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When you read Growing Fruit With a Smile, you cannot resist a feeling that Kurdyumov is teaching some kind of ‘gardening magic’, reveals the ultimate secrets of mastering what people call a ‘green thumb’. And it’s not just because he shows you how to start an orchard without buying a single nursery tree; how to influence the taste of the fruit any way you like; how to grow five-pound pears; how to grow apricots in Zone 2; or how to train trees into stunning shapes without any pruning. There’s more to it. We tend to view growing fruit as hard work full of challenges: sweating to improve the soil, fighting drought and pests, trying to heal sunscald, then figuring out how to do proper pruning etc. And Kurdyumov shows us how to have more fruit with fewer trees, how to achieve amazing results with less effort — and all those color photos of the garlands of fruit show you his approach works! Ultimately you realize that there is nothing magical in that — it’s just that Kurdyumov offers genuine understanding where many other authors limit themselves to cookie-cutter instructions.
“One thing I love in Kurdyumov’s books — says Series Editor Dr. Leo Sharashkin — is that he offers the real holistic approach. He goes beyond such opposites as ‘conventional or organic’, ‘natural or unnatural’, ‘good or bad’, ‘right or wrong’. He’ll make you have a sincere appreciation for pests, clearly see limitations of the organic approach (and realize how to move beyond them), and how you can creatively apply everything you read to your particular conditions. I cannot think of another author who has reached such a clarity of vision and was able to articulate it is such a magnificent way.”
Understand Trees From Within
Another hallmark of Kurdyumov’s work is how he masterfully makes you feel part of the flow of life. He blurs the boundary between ‘you’ and ‘your orchard’ — you really feel like you can now understand trees from within, like sentient living beings, and suddenly realize that what you discover about trees is equally true about yourself and our human condition. Imagine opening a book on fruit growing and suddenly reading between the lines answers to life questions you always had, and gaining the practical insights that no self-help book could offer. Growing Fruit With A Smile is a masterpiece like no other.
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