Anyone who wants to learn basic living skills—the kind employed by our forefathers—and adapt them for a better life in the twenty-first century need look no further than this eminently useful, full-color guide. Countless readers have turned to Back to Basics for inspiration and instruction, escaping to an era before power saws and fast food restaurants and rediscovering the pleasures and challenges of a healthier, greener, and more self-sufficient lifestyle.
Now newly updated, the hundreds of projects, step-by-step sequences, photographs, charts, and illustrations in Back to Basics will help you dye your own wool with plant pigments, graft trees, raise chickens, craft a hutch table with hand tools, and make treats such as blueberry peach jam and cheddar cheese. The truly ambitious will find instructions on how to build a log cabin or an adobe brick homestead. More than just practical advice, this is also a book for dreamers—even if you live in a city apartment you will find your imagination sparked, and there’s no reason why you can’t, for example, make a loom and weave a rag rug. Complete with tips for old-fashioned fun (square dancing calls, homemade toys, and kayaking tips), this may be the most thorough book on voluntary simplicity available. 2,000 color photos and 200 black-and-white illustrations
Choosing locally grown organic food is a sustainable living trend that’s taken hold throughout North America. Celebrated farming expert Eliot Coleman helped start this movement with The New Organic Grower published 20 years ago. He continues to lead the way, pushing the limits of the harvest season while working his world-renowned organic farm in Harborside, Maine.
Now, with his long-awaited new book, The Winter Harvest Handbook, anyone can have access to his hard-won experience. Gardeners and farmers can use the innovative, highly successful methods Coleman describes in this comprehensive handbook to raise crops throughout the coldest of winters.
Building on the techniques that hundreds of thousands of farmers and gardeners adopted from The New Organic Grower and Four-Season Harvest, this new book focuses on growing produce of unparalleled freshness and quality in customized unheated or, in some cases, minimally heated, movable plastic greenhouses.
Coleman offers clear, concise details on greenhouse construction and maintenance, planting schedules, crop management, harvesting practices, and even marketing methods in this complete, meticulous, and illustrated guide. Readers have access to all the techniques that have proven to produce higher-quality crops on Coleman’s own farm.
His painstaking research and experimentation with more than 30 different crops will be valuable to small farmers, homesteaders, and experienced home gardeners who seek to expand their production seasons. A passionate advocate for the revival of small-scale sustainable farming, Coleman provides a practical model for supplying fresh, locally grown produce during the winter season, even in climates where conventional wisdom says it “just can’t be done.”
The first edition of Gaia’s Garden, sparked the imagination of America’s home gardeners, introducing permaculture’s central message: Working with Nature, not against her, results in more beautiful, abundant, and forgiving gardens. This extensively revised and expanded second edition broadens the reach and depth of the permaculture approach for urban and suburban growers.
Many people mistakenly think that ecological gardening”which involves growing a wide range of edible and other useful plants”can take place only on a large, multiacre scale. As Hemenway demonstrates, it’s fun and easy to create a backyard ecosystem by assembling communities of plants that can work cooperatively and perform a variety of functions, including:
- Building and maintaining soil fertility and structure
- Catching and conserving water in the landscape
- Providing habitat for beneficial insects, birds, and animals
- Growing an edible forest that yields seasonal fruits, nuts, and other foods
This revised and updated edition also features a new chapter on urban permaculture, designed especially for people in cities and suburbs who have very limited growing space. Whatever size yard or garden you have to work with, you can apply basic permaculture principles to make it more diverse, more natural, more productive, and more beautiful. Best of all, once it’s established, an ecological garden will reduce or eliminate most of the backbreaking work that’s needed to maintain the typical lawn and garden.
Your patio, balcony, rooftop, front stoop, boulevard, windowsill, planter box, or fire escape is a potential fresh food garden waiting to happen. In Grow Great Grub, Gayla Trail, the founder of the leading online gardening community (YouGrowGirl.com), shows you how to grow your own delicious, affordable, organic edibles virtually anywhere.
Grow Great Grub packs in tips and essential information about:
- Choosing a location and making the most of your soil (even if it’s less than perfect)
- Building a raised bed, compost bin, and self-watering container using recycled materials
- Keeping pests and diseases away from your plants—the toxin-free way
- Growing bountiful crops in pots and selecting the best heirloom varieties
- Cultivating hundreds of plants, from blueberries to Thai basil, to the best tomatoes you’ll ever taste
- Canning, and preserving to make the most of your garden’s generosity
- Green-friendly, cost-saving, growing, and building projects that are smart and stylish
- And much more!
Whether you’re looking to eat on a budget or simply experience the pleasure of picking tonight’s meal from right outside your door, this is the must-have book for small-space gardeners—no backyard required.
This gardening classic was first published in 1975, and now a second generation of gardeners who prefer pest-resistant planning to chemicals will find a place for it on the shelves. Not only does it tell what to plant with what, but also how to use herbal sprays to control insects, what wild plants to encourage in the garden, how to grow fruit and nut trees, how to start small plots or window-box gardens, and much more. It’s one of the most practical books around for any gardener of edibles, no matter how serious or casual.
The decline of cheap oil is inspiring increasing numbers of North Americans to achieve some measure of backyard food self-sufficiency. In hard times, the family can be greatly helped by growing a highly productive food garden, requiring little cash outlay or watering.
Currently popular intensive vegetable gardening methods are largely inappropriate to this new circumstance. Crowded raised beds require high inputs of water, fertility and organic matter, and demand large amounts of human time and effort. But, except for labor, these inputs depend on the price of oil. Prior to the 1970s, North American home food growing used more land with less labor, with wider plant spacing, with less or no irrigation, and all done with sharp hand tools. But these sustainable systems have been largely forgotten. Gardening When It Counts helps readers rediscover traditional low-input gardening methods to produce healthy food.
Designed for readers with no experience and applicable to most areas in the English-speaking world except the tropics and hot deserts, this book shows that any family with access to 3-5,000 sq. ft. of garden land can halve their food costs using a growing system requiring just the odd bucketful of household waste water, perhaps two hundred dollars worth of hand tools, and about the same amount spent on supplies — working an average of two hours a day during the growing season.
Steve Solomon is a well-known west coast gardener and author of five previous books, including Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades which has appeared in five editions.
The Ultimate Guide to Greening your Home is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide on how to best green your home. The book defines over 40 different home greening categories and over 300 specific home greening steps. The book has several sections dedicated to gardening and keeping a green lawn.
This is an excellent low cost guide that is packed with useful information. The categories cover every part of the home and give you clear, easy to follow steps to take to reduce your environmental impact. It is a great quick reference guide to keep on hand.
A Tax Rebate, Tax Credit and Green Financing Guide is included which provides all the information you need to take advantage of all the state and governmental programs. By following the Green Checklist, you can green with confidence knowing you have covered you home from top to bottom.
As an additional green bonus, for each copy of the book sold, the publisher Caelus makes a donation to the Arbor Day Foundation to plant trees in an endangered forest. Caelus is donating 10 percent of all book revenues towards reforestation projects.
The Ultimate Guide to Greening your Home is available for immediate download in pdf, iBook and Kindle formats, or in print format (8.25″ x 8.25″ 110 pages). ISBN: 978-0-615-40918-4
From first sentence to last, Coleman’s ( The New Organic Gardener ) book is a delight–an earnest guide written with an impish sense of humor. It will refresh anyone who wants to get the most from a vegetable garden yet doesn’t want to devote too much time and energy to the process. Apparently Coleman thoroughly enjoys every phase of gardening–from planting crops to weeding. Who else has ever suggested, only half in jest, dancing with a hoe? Or keeping a pair of ducks for pest patrol? This is that kind of book. It’s also a book full of valuable information on how to harvest fresh vegetables and salad ingredients literally year-round–yet without an expensive greenhouse or indoor light garden set-up. Coleman combines succession planting (small sowings three or more times, rather than one big endeavor) with cold-frame growing in the winter months. He includes how-tos for building simple cold-frames. Given the fact that he lives in Maine, his advice seems all the more reliable. He believes in simplicity (“If what I am doing in the garden seems complicated, it is probably wrong”), seasonality (tomatoes in summer, broccoli in fall, mache in February) and diplomacy in the garden (which “has more to teach us than just how to grow food”). Here, his philosophy of organic growing is shared easily. The book concludes with an extensive chapter on the vegetables that comprise his “cast of characters.” Illustrated.
Starred Review. Reviewed by Nina PlanckMichael Pollan is the crack investigator and graceful narrator of the ecology of local food and the toxic logic of industrial agriculture. Now he has a peer. Novelist Kingsolver recounts a year spent eating home-grown food and, if not that, local. Accomplished gardeners, the Kingsolver clan grow a large garden in southern Appalachia and spend summers “putting food by,” as the classic kitchen title goes. They make pickles, chutney and mozzarella; they jar tomatoes, braid garlic and stuff turkey sausage. Nine-year-old Lily runs a heritage poultry business, selling eggs and meat. What they don’t raise (lamb, beef, apples) comes from local farms. Come winter, they feast on root crops and canned goods, menus slouching toward asparagus. Along the way, the Kingsolver family, having given up industrial meat years before, abandons its vegetarian ways and discovers the pleasures of conscientious carnivory.This field—local food and sustainable agriculture—is crowded with books in increasingly predictable flavors: the earnest manual, diary of an epicure, the environmental battle cry, the accidental gardener. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is all of these, and much smarter. Kingsolver takes the genre to a new literary level; a well-paced narrative and the apparent ease of the beautiful prose makes the pages fly. Her tale is both classy and disarming, substantive and entertaining, earnest and funny. Kingsolver is a moralist (“the conspicuous consumption of limited resources has yet to be accepted widely as a spiritual error, or even bad manners”), but more often wry than pious. Another hazard of the genre is snobbery. You won’t find it here. Seldom do paeans to heirloom tomatoes (which I grew up selling at farmers’ markets) include equal respect for outstanding modern hybrids like Early Girl.Kingsolver has the ear of a journalist and the accuracy of a naturalist. She makes short, neat work of complex topics: what’s risky about the vegan diet, why animals belong on ecologically sound farms, why bitterness in lettuce is good. Kingsolver’s clue to help greenhorns remember what’s in season is the best I’ve seen. You trace the harvest by botanical development, from buds to fruits to roots. Kingsolver is not the first to note our national “eating disorder” and the injuries industrial agriculture wreaks, yet this practical vision of how we might eat instead is as fresh as just-picked sweet corn. The narrative is peppered with useful sidebars on industrial agriculture and ecology (by husband Steven Hopp) and recipes (by daughter Camille), as if to show that local food—in the growing, buying, cooking, eating and the telling—demands teamwork. (May)Nina Planck is the author of Real Food: What to Eat and Why (Bloomsbury USA, 2006).
I have a small, jealously guarded library of best-ever food gardening books, most of them now out of print, and all authored by gardeners who spent at least as much time growing food as writing. So when one of these classics comes back into print, I m excited. The New Self-Sufficient Gardener by John Seymour is the latest case in point… A fan of deep-bed gardening, his book shows how to get the most out of small amounts of land. All these principles work as well on a hundred-square-foot city garden as on a farm… The result is a book that’s loaded with large, engaging color illustrations of fruits, vegetables, composting, whole gardens, greenhouses, chicken coops, trellising, beekeeping, pruning, grafting, and just about every other food-growing activity you can think of. –Sunset Magazine