Best Gardening Books of 1983

MOTHER's staffers recommend their picks of the summer season for books on gardening, cooking, literature for youngsters, continuing education, aging, and running a home business.
By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
July/August 1983
Add to My MSN

A good book can help you grow a great garden!
PHOTO: FOTOLIA/IGOR YARUTA


Content Tools

Related Content

Old Poultry Books: the Leonora Hering Memorial Poultry Collection

This collection of rare and historic poultry books offers an amazing amount of information on poultr...

Hometeading Freebies

We've got several homesteading-related giveaways going this week.

A Granola Recipe to Feed the Masses

Going camping, hiking, or canoeing this summer? HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rach...

Gardening: It’s Not All Unceasing Drudgery

Old books can be a hoot to read! Check out these quotes from an 1890 book, How to Make the Garden Pa...

How does your garden grow? Well, fellow vegetable-tenders, here at MOTHER EARTH NEWS we've been finding ourselves practically tilled under by all the hot-off-the-presses gardening books that have been sent to us for review. And—after working our way through all of them—we've chosen three that are full of interesting, fresh ideas. Here, then, are our "Picks of the Summer Season"! 

Garden All Year Long

Gardening for All Seasons: The Complete Guide to Producing Food at Home, 12 Months a Year was compiled by the staff of the New Alchemy Institute. It's the result of 12 years of hands-on gardening experience by these knowledgeable researchers, at their own homes and on the institute's organic farms on Cape Cod and in Costa Rica. Dedicated to the "spirit of self-reliance in all of us" this 310-page softcover provides insight into so many different types of organic food production—from indoor and outdoor vegetable gardening to aquaculture and raising honeybees—that you probably won't know where to begin. 

Garden without Soil

Want to find out about a revolutionary gardening technique that's tailor-made for anyone who doesn't want to spend a lot of time, energy, or space growing food (and isn't crazy about digging, weeding, manual watering, or messing around with dirt, either)? Then pick up a copy of Grow More Nutritious Vegetables without Soil by James D. Taylor. In this softcover text, the author describes his ideas on nutrient-rich hydroponics (gardening without soil), a method he's been researching for the past eight years. Of course, the concept of no-dirt cropping isn't new, but Taylor's book explains—with theories and practical informationhow you can use this phenomenal technique intensively, with natural light and nutrients, in your own back yard (or on your patio or porch)! 

Grow Produce in Your Back Yard

Our third "Pick of the Summer Season" is The Self-Sufficient Suburban Gardener, which describes land-based, limited-space production methods. Author Jeff Ball—a veteran backyard gardener himself—writes that he and his wife, who both have full-time jobs, were able to save $800 on last year's food bills by raising just about all the produce they needed on the 800-square-foot garden space in their suburban back yard! The Self-Sufficient Suburban Gardener has a well-organized, easy-to-follow text that's divided up into stages of home land use, moving from "The Beginning Garden" (which covers planning a food system, garden management, and costs) to "The Ultimate Backyard Food Production System" (which goes into raising small livestock and using barter). 

Mouth-Watering Muffins

In addition to being inundated with gardening guides, MOTHER is on the receiving end of a never-ceasing parade of cookbooks. In fact, we see so many that—like institutional meals—after a while they all begin to look alike. That's all the more reason why, when a collection of recipes happens along that both catches our eye and tempts our palate, we're pleased to pass the word along to our readers. And that's exactly the case with Muffin Mania, a modestly produced, spiral-bound collection of 61 different mouthwatering muffin recipes ranging from Sour Cream-Pineapple through Chocolate Chip and Honey-Carrot-Date to Seafood and Mushroom! Written by Canadian sisters Cathy Prange and Joan Pauli, the variety-packed booklet has become a bestseller in the Maple Leaf country and the authors are already getting good responses from folks south of the border, as well!  

Audible Literature for Young People

Got a youngster around your house you'd like to introduce to good literature in a novel and very exciting way? Well, The Mind's Eye may have just what you need! This innovative and energetic San Francisco-based production studio is offering a whole series of dramatic adaptations of children's and adults' classics on cassette tape. The widely ranging works consist of beloved favorites such as Peter Pan and The Wind in The Willows, along with radio plays and humor, adult novels, and short stories ("A Christmas Carol" and "The Fall of the House of Usher" among them). All come complete with excellent readings by seasoned actors and actresses, plus fascinating sound effects and mood-setting music. The performances are practically guaranteed to capture the imagination of your entire family. 

Continuing Education, Aging, and Running a Home Business

For anyone who wants to take a correspondence course at home, Peterson's 1983–1985 Independent Study Catalog lists more than 12,000 credit and noncredit courses! 

With all the products for sale nowadays, it's hard to know what—in good conscience—to buy. If you're concerned about which items to avoid, you should get The Grapevine, a boycott information newsletter with the latest listings and background scoop on which products are being marketed by companies that follow repressive policies. 

Over Fifty-Five, Healthy & Alive, edited by Hank Pizer, and A Popular Guide To Medical Language, by Edward R. Brace, are both available from Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. The former is a clear-cut, lively, and informative book that addresses the rarely publicized (but increasingly important) issue of what happens to us emotionally, physically, and mentally as we grow older. The latter book contains more than 1,000 medical terms that'are defined and discussed in easily comprehended language. 

Finally, for a down-to-earth approach to setting up your own business, you might profit from reading Randy Baca Smith's saucy and extremely helpful Setting up Shop: The Do's and Don'ts of Starting a Small Business. Randy doesn't pull any punches about do-it-yourself hardships—indeed, she may talk you out of starting your own enterprise—but that's all the more reason to respect her positive advice! 


Previous | 1 | 2 | Next






Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.