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.
Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 2nd Edition: Guiding Principles to Welcome Rain into Your Life and Landscape is the first book in a three-volume guide that teaches you how to conceptualize, design, and implement sustainable water-harvesting systems for your home, landscape, and community. This revised and expanded second edition increases potential for on-site harvests with more integrated tools and strategies for solar design, a primer on your water/energy/carbon connections, descriptions of water/erosion flow patterns and their water-harvesting response, and updated illustrations to show you how to do it all. The stories of people who are successfully welcoming rain into their life and landscape will inspire you to do the same!
Earthworks are one of the easiest, least expensive, and most effective ways of passively harvesting and conserving multiple sources of water in the soil. Associated vegetation then pumps the harvested water back out in the form of beauty, food, shelter, wildlife habitat, and passive heating and cooling, while controlling erosion, increasing soil fertility, reducing downstream flooding, and improving water and air quality. Building on the information presented in the first volume of this series, this book shows you how to select, place, size, construct, and plant your chosen water-harvesting earthworks. It presents detailed how-to information and variations of a diverse array of earthworks, including chapters on mulch, vegetation, and greywater recycling, so you can customize the techniques to the unique requirements of your site. Real life stories and examples permeate the book, including:
Garden transformations don't always require an expensive overhaul by a team of professionals. Sometimes all it takes is a fresh perspective, and a new way to look at your garden. You'll learn how to identify problem areas with your current plantings (such as clashing colors, lack of flow or "one-of-each-iitis") and how to inject new life using artful combinations of color, texture, shape and form.
In Rodale's Basic Organic Gardening, general garden-building skills (from "Do I need to dig?" to "Where do I dig?") and specific techniques (from "How do I plant a seed?" to "How much should I water?") are presented in growing-season order-from garden planning and planting to growing and harvesting. Many other need-to-know topics (such as soil, compost, seeds, pest control and weeds) are explained in simple language to ensure success, even on a small scale, on the first try.
Historically, seed companies were generally small, often family-run businesses. Because they were regionally based, they could focus on varieties well-suited to the local environment. A Pacific Northwest company, for example, would specialize in different cultivars than a company based in the Southeast. However, the absorption of these small, independent seed businesses into large multinationals – combined with the advancement of biotechnology, resulting in hybrids and genetically modified seeds – has led to a serious loss of genetic diversity. The public is now at the mercy of the corporations who control the seeds.
In the past few years, gardeners have realized the inherent danger in this situation. A growing movement is striving to preserve and expand our stock of heritage and heirloom varieties through seed saving and sharing opportunities. Seed Libraries is a practical guide to saving seeds through community programs, including:
Whoever controls the seeds controls the food supply. By empowering communities to preserve and protect the genetic diversity of their harvest, Seed Libraries is the first step toward reclaiming our self-reliance … while enhancing food security and ensuring that the future of food is healthy, vibrant, tasty and nutritious.
Now, more than ever, people across the country are turning toward simpler, greener, and quieter ways of living, whether they’re urbanites or country folk. This large, fully illustrated book provides the entire family with the information they need to make the shift toward self-sufficient living.
Self-Sufficiency provides tips, advice, and detailed instructions on how to improve everyday life from an environmentally and organic perspective while keeping the focus on the family. Readers will learn how to plant a family garden and harvest the produce; can fruits and vegetables; bake bread and cookies; design interactive and engaging “green” projects; harness natural wind and solar energy to cook food and warm their homes; boil sap to make maple syrup; and build treehouses, furniture, and more. Also included are natural crafts readers can do with their children, such as scrapbooking, making potato prints, dipping candles, and constructing seasonal decorations. Whether the goal is to live entirely off the grid or just to shrink their carbon footprints, families will find this book a thorough resource and a great inspiration.
Small-Space Vegetable Gardens explains the basics of growing a bounty of edibles in a minimal amount of space. Andrea Bellamy, author of the award-winning blog Heavy Petal, shares all the knowledge she’s gained from years of gardening small: how to find and assess a space, and how to plan and build a garden. Bellamy also highlights the top 60 edible plants and offers complete information on how to sow, grow and harvest them. This hardworking and enthusiastic guide teaches gardeners how to take advantage of the space they have—whether it’s a balcony, a patio, a plot in a community garden, or even a small yard—to create the food garden of their dreams.
Master gardener Barbara Pleasant takes the guesswork and anxiety out of growing food, explaining in simple language exactly how to start, maintain and eventually expand an organic vegetable garden, even in the smallest of spaces. Choose one of 24 no-fail, small-scale garden plans and find out how easy it is to enjoy your own fresh food all season long!
Growing plants from seeds isn't difficult; it just takes a little know-how. Now, gardeners of any experience level can get a jump on the growing season with this concise, straightforward guide.
Your lawn is stressed! Feed it. Summer heat and drought stress your lawn. Revive it with 100% organic ingredients. • Designed to work in summer weather conditions • Won't burn the lawn (even in summer) • Slowly releases nutrients to feed roots gradually • Fortified with Protilizer® beneficial soil microbes for revitalized soil • Produces thick, dark green turf • Fortified with iron and sulfur • Covers 3,000 square feet
Lowenfels explains the role of both macronutrients and micronutrients and shows gardeners how to provide these essentials through organic, easy-to-follow techniques. Along the way, Lowenfels gives the reader easy-to-grasp lessons in the biology, chemistry and botany needed to understand how nutrients get into the plant and what they do once they're inside.
Aquaponic farming — raising fish and vegetables together commercially — is the most promising innovation for a sustainable, profitable, localized food system. Until now, systems have largely focused on warm-water fish such as tilapia. A lack of reliable information for raising fish and vegetables in the cool climates of North America and Europe has been a major stumbling block.
The Aquaponic Farmer is the game changer.
Built around a proven 120' greenhouse system operable by one person, the book distills vast experience and complete step-by-step guidance for starting and running a cold-water aquaponics business. Coverage includes:
•A primer on cold-water aquaponics
•Pros and cons of different systems
•Complete design and construction of a Deep Water Culture system
•Recommended and optional equipment and tools
•System management, standard operating procedures, and maintenance checklists
•Maximizing fish and veg production
•Strategies for successful sales and marketing of fish and plants
As the only comprehensive commercial cold-water resource, The Aquaponic Farmer is essential for farmers contemplating the aquaponics market, aquaponic gardeners looking to go commercial, and anyone focused on high quality food production.
Conventional agriculture destroys our soils, pollutes our water and is a major contributor to climate change. What if our agricultural practices could stabilize, or even reverse these trends?
The Biochar Solution explores the dual function of biochar as a carbon-negative energy source and a potent soil-builder. Created by burning biomass in the absence of oxygen, this material has the unique ability to hold carbon back from the atmosphere while simultaneously enhancing soil fertility. Author Albert Bates traces the evolution of this extraordinary substance from the ancient black soils of the Amazon to its reappearance as a modern carbon sequestration strategy.
Combining practical techniques for the production and use of biochar with an overview of the development and future of carbon farming, The Biochar Solution describes how a new agricultural revolution can reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to below zero while increasing world food reserves and creating energy from biomass wastes. Biochar and carbon farming can reduce fossil fuels inputs into our food system; bring new life to desert landscapes; filter and purify drinking water; and help build carbon-negative homes, communities and nations.
Biochar is not without dangers if unregulated, and it is not a panacea, but if it fulfills its promise of taking us back from the brink of irreversible climate change, it may well be the most important discovery in human history.
The Bio-Integrated Farm is a 21st-century manual for managing nature’s resources. This groundbreaking book brings “system farming” and permaculture to a whole new level. Author Shawn Jadrnicek presents new insights into permaculture, moving beyond the philosophical foundation to practical advanced designs based on a functional analysis. Holding his designs to a higher standard, Jadrnicek’s components serve at least seven functions (classical permaculture theory only seeks at least two functions). With every additional function a component performs, the design becomes more advanced and saves more energy.
In The Community Food Forest Handbook, Catherine Bukowski and John Munsell dive into the civic aspects of community food forests, drawing on observations, group meetings, and interviews at over 20 projects across the country and their own experience creating and managing a food forest. They combine the stories and strategies gathered during their research with concepts of community development and project management to outline steps for creating lasting public food forests that positively impact communities.
This book turns the compost bin upside down with a natural six-way gardening system of keeping compost heaps right in the garden, rather than in some dark corner behind the garage. The compost and plants live together from the beginning in a nourishing, organic environment.
Author Barbara Pleasant's bountiful, compost-rich gardens require less digging, weeding, mulching and even less planting. And here's one of the best parts — no more backbreaking slogs from compost bin to garden. Pleasant and co-author Deborah Martin even identify the plants that benefit most from compost and how the elements of a composted garden work together. Their natural six-way compost gardening system provides the ruling principles for successfully improving every garden with healthy compost.
Learn how to collect, save, and cultivate the seeds from more than 300 vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers, trees and shrubs. Descriptions of seed biology; tips on how to select plants for the best seeds; and advice on harvesting and cleaning, proper storage and care, and propagating and caring for new seedlings are all presented with clear, easy-to-follow instructions.