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Old 06-27-2012, 02:52 PM   #1
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Question Most inspiring books about home-scale food production

What are your favorite books about growing your own food, especially for those of us with a limited amount of space?

In the past year I've read Gaia's Garden Amazon.com: Gaia's Garden, Second Edition: A Guide To Home-Scale Permaculture (9781603580298): Toby Hemenway: Books and The Resilient Gardener by http://www.amazon.com/Resilient-Gard...ent+gar. dener.

My dream is to grow vegetables that would last even through the winter with proper storage. Unfortunately, I know so little about how to even properly store vegetables. I'd like to maximize my space, as well. I hope you can all flood this thread with titles. Thanks!
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Old 06-28-2012, 04:19 AM   #2
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Chiming in for my interest in urban limited-space indoor/outdoor, window/fire escape gardening and with a similar hope that a lovely bibliography will sprout.

Your aspirations are high, Bee, but then, so are mine, and everyone else's from what I can see.
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:31 AM   #3
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Well, to answer my own question in the past few days I've found a few interesting titles with good information. Here they are:

Amazon.com: Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre (9781602399846): Brett L. Markham: Books

http://www.amazon.com/Crop-Rotation-...cover+cropping

While I don't have an organic farm, I found this last book to have good information about crop rotation, which for me with a limited amount of space, I've found to be one of my biggest challenges.

Another inspiring book is Four Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman. Amazon.com: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long (9781890132279): Eliot Coleman, Barbara Damrosch, Kathy Bray: Books
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:05 AM   #4
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King's Farmers of Forty Centuries. You can buy it used on Amazon, Amazon.com: Farmers of Forty Centuries: Organic Farming in China, Korea, and Japan (9780486436098): F. H. King: Books or you can read it for free here, F. H. King: Farmers of Forty Centuries. Reading the book WILL change the way you garden.
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So will reading 'The Road to Alto' by John Robin Jenkins. Good luck getting your hands on that publication cheap though, Amazon.com: The Road to Alto: An Account of Peasants, Capitalists, and the Soil in the Mountains of Southern Portugal (9780861040773): Robin Jenkins: Books. "The precipitant of this destruction was the building of a road, of only twelve kilometers, connecting Alto to the town of Monchique and thence by existing roads to the larger towns and cities of Portugal and the wide world beyond. Before this road was built in 1951, there was little movement of people or goods into or out of Alto and the surrounding country because the only link with the outside world was by rough donkey tracks a thousand years old to Monchique, a journey of three hours on a donkey or two hours on foot. Cork, medronho (the local firewater), and sweet chestnuts were the only things exported from Alto and, aside from a little iron for tools and donkey shoes from the mines of Aljustrel, seven days away to the north, and salt, rice, almonds, and cigarettes and a few other manufacturedgoods, all of which required donkey journeys of several days,the people of Alto were self-sufficient."
--
1 thing though..... if anyone reads either of those 2 publications they WILL lose all respect for the mainstream permaculture movement and will have difficulty stomaching much of anything authored by Toby Hemengway.
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
King's Farmers of Forty Centuries. You can buy it used on Amazon, Amazon.com: Farmers of Forty Centuries: Organic Farming in China, Korea, and Japan (9780486436098): F. H. King: Books or you can read it for free here, F. H. King: Farmers of Forty Centuries. Reading the book WILL change the way you garden.
--
So will reading 'The Road to Alto' by John Robin Jenkins. Good luck getting your hands on that publication cheap though, Amazon.com: The Road to Alto: An Account of Peasants, Capitalists, and the Soil in the Mountains of Southern Portugal (9780861040773): Robin Jenkins: Books. "The precipitant of this destruction was the building of a road, of only twelve kilometers, connecting Alto to the town of Monchique and thence by existing roads to the larger towns and cities of Portugal and the wide world beyond. Before this road was built in 1951, there was little movement of people or goods into or out of Alto and the surrounding country because the only link with the outside world was by rough donkey tracks a thousand years old to Monchique, a journey of three hours on a donkey or two hours on foot. Cork, medronho (the local firewater), and sweet chestnuts were the only things exported from Alto and, aside from a little iron for tools and donkey shoes from the mines of Aljustrel, seven days away to the north, and salt, rice, almonds, and cigarettes and a few other manufacturedgoods, all of which required donkey journeys of several days,the people of Alto were self-sufficient."
--
1 thing though..... if anyone reads either of those 2 publications they WILL lose all respect for the mainstream permaculture movement and will have difficulty stomaching much of anything authored by Toby Hemengway.
Thanks for the titles!

I should say that while I found Gaia's Garden to be interesting with regard to high-yielding intensive gardening, I was not impressed with his advocacy of non-natives. I found some of the advice to be reckless---like encouraging the use of invasives like Russian Olive (I mean, really, who could possibly justify the use of invasives like Russian Olive????). The book did not impress me enough to buy it. I merely checked it out from the library.

On the other hand, I really like Carol Deppe's book The Resilient Gardener. That's the kind of knowledge I need more of. How to grow food that provides substantial calories (not just lettuce or salad greens). Which is another way of saying, how to grow more of my own food so that I have less reliance on commercial/huge agribusiness.
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Old 07-03-2012, 01:37 PM   #6
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"I mean, really, who could possibly justify the use of invasives like Russian Olive????" BINGO!!! He pushes worse believe it or not. Hemengway is somebody whose got a lot of books to market and a lot of speaking engagements to jet off to and a lot of honorariums to collect and well.... he's got his website so trot on over there and consume consume consume.... he figured out a long time ago that telling folk what they want to hear sells and to hell with being ecologically responsible if he can jump on the green gravy train billing himself as the ultimate keeper of Gaia. I guess the next permaculturist extraordinaire can deal with the trail of invasives he's leaving in his wake for the "cause". He's no educator.... he's nothing more than the "green" equivalent of that Kardashian chick who figured out how to make millions basically packaging herself as a product. Even hugelculture (sp?) dates back in its entirety to early practices of the Eastern Europeans.... now there's a classic example of "something old is new again" and permaculturists re-named it and claimed it as their brain child to advance their movement so they could make $$$ off it getting folk to certify themselves as permaculturists.
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Old 07-03-2012, 01:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
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"I mean, really, who could possibly justify the use of invasives like Russian Olive????" BINGO!!! He pushes worse believe it or not.
I'm not even sure I should ask what is worse than Russian Olive.
Kudzu or Oriental Bittersweet or Garlic Mustard ...... ? But I am curious, all the same!
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:34 PM   #8
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Another book I have begun reading is Buffalo Bird Woman's Garden, available here: Buffalo Bird Woman's Garden. Has anyone else here read this book?
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:53 PM   #9
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"How to Grow More Vegetables" by John Jeavons is packed with information based on biointensive practices. I don't follow the procedures much, but the basics have influenced my gardening efforts.

I have a book titled "Stocking Up - How to Preserve the Foods You Grow, Naturally", published by Rodale Press in 1973. I've never had enough home harvest to concern myself much with what to do with it. This year, though, I have a bumper crop of potatoes.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:00 PM   #10
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BeeW> In addition to Oriental Bittersweet and Autumn olive.... he seems to love bamboo and black locust... plant those and plant lots of them so you've got a ready supply of building materials on hand no matter what continent you're on or where you're gardening. Garlic mustard and kudzu... yum yum... they make the tastiest treats for us humans. He's in the Mark Davis, David Theodoropoulos (JL Hudson), and George Ball camp..... they're into pushing their biased opinions as fact which benefits BigHort while padding their personal bank accounts and anyone who disagrees with them seems to be labeled the equivalent of an eco-racist. They've all got a lot of theories. Facts....they don't let a lack of those hold up the show. No science to support any of their theories... not a problem.... absence of same doesn't bother their groupies and if push comes to shove.... do what Theodoropoulos did and back your publication up using more of your own biased opinions published under a pseudonym.... too friggin funny if you ask me. For what it's worth.... I "critiqued" Theodoropoulos' book which shows up as "proof" permaculturists can plant whatever they want whenever they want where ever they want in the name of permaculture, Invasion Biology: Critique of a Pseudoscience by David I. Theodoropoulos. I added the critique of a friend before it went ***poof***. I knew his review was gonna get pulled before he did and thought it was too good to get sucked into the black cyber hole. Back to Hemenway.... I did a quick search on him and found this which I would agree with as far as mainstream permaculture in this country is concerned, Something to think about: Toby Hemenway on Invasive Plants. This was juicy too, http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/for...c-species.html. Here's a good amazon review of Hemenway's book, Amazon.com: J. Branson's review of Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Perma.... It's really sad but.... I think of them all as 21st century tin men fast talking their way into good people's wallets at the expense of the environment.
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