p>As the average age of America’s farmers continues to rise, we face serious questions about what farming will look like in the near future, and who will be growing our food. Many younger people are interested in going into agriculture, especially organic farming, but cannot find affordable land, or lack the conceptual framework and practical information they need to succeed in a job that can be both difficult and deeply fulfilling.
In Fruitful Labor, Mike Madison meticulously describes the ecology of his own small family farm in the Sacramento Valley of California. He covers issues of crop ecology such as soil fertility, irrigation needs, and species interactions, as well as the broader agroecological issues of the social, economic, regulatory, and technological environments in which the farm operates. The final section includes an extensive analysis of sustainability on every level.
Gardening with Less Water offers simple, inexpensive, low-tech techniques for watering your garden much more efficiently — using up to 90 percent less water for the same results. With illustrated step-by-step instructions, David Bainbridge shows you how to install buried clay pots and pipes, wicking systems, and other porous containers that deliver water directly to a plant’s roots with little to no evaporation.
In Growing Food in a Short Season, Melanie J. Watts explains that with the right gardening practices the short Northern summer can lead to an explosion of life, producing enough color and food to see anyone through the dark days of winter. Providing helpful hints and a wise gardening philosophy for a productive food garden, Watts begins at ground level with instruction on how to use compost and manure to create fertile soil that will lend its life to plants. A variety of seed options and planting methods are presented — including start times and placement — taking into account microclimates that occur in each garden as well as the benefits of companion planting. Additionally, plants that are easily grown in Zone 2 and 3 are listed with concise how-to-grow information. Watts provides full chapters on garden maintenance and harvesting, as well as tips on cooking and preserving the bounty with great recipes that focus on eating seasonally.
In this fully illustrated, easy-to-use guide, Garrett and veteran herbalist Odena Brannam offer expert advice on growing nearly 150 herbs suited to Texas and Southwestern gardens, along with detailed information on each plant's landscape, culinary, medicinal, and other uses.
In the Indiana Getting Started Garden Guide, internationally renowned gardening expert and Indiana native Shawna Coronado presents foolproof planting advice for more than 150 species, handpicked for their ability to flourish in the Hoosier State. Organized alphabetically by plant type and common name, this book's format makes it as simple to come upon plants you've never heard of as it is to look up your old favorites. Every species – from annuals and perennials to shrubs, natives, and trees – is featured with gorgeous full-color photography, a name pronunciation guide, instructions for planting and care, and a list of ideal companion plants.
The Plains Indians found medicinal value in more than 200 species of native prairie plants. Unfortunately, modern American culture has not paid much attention.
White settlers did learn a few plant-based remedies from the Indians, and a few prairie plants were prescribed by frontier doctors. A couple dozen prairie species were listed as drugs in the U.S. Pharmacopeia at one time or another, and one or two, like the Purple Coneflower, found their way into the bottles of patent medicine.
But in both the number of species used and the varieties of treatments administered, Indians were far more proficient than white settlers. Their familiarity with the plants of the prairie was comprehensive: There probably were Indian names for all prairie plants, and they recognized more varieties of some species than scientists do today. Their knowledge was refined and exact enough that they could successfully administer medicinal doses of plants that are poisonous. All of the species used by frontier doctors were used first by Indians.
In Medicinal Wild Plants of the Prairie, ethnobotanist Kelly Kindscher documents the medicinal use of 203 native prairie plants by the Plains Indians. Using information gleaned from archival materials, interviews and fieldwork, Kindscher describes plant-based treatments for ailments ranging from hyperactivity to syphilis, from arthritis to worms. He also explains the use of internal and external medications, smoke treatments, moxa (the burning of a medicinal substance on the skin), and the doctrine of signatures (the belief that the form or characteristics of a plant are signatures or signs that reveal its medicinal uses). He adds information on recent pharmacological findings to further illuminate the medicinal nature of these plants.
Not since 1919 has the ethnobotany of native Great Plains plants been examined so thoroughly. Kindscher's study is the first to encompass the entire Prairie Bioregion, a 1 million-square-mile area bounded by Texas on the south, Canada on the north, the Rocky Mountains on the west, and the deciduous forests of Missouri, Indiana and Wisconsin in the east. Along with information on the medicinal uses of prairie plants by the Indians, Kindscher also lists Indian, common, and scientific names and describes Anglo folk uses, medical uses, scientific research and cultivation. Descriptions of the plants are supplemented by 44 exquisite line drawings and more than 100 range maps.
This book will help increase appreciation for prairie plants at a time when prairies and their biodiversity urgently need protection throughout the region.
Whether you're a first-time homeowner, dedicated gardener, or landscape professional, if you're gardening on the Gulf Coast, you need Howard Garrett's Plants for Houston and the Gulf Coast. Garrett is one of Texas's top organic gardening experts, and gardeners rely on him for accurate, sensible advice about what to plant and how to maintain healthy yards and landscapes without synthetic fertilizers and toxic pesticides. In Plants for Houston and the Gulf Coast, Garrett presents nearly 400 plants, both native and adapted, that grow well in Southeast Texas.
Like all of Howard Garrett's books, Plants for Houston and the Gulf Coast is loaded with indispensable gardening information:
No other book currently available provides such extensive and reliable information for Texas Gulf Coast gardeners.
The concept of silvopasture challenges our notions of both modern agriculture and land use. For centuries, European settlers of North America have engaged in practices that separate the field from the forest, and even the food from the animal. Silvopasture systems integrate trees, animals, and forages in a whole-system approach that offers a number of benefits to the farmer and the environment. Such a system not only offers the promise of ecological regeneration of the land, but also an economical livelihood and even the ability to farm extensively while buffering the effects of a changing climate: increased rainfall, longer droughts, and more intense storm events.
Silvopasture, however, involves more than just allowing animals into the woodlot. It is intentional, steeped in careful observation skills and flexible to the dynamics of such a complex ecology. It requires a farmer who understands grassland ecology, forestry, and animal husbandry. The farmer needn’t be an expert in all of these disciplines, but familiar enough with them to make decisions on a wide variety of time scales. A silvopasture system will inevitably look different from year to year, and careful design coupled with creativity and visioning for the future are all part of the equation.
Compost your old "complete" gardening guide. There's a new way of gardening in Texas that's healthier for people and the environment, more effective at growing vigorous plants and reducing pests, cheaper to maintain, and just more fun. It's Howard Garrett's "The Natural Way" organic gardening program, and it's all here in Texas Gardening the Natural Way.
This book shows you how to have healthy soil and recommends environmentally safe products and even some homemade remedies to control pests and diseases in your garden. It describes more than 100 food plants and gives specific information on the growth habits, culture, harvest, and storage of each.
Knowing when and how to plant a tree are crucial to its survival. But if you select the wrong tree for your particular area and conditions, the proper planting techniques will not make a difference. Because Texas is a big place with varied climates, soils, and water qualities, a wide variety of trees can be grown there. Howard Garrett, also known as the "Dirt Doctor," explores the wide-ranging possibilities in a book that will prove its value to homeowners, landscape architects, contractors, nurseries, gardeners, and others who want healthy trees.
Texas Trees includes a complete description of native and best-introduced trees and gives details on natural habitats and preferred sites, planting and maintenance, identification information, flowers, fruit and foliage, culture, problems, and propagation. Texas Trees is for all Texas tree lovers, from the Red River to the Gulf Coast, the piney woods to the deserts and mountains.
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The Montana Gardener's Companion explains how to identify and address common shortcomings of Montana soils, including alkaline soils (the most common soil in Montana), acidic soils (found in some soils in the mountains and near Great Falls), and salty soils (found especially in eastern Montana and in areas west and northwest of Great Falls east of the Divide and in the far northeastern portions of Sheridan County). This book explains the different climates of eastern and western Montana, the effect of elevation on growing seasons, and how Montana gardeners can lengthen their growing seasons through careful plant selection, choosing the correct exposure, planting properly on slopes and using season-extending products.