Expert flower grower Lisa Mason Zeigler introduces us to the long-blooming stars of the spring garden, the hardy annuals – those flowers that thrive when they are planted during cool conditions (instead of waiting until the warmth of spring). Forget “Some Like It Hot,” she advises, and give them a cool start. Plant them in the right spot at the right time, nestle their roots deep into rich organic soil, and stand back. In no time at all, you’ll have a low-maintenance, vibrant spring flower garden that keeps on blooming when other annuals are dead and gone.
This story of sunshine, weather patterns, old limitations and expectations, and new realities is delightfully innovative in the best gardening tradition. Four-Season Harvest will have you feasting on fresh produce from your garden all through the winter.
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.
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.
For more than four decades, the self-described “contrary farmer” and writer Gene Logsdon commented on the state of American agriculture. In Letter to a Young Farmer, his final book of essays, Logsdon addressed the next generation: young people moving back to the land to enjoy a better way of life as small-scale “garden farmers.” It’s a lifestyle that isn’t defined by accumulating wealth or by the “get big or get out” agribusiness mindset. Instead, it’s one that recognizes the beauty of nature, cherishes the land, respects our fellow creatures, and values rural traditions. It’s one that also looks forward and embraces “right technologies,” including new and innovative ways of working smarter, not harder, and avoiding premature burnout.
Anyone can learn to store fruits and vegetables safely and naturally in a cool, dark space with the step-by-step advice in this book. Root cellaring is a way of using the earth's naturally cool, stable temperature to store perishable fruits and vegetables and preserve them for months to come. This book will show you a no-cost, simple, low-technology, energy-saving way to keep your harvest fresh all year long.
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 and products 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.
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.
Inspired by European intensive growers, The New Organic Grower, 30th Anniversary Edition offers an 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 information has been included in this edition to showcase the new tools and techniques that Coleman has been developing during the last 35 years.
For more than a decade, this best-selling title has helped countless gardeners produce bountiful harvests of organic vegetables. Now, Ed Smith is back with a thoroughly revised and updated second edition, including coverage of 15 additional vegetables; an expanded section on salad greens; more attention to European and Asian vegetables; growing information on more fruits and herbs; new cultivar photographs; a much-requested section on extending the growing season into the winter months; and more. No vegetables are healthier, fresher, less expensive, or more local than the ones you grow in your own back yard. The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible will show you how.
The Year-Round Hoophouse is a comprehensive guide to designing and building a hoophouse and making a success of growing abundant, delicious fresh produce all year, whatever your climate and land size.
Fresh salads in February? Absolutely! The first frost no longer has to be the end of your growing season. Author Niki Jabbour gardens in Nova Scotia, where short summers and low levels of winter sunlight create the ultimate challenge for food gardeners. Her simple techniques will have you harvesting fresh vegetables in every month of the year, no matter where you live. You’ll learn how to select the best varieties for each season, master the art of succession planting, and make inexpensive protective structures that keep vegetables viable and delicious through the colder months.
About the author:
Niki Jabbour, author of The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener, is a food gardener and garden writer who lives near Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her articles have appeared in Canadian Gardening, Garden Making, Gardens East, The Heirloom Gardener, and other publications. She is the host of The Weekend Gardener, a call-in radio show that airs throughout the Maritime provinces on News 95.7 FM and www.news957.com, and she blogs at www.yearroundveggiegardener.blogspot.com. Her garden boasts more than 40 heirloom vegetables and herbs that keep her family eating fresh food year-round.
The homesteading movement is continuing to grow, as more people are stepping up to have a hand in where their food comes from. Whether you want to dabble or immerse yourself completely in the do-it-yourself, back-to-basics lifestyle, Welcome to the Farm is a comprehensive, fully illustrated guide to growing the very best food right in your own backyard. Shaye Elliott takes readers on a journey that teaches them how to harvest baskets full of organic produce, milk a dairy cow (and make butter), plant a homestead orchard, can jams and jellies, and even raise chickens and bees. From her experience running The Elliott Homestead, Shaye provides all the how-to wisdom you need to know about:
Welcome to the Farm is aimed to serve homesteaders and urban-farmers alike, guiding them through the beginning stages of small-area farming and utilizing whatever amount of space they have available for optimal and delicious food production.