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To grow produce of the highest nutritional quality the essential minerals lacking in our soil must be replaced, but this re-mineralization calls for far more attention to detail than the simple addition of composted manure or NPK fertilizers. The Intelligent Gardener demystifies the process while simultaneously debunking much of the false and misleading information perpetuated by both the conventional and organic agricultural movements. In doing so, it conclusively establishes the link between healthy soil, healthy food, and healthy people.
This practical step-by-step guide and the accompanying customizable web-based spreadsheets go beyond organic and are essential tools for any serious gardener who cares about the quality of the produce they grow.
Les Jardins de la Grelinette is a micro-farm located in Eastern Quebec, just north of the American border. Growing on just 1.5 acres, owners Jean-Martin Fortier and Maude-Hélène Desroches feed more than 200 families through their thriving community-supported agriculture (CSA) program and seasonal market stands, and they supply their signature mesclun salad mix to dozens of local establishments. The secret of their success is the low-tech, high-yield production methods they've developed by focusing on growing better rather than growing bigger, making their operation more lucrative and viable in the process.
The Market Gardener is a compendium of the farm's proven horticultural techniques and innovative growing methods. This complete guide is packed with practical information on:
Inspired by the French intensive tradition of maraîchage and by iconic American vegetable grower Eliot Coleman, author and farmer Jean-Martin Fortier shows by example how to start a market garden and make it both very productive and profitable. Making a living wage farming without big capital outlay or acreages may be closer than you think.
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.
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.
Monthly planting guides show exactly what you can do in the garden from January through December. The skill sets go beyond the basics with tutorials on seed saving, worm bins and more. This book also includes a comprehensive gardening primer and an A to Z of edibles-a detailed, invaluable source for the region's tried-and-tested varieties.
Fight garden pests and increase your yields the natural way with this tried and true technique!
Planting vegetables and flowers together is one of the oldest ways to create a healthy, bountiful garden, but there's more to the method than you might think. Vegetables Love Flowers will walk you through the ins and outs of companion planting, from how it works to which plants go together and how to grow the best garden for your climate.
With the right information and some careful planning, you can help your plants thrive--and beautify your garden in the process.
The Water Gardening Idea Book gives in full detail all the practical information necessary for the selection, grouping, and successful cultivation of aquatic and other plants required in the making of a water garden and its surroundings. It’s perfect for both amateurs and those with green thumbs looking to take their gardens to the next level. Readers will enjoy projects of varying difficulty, starting with simple container gardens and advancing to large estate or park fountains and ponds.