Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

In Season: Book addresses gardening challenges for the 21st century

The article  below appeared originally online at the Statesman Journal about Carol Deppe’s new book The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times.

I recently was asked if I was familiar with local gardening guru Carol Deppe’s new book “The Resilient Gardener” (Chelsea Green Publishing Co., 2010). The name was vaguely familiar, but I had not heard of the book. Oregon State University’s bookstore had it in stock, so I bought it. (Please don’t tell my wife I purchased another gardening book). There really is no substitute for a regional authority. Deppe is a local gardener and plant breeder with a PhD in biology from Harvard University. There are 12 chapters that run the gamut from “Gardening in an Era of Wild Weather and Climate,” which is chapter 3, to separate chapters on corn, beans and potatoes. I jumped to the one on wild weather and climate change. Deppe presents several points concerning climate change: Historically we have had radical shifts in climate regime both on a local level as well as global. She makes a point that the local change can have a greater implication and impact upon our gardening habits, such as colder arctic air becoming the norm as opposed to an increase of a few degrees globally. I particularly liked the part about how war, famine and climate change in the Middle Ages led to some wholesale changes in agriculture. Grain was the primary grain being grown in the 14th century. The little ice age that lasted from 1300 to 1850 changed all that. Grains do not like the cool, wet weather that persisted for years. The resulting famine, coupled with wars, encouraged the peasant farmers to diversify. They did this by growing vegetables, root crops, fruits, pasture and forage crops. Legumes such as peas and beans became more common, as well as raising forage for livestock. Animals became much more integral to farm production than they previously were. Rotation of crops became more common. Does all this sound a bit familiar? Well it should; this is the agricultural model our forebears brought from Europe to America. I’ll continue to share Deppe’s vision in future columns. If you can’t wait like me, just buy the book. — Al Shay, consulting horticulturist  Read the original article here. 


Recipe: How to Make the Perfect Pancake

When most people think pancakes, they think breakfast. But for Amy Halloran, breakfast is only the start.Halloran, author of The New Bread Basket, is a self-described pancake connoisseur. From a young age, she was entranced by the magic of bubbly batter rising to fluffy cakes on the griddle. Over time, her love of pancakes developed […] Read More..

5 Common Invasive Species and How to Manage Them

Last week, we asked authors Tao Orion and Katrina Blair to share alternative approaches to managing five different plant species commonly held to be “invasive.” St. John’s Wort, Garlic Mustard, Thistle, Oxeye Daisy, and Kudzu are often dismissed as annoyances at best and the target of aggressive eradication with harmful chemicals at worst. Orion and […] Read More..

Uncovering the Many Uses for Abundant Kudzu

As Invasive Species Week comes to a close, Tao Orion, author of Beyond the War on Invasive Species, and Katrina Blair, author of The Wild Wisdom of Weeds,  share alternative approaches to understanding and managing Kudzu. Take a look through our final profile and check out any you might have missed along the way: Oxeye […] Read More..

Oxeye Daisy: A Plant for the Pollinators

As Invasive Species Week continues, Tao Orion, author of Beyond the War on Invasive Species, and Katrina Blair, author of The Wild Wisdom of Weeds, are sharing alternative approaches to managing and using plants considered to be “invasive.” Take a look through today’s profile on Oxeye Daisy and check out tips for working with Garlic […] Read More..

How to Manage Invasive Thistle and Improve Your Soil

As Invasive Species Week continues, Tao Orion, author of Beyond the War on Invasive Species, and Katrina Blair, author of The Wild Wisdom of Weeds, are sharing alternative approaches to managing and using plants considered to be “invasive.” Take a look through today’s profile on two variations of Thistle and check out tips for working […] Read More..