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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.
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
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
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
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
Since Rosalind Creasy popularized the concept of landscaping with edibles a quarter-century ago, interest in eating healthy, fresh, locally grown foods has swept across the nation. More and more Americans are looking to grow clean, delicious produce at home, saving money and natural resources at the same time. And food plants have been freed from the backyard, gracing the finest landscapes — even the White House grounds!
Creasy’s expertise on edibles and how to incorporate them in beautifully designed outdoor environments was first showcased in the original edition of Edible Landscaping (1982), hailed by gardeners everywhere as a groundbreaking classic. Now this highly anticipated new edition presents the latest design and how-to information in a glorious full-color format, featuring more than 300 inspiring photographs.
Drawing on the author’s decades of research and experience, the book presents everything you need to know to create an inviting home landscape that will yield mouthwatering vegetables, fruits, nuts and berries. The comprehensive Encyclopedia of Edibles — a book in itself — provides horticultural information, culinary uses, sources and recommended varieties; and appendices cover the basics of planting and maintenance, and of controlling pests and diseases using organic and environmentally friendly practices.
Author: Rosalind Creasy
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
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
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