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It's the holy grail of gardening: a plant that perfectly matches your tastes and the conditions in your garden. The hitch? You're not likely to find it at your local garden center. You're going to have to create it yourself.
But don't worry - it isn't hard. After all, gardeners have been doing it for centuries, simply by saving seeds of the varieties that tasted or performed best. But you'll get even better results by following the advice in Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener. You'll learn how to set achievable goals in your breeding program, the ins and outs of genetics, how to pick the best parent plants, how to cross-pollinate, the best techniques to use for popular vegetables and flowers, and how to harvest and store seeds.
In no time at all, you'll be producing a tomato perfect for your palate, a more fragrant rose or a pepper with just the right amount of heat!
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.
Climate change presents an unprecedented challenge to the productivity and profitability of agriculture in North America. More variable weather, drought and flooding create the most obvious damage, but hot summer nights, warmer winters, longer growing seasons and other environmental changes have more subtle but far-reaching effects on plant and livestock growth and development.
Resilient Agriculture recognizes the critical role that sustainable agriculture will play in the coming decades and beyond. The latest science on climate risk, resilience and climate change adaptation is blended with the personal experience of farmers and ranchers to explore:
The climate change challenge is real, and it is here now. To enjoy the sustained production of food, fiber and fuel well into the 21st century, we must begin now to make changes that will enhance the adaptive capacity and resilience of North American agriculture. The rich knowledge base presented in Resilient Agriculture is poised to serve as the cornerstone of an evolving, climate-ready food system.
A pioneering champion of sustainable foods, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall embraces all manner of vegetables in his latest cookbook, an inventive offering of more than 200 vegetable-based recipes. River Cottage Veg shares the joys of vegetable-centric food with recipes such as Kale and Mushroom Lasagna; Herby, Peanutty, Noodly Salad; and Winter Stir-Fry with Chinese Five-Spice.
Having undergone a revolution in his personal eating habits, Fearnley-Whittingstall changed his culinary focus from meat to vegetables. In this lavishly illustrated cookbook, he offers more than 60 vegan recipes; handy weeknight one-pot meals; pure and simple raw dishes; hearty salads; plus meze and tapas dishes to mix and match. A genuine love of vegetables-from delicate springtime asparagus to wintry root vegetables-permeates this collection, making it an inspiring new source for committed vegetarians and any conscientious cook looking to expand their vegetable repertoire.
Beginning with the down-to-earth basics of soil, sun and water, fertilizer and seeds and propagation, The Bountiful Container is an extraordinarily complete guide to container gardening. Written by two seasoned container gardeners and writers, Rose McGee and Maggie Stuckey share their expertise and experience in the art of container gardening.
Armed with this manual, frustrated apartment dwellers can indulge their passion for growing edible things. If there is an available balcony, porch, front or back steps, growing produce in containers can be easy and rewarding. With some limitations, it is even possible to grow foods in a window box or on an indoor windowsill.
This collection of practical advice includes detailed information on the types of containers to use, equipment needed, the right soil, when to plant which seeds and how best to deal with problems such as too much or too little sunlight. Written for the beginner as well as for those with a background in gardening, the book contains comprehensive, clearly written and frequently inspiring directions from authors McGee and Stuckey.
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.
Within a single week in 2009, food journalist Robin Mather found herself on the threshold of a divorce and laid off from her job at the Chicago Tribune. Forced into a radical life change, she returned to her native rural Michigan.
There she learned to live on a limited budget while remaining true to her culinary principles of eating well and as locally as possible. In The Feast Nearby, Mather chronicles her year-long project: preparing and consuming three home-cooked, totally seasonal, and local meals a day -- all on $40 a week.
With insight and humor, Mather explores the confusion and needful compromises in eating locally. She examines why local often trumps organic, and wonders why the USDA recommends white bread, powdered milk and instant orange drinks as part of its “low-cost” food budget program.
Through local eating, Mather forges connections with the farmers, vendors and growers who provide her with sustenance. She becomes more closely attuned to the nuances of each season, inhabiting her little corner of the world more fully, and building a life richer than she imagined it could be.
The Feast Nearby celebrates small pleasures: home-roasted coffee, a pantry stocked with home-canned green beans and homemade preserves, and the contented clucking of laying hens in the backyard. Mather also draws on her rich culinary knowledge to present nearly 100 seasonal recipes that are inspiring, enticing and economical -- cooking goals that don’t always overlap -- such as Pickled Asparagus with Lemon, Tarragon, and Garlic; Cider-Braised Pork Loin with Apples and Onions; and Cardamom-Coffee Toffee Bars.
Mather’s poignant, reflective narrative shares encouraging advice for aspiring locavores everywhere, and combines the virtues of kitchen thrift with the pleasures of cooking -- and eating -- well.
Robin is the senior associate editor of Mother Earth News.
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 and products to readers. For more than 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.
Clearance: $25.95 The Forgotten Pollinators explores the vital but little-appreciated relationship between plants and the animals they depend on for reproduction: bees, beetles, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths, bats and countless other animals -- some widely recognized and other almost unknown.
All gardeners are at the whim of Mother Nature, and most are obsessed with weather. When is the last frost? What is the chance for rain? Will late-spring hail affect my flower beds? The answers to questions like these play a significant role in a gardener’s success.
The Gardener’s Guide to Weather and Climate gives home gardeners an accessible yet comprehensive overview of how the weather works, and offers tips on how to use the information to create better gardens. The book begins with a primer on climate and moves on to cover climate change, weather, microclimates, and how plants are affected by the climate and their environment. Throughout, the reader will find hundreds of helpful color photographs and illustrations that bring the concepts to life.
Though climate change is a serious threat, this useful book remains positive and upbeat in its approach. It shows that instead of gardening at the mercy of the weather, knowledgeable gardeners can make the weather work for them.
From honey experts C. Marina Marchese and Kim Flottum comes this comprehensive introduction to the origin, flavor, and culinary uses of more than 30 varietals of honey, from ubiquitous clover to tangy star thistle to rich, smoky buckwheat.
Like wine, cheese, coffee and chocolate, honey has emerged as an artisanal obsession. Its popularity at farmers markets and specialty food stores has soared as retailers capitalize on the trend. The Honey Connoisseur teaches consumers everything they need to know about how to taste, select and use a diverse selection of honey.
After a brief explanation of how bees produce honey, the authors introduce the concept of terroir, the notion that soil, weather and other natural phenomena can affect the taste of honey. As with wines, knowing the terroir of a honey varietal helps to inform an understanding of its flavor.
The book goes on to give a thorough course in the origins of more than 30 different honeys as well as step-by-step instructions on how to taste honey, describe its flavor and determine what other flavors will pair best with it. Also included are simple recipes such as dressings, marinades, beverages and quick-and-easy desserts.
Beautifully illustrated and designed, The Honey Connoisseur is the perfect book for foodies and locavores alike.
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.
Lawns now blanket thirty million acres of the United States, but until the late nineteenth century few Americans had any desire for a front lawn, much less access to seeds for growing one. In her comprehensive history of this uniquely American obsession, Virginia Scott Jenkins traces the origin of the front lawn aesthetic, the development of the lawn-care industry, its environmental impact, and modern as well as historic alternatives to lawn mania.