Winter saves some space for gardeners to read. And, what else would we read about except food and gardening. So here are some great books to savor until spring; which we hope is right around the corner.
You will find these books and many more on my bookshelf.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver
This family spends a year getting back to the “simpler” life, eating only what they or others they know personally grow. Kingsolver writes the main material, her husband throws in a few sidebars with interesting facts and figures about agribusiness, and her daughter includes some great recipes. While she’s a bit preachy at times, and sometimes overly detailed explanations, her desire is really to help people get back to community sustainable agriculture, and she gives a vivid picture for how this has happened or her family.
The Winter Harvest Handbook: Four Season Vegetable Production Using Deep-Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses, by Eliot Coleman
Barbara Damrosch (Photographer)
Choosing locally grown organic food is a sustainable living trend that's taken hold throughout North America. Celebrated farming expert Eliot Coleman helped start this movement with "The New Organic Grower" published 20 years ago. He continues to lead the way, pushing the limits of the harvest season while working his world-renowned organic farm in Harborside, Maine.
Dirt to Soil by Gabe Brown
Gabe Brown didn’t set out to change the world when he first started working alongside his father-in-law on the family farm in North Dakota. But as a series of weather-related crop disasters put Brown and his wife, Shelly, in desperate financial straits, they started making bold changes to their farm. Brown—in an effort to simply survive—began experimenting with new practices he’d learned about from reading and talking with innovative researchers and ranchers. As he and his family struggled to keep the farm viable,
Charles Dowding’s Vegetable Garden Diary: No Dig, Healthy Soil, Fewer Weeds, 2nd Edition2nd Edition
An illustrated full-color gardener’s journal with perpetual diary―75% advice on how to grow great crops, 25% writing space for each day of the year―a manual to inform and inspire, from a no-dig pioneer and one of Britain's most trusted vegetable gardeners
Here is a hidden gem called, “The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book: Secrets of the Famous Year-Round Mulch Method” by Ruth Stout.
This book was published when I was in high school and retailed for $1.25ish. I had to dig pretty deep to find a copy and ended up paying about $25 in an online second-hand shop.
If you are in a hurry to catch the drift of this woman’s unique method of gardening check out the actual video of her speaking to her simple method of a no-work garden at the top of the post.
And finally, from my favorite see company Prairie Road Organics a book called, “Deeply Rooted: Unconventional Farmers in the Age of Agribusiness” byLisa M. Hamilton
If you skip to the last chapters of this book, you will find the story of the Podall family from Fullerton. A century of industrialization has left our food system riddled with problems, yet for solutions we look to nutritionists and government agencies, scientists and chefs. Lisa M. Hamilton asks: Why not look to the people who grow our food?
So read on my friends. The books never stop at our house, even in the summer months.
Sue B. Balcom
Writing, or maybe talking, comes naturally to me and under the guidance of a great newspaper editor I have acquired skills that led me to author four books.