- Products for Wiser Living
Permaculture is more than just the latest buzzword; it offers positive solutions for many of the environmental and social challenges confronting us. And nowhere are those remedies more needed and desired than in our cities. The Permaculture City provides a new way of thinking about urban living, with practical examples for creating abundant food, energy security, close-knit communities, local and meaningful livelihoods, and sustainable policies in our cities and towns. The same nature-based approach that works so beautifully for growing food—connecting the pieces of the landscape together in harmonious ways—applies perfectly to many of our other needs. Toby Hemenway, one of the leading practitioners and teachers of permaculture design, illuminates a new way forward through examples of edge-pushing innovations, along with a deeply holistic conceptual framework for our cities, towns and suburbs.
The Permaculture City begins in the garden but takes what we have learned there and applies it to a much broader range of human experience; we’re not just gardening plants but people, neighborhoods and even cultures. Hemenway lays out how permaculture design can help town dwellers solve the challenges of meeting our needs for food, water, shelter, energy, community and livelihood in sustainable, resilient ways. Readers will find new information on designing the urban home garden and strategies for gardening in community, rethinking our water and energy systems, learning the difference between a “job” and a “livelihood,” and the importance of placemaking and an empowered community.
This important book documents the rise of a new sophistication, depth and diversity in the approaches and thinking of permaculture designers and practitioners. Understanding nature can do more than improve how we grow, make or consume things; it can also teach us how to cooperate, make decisions and arrive at good solutions.
Author: Toby Hemenway
To accommodate today’s lifestyles, a garden needs to fit easily into a very small plot, take as little time as possible to maintain, require a minimum amount of water, and still produce prolifically. That’s exactly what a postage stamp garden does. Postage stamp gardens are as little as 4 by 4 feet, and, after the initial soil preparation, they require very little extra work to produce a tremendous amount of vegetables–for instance, a 5-by-5-foot bed will produce a minimum of 200 pounds of vegetables.
When first published 40 years ago, the postage stamp techniques, including closely planted beds rather than rows, vines and trailing plants grown vertically to free up space, were groundbreaking. Now, in an ever busier world, the postage stamp intensive gardening method continues to be invaluable for gardeners who wish to weed, water and work a whole lot less yet produce so much more.
Author: Karen Newcomb
Filled with advice for the home gardener and the more seasoned horticulturist alike, The Seed Garden: The Art and Practice of Seed Saving provides straightforward instruction on collecting seed that is true-to-type and ready for sowing in next year’s garden. In this comprehensive book, Seed Savers Exchange, one of the foremost American authorities on the subject, and the Organic Seed Alliance bring together decades of knowledge to demystify the time-honored tradition of saving the seed of more than seventy-five coveted vegetable and herb crops—from heirloom tomatoes and long-favored varieties of beans, lettuces, and cabbages to centuries-old varieties of peppers and grains.
With clear instructions, lush photographs, and easy-to-comprehend profiles on individual vegetable crops, this book not only teaches us how to go about conserving these important varieties for future generations and for planting out in next year’s garden, it also provides a deeper understanding of the importance of saving these genetically valuable varieties of vegetables that have evolved over the centuries through careful selection by farmers and home gardeners.
Through simple lessons and master classes on crop selection, pollination, roguing, and the processes of harvesting and storing seeds, this book ensures that these time-honored traditions can continue. Many of these vegetable varieties are treasured for traits that are singular to their strain, whether that is a resistance to disease, an ability to grow well in a region for which that crop is not typically well suited, resistance to early bolting, or simply because it is a great-tasting variety. In an age of genetically modified crops and hybrid seed, a growing appreciation for saving seeds of these time-tested, open-pollinated cultivars has found a new audience from home vegetable gardeners and cooks to restaurant chefs and local farmers.
Whether interested in simply saving seeds for home use or working to conserve rare varieties of beloved squashes and tomatoes, this book provides a deeper understanding of the art, the science, and the joy of saving seeds.
Author: Seed Savers Exchange
The book begins with a personality test for your soil, then uses that information to plan a course of action for revitalizing poor soil and turning good dirt into great earth. Next, you’ll learn to start and maintain a no-till garden, to balance nutrients with remineralization, and to boost organic matter with easy cover crops
Author: Anna Hess
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.
Author: RHONDA SHERMAN
In today's downturned economy, one sector is trending sharply up: backyard vegetable gardening. Americans are staying closer to home, literally tending to their gardens by the millions. And they're reaching out for help and advice. Doug Oster, popular radio talk show gardening expert (and newspaper garden and food columnist), gets more questions about tomatoes than any other vegetable. No. 2 is garlic, with basil close behind. It's time for a book about these favorites of the American kitchen, created for beginners and old-timers alike. With color photos throughout, this book is a balance of easy-to-use organic gardening tips, a little horticultural history, serious and funny cautionary gardening tales … and 30 simply delicious recipes (the gastronomic payoff). No matter if a garden is a loft balcony or a backyard in the 'burbs, Oster leads his readers step by step with his trademark "how I do it" humor and Julia Child honesty … with a bonus prize of all those recipes as a reward for readers' labors.
Author: Doug Oster
Understanding Roots uncovers one of the greatest mysteries underground: the secret lives and magical workings of the roots that move and grow invisibly beneath our feet.
Roots do more than just keep a plant from falling over: They gather water and nutrients, exude wondrous elixirs to create good soil, make friends with microbes and fungi, communicate with other roots, and adapt themselves to all manner of soils, winds and climates, nourishing and sustaining our gardens, lawns and woodlands.
Understanding Roots contains more than 115 enchanting and revealing root drawings that most people have never seen, from prairies, grasslands and deserts, as well as drawings based on excavations of vegetable, fruit, nut and ornamental tree roots. Every root system presented in this book was drawn by people literally working in the trenches, sketching the roots where they grew.
The text provides a detailed review of all aspects of transplanting; describes how roots work their magic to improve soil nutrients; investigates the hidden life of soil microbes and their mysterious relationship to roots; explores the question of whether deep roots really gather more unique nutrients than shallow roots; shares the latest research about the mysteries of mycorrhizal (good fungal) association; shows you exactly where to put your fertilizer, compost, water and mulch to help plants flourish; tells you why greywater increases crop yields more than fresh water; and reveals the science behind all of the above (with citations for each scientific paper).
This book contains at least 80 percent more new information, more results of the latest in-depth and up-to-date explorations, and even more helpful guidelines on roots than the author’s previous book (Roots Demystified: Change Your Garden Habits to Help Roots Thrive). This is not a revised edition—it’s a whole new stand-alone book.
Author: Robert Kourik
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.
Author: Lisa Zielger
Learn how to transform an ordinary backyard garden into a true showpiece. Originally published in 1924, Peter Bisset shares with readers timeless advice and tips for creating a variety of water gardens. After experiencing one, it’s easy to see why these gardens hold such appeal; these splashing fountains and ponds make hot days seem cooler, and they also attract birds and butterflies to your backyard. Even tiny tabletop fountains offer soothing sounds to drown out a busy street or a noisy neighbor.
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. Whether you’re interested in creating a casual pond or a formal fountain, with The Water Gardening Idea Book, you’ll be able to create them with confidence.
Author: Peter Bisset
It's the question most commonly heard in every garden: What's wrong with my…? And with the best-selling What's Wrong With My Plant? and What's Wrong With My Vegetable Garden?, David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth answered it for flower borders, perennial gardens and vegetable beds. What's next? One of the most challenging parts of the garden-the delicious yet disease-prone fruit garden.
What's Wrong With My Fruit Garden? offers a path toward a healthy garden packed with fresh fruit. In addition to learning how to diagnose a plant problem through clear visual keys, you will also learn the most effective organic solutions for every problem. Detailed plant portraits include information on growth; seasonality; temperature, light and soil requirements; and planting techniques. The 37 plants include everything from almonds to watermelons.
This book is a must-have guide for any food gardener looking to grow scrumptious and problem-free fruit!
Author: D. Deardorff, K. Wadsworth
Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening offers detailed step-by-step instructions to mastering this method (hint: it’s impossible not to succeed, it’s so easy! All you need is a windowsill or two.), tools and accessories to have on hand, seeds and greens varieties, soil and compost, trays and planters, shelving, harvest and storage, recipes, scaling up to serve local markets, and much more.
Author: Peter Burke