{Friday Finds} Organic Gardening

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ff2_md1Friday Finds showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (They aren’t necessarily books you purchased.)

Please feel free to leave a comment with either the link to your own Friday Finds post, or share your answer in a comment here and/or at Should Be Reading. Thanks!

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The winter chill is still here, but we have are already looking forward to spring. One of our plans this year was to put in a garden. We will start small and expand as we get better at it. I have a bit of a black thumb, so I thought I’d seek out some advice. I’m also hoping to keep things organic. I found a few general purpose gardening “bibles” that seem packed with information. I can’t wait to dig in!

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This seems like a good place to start.

The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, 2nd Edition by Edward C. Smith

The invaluable resource for home food gardeners!

Ed Smith’s W-O-R-D system has helped countless gardeners grow an abundance of vegetables and herbs. And those tomatoes and zucchini and basil and cucumbers have nourished countless families, neighbors, and friends with delicious, fresh produce. The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible is essential reading for locavores in every corner of North America!
EVERYTHING YOU LOVED about the first edition of The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible is still here: friendly, accessible language; full-color photography; comprehensive vegetable specific information in the A-to-Z section; ahead-of-its-time commitment to organic methods; and much more.

Now, Ed Smith is back with a 10th Anniversary Edition for the next generation of vegetable gardeners. New to this edition is coverage of 15 additional vegetables, including an expanded section on salad greens and more European and Asian vegetables. Readers will also find growing information on more fruits and herbs, new cultivar photographs in many vegetable entries, and a much-requested section on extending the season into the winter months. No matter how cold the climate, growers can bring herbs indoors and keep hardy greens alive in cold frames or hoop houses.

The impulse to grow vegetables is even stronger in 2009 than it was in 2000, when Storey published The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible. The financial and environmental costs of fossil fuels raise urgent questions: How far should we be shipping food? What are the health costs of petroleum-based pesticides and herbicides? Do we have to rely on megafarms that use gasoline-powered machinery to grow and harvest crops? With every difficult question, more people think, “Maybe I should grow a few vegetables of my own.” This book will continue to answer all their vegetable gardening questions.

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The title’s reference to Gaia drew me to this book.

Gaia’s Garden, Second Edition: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture 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.

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.

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Overall, this just looked like a great resource.

The New Organic Grower: A Master’s Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener by Eliot Coleman

With more than 80,000 sold since 1988, The New Organic Grower has become a modern classic. In this revised and expanded edition, master grower Eliot Coleman continues to present the simplest and most sustainable ways of growing top-quality organic vegetables. Coleman updates practical information on marketing the harvest, on small-scale equipment, and on farming and gardening for the long-term health of the soil. The new book is thoroughly updated, and includes all-new chapters such as:Farm-Generated Fertility—how to meet your soil-fertility needs from the resources of your own land, even if manure is not available.The Moveable Feast—how to construct home-garden and commercial-scale greenhouses that can be easily moved to benefit plants and avoid insect and disease build-up.The Winter Garden—how to plant, harvest, and sell hardy salad crops all winter long from unheated or minimally heated greenhouses.Pests?—how to find “plant-positive” rather than “pest-negative” solutions by growing healthy, naturally resistant plants.The Information Resource—how and where to learn what you need to know to grow delicious organic vegetables, no matter where you live.Written for the serious gardener or small market farmer, The New Organic Grower proves that, in terms of both efficiency and profitability, smaller can be better.

Do you have any favorite gardening books? What is your favorite food to grow?


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