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Gift Guide for Growers: 10 Great Gardening Books

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Are you scrambling to find the perfect gift for the gardener on your list? How about a new book featuring insight from our expert roster of authors? From building a garden plot in the backyard to crafting indoor growing containers for small spaces to incorporating organic practices we’ve got the perfect books for the ever-growing (see what we did there?!) garden library.


 

Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway 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.

Featured Excerpts:

The Ultimate Guide to Sheet Mulching


In Will Bonsall’s Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening, Bonsall maintains that to achieve real wealth we first need to understand the economy of the land, to realize that things that might make sense economically don’t always make sense ecologically, and vice versa. The marketplace distorts our values, and our modern dependence on petroleum, in particular, presents a serious barrier to creating a truly sustainable agriculture.

Featured Excerpts:

Composting as if it Mattered

How to Make Your Own Mulch With Fallen Leaves


Scientist and gardener Carol Deppe combines her passion for organic gardening with newly emerging scientific information from many fields — resilience science, climatology, climate change, ecology, anthropology, paleontology, sustainable agriculture, nutrition, health, and medicine. In the last half of The Resilient Gardener, Deppe extends and illustrates these principles with detailed information about growing and using five key crops: potatoes, corn, beans, squash, and eggs.

Featured Excerpts:

How to Plan the Best Garden Ever

How to Harvest, Store, and Cure Squash


Since its original publication in 1989, The New Organic Grower has been one of the most important farming books available, with pioneer Eliot Coleman leading the charge in the organic movement in the United States. Now fully illustrated and updated, this 30th Anniversary Edition is a must-have for any agricultural library.

Featured Excerpts:

How to Extend the Growing Season

Soil Blocks vs. Pots: Two Ways to Start Seedlings This Spring 


Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening offers good news: with nothing more than a cupboard and a windowsill, you can grow all the fresh salad greens you need for the winter months (or throughout the entire year) with no lights, no pumps, and no greenhouse. The result: healthy, homegrown salad greens at a fraction of the cost of buying them at the market. The secret: start them in the dark.

Featured Excerpts:

Grow a Year-Round Indoor Salad Garden, even in winter

All-Star-All-Sprout Salad


Books on container gardening have been wildly popular with urban and suburban readers, but until now, there has been no comprehensive “how-to” guide for growing fresh food in the absence of open land. Fresh Food from Small Spaces fills the gap as a practical, comprehensive, and downright fun guide to growing food in small spaces. It provides readers with the knowledge and skills necessary to produce their own fresh vegetables, mushrooms, sprouts, and fermented foods as well as to raise bees and chickens—all without reliance on energy-intensive systems like indoor lighting and hydroponics.

Featured Excerpts:

DIY: Make a Self-Watering Planter

Sprout Today, Eat Healthy Tomorrow

 


Deppe’s work has long been inspired and informed by the philosophy and wisdom of Tao Te Ching, the 2,500-year-old work attributed to Chinese sage Lao Tzu and the most translated book in the world after the Bible. The Tao of Vegetable Gardening is organized into chapters that echo fundamental Taoist concepts: Balance, Flexibility, Honoring the Essential Nature (your own and that of your plants), Effortless Effort, Non-Doing, and even Non-Knowing. Yet the book also offers a wealth of specific and valuable garden advice.

Featured Excerpts:

A Meditation on Garden Weeding

Eight Seed-Saving Myths


Many people want to grow fruit on a small scale but lack the insight to be successful orchardists. Growing tree fruits and berries is something virtually anyone with space and passionate desire can do – given wise guidance and a personal commitment to observe the teachings of the trees. A holistic grower knows that producing fruit is not about manipulating nature but more importantly, fostering nature. Orcharding then becomes a fascinating adventure sure to provide your family with all sorts of mouth-watering fruit.

Featured Excerpts:

The Six Pests Plaguing your Fruit Trees — and How to Control them Organically

Bramble On: The Ins and Outs of Growing Raspberries


In this field-guide companion to his award-winning first book, The Lean Farm, Hartman shows market vegetable growers in even more detail how to implement lean thinking in every area of their work, including using kanbans, or replacement signals, to maximize land use; germination chambers to reduce defect waste; and right-sized machinery to save money and labor and increase efficiency. From finding land and assessing infrastructure needs to selling perfect produce at the farmers market, The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables digs deeper into specific, tested methods for waste-free farming that not only help farmers become more successful but make the work more enjoyable.

Featured Excerpts:

Grow Vegetables Like You Mean It

Compost: Small Farm-Style


For the beginner and backyard gardener, there is an extensive section on the basics—variety selection, soil preparation, planting, cultivation, harvest, and floral design. For the commercial grower, The Flower Farmer includes information about larger-scale production, plus advice about selling to florists, wholesalers, supermarkets, brides, at farmers markets, and more. Also includes revised profiles of successful growers offering behind-the-scenes insight into the operation of some of the cutting edge flower farmers in the country.

Featured Excerpts:

A Gardening Tip: Pinching Flowers to Prolong Bloom, When and How

 

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