Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

New York Journal of Books Review of Slow Gardening

The article below is an excerpt from the New York Journal of Books review of Felder Rushing’s newest book Slow Gardening: A No-Stress Philosophy for All Senses and Seasons.

“. . . a slow garden is a not a room—it’s an environment that you create little by little, interact with in a multitude of ways, learn from endlessly, and enjoy at all times . . . Mr. Rushing goes on to offer not just his philosophy of gardening but page after page of fun and useful ideas. With an emphasis on sustainability, both for the garden and the gardener, he provides tips on how to garden as well as how to enjoy it.” Ever since the Slow Food movement, started by Carlo Petrini in the 1980s, began to gain worldwide attention, “slow” has become the new “it” word. Everything, we are now advised, should be done slowly. From art to parenting to travel, if we have to do it, and if we already can’t find time to do it, the curious solution seems to be to just do it—but even more slowly. So it shouldn’t be any surprise to find a book titled Slow Gardening. Gardening is by nature (pun intended) slow. But you’d never know it if you watch the gardening shows on HGTV or look at many of the gardening magazines available today. Somewhere along the way the focus shifted from gardening as an enjoyable hobby or pastime to slavishly remaking gardens in a day or a weekend. The emphasis is all on the result, not on the process—and certainly not on enjoying the process. Felder Rushing’s Slow Gardening: A No-Stress Philosophy for All Senses and Seasons is an answer to that insane “extreme makeover” take on gardening. Mr. Rushing’s slow approach is about “savoring what you are doing.” For him, it’s not just about the garden—it’s also about the gardening and the gardener. “Slow doesn’t necessarily mean simple or lazy,” he explains. “In fact, it can actually involve more work, just spread out over time in a leisurely fashion. It’s a one-foot-in-front-of-the-other approach similar to preparing regular, interesting meals at home.” What? It’s not less work? At first glance, time-strapped homeowners might have a hard time seeing the appeal. But here’s the gist: If your garden is nothing more than an outdoor room that you’ve decorated in a whirlwind, it will be a place that you either sit in or pass through until you decide it’s time to redecorate it, probably in another flurry. But a slow garden is a not a room—it’s an environment that you create little by little, interact with in a multitude of ways, learn from endlessly, and enjoy at all times, not just when you’re sitting and relaxing in it. Continue reading the rest of the article here. 


Inside the Rise of the Local Grains Movement

Our daily bread. Breaking bread together. Bread and butter. These are all common phrases that reflect bread’s foundational role in our diet and in the building of our civilization. The stored energy of grain first allowed our ancestors to shift from nomadic hunting and gathering to building settled communities—even great cities. So why in an […] Read More..

3 Ways Spraying More Herbicides on Public Land is Bad

The following is a guest post by Tao Orion, author of Beyond the War on Invasive Species. It is an open letter to the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regarding its proposal to add three new herbicides for invasive species management on western public lands. Find out below, how you can voice your concerns […] Read More..

Arid Agriculture: How to Reduce Heat Stress in Crops and Livestock

Regardless of where you stand on the climate change issue, there’s one reality few can deny. During the summer, many places in North America are now regularly suffering temperatures above 100˚F, whereas they rarely did in the past. It’s also widely known that such high temperatures put heat stress on crops that are not very […] Read More..

When it Comes to Invasive Species, Just Say NO to Eradication

What if we looked beyond the notion of invasive species as enemies, and instead harnessed them for beneficial uses? Beyond the War on Invasive Species offers just such a bold alternative to the chemical and intensive eradication efforts, one that is holistic and inspired by permaculture principles. First-time author Tao Orion makes a compelling case […] Read More..

A Conversation with Medicinal Herb Farmers Jeff and Melanie Carpenter

In their new book, The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer, Jeff and Melanie Carpenter offer a business guide and farming manual on how to successfully grow and market organic medicinal herbs. The Carpenters cover the basic practical information any grower needs to get an organic herb farm up and running, including size and scale considerations, soil […] Read More..