We've all seen gorgeous perennial gardens packed with color, texture and multiseason interest. Designed by a professional and maintained by a crew, they are aspirational bits of beauty too difficult to attempt at home. Or are they?
The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden makes a design-magazine-worthy garden achievable at home. The new, simplified approach is made up of hardy, beautiful plants grown on a 10-by-14-foot grid. Each of the 62 garden plans combines complementary plants that thrive together and grow as a community. They are designed to make maintenance a snap. In fact, the entire garden is mowed down at the end of the season!
The garden plans can be followed explicitly or adjusted to meet individual needs; size can be altered by treating the grid-like design as a modular building block that can be halved, doubled, or tripled as needed. This complete garden system makes a gorgeous perennial garden available to everyone, no matter their skill or the size of their space.
Author: Roy Diblik
Lawns now blanket thirty million acres of the United States, but until the late nineteenth century few Americans had any desire for a front lawn, much less access to seeds for growing one. In her comprehensive history of this uniquely American obsession, Virginia Scott Jenkins traces the origin of the front lawn aesthetic, the development of the lawn-care industry, its environmental impact, and modern as well as historic alternatives to lawn mania.
Author: Virginia Scott Jenkins
André Leu challenges conventional farming methods by refuting the myths that surround the use and understanding of pesticides. He exposes the dangers of these chemicals and advocates organic practices as the most viable for farming in the 21st century.
Author: Andre Leu
The resurgence in home food production has generated a dramatic increase in interest about growing under cover. The season is far longer (year-round for salads and some vegetables) and you can grow exciting fruit and vegetables that aren't viable outdoors. Thanks to the polytunnel, covered growing is now available to all. And sales of polytunnels are burgeoning, as gardeners and allotment-holders realize that they could be growing more food (and more exotic food) on a smaller plot, whatever the weather outside is doing. The Polytunnel Book is the first comprehensive, practical illustrated guide to polytunnel gardening, for both beginners and experienced gardeners.
Author: Joyce Russell
Scientist and gardener Carol Deppe combines her passion for gardening with newly emerging scientific information from many fields — resilience science, climatology, climate change, ecology, anthropology, paleontology, sustainable agriculture, nutrition, health and medicine. In the last half of The Resilient Gardener, Deppe extends and illustrates these principles with detailed information about growing and using five key crops: potatoes, corn, beans, squash and eggs.
In this book you’ll learn how to:
The Resilient Gardener is both a conceptual and a hands-on gardening book, and is suitable for gardeners at all levels of experience. Resilience here is broadly conceived and encompasses a full range of problems, from personal hard times such as injuries, family crises, financial problems, health problems, and special dietary needs (gluten intolerance, food allergies, carbohydrate sensitivity, and a need for weight control) to serious regional and global disasters and climate change. It is a supremely optimistic as well as realistic book about how resilient gardeners and their gardens can flourish even in challenging times and help their communities to survive and thrive through everything that comes their way — from tomorrow through the next thousand years.
Author: Carol Deppe
Featuring the brass tacks on green roofs, container gardening, hydroponics, greenhouse growing, crop planning, pest management, harvesting tips, and more, The Rooftop Growing Guide will have you reimagining the possibilities of your own skyline.
Author: Annie Novak
Will Allen is an organic farming visionary. A true activist, entrepreneur and expert, he understands the complexities of farming firsthand and the impact that commercialization has had. In the early 19th century, as the American population grew rapidly, demands on crop output increased. Seeing an opportunity to play upon fears from market demand, chemical companies declared war on the vile, profit-sucking, output-wrecking, archnemesis of the average American farmer: bugs. With precision, pesticide manufacturers delivered a "shock and awe" media campaign that can only be compared to the current blitzkrieg from today's pharmaceutical companies. Bugs were the threat to the American dream - and there was a cure available to every farmer available in spray, granule, dust or systemic form that could be applied to your crops. Will Allen's War on Bugs reveals how advertisers, editors, scientists, large-scale farmers, government agencies and even Dr. Seuss colluded to convince farmers to use deadly chemicals, hormones and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in an effort to pad their wallets and control the American farm enterprise. Utilizing dozens of original advertisements and promotions to illustrate the story, Allen details how consumers and activists have struggled against toxic food. Echoing the warnings of seminal works on the topic such as The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, 100,000,000 Guinea Pigs by Arthur Kallet and F.J. Schlink, and Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, The War on Bugs shouts that the time to stop poisoning our food, water, air and ourselves is now!
Author: Will Allen
In Tomatoes, a Savor the South cookbook, Miriam Rubin gives this staple of Southern gardens the passionate portrait it deserves. She explores the tomato's rich history in Southern culture while inspiring home cooks to fully enjoy these summer fruits in all their glorious variety. Rubin, a prominent food writer and tomato connoisseur, provides 50 vibrant recipes as well as wisdom about how to choose tomatoes and which tomato is right for which dish. Tomatoes includes recipes that celebrate the down-home, inventive and contemporary, such as Stand-over-the-Sink Tomato Sandwiches, Spiced Green Tomato Crumb Cake, Green Tomato and Pork Tenderloin Biscuit Pie, and Tomato and Golden Raisin Chutney. Rubin also offers useful cooking tips; lively lessons on history, cultivation and preserving; and variations for year-round enjoyment of the tomato.
Author: Miriam Rubin
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
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Supermarket produce sections bulging with a year-round supply of perfectly round, bright red-orange tomatoes have become all but a national birthright. But in Tomatoland, which is based on his James Beard Award-winning article, "The Price of Tomatoes," investigative food journalist Barry Estabrook reveals the huge human and environmental cost of the $5 billion fresh tomato industry. Fields are sprayed with more than 100 different herbicides and pesticides. Tomatoes are picked hard and green and artificially gassed until their skins acquire a marketable hue. Modern plant breeding has tripled yields, but has also produced fruits with dramatically reduced amounts of calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C, and tomatoes that have 14 times more sodium than the tomatoes our parents enjoyed. The relentless drive for low costs has fostered a thriving modern-day slave trade in the United States. How have we come to this point?
Estabrook traces the supermarket tomato from its birthplace in the deserts of Peru to the impoverished town of Immokalee, Fla., aka the tomato capital of the United States. He visits the laboratories of seedsmen trying to develop varieties that can withstand the rigors of agribusiness and still taste like a garden tomato, and then moves on to commercial growers who operate on tens of thousands of acres, and eventually to a hillside field in Pennsylvania, where he meets an obsessed farmer who produces delectable tomatoes for the nation's top restaurants.
Throughout Tomatoland, Estabrook presents a who's who cast of characters in the tomato industry: the avuncular octogenarian whose conglomerate grows one out of every eight tomatoes eaten in the United States; the ex-Marine who heads the group that dictates the size, color and shape of every tomato shipped out of Florida; the U.S. attorney who has doggedly prosecuted human traffickers for the past decade; and the Guatemalan peasant who came north to earn money for his parents' medical bills and found himself enslaved for two years.
Tomatoland reads like a suspenseful whodunit as well as an exposé of today's agribusiness systems and the price we pay as a society when we take taste and thought out of our food purchases.
Author: Barry Estabrook
A step-by-step guide that gives any gardener all the information needed to make garden furnishings that are both simple and beautiful, Trellises, Planters & Raised Beds is an indispensible resource. It includes 50 complete plans for trellises, raised beds, planters, window boxes, and just about any imaginable project you can make to train and display plants in your garden and around your home. Featured projects are created using a host of easily found materials, including wood, metal, hypertufa, upcycled barrels, clay pots, sticks, latticework, copper tubing, re-rod, wire, landscape timbers, retaining wall block and natural stone. Each plan includes photographs, a scaled plan drawing, cutting and shopping lists, and thorough step-by-step instructions.