Category: books

The Book of Barley

In 1981, while Ecology Action was preparing to relocate its GROW BIOINTENSIVE farming program to from Palo Alto to Willits, CA in 1982, I received a letter from Lorenz Schaller, an amazing grainsman, noting that the Kusa Seed Society—”a voice for the precious edible…

“What I Stand On”: Sustainable Inspiration from Wendell Berry

According to Wikipedia, Wendell Erdman Berry (born August 5, 1934) is an American novelist, poet, essayist, environmental activist, cultural critic, and farmer. He is an elected member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, a recipient of The National Humanities Medal, and the Jefferson Lecturer for 2012. He is also a 2013 Fellow…

Back to Our Roots: How Learning from Prehistoric Agriculture Can Help Grow the Future

A healthy, productive agriculture relies on LIVING SOIL – truly the most important resource in the world. We live in a time of when healthy, living, farmable soil—as well as farming nutrients in organic and synthetic fertilizer form, fresh water, and energy—are all diminishing in…

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…