Few insects are more important than bees, wasps, and ants. They maintain the garden’s biological balance, fertilize vegetables, fruits, and flowers, and recycle nutrients within the soil. It’s no exaggeration to say that a garden can’t be understood without an understanding of its insects. Bees, Wasps, and Ants explores the importance of the Hymenoptera and explains how gardeners can encourage (or discourage) them in the garden. Part One includes a summary of their biology and a tour of what role they play in each part of the garden. Part Two takes a closer look at the individual groups within the family, including sawflies, horntails, woodwasps, parasitic wasps, predatory wasps, bees, and ants.
Beginning Seed Saving for the Home Gardener explores how seed saving is not only easier than we think, but also essential for vibrant, independent, and bountiful gardens.
Among the topics author Jim Ulager covers:
• Why seed saving belongs in the home garden
• Principles of vegetative and sexual reproduction
• Easy inbreeding plants, including legumes, lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers
• Plants with a few more challenges, including squash, spinach, onions, and parsley
• A brief discussion of more difficult crops, including corn, carrots, and cabbage
Written by a home seed saver for the home seed saver, Beginning Seed Saving for the Home Gardener is a comprehensive guide for those who want to reclaim our seed heritage, highlighting the importance of saving seeds for you, your neighbors, and (most importantly) subsequent generations.
Invasive species are everywhere, from forests and prairies to mountaintops and river mouths. Their rampant nature and sheer numbers appear to overtake fragile native species and forever change the ecosystems that they depend on. Concerns that invasive species represent significant threats to global biodiversity and ecological integrity permeate conversations from schoolrooms to board rooms, and concerned citizens grapple with how to rapidly and efficiently manage their populations. These worries have culminated in an ongoing “war on invasive species,” where the arsenal is stocked with bulldozers, chainsaws and herbicides put to the task of their immediate eradication. In Hawaii, mangrove trees (Avicennia spp.) are sprayed with glyphosate and left to decompose on the sandy shorelines where they grow, and in Washington, helicopters apply the herbicide Imazapyr to smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) growing in estuaries. The “war on invasive species” is in full swing, but given the scope of such potentially dangerous and ecologically degrading eradication practices, it is necessary to question the very nature of the battle.
Beyond the War on Invasive Species offers a much-needed alternative perspective on invasive species and the best practices for their management based on a holistic, permaculture-inspired framework. Utilizing the latest research and thinking on the changing nature of ecological systems, Beyond the War on Invasive Species closely examines the factors that are largely missing from the common conceptions of invasive species, including how the colliding effects of climate change, habitat destruction, and changes in land use and management contribute to their proliferation. Beyond the War on Invasive Species demonstrates that there is more to the story of invasive species than is commonly conceived, and offers ways of understanding their presence and ecosystem effects in order to make more ecologically responsible choices in land restoration and biodiversity conservation that address the root of the invasion phenomenon. The choices we make on a daily basis—the ways we procure food, shelter, water, medicine and transportation—are the major drivers of contemporary changes in ecosystem structure and function; therefore, deep and long-lasting ecological restoration outcomes will come not just from eliminating invasive species, but through conscientious redesign of these production systems.
If you’ve ever looked at the weed-filled expanse that passes for your backyard and wondered why your family never uses it, this book is for you. Sara Bendrick addresses the most common homeowner requests for affordable ways to bring privacy, shade, dining areas, fire features, and manageable plantings into their yards to increase their enjoyment of outdoor spaces and increase the value of their home.
Bioshelter Market Garden: A Permaculture Farm describes the creation of a sustainable food system through a detailed case study of the successful year-round organic market garden and permaculture design at Pennsylvania’s Three Sisters Farm.
Win the blue ribbon every time! Master Gardener Jodi Torpey offers all the information you need to grow champion vegetables: beans, beets, cabbages, cucumbers, eggplants, onions, peppers, pumpkins, squash, and tomatoes. She covers everything from choosing the right varieties and scheduling planting dates to harvesting, preparing, and transporting your produce. She also walks you through every aspect of competitive showing, with useful tips for thinking like a judge. This book will delight you with lively photos of mammoth pumpkins, truly gigantic onions, perfectly pear-shaped eggplants, and the farmers and gardeners who grow them. Filled with the excitement of a county fair, it’s a fun read as well as a solid guide to growing the biggest, tastiest, best-looking vegetables for miles around.
This is a practical and engaging guide to transforming an ordinary backyard into a productive farm.
Homesteading is experiencing a revival among both rural and urban residents who want to get back to basics and live closer to the land. With this book, homeowners will obtain both inspiration and instruction for transforming their grassy yard into a lush farm that can produce all the food they need.
The author is an experienced woodworker and homesteader who shows how to plan and design a backyard farm. He offers expert advice for making all of the essential hard-working structures that are needed to sustain small-scale agriculture.
Step-by-step instructions are provided for 10 projects including green houses, beehives, rabbit hutches, raised beds, potting sheds, trellises, fences, and more. Readers learn how to create an irrigation system, harvest rainwater, and keep their farms environmentally sound. Each detailed plan is accompanied by the author's clear, instructive drawings.
More than just a manual, the book also offers entertaining and enlightening interviews with both experts and “average Joe” farmers. We learn what motivates them to become backyard farmers, the lessons that they have to share, and maybe even a couple of funny stories along the way.
In an organic garden, plants in optimum health thrive abundantly, produce harvests with amazing taste, and possess the ability to fight off plant predators. When they don't, there's often something lacking in their proper nutrition. Maybe they are missing beneficial microorganism companions, or perhaps they are short of the energy needed to reach their full nutrient-dense potential. The solution is to "start with the soil," but healthy soil doesn't happen just by composting, fertilizing or companion planting alone. The solution can be found in Building Soils Naturally, which gives gardeners a hands-on plan for creating productive, living soil by using a practical, holistic approach - crafted right in your garden.
History, literature, and botany meet in this charming tour of how humans have relied on plants to nourish, shelter, heal, clothe, and even entertain us. Did you know that during World War II, the U.S. Navy paid children to collect milkweed’s fluffy white floss, which was then used as filling for life preservers? And Native Americans in the deserts of the Southwest traditionally crafted tattoo needles from prickly pear cactus spines. These are just two of the dozens of tidbits that Tammi Hartung highlights in the tales of 43 native North American flowers, herbs, and trees that have rescued and delighted us for centuries.
What happens to the food we don’t eat …all those discarded apple cores and rejected Brussels sprouts? Did you know that there are as many living organisms in a teaspoon of soil as there are people in the whole world? And that wriggly worms are our cool, earthy friends?
For ages 4-8.
Expert flower grower Lisa Mason Zeigler introduces us to the long-blooming stars of the spring garden, the hardy annuals – those flowers that thrive when they are planted during cool conditions (instead of waiting until the warmth of spring). Forget “Some Like It Hot,” she advises, and give them a cool start. Plant them in the right spot at the right time, nestle their roots deep into rich organic soil, and stand back. In no time at all, you’ll have a low-maintenance, vibrant spring flower garden that keeps on blooming when other annuals are dead and gone.
Countertop Gardens will make you an expert in the world of indoor gardening, walking you through the challenges, benefits, and how-tos of growing inside and presenting the wide array of methods available. In addition to going over the pros and cons of a wide range of ready-made hydroponic, aquaponic, and vertical gardening systems, author Shelley Levis shows you how to make your own DIY setups, ranging from simple space-saving container designs to more creative and complex soil-free solutions.
Central Virginia grower Cindy Conner takes us through a year in her garden. Using hand tools, she grows cover crops among her vegetable crops. These cover crops keep down weeds and nourish the soil until she cuts them down to use for mulch and compost. This DVD features many veggie faves - Bloody Butcher corn, Mississippi Silver crowder peas and more!
This e-book on CD-ROM is packed with 20 customizable designs, gardening tips and tricks and conventional wisdom about the many uses of herbs. Creating Custom Garden Spaces is a fabulous guide to planning an organized, beautiful and practical garden for any space, large or small. Whether you’re a first-timer or an avid gardener, our detailed illustrations and maps will help give your garden personality with our easily understandable designs, including:
With the help of this convenient digital handbook, you’ll learn about companion planting and building raised beds. You'll also learn about medicinal uses for herbs. With this great resource, creating a custom garden will be easy and enjoyable.
See a larger image of the Creating Custom Garden Spaces CD
Also available: Creating Custom Garden Spaces as a downloadable e-book
*PC requirements: CD-ROM drive, Adobe Acrobat Reader (available from Adobe.com)
We all need a personal sanctuary: a place where we can be in harmony with the natural world and can nurture our bodies, minds, and souls. And this sanctuary doesn’t have to be an exotic destination, it can be in your own backyard. In Creating Sanctuary, Jessi Bloom taps into multiple sources of traditional plant wisdom to help readers find a deeper connection to the outdoor space they already have … no matter the size. Equal parts inspirational and practical, this engaging guide includes tips on designing a healing space, plant profiles for 50 sacred plants, recipes that harness the medicinal properties of plants, and simple instructions for daily rituals and practices for self-care.
Spectacularly illustrated, this is an annotated edition of Nicholas Culpeper’s best-selling herbal book on using, gathering, and preparing herbs. Supplemented with new commentary on modern usage by acclaimed U.S. herbalist and author Steven Foster, Culpeper’s 17th century text provides information on where each herb can be found, its astrological correlations, and all of its medicinal benefits.
In Dirt to Soil, Brown tells the story of that amazing journey and offers a wealth of innovative solutions to our most pressing and complex contemporary agricultural challenge: restoring the soil. The Brown’s Ranch model, developed over 20 years of experimentation and refinement, focuses on regenerating resources by continuously enhancing the living biology in the soil. Using regenerative agricultural principles, Brown’s Ranch has grown several inches of new topsoil in only 20 years!
The Little Veggie Patch Co. DIY Garden Projects includes more than 38 of their best projects for those young and old wanting to transform their outdoor living space. Also included are a variety of projects for experienced handy folk and quirky ideas that will involve the youngest members of the family. The ideas range from incredibly quick and simple (such as creating a self-watering milk-carton planter, growing micro-herbs, and hanging milk-crate planter boxes) to large-scale building projects (such as making vertical gardens from pallets and how to build a playhouse from recycled apple crates). Written in a personable, approachable style, with stories to accompany each project as well as clear step-by-step instructions with colorful photographs to match, The Little Veggie Patch Co. DIY Garden Projects will inspire the green thumb in every reader.
An expert in hydroponics, Baras has developed many unique and easy-to-build systems for growing entirely in water. In DIY Hydroponic Gardens, he shows with step-by-step photos precisely how to create these systems and how to plant and maintain them.
Create your dream garden with simple birdbaths, herb-drying racks, and unique planters. And bring the outdoors indoors with natural fabric dyes, pressed flower paper, and herbal bouquets. DIY Garden Projects and Crafts relies on homegrown and foraged materials that will inspire creativity and capture the bounty of the seasons. The 60 practical and decorative projects for use in the garden and home include: