Invasive species are everywhere, from forests and prairies to mountaintops and river mouths. Their rampant nature and sheer numbers appear to overtake fragile native species and forever change the ecosystems that they depend on. Concerns that invasive species represent significant threats to global biodiversity and ecological integrity permeate conversations from schoolrooms to board rooms, and concerned citizens grapple with how to rapidly and efficiently manage their populations. These worries have culminated in an ongoing “war on invasive species,” where the arsenal is stocked with bulldozers, chainsaws and herbicides put to the task of their immediate eradication. In Hawaii, mangrove trees (Avicennia spp.) are sprayed with glyphosate and left to decompose on the sandy shorelines where they grow, and in Washington, helicopters apply the herbicide Imazapyr to smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) growing in estuaries. The “war on invasive species” is in full swing, but given the scope of such potentially dangerous and ecologically degrading eradication practices, it is necessary to question the very nature of the battle.
Beyond the War on Invasive Species offers a much-needed alternative perspective on invasive species and the best practices for their management based on a holistic, permaculture-inspired framework. Utilizing the latest research and thinking on the changing nature of ecological systems, Beyond the War on Invasive Species closely examines the factors that are largely missing from the common conceptions of invasive species, including how the colliding effects of climate change, habitat destruction, and changes in land use and management contribute to their proliferation. Beyond the War on Invasive Species demonstrates that there is more to the story of invasive species than is commonly conceived, and offers ways of understanding their presence and ecosystem effects in order to make more ecologically responsible choices in land restoration and biodiversity conservation that address the root of the invasion phenomenon. The choices we make on a daily basis—the ways we procure food, shelter, water, medicine and transportation—are the major drivers of contemporary changes in ecosystem structure and function; therefore, deep and long-lasting ecological restoration outcomes will come not just from eliminating invasive species, but through conscientious redesign of these production systems.
Win the blue ribbon every time! Master Gardener Jodi Torpey offers all the information you need to grow champion vegetables: beans, beets, cabbages, cucumbers, eggplants, onions, peppers, pumpkins, squash, and tomatoes. She covers everything from choosing the right varieties and scheduling planting dates to harvesting, preparing, and transporting your produce. She also walks you through every aspect of competitive showing, with useful tips for thinking like a judge. This book will delight you with lively photos of mammoth pumpkins, truly gigantic onions, perfectly pear-shaped eggplants, and the farmers and gardeners who grow them. Filled with the excitement of a county fair, it’s a fun read as well as a solid guide to growing the biggest, tastiest, best-looking vegetables for miles around.
In this book from kitchen-garden guru Joyce Russell are 30 decorative vegetable-growing projects that anyone can make and enjoy. All the projects are devised to extend the season, protect crops from pests or improve yields. Apart from the obvious cost-savings from growing or making your own, the desire to work with craft fulfils the need to improve your patch of land. These compelling projects transform your vegetable plot into somewhere more productive, more attractive and more secure.
From simple cloche projects to making tunnels and frames onto design solutions that deter slugs and carrot root fly, these projects are well-designed, functional and decorative. Each project has photographed step by step instructions, a list of materials and tools needed, and a relative skills rating. Alongside the projects are growing tips and specific advice to make the most of your crop. These 30 projects will be enjoyed by gardeners of all levels and anyone who loves growing their own.
• Simple cloche
• Raised bed
• Herb bed
• Plant propagator
• Mini greenhouse
• Compost bins
• Fruit cage
• Bean support
• Leaf mould container
• Folding bean frame
• Poly cloche
• Carrot fly protector
• Boot scraper
• Drying cabinet
• And more!
Build It Yourself: Weekend Projects for the Garden is a fun and user-friendly manual for constructing practical pieces for your garden and home. Whether you’re looking to attract a bit of nature with a birdfeeder or to keep it out with a fence, get into organic living with a cold frame or compost bin, engage your green thumb with a plant stand or potting table, or add some tasteful furniture to your patio or sunroom, this book will help you to do all that and more.
Master woodworker Frank Perrone outlines the essential tools, techniques, and tips needed for basic woodworking. The 12 projects are designed for simple, straightforward building. Each includes a materials list, a cut sheet that makes getting lumber a snap, layout diagrams, and illustrated step-by-step instructions. Designed to minimize waste, every piece can be flexibly rescaled or customized for a more personal touch.
This is a practical and engaging guide to transforming an ordinary backyard into a productive farm.
Homesteading is experiencing a revival among both rural and urban residents who want to get back to basics and live closer to the land. With this book, homeowners will obtain both inspiration and instruction for transforming their grassy yard into a lush farm that can produce all the food they need.
The author is an experienced woodworker and homesteader who shows how to plan and design a backyard farm. He offers expert advice for making all of the essential hard-working structures that are needed to sustain small-scale agriculture.
Step-by-step instructions are provided for 10 projects including green houses, beehives, rabbit hutches, raised beds, potting sheds, trellises, fences, and more. Readers learn how to create an irrigation system, harvest rainwater, and keep their farms environmentally sound. Each detailed plan is accompanied by the author's clear, instructive drawings.
More than just a manual, the book also offers entertaining and enlightening interviews with both experts and “average Joe” farmers. We learn what motivates them to become backyard farmers, the lessons that they have to share, and maybe even a couple of funny stories along the way.
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.
History, literature, and botany meet in this charming tour of how humans have relied on plants to nourish, shelter, heal, clothe, and even entertain us. Did you know that during World War II, the U.S. Navy paid children to collect milkweed’s fluffy white floss, which was then used as filling for life preservers? And Native Americans in the deserts of the Southwest traditionally crafted tattoo needles from prickly pear cactus spines. These are just two of the dozens of tidbits that Tammi Hartung highlights in the tales of 45 native North American flowers, herbs, and trees that have rescued and delighted us for centuries.
Small is beautiful, and these 15 real farm plans show that small-scale farmers can have big-time success. Compact Farms is an illustrated guide for anyone dreaming of starting, expanding, or perfecting a profitable farming enterprise on 5 acres or less. The farm plans explain how to harness an area’s water supply, orientation, and geography in order to maximize efficiency and productivity while minimizing effort. Profiles of well-known farmers such as Eliot Coleman and Jean-Martin Fortier show that farming on a small scale in any region, in both urban and rural settings, can provide enough income to turn the endeavor from hobby to career. These real-life plans and down-and-dirty advice will equip you with everything you need to actually realize your farm dreams.
In Compost Teas for the Organic Grower, you’ll find everything you need to know about feeding your garden, orchard, or smallholding with homemade and chemical-free “teas.” It’s packed with recipes for creating nutrient-rich, healthy soil, to give you healthy plants and ecosystems.
In the book’s pages, permaculture orchardist Eric Fisher provides an in-depth history of organic agriculture and the rise in chemical inputs. He then goes on to explore the importance of nutrients, their cycles, and the structure of soil. This enables readers to truly understand their soil and ecosystems, so they can manage them properly.
Expert flower grower Lisa Mason Zeigler introduces us to the long-blooming stars of the spring garden, the hardy annuals – those flowers that thrive when they are planted during cool conditions (instead of waiting until the warmth of spring). Forget “Some Like It Hot,” she advises, and give them a cool start. Plant them in the right spot at the right time, nestle their roots deep into rich organic soil, and stand back. In no time at all, you’ll have a low-maintenance, vibrant spring flower garden that keeps on blooming when other annuals are dead and gone.
We all need a personal sanctuary: a place where we can be in harmony with the natural world and can nurture our bodies, minds, and souls. And this sanctuary doesn’t have to be an exotic destination, it can be in your own backyard. In Creating Sanctuary, Jessi Bloom taps into multiple sources of traditional plant wisdom to help readers find a deeper connection to the outdoor space they already have … no matter the size. Equal parts inspirational and practical, this engaging guide includes tips on designing a healing space, plant profiles for 50 sacred plants, recipes that harness the medicinal properties of plants, and simple instructions for daily rituals and practices for self-care.
Spectacularly illustrated, this is an annotated edition of Nicholas Culpeper’s best-selling herbal book on using, gathering, and preparing herbs. Supplemented with new commentary on modern usage by acclaimed U.S. herbalist and author Steven Foster, Culpeper’s 17th century text provides information on where each herb can be found, its astrological correlations, and all of its medicinal benefits.