Category: books

Cookstoves and Coppicing

With winter approaching, people in rural areas of the developed world are thinking about heating and cooking. And firewood. And stoves. Around the globe, in the developing world, it isn’t a seasonal thought – it’s a daily thought. “More than half of the world’s…

Cover Crops! Interplanting with Legumes

With summer drawing to a close, it’s time to start thinking about your winter garden, and that means cover crops! Here are some things to consider when planting your cover crops this year: Normally, a gardener or farmer planning a crop rotation (over time)…

Keeping the Harvest

John Keats famously called Autumn the “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” and I couldn’t agree with him more. Just when the summer seems like it will last forever, the turn of the seasons begins to make itself known in a subtle change of…

Ease Your Mind: Herbs for Mental Health

It’s no secret that gardening is good for the body and spirit. Gardeners have known the peace and calm that comes from tending their plants for centuries – I certainly feel it when I’m watering, weeding, harvesting or just being in the garden, feeling…

Lost Crops of the Incas

Lost Crops of the Incas

Everyone seemed to enjoy the Lost Crops of Africa so much, I thought I’d mention another treasure from the National Research Council: Lost Crops of the Incas (published in 1989). This book is an excellent resource for anyone interested in ethnobotany and heirloom varieties,…

Lost Crops of Africa

Lost Crops of Africa book cover

This 3-book series Lost Crops of Africa (Volumes I, II and III on Grains, Vegetables, and Fruits, published in 1996, 2006 and 2008, respectively) is a treasure for us all, but especially for the African continent, with the hope it presents of growing food…

Homeopathy for Plants

Homeopathy for Plants A practical guide for indoor, balcony, and garden plants

One of the most frustrating experiences you can have in the garden is to see a plant—or worse, and entire bed! —struggling with disease or pests. Conscientious farmers want to bring health to their gardens, but the chemical remedies provided on the shelves of…

30 Generations of Farming

Nora Waln was an unusual and adventurous woman. A Philadelphia Quaker and best-selling writer and journalist in the 1930s–60s, she was the first to report on the spread of Nazism in the lead up to WWII, and wrote on Mongolia, communism in China, and…

Ancient Agriculture

Ancient Agriculture - Roots and Application of Sustainable Farming

Climate change has made the “treasure trove of the past a seedbed for a whole new generation of farmers and gardeners striving for agricultural sustainability.” With an emphasis on working the land in harmony with nature and producing more food through soil improvement and water management, this book is a gem and worth a read!

Hedgerows:

“Hedgerows” is an old English term that refers to narrow planting strips of trees or shrubs that grow along field borders, fence lines and waterways. These borders serve as effective windbreaks and improve conditions for the nearby crops, forming an “edge habitat” that supports ecological diversity.

Some Thoughts on Arbor Day

Aren’t trees magnificent? They make oxygen, shade, food, building materials, fuel, habitat, and soil. They’re beautiful. They last for years – some for generations! They consume greenhouse gases and help keep our planet cool enough for us to live here. They draw nutrients from deep underground and deposit them on the surface when they drop their leaves. When they die, they form nurseries for new trees. They are a precious natural resource. Earth is currently home to ~3 trillion trees. Which seems like a lot…right? But the truth is, we could do with more. A lot more.

Eastern Leatherwood

I wrote this post earlier this year, the week before Arbor day. In honor of the forest-friendly holiday, I thought I’d talk about one of my favorite trees (or, more accurately, a shrub): Eastern Leatherwood (Dirca palustris L. Thymelaeaceae), which is native to eastern…