorrow.
The Mushroom Hut @ Fox Farms is a small-scale diversified working and teaching farm. They are a registered nursery, licensed seed dealer, grain dealer, and dairy goat farm. This book includes recipes and information regarding their workshops, from simple-cheese making, tapping maple trees using sumac spiles, making flower essence jellies, growing hops and bloody butcher corn, and much more.
This story of sunshine, weather patterns, old limitations and expectations, and new realities is delightfully innovative in the best gardening tradition. Four-Season Harvest will have you feasting on fresh produce from your garden all through the winter.
Many gardeners fear chickens will peck away at their landscape, and chicken lovers often shy away from gardening for the same reason. But you can keep chickens and have a beautiful garden, too! Fresh eggs aren't the only benefit — chickens can actually help your garden grow and thrive, even as your garden does the same for your chickens.
In this essential handbook, award-winning garden designer Jessi Bloom covers everything a gardener needs to know, including chicken-keeping basics, simple garden plans to get you started, tips on attractive fencing options, the best plants and plants to avoid, and step-by-step instructions for getting your chicken garden up and running.
For anyone who wants a fabulous garden where colorful chickens happily roam, Free-Range Chicken Gardens is the guide that will bring the dream home to roost.
p>As the average age of America’s farmers continues to rise, we face serious questions about what farming will look like in the near future, and who will be growing our food. Many younger people are interested in going into agriculture, especially organic farming, but cannot find affordable land, or lack the conceptual framework and practical information they need to succeed in a job that can be both difficult and deeply fulfilling.
In Fruitful Labor, Mike Madison meticulously describes the ecology of his own small family farm in the Sacramento Valley of California. He covers issues of crop ecology such as soil fertility, irrigation needs, and species interactions, as well as the broader agroecological issues of the social, economic, regulatory, and technological environments in which the farm operates. The final section includes an extensive analysis of sustainability on every level.
Garden Builder is a treasure trove of lovely yard, patio, and garden projects you can build yourself!
Perfect for any gardener or outdoor enthusiast with a few basic DIY skills, it is packed with 35 complete project plans, each one featuring finished photos of the project along with cut lists and shopping lists, a construction diagram, and step-by-step instructions (complete with photos) show exactly how to build every project.
Most projects are made from durable exterior-rated wood and can be created with basic carpentry skills. But several of these highly desirable garden accessories are made with materials like concrete, metal, and wire.
Garden Builder is positively loaded with projects, a few you can look forward to building include:
-A tiny shed (it is very cute)
-A toad house
Simply follow the clear and comprehensive instructions, and you'll have a garden that's rich in design elements, useful aids, and practical furnishings.
Garden Myths examines more than 120 horticultural urban legends. Turning wisdom on its head, Robert Pavlis dives deep into traditional gardening advice and debunks the myths and misconceptions that abound. He asks critical questions and uses science-based information to understand plants and their environment. Armed with the truth, Pavlis then turns this knowledge into easy-to-follow advice. He answers a variety of garden-related questions: • Is fall the best time to clean the garden? • Do bloom boosters work? • Will citronella plants reduce mosquitoes in the garden? • Do pine needles acidify soil? • Should tomatoes be suckered? • Should trees be staked at planting time? • Can burlap keep your trees warm in winter? • Will a pebble tray increase humidity for houseplants? “Garden Myths is a must-read for anyone who wants to use environmentally sound practices. This fascinating and informative book will help you understand plants better, reduce unnecessary work, convince you to buy fewer products, and help you enjoy gardening more.”
The latest addition to the bestselling Wisdom and Know-How series is a massive collection of complete home reference for everything you need to know about gardening from soil and fertilizers to growing flowers and vegetables. The volume includes garden techniques and tricks, the flower garden, the edible garden, container gardening, garden design and landscaping, attracting wildlife 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.
There's no feeling quite like cooking with homegrown carrots or grabbing a fresh handful of cilantro from your own yard. Well, unless you're growing fruits, vegetables or grains for brewing, that is. Gardening for the Homebrewer is an introduction to the wide variety of plants that you can use for fermentations or infusions. Learn how to tell if your yard is a perfect site for barley or whether it's better suited to a fragrant collection of herbs. Learn how to grow, dry and store fresh hops. Or go off the beaten path and grow everything you need for your first gruit, cider, perry or fruit wine. Have just a balcony or a windowsill? No problem! A variety of plant recommendations will suit gardeners of all types, even ones with limited space.
Growing a pretty garden doesn't have to cost a pretty penny. Learn how to create a low-cost garden using a little elbow grease, a lot of creativity, and this book.