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The “garden to table” movement is inspiring another generation of gardeners, but many of them have questions. How important is composting? Is seed saving really worth it? Focusing on sustainable, organic growing practices and plants, The Backyard Gardener is a comprehensive handbook that will help get them started. Kelly Orzel covers everything from soil selection to growing and harvesting. Sidebars such as “Garden Center Survival Tips” offer useful advice to help readers build their confidence and know-how. This guide also features photographs of beautiful plant bed designs, propagation techniques, and much more.
This hardworking addition to the best-selling Backyard Homestead series offers expert advice on what tasks to do around your farm and when to do them — no matter where on the planet you call home. Author Ann Larkin Hansen sets the priorities for each area of the farm, including the barn, garden, orchard, field, pasture, and woodlot. For every critical turn of the year (12 in all), Hansen provides an at-a-glance to-do list along with tips and a more in-depth discussion of key topics for the season. Easy-reference charts, checklists, and record-keeping sections help you keep track of it all.
In The Community Food Forest Handbook, Catherine Bukowski and John Munsell dive into the civic aspects of community food forests, drawing on observations, group meetings, and interviews at over 20 projects across the country and their own experience creating and managing a food forest. They combine the stories and strategies gathered during their research with concepts of community development and project management to outline steps for creating lasting public food forests that positively impact communities.
Abandoning the limitations of traditional gardening methods, she has created a beautifully productive garden where tomatoes sit happily next to roses, carrots are woven between the lavenders and potatoes grow in pots on the patio. And she shares her favorite recipes for the hearty dishes, pickles and jams she makes to use up her bountiful harvest, proving that no-one need go hungry on her grow-your-own regime.
The Fruit Forager’s Companion is a how-to guide with nearly 100 recipes devoted to the secret, sweet bounty just outside our front doors and ripe for the taking, from familiar apples and oranges to lesser-known pawpaws and mayhaws. Seasoned chef, gardener, and forager Sara Bir primes readers on foraging basics, demonstrates gathering and preservation techniques, and presents a suite of recipes including habanero crabapple jelly, lime pickle, pawpaw lemon curd, and fermented cranberry relish.
The Homesteader's Herbal Companion is a beautiful guide for the modern-day homesteader. From teaching how to incorporate herbs and essential oils around your home, to showing how to enhance your family's health and well-being, this book acts as a go-to guide for those wishing to live a more natural homesteading lifestyle. The book breaks down how herbs are used in tinctures, salves, essential oils, and infused oils. Better yet, if you're a homesteader with livestock, you'll learn how to maintain their health holistically.
Root cellaring isn’t just for off-the-grid types or farmers with large gardens. Storing food makes good sense, both financially and environmentally. And root cellars can easily fit anywhere. In this intelligent, convincing book, authors Jennifer Megyesi and Geoff Hansen show how to make them part of every reader’s life.
The Manual of Seed Saving is an authoritative guide from experts around the globe. It features information on how to maximize seed quality and yield for more than 100 crop plants. It includes popular market plants like asparagus, carrots, corn, rhubarb, spinach, squash and tomatoes. Plant profiles include critical information on pollination, isolation distances, cultivation, harvest, storage, and pests and diseases.
The Minimalist Gardener reveals low-maintenance, year-round, no-dig gardening that provides your kitchen with delicious fresh food (while not breaking your back). Written by acknowledged expert Patrick Whitefield, 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.
Due to the revived interest in vegetable gardening, people are again turning to the age-old practice of companion planting as an effective way to avoid chemicals and reduce labor simply by placing the right plants next to each other in the garden. This book is designed to help gardeners mix and match various companion plant pairs and groups to create healthy, harmonious botanical communities.
This book will show you how to bring your garden ecosystem into balance so that beneficial insects and larger animals do the work of pest control for you. Anna Hess has had seven years of experience growing all of her family's vegetables. Here, she sums up all of her knowledge and expertise, teaching you many hands-on pest-control techniques, such as succession planting, choosing resistant plant varieties, and shielding plants with row covers. Paying attention to the nutritional needs of your vegetables can also deter pests, and the remaining insects are simple to handpick.
Turning waste into wealth sounds too good to be true, but many worm farmers are finding that vermicomposting is a reliable way to do just that. Vermicast—a biologically active, nutrient-rich mix of earthworm castings and decomposed organic matter—sells for $400 or more per cubic yard. Compare that to regular compost, sold at about $30 a cubic yard, and you’ll see why vermicomposting has taken root in most countries and on every continent but Antarctica.
Vermicomposting is also one of the best sustainable solutions for organic waste management. Vermicomposting manure and crop wastes on farms improves crop yields while reducing demand for off-farm inputs. Vermicast has higher nutrient levels and lower soluble salt content than regular compost, and it improves soil aeration, porosity, and water retention. Plus, vermicast suppresses plant diseases and insect attacks. Municipalities, businesses, community gardens, schools, and universities can set up vermicomposting operations to process food residuals and other waste materials.