Beyond organic-- a practical guide to nutrient-dense food.
Beyond organic-- a practical guide to nutrient-dense food.
Presents advice on how to improve growing soil, discussing some of the current misconceptions about soil and providing the best methods for adding enhancements that will produce nutrient-dense foods.
How to Create an Organic Garden That's Exploding with Life, Diversity and Exceptionally Nutrient-Dense Food Whether you're an experienced gardener or just getting started, you are likely to encounter some perplexing (and common) setbacks – certain fruit and vegetable plants that don't produce the amazing taste and big yields that you'd hoped for, ornamental plants that fail to thrive as abundantly as they should, and plant predators that chew your plants to the ground. All of these issues point to plants that aren't at their optimum health. What could be wrong? Plants may be lacking in proper nutrition, missing beneficial microorganism companions, or short of the energy they need to reach their full nutrient-dense potential. The advice most often given by those in the know is “start with the soil,” but what specific steps should you take to really improve soil to optimum health? Building Soils Naturally shows how to create productive, living soil using a simple, practical, hands-on plan that includes: • Using compost and microbial inoculants to balance the soil food web, because these organisms nourish and protect plants • Controlling plant predators and weeds forever, without chemicals, by focusing on the root cause of the infestation problem • Soil testing and full-spectrum organic fertilizing, because balancing soil nutrients is crucial for healthy plants Building Soils Naturally outlines proven, sustainable methods for growing healthy food and plants that contribute to a healthy planet and a healthy you. Grow vigorous, more pest-resistant vegetables, flowers and ornamental plants by using complete and balanced nutrients – far beyond the simplistic, imbalanced concept of NPK. Healthy soil doesn't happen just by composting, fertilizing or companion planting. It happens by using a holistic approach – outlined in this book and crafted right in your garden.
Healthy soil teems with life—not just earthworms and insects, but a staggering multitude of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. Chemical fertilizers injure the microbial life that sustains healthy plants, and the soil becomes increasingly dependent on artificial, often toxic, substances. But there is an alternative: by strengthening the soil food web—the complex world of soil-dwelling organisms—gardeners can create a nurturing environment for plants. Teaming with Microbes extols the benefits of cultivating the soil food web. It clearly explains the activities and organisms that make up the web, and explains how gardeners can cultivate the life of the soil through the use of compost, mulches, and compost tea. With Jeff Lowenfels’ help, everyone—from devotees of organic gardening techniques to weekend gardeners who simply want to grow healthy, vigorous plants—can create rich, nurturing, living soil.
The Bec Hellouin model for growing food, sequestering carbon, creating jobs, and increasing biodiversity without using fossil fuels When Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer set out to create their farm in an historic Normandy village, they had no idea just how much their lives would change. Neither one had ever farmed before. Charles had been circumnavigating the globe by sail, operating a floating school that taught students about ecology and indigenous cultures. Perrine had been an international lawyer in Japan. Each had returned to France to start a new life. Eventually, Perrine joined Charles in Normandy, and Le Ferme du Bec Hellouin was born. Bec Hellouin has since become a celebrated model of innovative, ecological agriculture in Europe, connected to national and international organizations addressing food security, heralded by celebrity chefs as well as the Slow Food movement, and featured in the inspiring César and COLCOA award-winning documentary film, Demain ("Tomorrow"). Miraculous Abundance is the eloquent tale of the couple’s evolution from creating a farm to sustain their family to delving into an experiment in how to grow the most food possible, in the most ecological way possible, and create a farm model that can carry us into a post-carbon future—when oil is no longer moving goods and services, energy is scarcer, and localization is a must. Today, the farm produces a variety of vegetables using a mix of permaculture, bio-intensive, four-season, and natural farming techniques--as well as techniques gleaned from native cultures around the world. It has some animals for eggs and milk, horses for farming, a welcome center, a farm store, a permaculture school, a bread oven for artisan breads, greenhouses, a cidery, and a forge. It has also become the site of research focusing on how small organic farms like theirs might confront Europe’s (and the world’s) projected food crisis. But in this honest and engaging account of the trials and joys of their uncompromising effort, readers meet two people who are farming the future as much as they are farming their land. They envision farms like theirs someday being the hub for a host of other businesses that can drive rural communities—from bread makers and grain millers to animal care givers and other tradespeople. Market farmers and home gardeners alike will find much in these pages, but so will those who’ve never picked up a hoe. The couple’s account of their quest to design an almost Edenlike farm, hone their practices, and find new ways to feed the world is an inspiring tale. It is also a love letter to a future in which people increasingly live in rural communities that rely on traditional skills, locally created and purveyed goods and services, renewable energy, and greater local governance, but are also connected to the larger world.
Scientist/gardener Carol Deppe combines her passion for organic 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: •Garden in an era of unpredictable weather and climate change •Grow, store, and use more of your own staple crops •Garden efficiently and comfortably (even if you have a bad back) •Grow, store, and cook different varieties of potatoes and save your own potato seed •Grow the right varieties of corn to make your own gourmet-quality fast-cooking polenta, cornbread, parched corn, corn cakes, pancakes and even savory corn gravy •Make whole-grain, corn-based breads and cakes using the author’s original gluten-free recipes involving no other grains, artificial binders, or dairy products •Grow and use popbeans and other grain legumes •Grow, store, and use summer, winter, and drying squash •Keep a home laying flock of ducks or chickens; integrate them with your gardening, and grow most of their feed. The Resilient Gardener is both a conceptual and a hands-on organic gardening book, and is suitable for vegetable 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 vegetable 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. Organic gardening, vegetable gardening, self-sufficiency, subsistence gardening, gluten-free living.
A 2014 Garden Writers Association Media Award Winner Just as he demystified the soil food web in his ground-breaking book Teaming with Microbes, in this new work Jeff Lowenfels explains the basics of plant nutrition from an organic gardener’s perspective. Most gardeners realize that plants need to be fed but know little or nothing about the nature of the nutrients and the mechanisms involved. In his trademark down-to-earth, style, Lowenfels explains the role of both macronutrients and micronutrients and shows gardeners how to provide these essentials through organic, easy-to-follow techniques. Along the way, Lowenfels gives the reader easy-to-grasp lessons in the biology, chemistry, and botany needed to understand how nutrients get into the plant and what they do once they’re inside.
Books on container gardening have been wildly popular with urban and suburban readers, but until now, there has been no comprehensive "how-to" guide for growing fresh food in the absence of open land. Fresh Food from Small Spaces fills the gap as a practical, comprehensive, and downright fun guide to growing food in small spaces. It provides readers with the knowledge and skills necessary to produce their own fresh vegetables, mushrooms, sprouts, and fermented foods as well as to raise bees and chickens—all without reliance on energy-intensive systems like indoor lighting and hydroponics. Readers will learn how to transform their balconies and windowsills into productive vegetable gardens, their countertops and storage lockers into commercial-quality sprout and mushroom farms, and their outside nooks and crannies into whatever they can imagine, including sustainable nurseries for honeybees and chickens. Free space for the city gardener might be no more than a cramped patio, balcony, rooftop, windowsill, hanging rafter, dark cabinet, garage, or storage area, but no space is too small or too dark to raise food. With this book as a guide, people living in apartments, condominiums, townhouses, and single-family homes will be able to grow up to 20 percent of their own fresh food using a combination of traditional gardening methods and space-saving techniques such as reflected lighting and container "terracing." Those with access to yards can produce even more. Author R. J. Ruppenthal worked on an organic vegetable farm in his youth, but his expertise in urban and indoor gardening has been hard-won through years of trial-and-error experience. In the small city homes where he has lived, often with no more than a balcony, windowsill, and countertop for gardening, Ruppenthal and his family have been able to eat at least some homegrown food 365 days per year. In an era of declining resources and environmental disruption, Ruppenthal shows that even urban dwellers can contribute to a rebirth of local, fresh foods.
How to read a soil test and balance soil minerals for maximum health and nutrition for plants, animals, and people.
A Practical, Get-Your-Hands-in-the-Soil Manual Global climate change, increasing pollution, and continued rapid population growth is wreaking havoc on the planet. Stabilizing the environment at safe levels requires a large-scale restoration of damaged ecosystems. Geotherapy: Innovative Methods of Soil Fertility Restoration, Carbon Sequestration, and Reversing CO2 Increase outlines the basic concepts of geotherapy and highlights the importance of healing the biosphere’s ability to store soil carbon to prevent climate change impacts. Facing challenges head on, it addresses how and why policymakers have underestimated the long-term impacts of climate change and how we can correct the flawed carbon management mechanisms today. The book also factors in where carbon can be most effectively stored, how quickly that can be done, and the practical and policy actions needed to get there. This text presents innovative new technologies for restoring the most productive ecosystems on land while maintaining high biodiversity. It addresses processes and techniques of soil carbon restoration through biogeochemical cycling, biochar, slow-release fertilizers, weathering of minerals (olivine) and rock (basalt) powders, amendments and bio-fertilizers, and the establishment of vetiver and other perennials. Written by highly recognized professionals from every continent except Antarctica, this extensive work consists of 34 chapters covering issues that include: field experiences with biochar including a history of its research; practical uses of biochar in farming systems and the use of biochar for soil fertility enhancement; the potential of remineralization as a global movement; seawater concentrate for abundant agriculture; superior food production using sea salt and plant extracts; recycling waste nutrients using biochar and limestone; and commercially viable carbon farming. The book concludes with a chapter providing general thoughts on regreening the earth and averting a global crisis. Geotherapy: Innovative Methods of Soil Fertility Restoration, Carbon Sequestration, and Reversing CO2 Increase is an encyclopedia of ideas providing the tools needed for anyone involved with the ecological restoration and transformation of the planet.
Reprinted by popular demand! Maynard Murray was a medical doctor who researched the crucial importance of minerals especially trace elements to plants and animals. Beginning in 1938 and continuing through the 1950s, Dr. Murray used sea solids mineral salts remaining after water is evaporated from ocean water as fertilizer on a variety of vegetables, fruits and grains. His extensive experiments demonstrated repeatedly and conclusively that plants fertilized with sea solids and animals fed sea-solid-fertilized feeds grow stronger and more resistant to disease. Sea Energy Agriculture recounts Murrays experiments and presents his astounding conclusions. The work of this eco-ag pioneer was largely ignored during his lifetime, and his book became a lost classic out of print for over 25 years. Now this rare volume is available to a new generation of readers.