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There are hundreds of ways to save money on your grocery or home repair bills: growing your own food, doing your own home repairs, preserving or baking your own food, and so much more. Mother Earth News and Grit have compiled five special guides that will help you save money on food and your homestead. You will learn how to buy and build your dream homestead, discover delicious homemade bread recipes, grow food in small spaces, and more.
The word "hack" has a multitude of meanings these days, but if you ask garden author Shawna Coronado what a hack is, she might just wave her hand toward her own backyard. She could be pointing at the garden bench she created from leftover wood posts and a few cinder blocks, or the rows of wine bottles buried soldier-style along a winding pathway, or even the garden soil itself, which is blended by hand from an organic soil recipe she devised. A hack is really just a great idea that's come to life.
In 101 Organic Garden Hacks you'll find the top tips, tricks, and solutions Coronado has dreamed up in her career as one of America's most creative gardeners. Some are practical time-savers; others offer clever ways to "upcycle" everyday items in your garden. One characteristic every hack shares is that they are completely organic and unfailingly environmentally friendly. Divided into a dozen different categories for easy reference, each hack is accompanied by a clear photo that shows you exactly how to complete it. If you are looking for resourceful ways to improve your garden and promote green living values right at home, you'll love paging through this fascinating, eye-catching book.
Author: Shawna Coronado
Rapidly increasing in popularity, square foot gardening is the most practical, foolproof way to grow a home garden. That explains why author and gardening innovator Mel Bartholomew has sold more than 2 million books describing how to become a successful DIY square foot gardener. Now, with the publication of All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition, the essential guide to his unique step-by-step method has become even better. Bartholomew developed his techniques in the early 1980s and has been teaching them throughout the world ever since. In the process, he has made improvements and refinements and continually adapted his practices to keep pace with modern times. In this new volume, he furthers his discussion on one of the most popular gardening trends today: vertical gardening. Bartholomew also explains how you can make gardening fun for children by teaching them the square foot method. Finally, an expanded section on pest control helps you protect your precious produce. Rich with new full-color images and updated tips for selecting materials, this beautiful new edition is perfect for brand-new gardeners as well as the millions of square foot gardeners who are already dedicated to Bartholomew's industry-changing insights.
Author: Mel Bartholomew
An Unlikely Vineyard tells the evolutionary story of Deirdre Heekin’s farm from overgrown fields to a fertile, productive and beautiful landscape that melds with its natural environment.
Is it possible to capture landscape in a bottle? To express its terroir, its essence of place—geology, geography, climate and soil—as well as the skill of the winegrower?
That’s what Heekin and her chef/husband, Caleb Barber, set out to accomplish on their tiny, 8-acre hillside farm and vineyard in Vermont.
But An Unlikely Vineyard involves much more. It also presents, through the example of their farming journey and winegrowing endeavors, an impressive amount of information on how to think about almost every aspect of gardening: from composting to trellising; from making cider and perry to growing old garden roses, keeping bees, and raising livestock; from pruning (or not) to dealing naturally with pests and diseases.
Challenged by cold winters, wet summers and other factors, the Heekins set about growing not only a vineyard, but an orchard of heirloom apples, pears and plums, as well as gardens filled with vegetables, herbs, roses and wildflowers destined for their own table and for the kitchen of their small restaurant. They wanted to create, or rediscover, a sense of place, and to grow food naturally using the philosophy and techniques gleaned from organic gardening, permaculture and biodynamic farming.
Accompanied throughout by lush photos, this gentle narrative will appeal to anyone who loves food, farms, and living well.
Author: Deirdre Heekin
Aquaponics is a revolutionary system for growing plants by fertilizing them with the wastewater from fish in a sustainable closed system. A combination of the best of aquaculture and hydroponics, aquaponic gardening is an amazingly productive way to grow organic vegetables, greens, herbs and fruits, while providing the added benefits of fresh fish as a safe, healthy source of protein. On a larger scale, it is a key solution to mitigating food insecurity, climate change, groundwater pollution and the impacts of overfishing on our oceans.
Aquaponic Gardening is the definitive do-it-yourself home manual, focused on giving you all the tools you need to create your own aquaponic system and enjoy healthy, safe, fresh and delicious food all year round. Starting with an overview of the theory, benefits and potential of aquaponics, the book goes on to explain:
Aquaponics systems are completely organic. They are four to six times more productive and use 90 percent less water than conventional gardens. Other advantages include no weeds; fewer pests; and no watering, fertilizing, bending, digging or heavy lifting – in fact, there really is no down side! Anyone interested in taking the next step toward self-sufficiency will be fascinated by this practical, accessible and well-illustrated guide.
About the Author: Sylvia Bernstein is the president and founder of The Aquaponic Source. An internationally recognized expert on aquaponic gardening, Sylvia speaks, writes and blogs (www.theaquaponicsource.com) extensively about this revolutionary technique.
Author: Sylvia Bernstein
It may seem counterintuitive to want bugs in a garden, but insects are indeed valuable garden companions. Especially those species known for eating the bugs that eat plants. Assassin bugs, damsel bugs and predatory stink bugs are all carnivores that devour the bugs that dine on a garden.
Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden is a book about bugs and plants, and how to create a garden that benefits from both. In addition to information on companion planting and commercial options for purchasing bugs, there are 19 detailed bug profiles and 39 plant profiles. The bug profiles include a description, a photograph for identification, an explanation of what they do for the garden, and the methods gardeners can use to attract them. The plant profiles highlight the best plants for attracting beneficial bugs and offer detailed information on size, care requirements, zone information and bloom time. Design plans show gardeners how to design a border specifically for the bugs.
This complete, hands-on guide is for anyone looking for a new, natural and sustainable way to control pests.
Author: Jessica Walliser
Backyard Pharmacy helps you choose the best "backyard" medicinal plants. All of the plants can be grown easily by home gardeners throughout North America … and used for their healing and natural-remedy properties! Author Elizabeth Millard shares her deep knowledge of what to add to your garden to grow your own medicine cabinet to enhance your health.
Each featured plant profile includes:
Author: Elizabeth Millard
A lighthearted A-to-Z encyclopedia of farm lore, Barnyard Confidential covers everything you need to know about living in the country, from courting to dealing with manure, root picking to rat catching, winter chores to tractor restoration, hay mows to outhouses … anything and everything related to farm life. Entries from well-known country authors like E. B. White, Gwen Petersen, Roger Welsch and Patricia Penton Leimbach range from funny definitions to full stories and are illustrated throughout with a charming mix of fun, nostalgic, black-and-white photos and illustrations. These stories are both humorous and practical and will remind you why you often have a love-hate relationship with rural living. Before you move to the country (or even if you already live there), learn all the secrets to success from Barnyard Confidential.
Featured authors include: Eric Sloane, Roger Welsch, Gwen Petersen, Ben Logan, Jim Heynen, Bob Artley, Marjorie Myers Douglas, Hamlin Garland, E. B. White, Jerry Stelmok, Louis Bromfield, Bob Becker, William Hazlett Upson, Patricia Penton Leimbach, Jerry L. Twedt, Michael Perry, Willa Cather, Jerry Apps, Josh Billings, Michael Dregni, Jared Van Wagenen Jr., Hugh Orchard, Dorothy Canfield, Virginia Bell Dabney, Tom Anderson, Ronald Jager, Margret Aldrich, Bill Vossler, and Gordon Green.
Author: Melinda Keefe
All gardeners and farmers should be plant breeders, says author Carol Deppe. Developing new vegetable varieties doesn't require a specialized education, a lot of land, or even a lot of time. It can be done on any scale. It's enjoyable. It's deeply rewarding. You can get useful new varieties much faster than you might suppose. And you can eat your mistakes.
Authoritative and easy-to-understand, Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener's and Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving is the only guide to plant breeding and seed saving for the serious home gardener and the small-scale farmer or commercial grower.
In this one-size-fits-all world of multinational seed companies, plant patents, and biotech monopolies, more and more gardeners and farmers are recognizing that they need to "take back their seeds." They need to save more of their own seed, grow and maintain the best traditional and regional varieties, and develop more of their own unique new varieties. Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener's and Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving shows the way, and offers an exciting introduction to a whole new gardening adventure.
Author: Carol Deppe
In an organic garden, plants in optimum health thrive abundantly, produce harvests with amazing taste, and possess the ability to fight off plant predators. When they don't, there's often something lacking in their proper nutrition. Maybe they are missing beneficial microorganism companions, or perhaps they are short of the energy needed to reach their full nutrient-dense potential. The solution is to "start with the soil," but healthy soil doesn't happen just by composting, fertilizing or companion planting alone. The solution can be found in Building Soils Naturally, which gives gardeners a hands-on plan for creating productive, living soil by using a practical, holistic approach - crafted right in your garden.
Author: Phil Nauta
Companion planting techniques have been used for centuries to facilitate better, more nutritious, and more abundant crops. Did you know that beets will grow better if surrounded by mint or garlic, but tomatoes should not be planted near cabbage? Flax helps protect some root vegetables from pests, and tomatoes will thrive when planted near carrots (though the carrots may wind up stunted). Your celery will be happier if it’s far away from corn, but broccoli and dill make a terrific garden pair. It’s a lot to think about, but there’s no reason to feel overwhelmed. With Companion Planting for the Kitchen Gardener, you’ll have all the information you need in clear, concise terms and with charts and garden plans you can copy or modify to suit your family’s needs.
Starting with the basics of organic gardening, such as how to prepare quality soil and the importance of cover crops and organic fertilizer, authors Allison and Tim Greer explain the principles of companion planting, how plants interact, and how you can use that information to your garden’s benefit. There is an entire chapter devoted to each of the 15 most popular vegetables, with charts, diagrams, and descriptions of each … a treasure for gardeners with busy lives who want an easy reference guide for planning their ideal kitchen garden. Full of gorgeous, full-color photographs and easy-to-follow diagrams, this is a beautiful, useful guide for the home organic gardener.
Author: Allison Greer
If you've ever thought about pursuing a self-sufficient lifestyle on your own rural homestead or survival retreat but feared you didn't have the money or skills to do it, you simply must read this book. It’s a gold mine of practical steps and instructions to take you from dreaming about an off-grid, independent lifestyle to living one!
There are hundreds of things to think about before planning and starting your new life, and this book will save you valuable time and money by steering you down productive paths and making you carefully consider others. Just some of the areas it covers include:
Author: Steven D. Gregerson