Permaculture is more than just the latest buzzword; it offers positive solutions for many of the environmental and social challenges confronting us. And nowhere are those remedies more needed and desired than in our cities. The Permaculture City provides a new way of thinking about urban living, with practical examples for creating abundant food, energy security, close-knit communities, local and meaningful livelihoods, and sustainable policies in our cities and towns. The same nature-based approach that works so beautifully for growing food—connecting the pieces of the landscape together in harmonious ways—applies perfectly to many of our other needs. Toby Hemenway, one of the leading practitioners and teachers of permaculture design, illuminates a new way forward through examples of edge-pushing innovations, along with a deeply holistic conceptual framework for our cities, towns and suburbs.
The Permaculture City begins in the garden but takes what we have learned there and applies it to a much broader range of human experience; we’re not just gardening plants but people, neighborhoods and even cultures. Hemenway lays out how permaculture design can help town dwellers solve the challenges of meeting our needs for food, water, shelter, energy, community and livelihood in sustainable, resilient ways. Readers will find new information on designing the urban home garden and strategies for gardening in community, rethinking our water and energy systems, learning the difference between a “job” and a “livelihood,” and the importance of placemaking and an empowered community.
This important book documents the rise of a new sophistication, depth and diversity in the approaches and thinking of permaculture designers and practitioners. Understanding nature can do more than improve how we grow, make or consume things; it can also teach us how to cooperate, make decisions and arrive at good solutions.
Author: Toby Hemenway
To accommodate today’s lifestyles, a garden needs to fit easily into a very small plot, take as little time as possible to maintain, require a minimum amount of water, and still produce prolifically. That’s exactly what a postage stamp garden does. Postage stamp gardens are as little as 4 by 4 feet, and, after the initial soil preparation, they require very little extra work to produce a tremendous amount of vegetables–for instance, a 5-by-5-foot bed will produce a minimum of 200 pounds of vegetables.
When first published 40 years ago, the postage stamp techniques, including closely planted beds rather than rows, vines and trailing plants grown vertically to free up space, were groundbreaking. Now, in an ever busier world, the postage stamp intensive gardening method continues to be invaluable for gardeners who wish to weed, water and work a whole lot less yet produce so much more.
Author: Karen Newcomb
Scientist and gardener Carol Deppe combines her passion for gardening with newly emerging scientific information from many fields — resilience science, climatology, climate change, ecology, anthropology, paleontology, sustainable agriculture, nutrition, health and medicine. In the last half of The Resilient Gardener, Deppe extends and illustrates these principles with detailed information about growing and using five key crops: potatoes, corn, beans, squash and eggs.
In this book you’ll learn how to:
The Resilient Gardener is both a conceptual and a hands-on gardening book, and is suitable for gardeners at all levels of experience. Resilience here is broadly conceived and encompasses a full range of problems, from personal hard times such as injuries, family crises, financial problems, health problems, and special dietary needs (gluten intolerance, food allergies, carbohydrate sensitivity, and a need for weight control) to serious regional and global disasters and climate change. It is a supremely optimistic as well as realistic book about how resilient gardeners and their gardens can flourish even in challenging times and help their communities to survive and thrive through everything that comes their way — from tomorrow through the next thousand years.
Author: Carol Deppe
Filled with advice for the home gardener and the more seasoned horticulturist alike, The Seed Garden: The Art and Practice of Seed Saving provides straightforward instruction on collecting seed that is true-to-type and ready for sowing in next year’s garden. In this comprehensive book, Seed Savers Exchange, one of the foremost American authorities on the subject, and the Organic Seed Alliance bring together decades of knowledge to demystify the time-honored tradition of saving the seed of more than seventy-five coveted vegetable and herb crops—from heirloom tomatoes and long-favored varieties of beans, lettuces, and cabbages to centuries-old varieties of peppers and grains.
With clear instructions, lush photographs, and easy-to-comprehend profiles on individual vegetable crops, this book not only teaches us how to go about conserving these important varieties for future generations and for planting out in next year’s garden, it also provides a deeper understanding of the importance of saving these genetically valuable varieties of vegetables that have evolved over the centuries through careful selection by farmers and home gardeners.
Through simple lessons and master classes on crop selection, pollination, roguing, and the processes of harvesting and storing seeds, this book ensures that these time-honored traditions can continue. Many of these vegetable varieties are treasured for traits that are singular to their strain, whether that is a resistance to disease, an ability to grow well in a region for which that crop is not typically well suited, resistance to early bolting, or simply because it is a great-tasting variety. In an age of genetically modified crops and hybrid seed, a growing appreciation for saving seeds of these time-tested, open-pollinated cultivars has found a new audience from home vegetable gardeners and cooks to restaurant chefs and local farmers.
Whether interested in simply saving seeds for home use or working to conserve rare varieties of beloved squashes and tomatoes, this book provides a deeper understanding of the art, the science, and the joy of saving seeds.
Author: Seed Savers Exchange
The Tao of Vegetable Gardening explores the practical methods as well as the deeper essence of gardening. In her latest book, groundbreaking garden writer Carol Deppe focuses on some of the most popular home garden vegetables—tomatoes, green beans, peas and leafy greens—and through them illustrates the key principles and practices that gardeners need to know to successfully plant and grow just about any food crop.
Author: Carol Deppe
Hobby farming is alive and thriving in semi-rural, suburban, and rural areas across the country, and female farmers have been cited as the fastest growing sector within the farming community in recent years. With more than 1 million women in the United States and Canada describing farming as their primary source of income, and many more for whom hobby farming is just that—a hobby—the time is right for a publication dedicated to hobby farming from a female perspective. Written for women, by a woman, this insightful volume is packed with stories and advice from women hobby farmers and looks at female-specific farming challenges as well as issues that all farmers face.
Inside The Woman Hobby Farmer:
•Discussions on the who, what, why, and where of hobby farming
•Deciding on your farming goals and making a plan
•What to expect in your new endeavor
•How to decide what to plant and prepare your planting sites
•Advice on feeding, caring for, and housing different types of livestock
•A look at “agripreneurship”—running and marketing your hobby farm as a successful business
•Stories, quotes, and advice from successful female hobby farmers
Author: Karen Lanier
With color photos throughout, this book is a balance of easy-to-use organic gardening tips, a little horticultural history, serious and funny cautionary gardening tales … and 30 simply delicious recipes (the gastronomic payoff).
Author: Doug Oster
Understanding Roots uncovers one of the greatest mysteries underground: the secret lives and magical workings of the roots that move and grow invisibly beneath our feet.
Roots do more than just keep a plant from falling over: They gather water and nutrients, exude wondrous elixirs to create good soil, make friends with microbes and fungi, communicate with other roots, and adapt themselves to all manner of soils, winds and climates, nourishing and sustaining our gardens, lawns and woodlands.
Understanding Roots contains more than 115 enchanting and revealing root drawings that most people have never seen, from prairies, grasslands and deserts, as well as drawings based on excavations of vegetable, fruit, nut and ornamental tree roots. Every root system presented in this book was drawn by people literally working in the trenches, sketching the roots where they grew.
The text provides a detailed review of all aspects of transplanting; describes how roots work their magic to improve soil nutrients; investigates the hidden life of soil microbes and their mysterious relationship to roots; explores the question of whether deep roots really gather more unique nutrients than shallow roots; shares the latest research about the mysteries of mycorrhizal (good fungal) association; shows you exactly where to put your fertilizer, compost, water and mulch to help plants flourish; tells you why greywater increases crop yields more than fresh water; and reveals the science behind all of the above (with citations for each scientific paper).
This book contains at least 80 percent more new information, more results of the latest in-depth and up-to-date explorations, and even more helpful guidelines on roots than the author’s previous book (Roots Demystified: Change Your Garden Habits to Help Roots Thrive). This is not a revised edition—it’s a whole new stand-alone book.
Author: Robert Kourik
Learn how to transform an ordinary backyard garden into a true showpiece. Originally published in 1924, Peter Bisset shares with readers timeless advice and tips for creating a variety of water gardens. After experiencing one, it’s easy to see why these gardens hold such appeal; these splashing fountains and ponds make hot days seem cooler, and they also attract birds and butterflies to your backyard. Even tiny tabletop fountains offer soothing sounds to drown out a busy street or a noisy neighbor.
The Water Gardening Idea Book gives in full detail all the practical information necessary for the selection, grouping, and successful cultivation of aquatic and other plants required in the making of a water garden and its surroundings. It’s perfect for both amateurs and those with green thumbs looking to take their gardens to the next level. Readers will enjoy projects of varying difficulty, starting with simple container gardens and advancing to large estate or park fountains and ponds. Whether you’re interested in creating a casual pond or a formal fountain, with The Water Gardening Idea Book, you’ll be able to create them with confidence.
Author: Peter Bisset
Author: D. Deardorff, K. Wadsworth
More and more home gardeners are discovering the rewards of growing their own vegetables. But along with the pleasures of homegrown produce come a host of problems: bugs, diseases, and mysterious ailments that don't have an obvious cause. What's a gardener to do?
Don't panic — help is at hand. What's Wrong With My Vegetable Garden? teaches you how to keep your vegetables healthy so they're less susceptible to attack, and when problems do occur, it shows you how to recognize the problem and find the right organic solution.
Among the book's highlights are:
If you care about raising the freshest, healthiest, most problem-free vegetables possible, then What's Wrong With My Vegetable Garden? will quickly become one of your most essential tools.
Author: D Deardorff & K Wadsworth
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."
Author: Will Bonsall
Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening offers detailed step-by-step instructions to mastering this method (hint: it’s impossible not to succeed, it’s so easy! All you need is a windowsill or two.), tools and accessories to have on hand, seeds and greens varieties, soil and compost, trays and planters, shelving, harvest and storage, recipes, scaling up to serve local markets, and much more.
Author: Peter Burke