Category: books

Gardening Without Poisons: A Constructive Answer to the Pesticide Problem

According to Wikipedia, human agriculture arose independently in at least eleven regions of the old and new world dating back to at least 20,000 BCE. Use of irrigation, crop rotation, and fertilizers began in the Neolithic age, but were greatly refined and expanded over…

Diversity is Delicious: Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden

I know that Summer just got here, but part of being a farmer is planning for the seasons ahead… With the sun at its apex for the year, the apples are hanging thick and green on the boughs and the bees are buzzing among…

Maybe Read This: Experiments with Plants, 6th Edition

As a farmer and a researcher, I am constantly reminded that agriculturalists from earlier times are often the best teachers. Experiments with Plants (6th ed.) written in 1911 by Harvard Associate Professor of Botany Dr. W.J. V Osterhout, is a good example of this…

The World is Filled with Solutions: A Guidebook to Healing Spices

It is wonderful how the Earth gives us an abundance of delicious, beneficial, healing plants that we can grow and use to make our lives better. I have so many favorite books, and Healing Spices – How to Use 50 Everyday and Exotic Spices…

Who’s A Good Boy? The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats

The doctor's book of home remedies for dogs and cats book cover

Living in a rural area, it’s not always possible to get to the vet in an emergency, and we must do what we can with what we have. Example: a friend had to google “dog Heimlich maneuver” when her dog started choking – and…

Can You Dig It? How Deep Soil Preparation and Structure Makes All the Difference to Your Plants

These images are from the section “Living Quarters for Plant Roots—A Picture Story of How Soil Conditions Determine Root Development” by Henry C. De Roo

So, here’s another post about roots. This time, I want to talk about how deep soil preparation (double-digging) works to increase the health and yields of plants by giving them room to spread out. Did you know that the average carrot puts down an…

Old Ways, New Farmers: How Native Wisdom Can Help Us Create a Better Future

Old Ways New Farmers - How native wisdom can help us create a better future

Sustainability isn’t a new concept.   For almost 50 years I have worked to create a form of agriculture that helps all people grow abundant nutritious food and fertile soil, in harmony with this beautiful earth. I know that I have been helped and…

Haybox: The 18th Century Slow Cooker

Haybox: The 18th Century Slow Cooker - Using "retained heat" cooking to have fun and safe energy.

These days, everyone seems to have a slow cooker to make life easier. But guess what? There’s a simpler, less expensive alternative that’s been helping rural people cook food and conserve fuel for at least 200 years! According to Wikipedia, a haybox is a…

Feed the Soil

Feed the Soil - little-known soil-building legumes and other crops, as well as enhanced descriptions of well-known ones

In the 1980s, Ron Whitehurst of ACRES U.S.A. wrote: “Central Florida is being mined down sea level for phosphate clay; and spiraling natural gas prices are making synthetic nitrogen fertilizer exorbitantly priced. Even using all the solid and liquid wastes from the cities, there…

Gardening is About Living Things!

Each year around this time, following months of freezing cold and heavy rain, Northern California experiences a “false spring” – the sun shines, the temperature is balmy and pleasant, and the grey and wintry landscape is suddenly covered in a bright green veil as…