This book teaches how to measure fertility down to the atomic level and bring up brix high enough to ward off fungal, bacterial and insect attack, and weeds. The shortest book of the lot. Great organic gardening book. It takes the focus away from merely trying to achieve high volume yields to achieving the highest yields of the highest quality and nutritional value, while building optimal health in the soil, the crops, and the people and animals that rely on them for food.
This is one of my favorite organic gardening books for beginners. It describes an organic gardening system that combines the best features of wildlife habitat, edible landscapes, and conventional gardens into a self-renewing landscape that lets nature do most of the work. It has many good design principles, so it is partially a design book. This is my favorite introduction to permaculture because it is a fun read that really simplifies the topic.
This is the permaculture bible. The focus is on letting plant, animal and microbe species work together to form a self-sustaining system from which people can reap a continual harvest of food and other benefits. This book is more complete than his earlier works. This is book is part hands-on and part philosophy. Sepp has taken a rocky, hilly, difficult piece of land and turned it into a big permaculture farm over acres.
He did a lot of this without ever hearing the term permaculture, as he just figured a lot of it out on his own. Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way.
I loved this book! But I also learned a lot about growing fruit trees, shrubs and berries. I really appreciate his proactive approach to the whole process.
Creating a Forest Garden: Working with Nature to Grow Edible Crops. A forest garden is generally a food garden that is inspired by the diversity and resiliency of a young woodland. You can incorporate hundreds of edible and otherwise useful plants into an ecosystem that can eventually be very productive with little maintenance.
This is one of those organic gardening books that shows you how to select, grow, harvest, and store many varieties of vegetables, herbs, fruits and nuts. Not all that much info on growing from seed and transplanting, but a pretty darn big encyclopedia of food plants and good information on vegetable garden layout. This book played a part in changing food production methods, bringing biointensive organic gardening methods to people all over the world who want to feed more people with less land.
The New Organic Grower. This is more for market growers, but has lots of good information, especially on greenhouses and winter gardening. I now harvest fresh herbs and greens even during Christmas each year. I also like his focus on health management instead of disease management. Not really an organic vegetable gardening book, but a book on what to do with many of your veggies when you harvest them. For thousands of years humans have enjoyed the taste and nutrition of fermented foods and drinks.
He has experimented with many forms of fermentation and has developed and collected a wide range of techniques and recipes from around the world. I have had success with many methods in this book. Working With Nature — Shifting Paradigms. This organic gardening book was the first written by one of my gardening mentors, Heide Hermary, founder of Gaia College. It describes ecologically sound organic soil and water management practices and introduces the concept of landscape health management.
It summarizes some of the most important information from other books listed on this page, and more importantly, it makes connections between seemingly disparate topics. The Essence Of Organic Gardening. Great book for beginners or as a gift to new gardeners, but her other book is the most important one for serious gardeners.
You get a free copy of the ebook when you sign up for my online gardening course. The Organic Method Primer. I managed to get my hands on an abbreviated version of this organic gardening book directly from the author before she passed away a year later.
The full version is one of the most comprehensive books ever compiled on organic growing methods. It cover organic soil, fertilizing, composting, cover crops, weeds, mulch, planting, seeds, diseases, harvesting and storage, equipment, even marketing! A cornerstone of any serious agricultural library, but not worth the price for most home organic gardeners, in my opinion.
You will learn a few organic gardening tips reading this book, but mostly you may just be inspired to think and do things differently.
This book inspired me to let some of my fruit trees grow naturally to their intended size rather than pruning the heck out of them. This is one of the classic organic gardening books, not for the faint of heart, and definitely not the most important book for new organic gardeners. Kervran explains many phenomena seen in organic farming for which conventional science has no answers. He proposes that living things can transmute elements into other elements, such as silicon and carbon into calcium.
The potential implications are huge. Healthy organic soil is teeming with life — not just earthworms and insects, but a staggering multitude of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. These guys make the benefits of cultivating the soil food web available to a wide audience, from us organic gardening and farming addicts to weekend gardeners who simply want to grow healthy, vigorous plants without resorting to chemicals.
I highly recommend this as one of the organic gardening books for you. The Compost Tea Brewing Manual. The latest edition includes up-to-date organic gardening tips on methods, research and practical examples. Whereas Teaming With Microbes is more of a general introduction to the microbes, this manual gets into specifics on brewing compost tea. The Soil Biology Primer. This short organic gardening book is an incredible introduction to organic soil biology.
In just a spoonful of organic garden soil, there are more microorganisms than the number of people on earth. The primer includes information on the soil food web — the community of organisms living in soil — and how the web relates to soil health. Chapter topics include bacteria, fungi, protists, nematodes, arthropods, and earthworms.
Enjoy the pleasures of growing your own delicious organic food. Our understanding of how to use energy when organic home gardening is ever evolving and this will be one of the most important areas of study in organic gardening this century, although it will be a long time before academia or mainstream gardening embraces it. Phil Wheeler uses the Albrecht and the Reams systems of soil management. Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation: Self-Sufficiency was an insightful and refreshing book. One book has a slight bend in the cover see pics.
This book is written by mushroom expert Paul Stamets who discovered that enzymes and acids in fungi can actually break down pollutants and recycle carbon, nitrogen and other essential elements back into the soil. In addition to a manual for healing the earth, the book offers instruction on the art of mushroom cultivation and organic gardening tips for choosing fungi for various purposes. Stamets inspired me to start growing my own edible mushrooms. Reaching for the Sun: The first addition was wonderful, so the second should be just as good. Written with the non-specialist in mind, it looks at how plants function, from how they gain energy and nutrition to how they grow, develop and ultimately die.
I know that despite the challenges posed by growing environmental perils, plants will definitely continue to dominate our planet. They have nothing to worry about. Sunset Western Garden Book. Definitely get it if you want to learn more about which plants to choose for your garden. This book is where I learned how to save seed and I still refer to it. The Secret Life of Plants. The authors of Secrets Of The Soil put out amazing organic gardening books and this classic is a look at the world of plants and their relationship to us.
Anyone who believes plants are sentient beings will love this book. The Secret Teachings of Plants. This one is not for the faint of heart, but it is for those who feel a certain bond with nature. All ancient and indigenous peoples insisted their knowledge of plant medicines came from the plants themselves and not through trial-and-error experimentation. Less well known is that many Western peoples made this same assertion.
Buhner provides readers with the tools necessary to gather information directly from the heart of nature and to directly learn the medicinal uses of plants. The Lost Language of Plants. This second organic gardening book by Buhner offers extensive documentation of how plants communicate their healing qualities to humans and other animals.
The book is essential reading for anyone concerned about the state of the environment, the state of health care, and our cultural sanity. The Rodale Book of Composting. The edition may have even sufficed, although the new edition has been updated. It looks at compostable materials and their properties and includes plans to build several types of composters. Lots of great information in here. A Guide to Composting Human Manure. This third edition is a good read for anyone who is ready to entertain the possibility of more fully integrating themselves into the ecosystem.
It explains why the people of the Western world do not compost their manure, why we should, and how it can be done safely, without chemicals, high technology, or pollution. Ann Lovejoy has gained a significant following, and deservedly so. She has a renowned school, and this book is pretty good, too. There are many great organic gardening tips in there, but you still have to pull them out and figure things out for yourself. Still, I recommend it.
This is probably the most comprehensive book available in the field of forest ecology, although it is a bit pricey. It is really for advanced students of forest science, ecology, and environmental studies, but I put it here in the design section because it is the best gardening book for landscape designers who want to learn to work with nature and mimic natural systems. The authors provide a survey of boreal, temperate, and tropical forests, with useful concepts for the organic home garden.
This is one of my favorite organic gardening books on energy. He lays out a lifetime of research into forces in nature and his discoveries regarding the force of paramagnetism and the amazing effects it has upon soils, plants and people. The inventory of knowledge that is generally warehoused under the classification of biodynamic is rich and timeless, and yet very few organic gardeners have even a nodding acquaintance with the subject.
This is a practical, how-to guide to making all of the biodynamic preparations. The book will provide what you need to put these proven techniques to work in your garden. This is perhaps the best gardening book of the many biodynamic titles currently available. The Anatomy of Life and Energy in Agriculture. Unfortunately, this is out of print. The energies in fertilizers and in the cosmos do not often move needles, but they preside over crop production. Since high sugar and mineral levels confer immunity to bacterial, insect and fungal attack, a complete Brix chart on crops is included.
This is too far out for most people, but it is very interesting. Learn to listen and let nature tell you what to do in your garden. Warning, you will read about fairies. My favorite organic gardening book on gmos, a bit depressing, but important. The book reveals how industry manipulation and political collusion allow dangerous genetically engineered food into your daily diet. Scientists are offered bribes or threatened; evidence is stolen; data withheld or distorted.
Government scientists who complain are fired. You will find out a bit about how you can protect yourself and your family. Sixty-five health risks of the foods that Americans eat every day are presented in easy-to-read two-page spreads. I liked how the left page is designed for the quick scanning reader: The right side offers fully referenced text, describing both research studies and theoretical risks. The Organic Lawn Care Manual. Caring for an organic lawn is not that much different than caring for a garden, but it there are differences. There is better organic soil information elsewhere, but this organic gardening book for lawns does have good info on how to plant the appropriate grass for your climate, irrigate, use organic lawn fertilizer and keep pests away and the author is a great activist for the organic cause.
Fertility from the Ocean Deep. Walters examines the amazing successes that growers have experienced with using ocean water and ocean solids as an organic fertilizer. Using hard data obtained in the field, Walters demonstrates that sea-solids fertilizers produce stress-resistant plants and food with naturally extended shelf life and vastly increased nutrient levels.
I prefer the organic gardening book above, but this is the original work. Murray used sea solids — mineral salts remaining after water is evaporated from ocean water — as organic garden fertilizer on a variety of vegetables, fruits and grains. His extensive experiments demonstrated repeatedly and conclusively that plants fertilized with sea solids and animals fed sea-solid-fertilized feeds grow stronger and more resistant to disease. An Introduction to Natural Farming. The Art and Practice of Seed Saving.
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