Category: practical guides

Foraged Flavor: Finding Our Culinary Roots in Wild Food

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that everything we buy or grow to eat now was once a wild species. Our ancestors have done the bulk of the work identifying and domesticating the foods we now take for granted in our gardens and stores. But…

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…

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…

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…

Quantum Level Transformation

Quantum Level Transformation Book Cover

A thanksgiving tradition at dinner tables across the country is to ask each person “What are you thankful for?” It’s an interesting question, because it is so vitally linked with the other fundamental questions we all ask ourselves in one way or another: What…