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Dig into our Articles - Gardening
Root cellars are a great way to keep your harvest fresh through the cold months. With protection from weather and animals, a root cellar can be just as good as a regular refrigerator. These cellars can be built into a wall in your basement, dug into the ground, or simply buried. The following excerpt is…Read More
At the first sight of small chew marks on leaves or fruit mysteriously disappearing, you’ll want to get rid of the pest to protect your crop. Your first instinct might be to use pesticides or other forms of extermination. You can save yourself and your crops from using harmful methods by preparing and managing your…Read More
Daydreaming of extending your growing season and building your very own year-round greenhouse? It’s easier, more affordable, and will provide you and your family with more food than you might think. But before you get started, there’s a lot to consider when building your own greenhouse. The following is an excerpt from The Forest Garden Greenhouse by…Read More
Permaculture Design Companion
A Practical Workbook for Integrating People and Places
A practical workbook to apply permaculture to any project from start to finish, this is a step-by-step guide for integrating places and people, buildings and ecosystems.
The Permaculture Design Companion is a tried and tested process to creating a coherent, relevant and engaging design. Based on over 20 years of experience, this design guide has been used to teach over 1000 people. Many have gone on to establish thriving permaculture smallholdings, build their own natural homes and ethical businesses, and create productive urban food gardens.
It is a thorough and effective design tool, suitable for absolute beginners and advanced practice. The process can be used for small to large projects, in urban spaces or the countryside–whatever your situation.
This unique resource combines analysis, creativity and inner work. It will inspire you to design with nature, bring clarity and organisation to your ideas, and provide the momentum and support to make your designs become reality.
Growing Good Food
A Citizen’s Guide to Backyard Carbon Farming
A handbook for growing a victory garden when the enemy is global warming
Written by regenerative farmer Acadia Tucker, Growing Good Food calls on us to take up regenerative gardening, also known as carbon farming, for the good of the planet. By building carbon-rich soil, even in a backyard-sized patch, we can capture greenhouse gases and mitigate climate change, all while growing nutritious food.
To help us get started, and quickly, Tucker draft plans for gardeners who have no space, a little space, or a lot of space. She offers advice on how to prep soil, plant food, and raise the most popular fruits and vegetables using regenerative methods. She shares the gardening tools you need to get started, the top reasons gardens fail and how to fix them, and how to make carbon farming count when the only dirt you have is in pots.
The book includes calls to action and insights from leaders in the regenerative movement, including David Montgomery, Gabe Brown, and Tim LaSalle. Aimed at beginners, the book is designed to inspire an uprising of citizen gardeners.
Growing Good Food suggests what could happen if more of us saw gardening as a civic duty. By the end of it, you’ll know how to grow some really good food and build a healthier world, too.
Growing Good Food: A citizen’s guide to backyard carbon farming is part of Stone Pier’s “Growing Good Food” series. It joins Growing Perennial Foods: A field guide to raising resilient herbs, fruits, and vegetables, also written by Acadia Tucker.
Charles Dowding’s Vegetable Garden Diary
No Dig, Healthy Soil, Fewer Weeds, 3rd Edition
An updated 3rd edition of Dowding’s full-color gardener’s journal with perpetual diary—75% advice on how to grow great crops, 25% writing space for each day of the year—a manual to inform and inspire, from a no-dig pioneer and one of Britain’s most trusted vegetable gardeners
Use this journal year after year to make the best decisions, with your notes alongside Charles Dowding’s suggestions for future reference. Advice in the diary section is linked to each week of the season, and takes you through the annual cycle, from clearing weeds, feeding soil, and sowing to harvesting and storing vegetables.
- Advice on sowing and planting methods, plus raising plants at home
- Best sowing dates: seeds neither fail in cold nor start too late
- Advantages of no dig: saving time, fewer weeds and bigger crops
- How to maintain control of weeds through timely mulching and hoeing
- How to feed soil just once a year, for strong and healthy growth
- When and how to make all the harvests, with advice on storing produce too
Charles’ garden beds grow two crops a year, are cheap to establish and easy to maintain. His growing methods are easy to understand and work on small areas as well as large ones.
Charles’ gardens are famous for the absence of weeds, and it’s a fact that untilled soil, with a humus-rich surface, germinates fewer pioneer weed seeds. By feeding and favouring the life in your soil and working in sympathy with how nature runs things, you create a clear path to bigger harvests with less effort.
The diary explains these methods and weaves them into a timeline of action, to increase your success rate. Good timing is good gardening! Book is most appropriate for zones 8/9, for other zones the dates need adapting: for example he has great feedback from zone 6 gardeners using his methods. And readers can flesh out the detail with his You Tube videos, where over half the audience is North American.
Farming on the Wild Side
The Evolution of a Regenerative Organic Farm and Nursery
One farm’s decades-long journey into regenerative agriculture—and how these methods enhance biodiversity, pollinators, and soil health
Northern Vermont’s Nancy and John Hayden have spent the last 25 years transforming their draft horse–powered, organic vegetable and livestock operation into an agroecological, regenerative, biodiverse, organic fruit farm, fruit nursery, and pollinator sanctuary. In Farming on the Wild Side they explain the philosophical and scientific principles that influenced them as they phased out sheep and potatoes and embraced apples, pears, stone fruits, and a wide variety of uncommon berry crops; turned much of their property into a semi-wild state; and adapted their marketing and sales strategies to the new century. As the Haydens pursued their goals of enhancing biodiversity and regenerating their land, they incorporated agroforestry and permaculture principles into perennial fruit polycultures, a pollinator sanctuary, repurposed greenhouses for growing fruit, hügelkultur, and ecological “pest” management. Beyond the practical techniques and tips, this book also inspires readers to develop greater ecological literacy and respect for the mysteries of the global ecosystem. Farming on the Wild Side tells a story about new ways to manage small farms and homesteads, about nurturing land, about ecology, about economics, and about things that we can all do to heal both the land and ourselves.
How to Grow Herbs, Flowers, Vegetables and Fruit in Any Space
Learn how to create your own no-dig, organic garden with permaculture design and techniques. Vera’s 15 years of experience as a no dig gardener provides a vast amount of knowledge on growing fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers. The book is divided into two sections, container gardening and permaculture kitchen gardening. Part One shares knowledge especially useful to urban gardeners and those with little space. Part Two advises on starting and maintaining a garden. Vera’s specialty is creating beautiful and delicious polycultures and she offers a range of examples to get you started and the knowledge to experiment. She also includes recipes for your fresh harvests. Chapters on making compost, building raised beds, and a monthly job guide make this useful for all levels of gardener.
Vera demonstrates that gardens can look beautiful and be productive, and her advice and examples encourage us to look at our own growing spaces in a different light. We no longer need to hide our veggie patches; they can take centre stage. Why not incorporate cut flowers with herbs, brassicas and peas? Or plant a pottager garden? These examples will help people create edible paradises everywhere, like patios, balconies, windowsills, allotments, community and school gardens, front and back gardens and anywhere else we can grow.
Compost Teas for the Organic Grower
Everything you need to know about feeding your garden, orchard, or smallholding with homemade and chemical-free “teas”—packed with recipes for creating nutrient-rich, healthy soil, to give you healthy plants and ecosystems
Permaculture orchardist Eric Fisher provides an in depth history of organic agriculture and the rise in chemical inputs. He then goes on to explore the importance of nutrients, their cycles and the structure of soil. This enables the reader to truly understand their soil and own ecosystem, so they can manage it properly.
Once we understand how soil and nutrients work, it is easier to diagnose problems and find a natural remedy. Eric provides recipes for a wide range of compost teas that can remedy many different deficits, as well as for natural pesticides and insecticides. Eric shows the reader how to use the plants growing around them to create these “teas,” using aerobic and anaerobic processes, as well as how to grow specific plants to encourage beneficial insects for healthy ecosystems.
Eric’s aim is for growers to feel confident in diagnosing plant disease and pest problems, and then be able to create the right remedy for the problem. If we can care for the health of our plants and soil without using chemicals, we can save money, encourage others to do the same, and demonstrate that conventional chemical inputs are not necessary.
The Whole Okra
A Seed to Stem Celebration
With recipes for gumbos and stews, plus okra pickles, tofu, marshmallow, paper, and more
Chris Smith’s first encounter with okra was of the worst kind: slimy fried okra at a greasy-spoon diner. Despite that dismal introduction, Smith developed a fascination with okra, and as he researched the plant and began to experiment with it in his own kitchen, he discovered an amazing range of delicious ways to cook and eat it, along with ingenious and surprising ways to process the plant from tip-to-tail: pods, leaves, flowers, seeds, and stalks. Smith talked okra with chefs, food historians, university researchers, farmers, homesteaders, and gardeners. The summation of his experimentation and research comes together in The Whole Okra, a lighthearted but information-rich collection of okra history, lore, recipes, craft projects, growing advice, and more.
The Whole Okra includes classic recipes such as fried okra pods as well as unexpected delights including okra seed pancakes and okra flower vodka. Some of the South’s best-known chefs shared okra recipes with Smith: Okra Soup by culinary historian Michael Twitty, Limpin’ Susan by chef BJ Dennis, Bhindi Masala by chef Meherwan Irani, and Okra Fries by chef Vivian Howard.
Okra has practical uses beyond the edible, and Smith also researched the history of okra as a fiber crop for making paper and the uses of okra mucilage (slime) as a preservative, a hydrating face mask, and a primary ingredient in herbalist Katrina Blair’s recipe for Okra Marshmallow Delight.
The Whole Okra is foremost a foodie’s book, but Smith also provides practical tips and techniques for home and market gardeners. He gives directions for saving seed for replanting, for a breeding project, or for a stockpile of seed for making okra oil, okra flour, okra tempeh, and more. Smith has grown over 75 varieties of okra, and he describes the nuanced differences in flavor, texture, and color; the best-tasting varieties; and his personal favorites. Smith’s wry humor and seed-to-stem enthusiasm for his subject infuse every chapter with just the right mix of fabulous recipes and culinary tips, unique projects, and fun facts about this vagabond vegetable with enormous potential.
Maximize Your Soil, Minimize Your Toil
In this lively and inspiring book, veteran horticulturalist Robert Kourik (aka “Bob”) unfolds his manifesto of “Inspired Laziness”—using efficiency and forethought to create gardens and landscapes with a lot less work and a lot more enjoyment.
By following Kourik’s relaxed and readable guidance, both beginning and accomplished gardeners will discover how to save time and money, enrich their soil, increase their yields, and reduce their effort, all while absorbing “Bob’s” philosophy of kicking back and growing more good times.
Drawing on over four decades of immersing himself in horticultural work (and writing about it), Robert shares his hard-won secrets for the easiest planning, planting, cultivating, landscaping, irrigating, de-pestifying, and finding enjoyment in settings ranging from window-box herbs to showy ornamental plantings to the now-classic “edible landscape.”
In Lazy-Ass Gardening, you’ll learn how to:
- Ease into gardening, if you’re a newbie.
- Figure out which edibles to raise, with a careful selection of the most care-free varieties and tips for easy growing.
- Lay out your garden to balance effective growing area with space for enjoyment, relaxation, and play.
- Cultivate creatively to grow your own nutrients and build healthy self-sustaining (no-till) soil for the future.
- Attract the best pollinating insects and deter hungry pests.
- Plan your “hardscape” (paths, patios, arbors, etc.), for an easy-care (and more fun) aspect of your yard or garden.
- Choose the right plants for your landscape, climate, soil, and water supply, not to mention your aesthetic and nutritional needs.
- Learn how to develop a personal garden that manifests your own eccentricities.
- Grow more, stress less.
Growing Perennial Foods
A Field Guide to Raising Resilient Herbs, Fruits, and Vegetables
Acadia Tucker’s long love affair with perennial foods has produced this easy-to-understand guide to growing and harvesting them. A regenerative farmer who is deeply concerned about global warming, Tucker believes there may be no better time to plant these hardy crops.
Perennials can weather climate extremes, promote healthy soil, mitigate drought conditions, and thrive without chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Many can be harvested year round. They taste good, pack lots of nutrients, and require little tending. In short, the world is a better place with more perennials in it and this book intends to get us there.
Tucker inspires action by first laying the groundwork for tending an organic, regenerative garden. She highlights the 10 steps she recommends gardeners take to help perennial foods thrive. But most of the book is dedicated to profiles of popular perennial herbs, fruit, and vegetables, with explicit instructions on how to plant, grow, and harvest them. Tucker also offers suggestions on how to store and preserve perennials.
Growing Perennial Foods is illustrated with dozens of pen & ink drawings and ends with a short chapter on frequently asked questions. And since this is a field guide, each profile gives readers enough space to write in any additional notes.
While designed for gardening novices, this book is also for experienced gardeners who want to grow more resilient crops, and could use a little guidance.
Growing Perennial Foods is part of our Growing Food book series and a companion guide to Growing Good Food: A Citizen’s Guide to Backyard Carbon Farming, which is also written by Acadia Tucker and set to publish in the summer of 2019.
The Creative Kitchen
Seasonal Plant Based Recipes for Meals, Drinks, Crafts, Body & Home Care
Award-winning author of The No Dig Organic Home and Garden Stephanie Hafferty offers a pathway to low cost, zero waste and as plastic free living as possible. She shows you the advantages and pleasures of cooking seasonally and making organic products for you and your family’s health and happiness. Learn how to be resourceful, creative and inspired by what is seasonal and close to hand for a 100% organic home.
Make your own:
* Main meals, sides and deserts
* Store cupboard ingredients like flavoured salts, vinegars, herb mixes, essences
* Drinks (including cordials, teas and liqueurs)
* Soaps, balms, cleansers, flower papers, and much more!
The New Organic Grower, 3rd Edition
A Master’s Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener, 30th Anniversary Edition
“Updated for its 30th anniversary edition; [This book] remains as relevant as ever.”—New York Times Book Review
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.
Eliot Coleman’s books and innovative methods have helped innumerable organic farmers build successful farms in deep accordance with nature. The wisdom in this seminal book holds true even as the modern agricultural canon has grown—in large part due to Coleman’s influence as a wise elder with decades of experience. New information has been included in this edition to showcase the new tools and techniques that Eliot has been developing over the last thirty-five years.
Inspired by the European intensive growers, The New Organic Grower, 30th Anniversary Edition, offers a very approachable and productive form of farming that has proven to work well for the earth and its stewards for centuries. Gardeners working on 2.5 acres or less will find this book especially useful, as it offers proof that small-scale market growers and serious home gardeners can live good lives close to the land and make a profit at the same time. The New Organic Grower is ideal for young farmers just getting started, or gardeners seeking to expand into a more productive enterprise.
New material in this edition includes:
- Beautiful color photographs throughout, taken by master gardener and author Barbara Damrosch (Eliot’s wife and co-farmer)
- Updated information throughout on how Eliot’s practices have changed through his experiments over the years
- A new section from Damrosch about incorporating flowers on the small farm
- More information on new tools Eliot has invented that don’t appear in any of his other books
The Vegan Cook & Gardener
Growing, Storing and Cooking Delicious Healthy Food All Year Round
Do you want to eat more healthily? Lower your carbon footprint? Banish animal exploitation and suffering? Then this book is for you! It shows what fruit and vegetables you can grow at home, how to store any excess to keep you going all year round, and how to prepare your produce with a selection of satisfying and delicious recipes. Join the fight against food miles, agrochemicals, and climate change, and discover the fun and huge sense of satisfaction that comes from cooking something you have produced yourself. Learn about vegan gardening, self-sufficiency, year round growing techniques and seasonal recipes, fruits and vegetables, herbs, salads and sprouts, challenging crops, plus lots of vegan resources.
The Suburban Micro-Farm
Modern Solutions for Busy People
Nonfiction Book Awards 2018 Gold Winner
Foreword INDIE Awards 2018 Gold Winner (Hobbies & Home category)
Nautilus Book Awards 2018 Silver Winner (Green Living & Sustainability category)
Reduce your lawn and your grocery budget. Take gardening to the next level!
Would you like to grow healthy food for your table? Do you want to learn the secrets of farming even though you live in a neighborhood? Author Amy Stross talks straight about why the suburbs might be the ideal place for a small farm.
In these pages you’ll learn:
- How to make your landscape as productive as it is beautiful
- Why the suburbs are primed with food-growing potential
- How to choose the best crops for success
- Why you don’t need the perfect yard to have a micro-farm
- How to use easy permaculture techniques for abundant harvests
If you’re ready to create a beautiful, edible yard, this book is for you.
The Suburban Micro-Farm will show you how to grow your own fruits, herbs, and vegetables even on a limited schedule. From seed to harvest, this book will keep you on track so you feel a sense of accomplishment for your efforts.
You’ll learn gardening tricks that are essential to success, like how to deal with a ‘brown thumb’, how to develop and nurture healthy soil, and how to manage garden pests.
Although this book has everything a new gardener needs to get started, experienced gardeners will not be disappointed. With helpful tips throughout, you will love the in-depth chapters about permaculture and making money on the micro-farm.
Permaculture Guide to Reed Beds
Designing, Building and Planting Your Treatment Wetland System
The Permaculture Guide to Reed Beds is a comprehensive overview of reed bed systems and treatment wetlands for household effluent treatment. Going from system selection and design to construction, planting and maintenance; this guide offers the reader a complete how-to manual for getting your own reed bed system up and running.
Reed beds are an efficient, effective, low-energy filter system for protecting local groundwater and streams from septic tank effluent and greywater. This thorough book explains the background to wastewater treatment and water quality and describes how reed beds work to get wastewater clean again.
Reed beds and treatment wetlands are well-established elements within permaculture design, and many of the permaculture principles are readily applied to them. This guide goes a step further than simply explaining how to design and build reed beds by providing greater insight into permaculture as a design tool and exploring how to maximize the yields, beneficial relationships, and sustainability of the reed bed and indeed the whole sewage treatment process within your site.
Complete with an overview of planning guidelines for the UK and Ireland, The Permaculture Guide to Reed Beds is an invaluable resource for homeowners who want to build their own system. It is also an essential reference manual for permaculture designers, architects, engineers, landscape designers, planners and others with an interest in this area. Easy to follow and clearly set out, with beautiful line drawings to illustrate the text, this is a book you’ll find both useful and inspiring.
The Minimalist Gardener
Low Impact, No Dig Growing
Low input, year-round “no-dig” gardening that provides your kitchen with fresh healthy food, without breaking your back
Written by an acknowledged expert, this friendly guide will help you grow food in whatever space you have – large or small, rural or urban – with minimal purchased inputs, and maximum satisfaction.
This is the first in a collection of Patrick Whitefield’s pioneering writings, celebrating his life. It explores a cutting edge of permaculture gardening that is eminently practical and visionary all at the same time. Patrick describes an evolving system that is totally chemical free, requiring little input from outside the garden gate. His minimalist approach uses techniques such as no-dig, raised beds, perennial vegetables and self-seeding salads as ground cover, and mulching when appropriate. This minimizes garden maintenance whilst growing an abundance of produce year round. Patrick describes how to select plants based on what you like to eat and how to combine them in polycultures that confound would-be pests. He mixes annual hybrids, heritage varieties and perennial vegetables and has a pragmatic approach to selecting seeds and seed saving. There are also tips on fruit growing, from berries to fruit trees, including how to choose rootstocks and varieties.
The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables
More In-Depth Lean Techniques for Efficient Organic Production
At Clay Bottom Farm, author Ben Hartman and staff practice kaizen, or continuous improvement, cutting out more waste—of time, labor, space, money, and more—every year and aligning their organic production more tightly with customer demand. Applied alongside other lean principles originally developed by the Japanese auto industry, the end result has been increased profits and less work.
In this field-guide companion to his award-winning first book, The Lean Farm, Hartman shows market vegetable growers in even more detail how Clay Bottom Farm implements 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. These methods include:
- Using Japanese paper pot transplanters
- Building your own germinating chambers
- Leaning up your greenhouse
- Making and applying simple composts
- Using lean techniques for pest and weed control
- Creating Heijunka, or load-leveling calendars for efficient planning
Farming is not static, and improvement requires constant change. The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables offers strategies for farmers to stay flexible and profitable even in the face of changing weather and markets. Much more than a simple exercise in cost-cutting, lean farming is about growing better, not cheaper, food—the food your customers want.