- Products for Wiser Living
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
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
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
The Little Veggie Patch Co. DIY Garden Projects includes more than 38 of their best projects for those young and old wanting to transform their outdoor living space. Also included are a variety of projects for experienced handy folk and quirky ideas that will involve the youngest members of the family. The ideas range from incredibly quick and simple (such as creating a self-watering milk-carton planter, growing micro-herbs, and hanging milk-crate planter boxes) to large-scale building projects (such as making vertical gardens from pallets and how to build a playhouse from recycled apple crates). Written in a personable, approachable style, with stories to accompany each project as well as clear step-by-step instructions with colorful photographs to match, The Little Veggie Patch Co. DIY Garden Projects will inspire the green thumb in every reader.
Author: Mat Pember & Dillion Seitchik
Eat your vegetables — and plant them too!
Plant the pits, roots, shoots, and seeds of almonds, anise, avocadoes, beans, celery, citrus, dates, fennel, figs, gingerroot, kiwi, mango, mustard, papya, peanuts, persimmon, pineapple, pomegranate, sesame, squash, turnip, tropical guava...and more!
You can also have houseplant fun with fruits, nuts, herbs and spices. From the common carrot to the exotic cherimoya, dozens of foods have pits, seeds, and roots waiting to be rescued from the compost bin and brought back to life on your windowsill. Planted and nurtured, the shiny pomegranate seeds left over from breakfast, and the neglected piece of gingerroot in your refrigerator will grow into a healthy, vigorous houseplants — kitchen experiments in the wonder of botany.
Author: DEBORAH PETERSON
Our industrialized food system is failing us, and as individuals we must take more responsibility for our own health and food security. Leaf crops produce more nutrients per square foot of growing space and per day of growing season than any other crops, especially vitamins and minerals commonly lacking in the North American diet. As hardy as they are versatile, these beautiful leafy vegetables range from the familiar to the exotic. Some part of this largely untapped food resource can thrive in almost any situation.
Eat Your Greens provides complete instructions for incorporating these nutritional powerhouses into any kitchen garden. This innovative guide shows how:
Beginning with a comprehensive overview of modern commercial agriculture, and rounded out by a selection of advanced techniques to maximize, preserve and prepare your harvest, Eat Your Greens is an invaluable addition to the library of any gardening enthusiast.
Author: David Kennedy
Long before sunflower seeds became a popular snack food, they were a foodstuff valued by Native Americans. For some 10,000 years, from the end of the Pleistocene to the 1800s, the indigenous peoples of the plains regarded edible native plants, like the sunflower, as an important source of food. Not only did plants provide sustenance during times of scarcity, they also added variety to what otherwise would have been a monotonous diet of game. Nevertheless, the use of native plants as food sharply declined when white men settled the Great Plains and imposed their own culture, with its differing notions of what was fit to eat. Those notions tended to exclude from the accepted diet such plants as soapweed, lambsquarter, ground cherry, prairie turnip and prickly pear. Today it is strange to think of eating chokecherries, which were a key ingredient in that staple of the Indian diet, pemmican.
Based on plant lore documented by historical and archaeological evidence, Edible Wild Plants of the Prairie relates how 122 plant species were once used as food by the native and immigrant residents on the prairie. Written for a broad audience of amateur naturalists, botanists, ethnologists, anthropologists and agronomists, this guide is intended to educate the reader about wild plants as food sources, to synthesize information on the potential use of native flora as new food crops, and to encourage the conservation and cultivation of prairie plants.
By writing about the edible flora of the American prairie, Kelly Kindscher has provided us with the first edible plant book devoted to the region that Walt Whitman called "North America's characteristic landscape" and that Willa Cather called "the floor of the sky." In describing how plants were used for food, he has drawn upon information concerning tribes that inhabited the prairie bioregion. As a consequence, his book serves as a handy compendium for readers seeking to learn more about historical uses of plants by Native Americans.
The book is organized into 51 chapters arranged alphabetically by scientific name. For those who are interested in finding and identifying the plants, the book provides line drawings, distribution maps, and botanical and habitat descriptions. The ethnobotanical accounts of food use form the major portion of the text, but the reader will also find information on the parts of the plants used, harvesting, propagation (for home gardeners), and the preparation and taste of wild food plants.
Author: Kelly Kindscher
Savor your best tomato harvest ever! Craig LeHoullier, tomato adviser for Seed Savers Exchange, offers everything a tomato enthusiast needs to know about growing more than 200 varieties of tomatoes — from sowing seeds and planting to cultivating and collecting seeds at the end of the season. He also offers a comprehensive guide to the various pests and diseases of tomatoes and explains how best to avoid them. No other book offers such a detailed look at the specifics of growing tomatoes, with beautiful photographs and helpful tomato profiles throughout.
Author: Craig LeHoullier
Longtime Maine farmer and homesteader Will Bonsall possesses a unique clarity of vision that extends all the way from the finer points of soil fertility and seed saving to exploring how we can transform civilization and make our world a better, more resilient place.
In Will Bonsall's Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening, Bonsall maintains that to achieve real wealth we first need to understand the economy of the land, to realize that things that might make sense economically don't always make sense ecologically, and vice versa. The marketplace distorts our values, and our modern dependence on petroleum in particular presents a serious barrier to creating a truly sustainable agriculture.
For him the solution is, first and foremost, greater self-reliance, especially in the areas of food and energy. By avoiding any off-farm inputs (fertilizers, minerals and animal manures), Bonsall has learned how to practice a purely veganic, or plant-based, agriculture—not from a strictly moralistic or philosophical perspective, but because it makes good business sense: spend less instead of making more.
What this means in practical terms is that Bonsall draws upon the fertility of on-farm plant materials: compost, green manures, perennial grasses, and forest products like leaves and ramial wood chips. And he grows and harvests a diversity of crops from both cultivated and perennial plants: vegetables, grains, pulses, oilseeds, fruits and nuts—even uncommon but useful permaculture plants like groundnut (Apios).
In a friendly, almost conversational way, Bonsall imparts a wealth of knowledge drawn from his more than 40 years of farming experience.
"My goal," he writes, "is not to feed the world, but to feed myself and let others feed themselves. If we all did that, it might be a good beginning."
Author: Will Bonsall