Category: plants

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…

Save Water! Use Seedling Flats!

Or: How to feed an extra person and still save over 5,000 gallons per year. It may be a little late in the season for this post (at least in this hemisphere), but we just had a series of storms that would feel right…

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…

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…

“Pricking Out”: Greatly Increase Plant Health and Yields by Transferring Seedlings from Flat to Flat Before Final Transplanting

“Pricking Out” Greatly Increase Plant Health and Yields by Transferring Seedlings from Flat to Flat Before Final Transplanting

Spring has sprung, and it’s time to get your seedlings in gear for a productive year! In keeping with the season, I thought that this would be a good time to discuss the benefits of pricking out your seedlings before you transplant them. Many…

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…

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…

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…