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Home > Books > Gardening

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91.

JAMIE DURIE'S THE OUTDOOR ROOM

Jamie Durie
Paperback

Price: $14.28

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Jamie Durie, international award-winning horticulturalist and landscape designer, reveals the secrets…

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Jamie Durie, international award-winning horticulturalist and landscape designer, reveals the secrets behind his incredible designs on the ever-popular HGTV series The Outdoor Room, now viewed in more than 12 countries. With dynamic photography, including Durie's personal travel photographs and a sneak peek of his private garden, this information-packed companion to his smash-hit t.v. show is as hardworking as it is stunning.

Complete with detailed site plans, zonal plant lists, and helpful eco-tips, it covers everything from the basics of landscape design to practical, hands-on information, such as how to design your own private garden using Durie's philosophy. From an exotic Balinese-inspired dining pavilion to a private English-style garden with an adjoining children's play area, Durie shows you how to incorporate his techniques and design principles to create a personal and truly unique garden, giving you and your family and friends the opportunity to reconnect with nature in the privacy of your very own outdoor room.

92.

BALL COMPLETE BOOK OF HOME PRESERVING

JUDI KINGRY & LAUREN DEVINE
Paperback

Price: $22.95

Ball Home Canning Products are the gold standard in home preserving supplies, the trademark jars on display in stores every summer from coast to coast. Now the experts at Ball have written a book d…

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Ball Home Canning Products are the gold standard in home preserving supplies, the trademark jars on display in stores every summer from coast to coast. Now the experts at Ball have written a book destined to become the bible of home preserving.

As nutrition and food quality has become more important, home canning and preserving have increased in popularity for the benefits they offer:

  • Cooks gain control of the ingredients, including organic fruits and vegetables
  • Preserving foods at their freshest point locks in nutrition
  • The final product is free of chemical additives and preservatives
  • Store-bought brands cannot match the wonderful flavor of homemade
  • Only a few hours are needed to put up a batch of jam or relish
  • Home preserves make a great personal gift any time of year

These 400 innovative and enticing recipes include everything from salsas and savory sauces to pickling, chutneys, relishes and, of course, jams, jellies, and fruit spreads, such as:

  • Mango-Raspberry Jam, Damson Plum Jam
  • Crab Apple Jelly, Green Pepper Jelly
  • Spiced Red Cabbage, Pickled Asparagus
  • Roasted Red Pepper Spread, Tomatillo Salsa
  • Brandied Apple Rings, Apricot-Date Chutney

The book includes comprehensive directions on safe canning and preserving methods plus lists of required equipment and utensils. Specific instructions for first-timers and handy tips for the experienced make the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving a valuable addition to any kitchen library.

About the authors: Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine have between them 20 years of experience in the preserving industry. They are both employed by Jarden Home Brands.

93.

WEEDS: IN DEFENSE OF NATURE'S MOST PLANTS

Richard Mabey
Hardcover

Price: $14.28

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From dandelions to crabgrass, stinging nettles to poison ivy, weeds are familiar, pervasive, widely de…

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From dandelions to crabgrass, stinging nettles to poison ivy, weeds are familiar, pervasive, widely despised and seemingly invincible. How did they come to be the villains of the natural world? And why can the same plant be considered beautiful in some places but be deemed a menace in others?

In Weeds, renowned nature writer Richard Mabey embarks on an engaging journey with the verve and historical breadth of Michael Pollan. Weaving together the insights of botanists, gardeners, artists and writers with his own travels and lifelong fascination, Mabey shows how these "botanical thugs" can destroy ecosystems but also can restore war zones and derelict cities; he reveals how weeds have been portrayed, from the "thorns and thistles" of Genesis to Shakespeare, Walden and Invasion of the Body Snatchers; and he explains how kudzu overtook the American South, how poppies sprang up in First World War I battlefields, and how "American weed" replaced the forests of Vietnam ravaged by Agent Orange.

Hailed as "a profound and sympathetic meditation on weeds in relation to human beings" (Sunday Times), Weeds shows how useful these unloved plants can be, from serving as the first crops and medicines, to burdock inspiring the invention of Velcro, to cow parsley becoming the latest fashionable wedding adornment. Mabey argues that we have caused plants to become weeds through our reckless treatment of the earth, and he delivers a provocative defense of the plants we love to hate.

94.

BIRD, BEE & BUG HOUSES

Derek Jones
Paperback

Price: $9.87

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Transform your garden into a wildlife haven busting with life by learning how to provide supplementary nesting site…

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Transform your garden into a wildlife haven busting with life by learning how to provide supplementary nesting sites to a host of creatures. Bird, Bee and Bug Houses explains all you need to know about how to create the perfect nesting place for a wide variety of species including birds, bats, butterflies, lacewings, ladybugs and rare solitary bees.

Essential pollinators, predators and seed-spreaders, the habitats of many of these species are under threat from intensive farming and the spraying of harmful chemicals. But we can help them by building these safe havens in our gardens. Only a few basic woodworking skills are needed to create these unique and quirky houses. A range of materials (some recycled or scavenged) and finishes are used in order to make sure they are as attractive as they are practical. All the basic techniques, tools and materials needed to create your bird, bee or bug house are explained and each project has a detailed exploded diagram with cutting list. Each section of the book has detailed information on choosing locations, maintenance, species habits and nesting requirements.

95.

APARTMENT GARDENING

Amy Pennington
Paperback

Price: $18.95

No yard? No problem. With more than 80 percent of the American population living in urban areas, Urban Pantry author Amy Pennington details how to start your own garden in the heart of the city. Wheth…

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No yard? No problem. With more than 80 percent of the American population living in urban areas, Urban Pantry author Amy Pennington details how to start your own garden in the heart of the city. Whether you're a veteran gardener or a novice getting your hands dirty for the first time, this book provides hands-on advice to start using urban space in a sustainable, efficient and inexpensive manner. Learn how to creatively grow squash on windowsills, flowers in planter boxes and cucumbers on trellises: Every inch of your home offers an opportunity for something planted, pickled or preserved. Be a part of the rapidly growing do-it-yourself movement! Pennington's friendly voice paired with Kate Bingham-Burt's illustrations make greener living an accessible reality.

About the author:

Amy Pennington is a gardener, writer and girl about town. She runs her own gardening business called Go Go Green Garden and is the author of Urban Pantry. Pennington lives in Seattle.

96.

TOMATOLAND

Barry Estabrook
Hardcover

Price: $10.99

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Supermarket produce sections bulging with a year-round supply of perfectly round, bright red-orange tomatoes have b…

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Supermarket produce sections bulging with a year-round supply of perfectly round, bright red-orange tomatoes have become all but a national birthright. But in Tomatoland, which is based on his James Beard Award-winning article, "The Price of Tomatoes," investigative food journalist Barry Estabrook reveals the huge human and environmental cost of the $5 billion fresh tomato industry. Fields are sprayed with more than 100 different herbicides and pesticides. Tomatoes are picked hard and green and artificially gassed until their skins acquire a marketable hue. Modern plant breeding has tripled yields, but has also produced fruits with dramatically reduced amounts of calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C, and tomatoes that have 14 times more sodium than the tomatoes our parents enjoyed. The relentless drive for low costs has fostered a thriving modern-day slave trade in the United States. How have we come to this point?

Estabrook traces the supermarket tomato from its birthplace in the deserts of Peru to the impoverished town of Immokalee, Fla., aka the tomato capital of the United States. He visits the laboratories of seedsmen trying to develop varieties that can withstand the rigors of agribusiness and still taste like a garden tomato, and then moves on to commercial growers who operate on tens of thousands of acres, and eventually to a hillside field in Pennsylvania, where he meets an obsessed farmer who produces delectable tomatoes for the nation's top restaurants.

Throughout Tomatoland, Estabrook presents a who's who cast of characters in the tomato industry: the avuncular octogenarian whose conglomerate grows one out of every eight tomatoes eaten in the United States; the ex-Marine who heads the group that dictates the size, color and shape of every tomato shipped out of Florida; the U.S. attorney who has doggedly prosecuted human traffickers for the past decade; and the Guatemalan peasant who came north to earn money for his parents' medical bills and found himself enslaved for two years.

Tomatoland reads like a suspenseful whodunit as well as an exposé of today's agribusiness systems and the price we pay as a society when we take taste and thought out of our food purchases.

97.

CHASING CHILES

K. Friese, K. Kraft, G. Nabhan
Paperback

Price: $9.87

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Chasing Chiles looks at both the future of place-based foods and the effects of climate change on agric…

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Chasing Chiles looks at both the future of place-based foods and the effects of climate change on agriculture through the lens of the chile pepper — from the farmers who cultivate this iconic crop to the cuisines and cultural traditions in which peppers play a huge role.

Why chile peppers? Both a spice and a vegetable, chile peppers have captivated imaginations and taste buds for thousands of years. Native to Mesoamerica and the New World, chiles are currently grown on every continent, since their relatively recent introduction to Europe (in the early 1500s via Christopher Columbus). Chiles are delicious, dynamic, and very diverse — they have been rapidly adopted, adapted and assimilated into numerous world cuisines, and while malleable to a degree, certain heirloom varieties are deeply tied to place and culture — but now accelerating climate change may be scrambling their terroir.

Over a year-long journey, three pepper-loving gastronauts — an agroecologist, a chef and an ethnobotanist — set out to find the real stories of America’s rarest heirloom chile varieties, and learn about the changing climate from farmers and other people who live by the pepper, and who, lately, have been adapting to shifting growing conditions and weather patterns. They put a face on an issue that has been made far too abstract for our own good.

Chasing Chiles is not your archetypal book about climate change, with facts and computer models delivered by a distant narrator. On the contrary, these three dedicated chileheads look and listen, sit down to eat, and get stories and recipes from on the ground — in farmers' fields, local cafes and the desert-scrub hillsides across North America. From the Sonoran Desert to Santa Fe and St. Augustine (the two oldest cities in the United States), from the marshes of Avery Island in Cajun Louisiana to the thin limestone soils of the Yucatan, this book looks at how and why climate change will continue to affect our palates and our producers, and how it already has.

98.

THE ONE-BLOCK FEAST

Margo True
Paperback

Price: $24.99

Based on the James Beard Award–winning blog The One-Block Diet, this all-in-one home gardening, do-it-yourself guide and cookbook shows you how to transform a backyard or garden into a self-sufficient…

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Based on the James Beard Award–winning blog The One-Block Diet, this all-in-one home gardening, do-it-yourself guide and cookbook shows you how to transform a backyard or garden into a self-sufficient locavore’s paradise.

When Margo True and her fellow staffers at Northern California–based Sunset magazine walked around the grounds of their Menlo Park office, they saw more than just a lawn and some gardens. Instead, they saw a fresh, bountiful food source, the makings for intrepid edible projects, and a series of seasonal feasts — all just waiting to happen.

The One-Block Feast is the story of how True and her team took an inspired idea and transformed it into an ambitious commitment: to create four feasts over the course of a year, using only what could be grown or raised in their backyard-sized plot. She candidly shares the group’s many successes and often humorous setbacks as they try their hands at chicken farming, cheese making, olive pressing, home brewing, beekeeping, winemaking and more.

Grouped into gardening, project and recipe guides for each season, The One-Block Feast is a complete resource for planning an eco-friendly kitchen garden; making your own pantry staples for year-round cooking and gifts; raising bees, chickens and even a cow; and creating made-from-scratch meals from ingredients you’ve grown yourself. Chapters are organized by season, each featuring a planting plan and crop-by-crop instructions, an account of how that season’s projects played out for the Sunset team, and a multicourse dinner menu composed of imaginative, appealing and ultra-resourceful vegetarian recipes, such as:

Butternut Squash Gnocchi With Chard and Sage Brown Butter, Egg and Gouda Crepes, Whole Wheat Pizzas With Roasted Vegetables and Homemade Cheeses, Fresh Corn Soup With Zucchini Blossoms, Braised Winter Greens With Preserved Lemons and Red Chile, Summer Lemongrass Custards, Honey Ice Cream

Generously illustrated and easy to follow, this ultimate resource for today’s urban homesteader will inspire you to take “eating local” to a whole new level.

Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, MOTHER EARTH NEWS is recommending books to readers. For 40 years, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has been North America’s “Original Guide to Living Wisely,” creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.

99.

A HOUSEHOLDER'S GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE

Harriet Fasenfest
Paperback

Price: $16.95

In an era when "go local," "organic food" and "sustainability" are on the tip of everyone's tongues, Harriet Fasenfest's A Householder's Guide to the Universe takes up the banner of progressive homema…

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In an era when "go local," "organic food" and "sustainability" are on the tip of everyone's tongues, Harriet Fasenfest's A Householder's Guide to the Universe takes up the banner of progressive homemaking and urban farming as a way to confront the political, social and environmental issues facing our world today. Offering grass-roots practical advice on how to shop, garden, run a household, preserve and cook food, and more, Fasenfest also discusses the philosophy of householding.

In A Householder's Guide to the Universe, which is organized according to season and presented in monthly installments, Fasenfest invites the reader into her home, garden and kitchen to consider concrete tools for change. Streetwise and poetic, fierce and romantic, the book provides not only a way out of our current economic and environmental logjam but also a readable and often funny analysis of how we got there.

About the author:
Harriet Fasenfest is an avid gardener, food preserver, homemaker and lover of the soil. At 56, Harriet officially fled Main Street (and her restaurants) for the greener pastures of the backyard, where she teaches classes on householding. Born and raised in the Bronx, she currently lives in Portland, Ore.

100.

GATHERING: MEMOIR OF A SEED SAVER

Diane Ott Whealy
Hardcover

Price: $25.00

Daughter of Iowa farmers, Missouri homesteader and mother of five, Diane Ott Whealy never anticipated that one day she would become a leader in a grass-roots movement to preserve our agricultural biod…

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Daughter of Iowa farmers, Missouri homesteader and mother of five, Diane Ott Whealy never anticipated that one day she would become a leader in a grass-roots movement to preserve our agricultural biodiversity. The love for the land and the respect for heirloom seeds that Ott Whealy shared with her husband, Kent, led to their starting Seed Savers Exchange in 1975.

Seed Savers Exchange, the nation’s premier nonprofit seed-saving organization, began humbly as a simple exchange of seeds among passionate gardeners who sought to preserve the rich gardening heritage their ancestors had brought to this country. Seeds that Ott Whealy herself inherited from her paternal grandparents were the impetus for the formation of Seed Savers Exchange, whose membership has grown from a small coterie to more than 13,000. Its influence has been felt in gardens across America.

Ott Whealy’s down-to-earth narrative traces her fascinating journey from Oregon to Kansas to Missouri then back home to Iowa where, in 1986, Heritage Farm became the permanent home of Seed Savers Exchange. Her heartwarming story captures what is best in the American spirit: the ability to dream and, through hard work and perseverance, inspire others to contribute their efforts to a cause. Thus was created one of the nation’s most admired nonprofits in the field of genetic preservation.

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