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    1. Back to Basics: A Complete Guide
    2. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A
    3. The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year
    4. The Resilient Gardener: Food Production
    5. Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables
    6. From Seed to Skillet: A Guide
    7. Gaia's Garden, Second Edition:
    8. Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets
    9. Grow Great Grub: Organic Food
    10. From Vines to Wines: The Complete
    11. Gardening When It Counts: Growing
    12. The New Organic Grower: A Master's
    13. How to Grow More Vegetables and
    14. Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms
    15. The Complete Compost Gardening
    16. Holy Shit: Managing Manure To
    17. The Naturally Clean Home: 150
    18. Rodale's Ultimate Encyclopedia
    19. One Year to an Organized Life:
    20. Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set

    1. Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition
    Hardcover (2008-04-17)
    list price: $24.95 -- our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1602392331
    Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
    Sales Rank: 838
    Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Over 100,000 sold! Now newly revised and up to date, with over 2,000 color photographs and illustrations.Anyone who wants to learn basic living skills—the kind employed by our forefathers—and adapt them for a better life in the twenty-first century need look no further than this eminently useful, full-color guide. Countless readers have turned to Back to Basics for inspiration and instruction, escaping to an era before power saws and fast food restaurants and rediscovering the pleasures and challenges of a healthier, greener, and more self-sufficient lifestyle.

    Now newly updated, the hundreds of projects, step-by-step sequences, photographs, charts, and illustrations in Back to Basics will help you dye your own wool with plant pigments, graft trees, raise chickens, craft a hutch table with hand tools, and make treats such as blueberry peach jam and cheddar cheese. The truly ambitious will find instructions on how to build a log cabin or an adobe brick homestead. More than just practical advice, this is also a book for dreamers—even if you live in a city apartment you will find your imagination sparked, and there's no reason why you can't, for example, make a loom and weave a rag rug. Complete with tips for old-fashioned fun (square dancing calls, homemade toys, and kayaking tips), this may be the most thorough book on voluntary simplicity available. 2,000 color photos and 200 black-and-white illustrations
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars A traditional skills primer.
    A primer on self-reliance and rural skills, this is a large-format book of 456 pages lavishly illustrated with photographs and drawings, about half in full color. Here are 57 subjects, many with subsets, as in gardening, which includes information on soil, cultivation methods, making and using a greenhouse, and specific information on many veggies, herbs, fruits. Some presentations are simplistic, like telling you how to find and evaluate a farm or can produce in only four pages. Building and using a smokehouse gets one page. Using dairy products butters ten pages. Woodworking and furniture making nail down thirty pages. Build and decorate a house and the chairs, tables, beds to furnish it. Build a springhouse, a dam, a well, a water system. Grow vegetables, fruits, grains. Raise bees, fish, chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits, hogs, sheep, goats, cows, horses. Make cheese, maple syrup, beer, wine, bread, soap, candles, baskets. Cook with wood. Spin yarn, use natural dyes, make cloth, quilts, rugs, hammocks. Learn tanning and leather work, tinsmithing, blacksmithing, toolmaking. Celebrate harvest and holidays with traditional decorations, recipes, toys, games, dances. Learn camping, hiking, fishing, canoeing, snowshoeing, skiing. Whew! This book will keep you happily occupied for several decades.

    5-0 out of 5 stars back to basics
    i was given this book over 15 years ago. it has become my "bible" for basic skills. we refer to this book at least once a week for advice and instruction - and always manage to find what we're looking for! it does more than touch on subjects! you get in-depth instructions with pictures to guide you through such things as building a foundation and canning your own garden goods. my copy is well-worn from much use! i treasure this book and all the things i've learned from it. for those out there who wish to live more self-sufficiently, you must have this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best of Basics...
    This was a really interesting book and I got a whole more than I expected. This book covers all kinds of traditional skills from chopping wood, building houses, plowing fields, food preparation, and so on. Just about anything you can imagine on everyday life skills from days long gone.

    The bonus part to this was that it included a lot of modern day adaptations and applications for these skills. It could be a useful how-to manual for those that want to live a more simple life. It also includes a description of alternate eco-friendly fuel sources

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Wealth of Practical Information

    My grandparents owned the first edition of this book years ago and I read it almost every time I was over at their house. When I saw it was updated, I bought my own copy. This is a how-to tome par excellence! In these pages you can learn to go far toward practical self sufficiency. Just about anything and everything you could ever seek to know regarding hands-on survival skills is explained inside this book. It's useful information for everyday life and a potential lifesaver in times of crisis. In here you can learn how to start fires under any weather conditions, make your own shoes from scratch, build furniture, houses, boats, find out how to raise animals, grow gardens and survive diasters. I feel more confident in my ability to get by in almost any situation than I did before I re-discovered this pragmatic classic. Knowledge, as they say, is power.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
    Not a step-by step guide, but usually has enough info on a particular subject to get you started. Some topic are covered in detail, like making braided rugs, while others understandably are only given a cursory review, such as building construction.

    Tons of topics, with enough info to get you headed in the right direction for most, but you'll obviously want to get more detailed info on any of the more complex tasks they descibe. ... Read more

    2. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (P.S.)
    by Barbara Kingsolver, Camille Kingsolver, Steven L. Hopp
    Paperback (2008-05-01)
    list price: $15.99 -- our price: $10.87
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0060852569
    Publisher: Harper Perennial
    Sales Rank: 1183
    Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life—vowing that, for one year, they’d only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.

    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Back to the garden!
    Three hundred and sixty-eight pages, no pretty pictures, and it's about food? Yes it is, and it's fascinating. Written by best-selling novelist Barbara Kingsolver, her scientist hubby and teenage daughter, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" chronicles the true story of the family's adventures as they move to a farm in rural Virginia and vow to eat locally for one year. They grow their own vegetables, raise their own poultry and buy the rest of their food directly from farmers markets and other local sources. There are touching human stories here (the family's 9-year-old learns a secret to raising chickens for food: don't name them!) but the book's purpose is serious food for thought: it argues the economic, social and health benefits of putting local foods at the center of a family diet. As Kingsolver details the family's experience month-by-month, husband Steven adds sidebars on the problems of industrial agriculture and daughter Camille tosses in some first-person essays ("Growing Up in the Kitchen") and recipes ("Holiday Corn Pudding a Nine-Year-Old Can Make").

    And it is all so well written! Kingsolver can veer way off topic -- wandering off into subjects like rural politics, even turkey sex -- and still, somehow, stay right on point. Her husband can say more in two pages than some professors I know can say in 200, and the daughter's writings... well I often couldn't tell who was writing what without checking for the byline.

    The book looks and feels great, too. The dust jacket has been pressed into the nubby texture of burlap. The pages have ragged edges, which makes them soft on your fingers.

    Reading this book, drinking my Phosphoric Acid Diet Coke and snacking on some Partially Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil Walt Disney World Hungry Heroes Yogurt Pretzels, I suddenly felt like I was a kid again, sitting in my bedroom in 1969 listening to that Joni Mitchell "Woodstock" lyric: "Time to get back to the land, and set my soul free." Now that song is stuck back in my head! Maybe it should have never left.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is a fascinating informative book about food
    It is possible to live off the land. The Kingsolver family are proof of that. They grew their own food for a year on a farm in Virginia's Applachian mountains. It only cost 50 cents a meal to feed the Kingsolver family of four for a year, and I found that to be amazing. It is much healthier to eat organic foods which are foods produced without chemicals. This is one of the main ideas of this insightful book. I love Camille's Kingsolver's contributions in this book. She is the college age daughter of the primary author. Camille's reflections about food are thoughtful, and her recipes sound delicious. I loved her essay about how she learned to love asparagus. I learned that asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin C, which I did not know before. There is a recipe in here for an asparagus mushroom bread pudding. I never thought of putting these ingredients together. Another interesting recipe in the book is one for zucchini chocolate chip cookies. The recipe sounds so unusual, I am tempted to try it. The recipe for pumpkin soup and sweet potato quesadillas sound yummy too. Everyone in the Kingsolver family contributed in this local food project. Barbara raised and bred turkeys, while her nine year old daughter raised her own chickens and provided the family with eggs for a year. They even made their own cheese.

    I also enjoyed the contributions of Steven L. Hopp in this book. He is a professor who teaches environmental science at Emory and Henry College. His short contributions in the every chapter are very insightful. He really compliments the main text written by Kingsolver. I enjoyed reading his thoughts about the popularity of agricultural education in public schools. This is a fascinating and informative book about food.

    5-0 out of 5 stars More exposure of an American epidemic
    Look what happened when the nation turned its attention to the tobacco industry. If only that would happen with the fast food/processed food industry. One can only dream.....

    Thank you so much, Barbara Kingsolver, for grabbing that attention and making it the focus of your new book. I loved it. It was so well written.

    I hope this subject really catches the attention of more and more people. For our familys conversion to organic and local, mindful eating it started with the movie, "Supersize Me," and went on to "Fast Food Nation, etc."
    Ms. Kingsolver points out in her book it is a slow process to weed yourself off that junk food.

    Ms. Kingsolver opens up the doors to her farm and family life to share how we can save our lives (literally) and the world by eating local, fresh and home grown. Put down that twinkie and pop! Pick up a hoe and educate yourself on the dangers of fast food and processed food!

    Blue jello? Come on! What part of that is natural, real food? But I dare you to eat a Christmas colored bean, like the one on the book cover.

    Ms. Kingsolver also shares about how rare it is to see/find true animal breeding in the modern world. She states in the book it was impossible to find modern resources and had to look to the past to find the answers.
    Nature has been bred out of the animals we eat. And she writes about it so eloquently!

    Sorry this review is all over the place! I was so excited to see Ms. Kingsolvers new book out; and it is on a subject that is near and dear to my heart. The narrative is incredibly well written. It is very inspiring.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great, Now I Want Chickens
    Wonderful, insightful book about the importance of eating locally, and even more importantly, eating thoughtfully. Barbara Kingsolver details the year in which she and her family strive to live off of foods grown locally, but the book is much more than an interesting personal memoir; she, her husband and their daughter explain in great detail WHY they feel the need to do this.

    There is no vague talk or philosophy here, rather very thorough forays into biology, politics, history, education, and every other genre of study that explains how we, as Americans, eat-- which is generally pretty badly. The scientific background of both Ms. Kingsolver and her husband (who has essays scattered throughout the book) really shines through. The decision to eat locally (in this case, from their own garden or farms within the same county) is presented not as a throw-back to a better, earlier time but as the way forward, the beginning of a new and improved chapter. Instead of presenting this painstakingly-researched information in one overwhelming block, Ms. Kingsolver carefully intersperses it with the personal story in easily-digested bites. This keeps both the science and the garden-family-diary part in balance and makes the book very readable.

    The personal side of the story is excellent. Growing vegatables; raising poultry; making cheese at home(!!!); baking bread every day (the husband's responsibility in this case); canning, freezing, braiding, and otherwise storing the garden's bounty; each of these and more are a part of the grand experiment. "Deprivation" never sounded so fun or so fufilling. If you've ever dreamed of canning your own tomatoes or keeping chickens, this book will make your yearnings worse.

    Ms. Kingsolver and co. are refreshingly non-vegetarian, blithely describing Turkey-Harvest Day (what it sounds like, yes) and explaining both why "vegetarian" crops like corn kill more animals via thresher and pesticide than meaty "crops" like chicken, and why the idea that the world would be better off with more vegetarians is deeply flawed. Vegetarians may be perturbed by their findings, but I think it would still be worth reading with an open mind.

    The glimpses into her family life, too, are fascinating-- kids who are more interested in chickens and tomatoes than Playstation and cable? Huh. The book includes several essays by Kingsolver's elder daughter, Camille, who provides an interesting perspective: as both an interested member in this "new" lifestyle and a college freshman, she is a bridge between these cultures.

    Like any garden/farm narrative, I suppose, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is very regional and it really captures the flavor of its paticular locale--Virginia. I am a recent transplant to Virginia myself (this is my first spring/summer here) and the book answered some of my questions about this new place, like "Why does my front yard smell like onions? Are those chives growing wild all around the neighborhood?" Apparently they are "ramps". Who knew? Not this Texan. That sudden retreat to freezing last month is a "dogwood winter". I realize that to most readers of this review it's not important, but I felt a sudden thrill of recognition to realize that this farm and author are probably within a hundred miles from here-- to realize that she is describing my newly adopted environment.

    My only bone to pick is a very small one. Near the end of the book, Ms Kingsolver expresses surprise that her pet topic of eating locally has suddenly mushroomed from a secret underground movement, to the mainstream. As far as I can tell, this isn't true. Yes, the Times (or whatever it was) has a cover story on eating locally. But I was learning about it back in college (2001-ish) at the University of Vermont. My environmental classes covered the costs of shipping tomatoes and included a trip to the local CSA. That CSA, as well as the one I've joined here in VA, have been around for a while-- at least 5-10 years I think. Ms Kingsolver mentions several upscale restaurants (and one diner) that serve only local foods, and cookbooks. So clearly, this trend/idea/philosophy has been gaining steam for at least a decade, and didn't just pop out of the ground as the book was going to the publisher. But, as I said, small quibble. The book is fantastic, I'd reccommend it to anyone interested in changing the way they eat, gardening, farming, chickens... ... Read more

    3. The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses
    by Eliot Coleman
    list price: $29.95 -- our price: $19.77
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1603580816
    Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
    Sales Rank: 1095
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Choosing locally grown organic food is a sustainable living trend that’s taken hold throughout North America. Celebrated farming expert Eliot Coleman helped start this movement with The New Organic Grower published 20 years ago. He continues to lead the way, pushing the limits of the harvest season while working his world-renowned organic farm in Harborside, Maine.

    Now, with his long-awaited new book, The Winter Harvest Handbook, anyone can have access to his hard-won experience. Gardeners and farmers can use the innovative, highly successful methods Coleman describes in this comprehensive handbook to raise crops throughout the coldest of winters.

    Building on the techniques that hundreds of thousands of farmers and gardeners adopted from The New Organic Grower and Four-Season Harvest, this new book focuses on growing produce of unparalleled freshness and quality in customized unheated or, in some cases, minimally heated, movable plastic greenhouses.

    Coleman offers clear, concise details on greenhouse construction and maintenance, planting schedules, crop management, harvesting practices, and even marketing methods in this complete, meticulous, and illustrated guide. Readers have access to all the techniques that have proven to produce higher-quality crops on Coleman’s own farm.

    His painstaking research and experimentation with more than 30 different crops will be valuable to small farmers, homesteaders, and experienced home gardeners who seek to expand their production seasons.

    A passionate advocate for the revival of small-scale sustainable farming, Coleman provides a practical model for supplying fresh, locally grown produce during the winter season, even in climates where conventional wisdom says it “just can’t be done.”

    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Build Yourself A Winter Wonderfarm, April 27, 2009
    Got a little land? Love a lot of vegetables? Then build yourself a Winter Wonderfarm. You may not be able to enjoy fresh garden tomatoes in the dead of winter, but there are more than 30 green and root vegetables that you can enjoy. From carrots to onions, celery to kohlrabi, and almost every vegetable in between, your Winter Wonderfarm will become the envy of your neighborhood. Perhaps that's where the expression "green with envy" came from . . . a better, greener farm.

    The three components to a successful winter harvest, according to Mr. Coleman are:

    1) Cold-hardy vegetables
    2) Succession planting
    3) Protected cultivation

    As it turns out, if we can protect our vegetables from the winter winds, we can grow many vegetables successfully, even in the snow. Some vegetables, such as spinach, lettuce and matte, are actually even sweeter and more tender in cooler temperatures. Think you surely have to provide supplementary lighting? Nope . . . not needed when grown in one of Mr. Coleman's "cold houses". He uses these cold houses even in the Maine winters of Zone 5.

    You'll also learn about vertical production of tomatoes and how to create your own cold frame with quick hoops made of electrical conduit and 10-foot-wide spun-bonded row cover held down by sandbags. These hoops can cover the same area as a 22 by 48 foot greenhouse at 5% of the cost. Speaking of cost, a recent article in the AARP Magazine indicated that we can save $1,000.00 a year growing our own vegetables in a small garden. Now add your winter crop savings, and imagine what you'd save. Your Winter Wonderfarm will yield delicious, organic vegetables, improving your diet and fattening your wallet. Forget putting out the Christmas lights . . . just grow vegetables.

    Lynette Fleming, Coauthor of Lunch Buddies: Buddy Up for a Better Diet

    5-0 out of 5 stars Winter Harvest Handbook, May 9, 2009
    Once again Elliot Coleman has provided us with a wealth of knowledge when it comes to both home and commercial gardening. In these times of change, it is reassuring to know that there are those who are more than willing to share what they have learned. We have been using some of his techniques here in New Brunswick, Canada with great success. We are currently eating spinach in April and May that we planted last fall in our cold frame. If a crop can survive one of our winters, they should survive elsewhere. If you want to put in a garden, this is a must book to own.

    5-0 out of 5 stars fresh from your garden in the winter, May 25, 2009
    I have his first one, which I really enjoyed. This one is better-with color photos that will really excite any gardener. There are lists of specific seeds he has found will grow under winter conditions in the greenhouse, and how to help them best make it through the freeze. He list helpful items and where to get them. An easy read,for the person who wants to grow for their family or to sell. A helpful fun book. Elliot is a good teacher.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Rest of the Pieces to the Puzzle, August 3, 2009
    In 2006 I planted my first fall garden. The first week of September I sowed one of my grow beds in Indian Summer Spinach and a few other recommendations from an article I read about fall gardens. I was amazed at the productivety from this late planting. The quality and quantity was wonderful, and the absense of pests and weeds was noteworthy. To my astonishment I kept harvesting and enjoying spinach first to Thanksgiving, and then into December. When the first snow fall blanketed the foothills where I live the day before Christmas I thought it was all over. New Years was a clear sunny winter day and so I slipping on my snow boots and wondered out to the garden. There I noticed a little dark green peeking out from the edge of the grow bed in I which I had planted the fall spinach. Gently I lifted away the crusty layer of snow and was astounded to find the spinach still florishing. Reaching down I sampled the crunchiest, sweetest spinach I had ever tasted, before returning to the house for a large bowl. The salad that day from our own garden was devine. I picked almost daily until, with a little melancoly, I harvested the last of it on January 20, 2007. That expience led me to wonder what else might be grown in the fall and winter months, and how it could best be accomplished. If you have ever put together a jigsaw puzzle only to find a piece or two missing just as you were completing it,that's how I felt in reverse. I had the missing piece or two, but didn't know where the rest of the puzzle was until just last month when I discovered Eliot Coleman's extraordinary book The Winter Harvest Handbook. Now I have the whole puzzle. But in his humble way I can almost hear Eliot say, "There are still lots of things we need to learn about the winter garden." If you are passionate about growing quality vegetables for your own table or for the market, and want to extend your efforts into the wonderful world of the Winter Harvest I hardily recommend this gift from the master of that season. My only comments for the 3rd edition would be to add more information about watering/irrigation in winter and specific information about seed varieties and their sources. I was so impressed with this book that I am now "plowing" through Coleman's The New Organic Grower.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Grow Vegetables In The Winter! I'm Doing It. Great Book!, January 17, 2010
    Readers will learn from this book at their own level of understanding. I'm a novice, so I'll be going back for more as I mature as a vegetable gardener, even though I've got a GREENHOUSE FULL OF VEGETABLES AND THIS IS JANUARY!

    I had (still have) so much to learn, but I knew I wanted to grow vegetables when they weren't traditionally supposed to be growing. The Winter Harvest Handbook taught me how the shortened days of winter affect growing (everyone else probably already knew that but I had to read it to understand it) and ways I can use artificial lighting to provide more "daylight" hours. I learned about the option of heating the soil. That method is too advanced for me, but others were just what I needed. I am heating the soil for the seeds I'm sowing.

    I had asked my expert-gardener neighbors, "Do the plants really know what season it is?" They assured me that they didn't. I made it my goal to convince the seeds/seedlings I plant that it is growing season. I accomplished that with the help of this handbook among others.

    I can see that a more experienced gardener or those with more land to plant will be more interested in topics related to their projects. I stuck with the topics I could use in my new greenhouse and my new cold frame, which I haven't used yet. I only have so much courage and can only try so many new things at a time. EDITED to say that I did try to use mine. I had given my neighbor one and he used his to produce a good crop of radishes. I tried to use mine, but the wind moved the soil around so much that the carrot seeds I sowed never sprouted. This may not be the location for a cold frame, but it's a good idea for tamer regions.

    I've been enjoying my new greenhouse, formerly a screened-in porch, now enclosed with plexiglass and full of growing vegetables--in January! Right now I have spinach, Romaine lettuce, radishes (although I timidly didn't plant enough of those), tomatoes (which I'm learning to pollinate without the assistance of bees since they aren't available), squash, and lots of onions and garlic. A couple of days ago I discovered a cucumber plant which looks like it needs pollination. [EDITED to come back weeks later and say that I successfully pollinated it and it is now a tiny little cucumber and there are more on the way.]

    Back to reading to find out exactly how it works with cucumbers when there are no bees around. My greenhouse may not be warm enough to bring that little cucumber to harvest, [EDITED to say that it worked!!!] but {shrug} the other vegetables are, with the exception of the tomatoes that are going that direction and have blossomed, I've hand-pollinated them, and I'm still waiting to see tomatoes, but it's looking good for them too! Romaine lettuce and LOTS of spinach are the stars out there! They are growing with little effort on my part. [EDITED to say that I have dozens of little green cherry tomatoes on my tomato bush now. This is awesome! I had no idea gardening could be so much fun. Where have I been? Oh yes, working, and no time for much of anything but work. This is better.]

    The handbook taught me which vegetables tolerate colder conditions and those that can make it in cooler (not cold) conditions. I'll soon be ready to try out the cold-frame and Not not as timid as I was when I started. It's really tough forcing myself to harvest my vegetables though. I love to watch them growing and thriving in my garden, EVEN THROUGH THE OKLAHOMA BLIZZARD OF Christmas Day, 2009.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide for those selling vegetables, May 4, 2009
    Although there is a great deal of information that can be applied to the small garden, this book is geared for the gardener wanting to sell produce all winter out of greenhouses. It is well written with many resources and tons of technical information. I'm a small gardener, though, and it is beyond what I plan on doing, at least at this point. Still, it is a very good book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Execellent How To Guide!, May 2, 2009
    Got this book while deployed and was very difficult to put it down when I had to go to work. Even though I put in about 18 hours a day here in Afghanistan I could not sleep until I learned just a little more about four season growing and harvesting!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The kick I needed to build my own greenhouse!, November 29, 2009
    I bought Eliot Coleman's New Organic Grower years ago and always wanted to get fresh vegetables in the winter. This is way more than just an update to that book! It gives more details and advice to get you going. Now we have a greenhouse (really a high plastic tunnel 11'x17'x7' tall) full of his preferred winter hardy items and we are eating good. I should add we live in Colorado and we had the coldest and snowiest fall that I can remember. We had 3 or 4 snows before Halloween but everything survived and thrived in the unheated greenhouse as he describes. Plus this is in a regular neighborhood and building the greenhouse as Eliot suggests, it meets code without a building permit as it is movable! A must buy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Packed with good info, November 27, 2009
    Wow, I can't remember the last book I read that tought me more valueable info. Eliot's book is filled with practical advice on how to extend the harvest through the winter. While written from the commercial grower's perspective, as a home gardener I found so much that I could use. Great info on the use of "cold" vs "cool" greenhouses, how to schedule plantings and harvesting, plant selection for winter production, as well as the best use of greenhouses and row covers in summer and winter. Also some great chapters for any vegi gardener on soil preparation, pests, weeds, and plant spacing. Strongly recommend.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A book worth reading, July 5, 2009
    This book is a great follow up to his first book the "New Organic Grower".
    I highly recommend for anyone serious about the food he "wants" to eat and who wants to grow it.
    ... Read more

    4. The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times
    by Carol Deppe
    list price: $29.95 -- our price: $19.77
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 160358031X
    Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
    Sales Rank: 2930
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review


    In an age of erratic weather and instability, people's interest in growing their own food is skyrocketing. The Resilient Gardener presents gardening techniques that stand up to challenges ranging from health problems, financial problems, and special dietary needs to serious disasters and climate change.

    Scientist and expert gardener Carol Deppe draws from emerging science in many fields to develop the general principles of gardening for resilience. Gardeners will learn through Deppe's detailed instructions on growing, storing, and using the five crops central to self-reliance: potatoes, corn, beans, squash, and eggs.

    Learn how to:
    • Grow food in an era of wild weather and climate change
    • Garden with little to no irrigation or "store-bought" inputs
    • Garden efficiently and comfortably (even with a bad back)
    • Customize your garden to deal with special dietary needs or a need for weight control
    • Make breads and cakes from home-grown corn using original gluten-free recipes (with no other grains, artificial binders, or dairy products)
    • Keep a laying flock of ducks or chickens, integrate them with your gardening, and grow most of their feed
    And more . . .

    The Resilient Gardener is both a conceptual and a hands-on gardening book for all levels of experience. Optimistic as well as realistic, Deppe offers invaluable advice for gardeners (and their communities) to flourish. ... Read more

    5. Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long
    by Eliot Coleman, Barbara Damrosch
    list price: $24.95 -- our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1890132276
    Publisher: Chelsea Green
    Sales Rank: 2194
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    If you love the joys of eating home-garden vegetables but always thought those joys had to stop at the end of summer, this book is for you. Eliot Coleman introduces the surprising fact that most of the United States has more winter sunshine than the south of France. He shows how North American gardeners can successfully use that sun to raise a wide variety of traditional winter vegetables in backyard cold frames and plastic covered tunnel greenhouses without supplementary heat. Coleman expands upon his own experiences with new ideas learned on a winter-vegetable pilgrimage across the ocean to the acknowledged kingdom of vegetable cuisine, the southern part of France, which lies on the 44th parallel, the same latitude as his farm in Maine.
    This story of sunshine, weather patterns, old limitations and expectations, and new realities is delightfully innovative in the best gardening tradition. Four-Season Harvest will have you feasting on fresh produce from your garden all through the winter.
    ... Read more

    6. From Seed to Skillet: A Guide to Growing, Tending, Harvesting, and Cooking Up Fresh, Healthy Food to Share with People You Love
    by Jimmy Williams, Susan Heeger
    list price: $30.00 -- our price: $19.80
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0811872211
    Publisher: Chronicle Books
    Sales Rank: 2727
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Jimmy Williams learned all about vegetable gardening at the knee of his grandmother, a South Carolina native from a traditional Gullah community whose members were descendents of Caribbean slaves. He pays homage to his family history in this inspiring step-by-step guide to designing and planting a backyard vegetable garden and growing one's own food. With this essential garden manual, home gardeners can learn how easy it is to plan a garden, design and construct growing beds, tend the crop without using harmful chemicals, harvest gorgeous vegetables, and cook a delicious feast using Jimmy's favorite family recipes. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you, Amazon, November 15, 2010
    I saw this book listed as one of Amazon's Best Books and took a flier. Wow! It is exactly the kind of book our family (semi urban with a small back yard) have been looking for! Comprehensive, well written, brilliantly illustrated and laid out so that even a monkey can follow it. It lays out the entire process whereby the at home gardener can become if not entirely self sufficient then virtually supermarket produce-free within a single growing season. This book is an instant classic -- and revolutionary. Remember The Whole Earth Catalogue or Our Bodies, Ourselves, or even Doctor Spock's Baby Book? It is as revolutionary, as readable and as essential as those.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Uniquely useful, beautifully written, November 26, 2010
    I've been only organi-curious to date, but I have two sisters who garden, Christmas is looming, and I knew they couldn't already have this just-released book. So after a little research I ordered one "test" copy. (As of now, there's not a lot of info on the Amazon page, but googling the book title turned up a publisher's site with sample PDFs and a worthwhile youtube video.)

    The book is written 1st-person from Jimmy Williams' point of view, and he's a one-off. His stories bring to life his really unique background, with his both Native American and African/Gullah near ancestry. But each unusual story is there to illustrate concrete tips and techniques - e.g., how his grandmother used her rolling-pin as a time-saving gardening tool - he still uses one the same way. The style is vivid and brisk, engaging and inspiring, especially in the more anecdotal early chapters. The whole book is accessible and confidence-building for a garden-inexperienced reader like me, and doesn't assume any knowledge, though the very detailed discussions of techniques and special adaptations for urban growing in the later chapters build on the basic skills colorfully introduced early on.

    The middle chapters comprise a businesslike, highly practical, and comprehensive guide for getting started simply, growing from seeds (or seedlings), with, for example, alternative illustrated plans for creating beds in urban gardens; and moving on to wider subjects - how to prepare, water, and maintain the soil and garden through the seasons, and to expand it over time to include more variety, recommended plant pairings and rotation, etc. Williams shares a wealth of his own soil amendment recipes and cultivation techniques he developed himself or inherited, and provides book references and links to his favorite suppliers. I strongly suspect that the originality of his approaches and insights will be of interest to experienced gardeners, not only to beginners like me. Reading the book is like having a generous, enthusiastic, and highly experienced friend who is "opening the bag" to you on how he succeeds at what he loves.

    The next-to-last chapter covers his "edible A-list" of vegetables to grow and eat, with a page or two on each, including his tutorial on getting the best results, and listing his favorite varieties. The final chapter will likely be many readers' favorite - an excellent mini-cookbook of twenty traditional southern recipes from Williams' multi-sided background, updated for the modern kitchen and garden.

    Williams' very strong and agreeable personality carries throughout the book - his unique voice is strong even in the businesslike, practical sections - and the whole book comes across as personal. At the same time, the writing is elegantly fresh, economical, and readable - Heeger, the co-author, doesn't "speak," but in the strong flow and imagery of the prose, "From Seed to Skillet" is a wonderful literary collaboration. In his blurb on the cover, Michael Pollan picked exactly the right phrase in describing Williams and Heeger as a "fine coaching team."

    Finally, the book itself is beautiful - large and very handsomely printed, and filled with photography that is well-chosen, illustrates key processes, and is inspiring and plain luscious to look through. After reading it, I ordered a copy for each sister for Christmas (problem solved), and kept the test copy for myself. Enthusiastically recommended!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Video Review, December 7, 2010
    This is a very extensive book with a great story and purpose. If you are interested in lowering your food bill and becoming less dependent on others, then this is your book!


    5-0 out of 5 stars The Most Informative and Simplest Guide to Growing Vegetables (Small or Large Plots) for Your Family Table, December 17, 2010
    A fiend of mine who's a hardcore gardener gave me this book because
    I had been talking about wanting to grow some of my own food but am a
    totally inexperienced gardener. My friend, on the other hand, has been
    gardening for years, so I thought that if she liked this book it would be
    completely over my head.
    When it came, I started flipping through it because of the pictures, then
    I was pulled in by Jimmy Williams's story and finally, his approach to
    gardening was so clear and unintimidating that I started to get excited.
    I've only had the book a week but already, I know where I'm going to
    put my new vegetable garden and what I'm going to plant.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A gardener's best friend, December 20, 2010
    I have been working a small garden on the side of my house for almost two years now with very little knowledge and with less than perfect success. From Seed to Skillet has become my go to resource and already I am finding myself in a little Eden of my own. Written in a style that is completely accessible yet inspiring- If I had to use one word to describe Seed to Skillet it would be empowering. I have not seen a book so well laid out in a long time - It is beautiful, clear, easy to learn from and has a great sense of story to boot. All of my friends from full time farmers to those with a row of potted plants at their doorstep are getting a copy for their birthday this year. ... Read more

    7. Gaia's Garden, Second Edition: A Guide To Home-Scale Permaculture
    by Toby Hemenway
    list price: $29.95 -- our price: $19.77
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1603580298
    Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
    Sales Rank: 3196
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    Editorial Review

    The first edition of Gaia’s Garden, sparked the imagination of America’s home gardeners, introducing permaculture’s central message: Working with Nature, not against her, results in more beautiful, abundant, and forgiving gardens. This extensively revised and expanded second edition broadens the reach and depth of the permaculture approach for urban and suburban growers.

    Many people mistakenly think that ecological gardening—which involves growing a wide range of edible and other useful plants—can take place only on a large, multiacre scale. As Hemenway demonstrates, it’s fun and easy to create a “backyard ecosystem” by assembling communities of plants that can work cooperatively and perform a variety of functions, including:
    • Building and maintaining soil fertility and structure
    • Catching and conserving water in the landscape
    • Providing habitat for beneficial insects, birds, and animals
    • Growing an edible “forest” that yields seasonal fruits, nuts, and other foods
    This revised and updated edition also features a new chapter on urban permaculture, designed especially for people in cities and suburbs who have very limited growing space. Whatever size yard or garden you have to work with, you can apply basic permaculture principles to make it more diverse, more natural, more productive, and more beautiful. Best of all, once it’s established, an ecological garden will reduce or eliminate most of the backbreaking work that’s needed to maintain the typical lawn and garden. ... Read more

    8. Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening
    by Louise Riotte
    list price: $14.95 -- our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1580170277
    Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC
    Sales Rank: 3921
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    Editorial Review

    This classic has now taught generations of gardeners how to use the natural benefits of plants to protect and support each other. Here is a reader's complete reference to which plants nourish the soil, which keep away bugs and pests, and which plants just don't get along. Here is a complete guide to using companion planting to grow a better garden. 555,000 copies in print. ... Read more

    9. Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces
    by Gayla Trail
    list price: $19.99 -- our price: $13.59
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0307452018
    Publisher: Clarkson Potter
    Sales Rank: 5521
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    Editorial Review

    Your patio, balcony, rooftop, front stoop, boulevard, windowsill, planter box, or fire escape is a potential fresh food garden waiting to happen. In Grow Great Grub, Gayla Trail, the founder of the leading online gardening community (, shows you how to grow your own delicious, affordable, organic edibles virtually anywhere.                  
    Grow Great Grub packs in tips and essential information about:
    - Choosing a location and making the most of your soil (even if it’s less than perfect)
    - Building a raised bed, compost bin, and self-watering container using recycled materials
    - Keeping pests and diseases away from your plants—the toxin-free way
    - Growing bountiful crops in pots and selecting the best heirloom varieties
    - Cultivating hundreds of plants, from blueberries to Thai basil, to the best tomatoes you’ll ever taste
    - Canning, and preserving to make the most of your garden’s generosity
    - Green-friendly, cost-saving, growing, and building projects that are smart and stylish
    - And much more!
    Whether you’re looking to eat on a budget or simply experience the pleasure of picking tonight’s meal from right outside your door, this is the must-have book for small-space gardeners—no backyard required.
    GAYLA TRAIL is the creator of the acclaimed top gardening website Her work as a writer and photographer has appeared in publications including The New York Times, Newsweek, Budget Living, and ReadyMade. A resident of Toronto who has grown a garden on her rooftop for more than 10 years, she is the author of You Grow Girl: The Groundbreaking Guide to Gardening.
    ... Read more

    10. From Vines to Wines: The Complete Guide to Growing Grapes and Making Your Own Wine
    by Jeff Cox
    list price: $18.95 -- our price: $11.75
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1580171052
    Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC
    Sales Rank: 2749
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Create you own backyard winery!

    From breaking ground to savoring the finished product, Jeff Cox's From Vines to Wines is the most complete and up-to-date guide to growing flawless grapes and making extraordinary wine.

    Wine connoisseurs, gardeners, and home winemakers will find the latest techniques in this fully revised and updated edition. With thorough, illustrated instructions, you'll learn how to:

    -- Choose and prepare a vineyard site

    -- Construct sturdy and effective trellising systems

    -- Plant, prune, and harvest the perfect grapes for your climate

    -- Press, ferment, age and bottle your own wine

    -- Judge wine for clarity, color, aroma, body, and taste ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent starter book for new grapegrower/winemaker, June 11, 1999
    The new revision is an excellent book for anyone putting in a new vineyard, or thinking about winemaking. The two most certainly go hand in hand, however, if you are just interested in improving your knowledge of growing grapes, then it provides much very usefull information. On the other hand, if you are a new or aspiring winemaker, the section on making wine is filled with up to date, smart information, and can also be a stand alone reference to winemaking. By combining the two related fields, grape growing (specifically for winegrapes), and winemaking the winemaker will better understand what he should be looking for in winegrapes for his resulting wine. Conversely, the grape grower will have an understanding of how to grow his grapes to achieve the best possible product for the winemaker. If you are a grower of French Hybrid grapes, or the newer selection of American crosses from Elmer Swenson, David MacGregor, the University of Minnesota, New York Experiment Station named and numbered varieties, et al, then you do NOT want to pass up this book. A.J. Winkler's book "General Viticulture" is a bit outdated and a good revision would help... this one is right on the money.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great information for the home winemaker, October 17, 2000
    As an avid home winemaker, I was thrilled to find this book. It doesn't get bogged down in long technical descriptions and pages of history. Instead, with sections like "Problems in the South", it gets right into what will and will not work for your home winemaking efforts.

    The intro has a glossary of terms and a basic overview of winemaking which is very helpful for those new to the fun. Tables list which kinds of grapes work best for different regions, so those who are planting vines have a best-case scenario laid out for them. Clear instructions tell how to plant the vines, how to prune them, what a trellis looks like, and even harvest details.

    That's just to start. Now the books goes into the winemaking process, and it shines here as well. The conversational tone makes it easy to follow discussions of pH and brix and pomace. The book offers various normal situations winemakers find themselves in, and solutions to fix them. There is even information on barrel usage and aging techniques.

    The back appendix section offers places to buy wine supplies, wine societies, common vine pests and treatment, and much more.

    In all, this is a fantastic resource for the home vine grower and winemaker. Grab a copy if you're either one!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent survey of all aspects of winemaking, April 11, 2001
    This is an excellent introduction to the topics of growing grapes or winemaker hobbyist. Cox does an admirable job of providing enough information and tips for the backyard grapegrower or basement/garage winemaker. Other books may go into more detail but this is a comprehensive overview that encompasses each aspect of growing and winemaking.

    As a wine enthusiast, I have given thought (more than once) to learning more about the complete wine-making process. Reading this book has given me just enough confidence to try this as a backyard/basement hobbyist. It's not that I believe I can grow and make world-class wine -- rather, I expect to be able to appreciate the effort that goes into making a world-class wine. And, with any luck, I'll be able to make something worth drinking. The sections of the book on choosing grapes appropriate to your region, growing and training tips, fermentation, aging, bottling are all clearly written. The supply sources listed in the back are comprehensive enough to be able to find the basics. All in all, a very solid effort.

    4-0 out of 5 stars One of the "Bibles" for backyard grape growers., March 5, 1999
    Cox's "From Vines to Wines" is probably one of the best introductions to backyard grape growing and basement winemaking available today. From selecting vine stock to harvesting the crop, the first half of the book covers all the bases for grape growing. The second half is dedicated to winemaking, from first establishing what type of wine you want to create to labeling the bottles. This book is definitely oriented towards the hobbyist - readers with designs for a large vineyard (1+ acres) will want to start with this book but move on to more detailed texts. Personally, I found the section on site selection and soil analysis a little thin - fine if you're limited to the space on hand (your backyard), but lacking if you want to buy acreage dedicated to a vineyard. No data was provided on small scale commercial operations or basic vineyard economics. Cox's winemaking chapters are probably the best I've seen. He goes through the whole process and highlights potential trouble areas. Overall, a very good book for the hobbyist.

    3-0 out of 5 stars From Vines to Wines, October 12, 2000
    I found that Jeff Cox's book to be an excellent "short" guide for growing grapes and making wine. The book is targeted towards the backyard gardener and hobbyist. His examples of trellis construction is excellent with its illustrations of construction techniques. The section on disease and pest would have benefited by including color photos. I would recommend that this book for anyone that is interested in starting a small (less then 200 vines) vineyard.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best of the best, May 16, 1999
    Of all the books I have read on growing grapes and making wine, and I have read a few this is the most comprehensive and useful. Jeff Cox is a master at making even the most difficult aspects of viticulture easy to understand. I recomend this book to anyone looking for an all in one guide to turning vines into wines.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book period., August 17, 2000
    This is an excellent book. It completely explains the whole wine making process from the best grape variety for your area, proper growing techniques and care of the plants to making excellent wine with the fruit. I could not find a more complete A to Z book of the whole wine making process than this one.

    Unfortunately I live in an area which is too cold to grow the wine grape variety Cabernet Sauvignon. That is the variety I wanted to grow the most, but this book pointed out that this variety will not do very well through the short growing season in my state and will have allot of difficulty through the very cold winters here. Excellent information which will save you future dissapointment and point you in the right direction. Since reading this book I've done extensive research for a red wine grape variety which will do extremely well in U.S. states with short growing seasons and harsh cold winters. A good choice not covered.. I searched the net for several days to find this information, so I thought I would share it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Reference for all things grape, February 3, 2006
    This book is not just a one-time read. It will become your reference for all things grape. I bought the book about two years ago in hopes of starting my own vineyard. There's so much information and it's so complete that you really don't have to know much about wine or the growing process. If you have an interest, it's all here from siting of your grape vineyard, to planting, to pruning, to fermenting and cellaring, to enjoying the finished product. Read through the chapters and you'll feel like an expert. I took a long-distance learning course on wine growing from UC Davis (THEE school for wine growing) that cost more than $1,000. I enjoyed it, but learned more reading Jeff's book. You won't be disappointed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best introduction to growing & making wine, July 4, 2005
    I have acreage in california that I want to use for growing and making wine (I also live there, it's not a commercial venture). I have been doing research on what to grow, what to plan for etc. and this book has been, by far, the most helpful resource so far. Cox covers all aspects from site selection, planting, training, harvesting, and the wine making process itself.

    This book won't answer every question you have, but it answers far more than most. Highly recommended!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Easy Read, October 2, 2002
    This is a well compiled, easy to read treatise on the subjects of viticulture and eneology. Focused on the layperson, it is very easy reading whilst glossing over none of the facts.

    The book covers growing grapes suitable for wine, focused specifically on the North American region. It doesn't labor over the different types of grapes and their most suitable areas but it does give some information. It covers the history on wine making grapes and some of their historical regions. Moreover, it gives details on trellising and pruning techniques.

    Further, the book describes the process of winemaking. The authors easy going an informative style provides for a pleasant read.

    The author provides the reader with incite into his own experiences and even suggests alternatives to the common approach.

    I could recommend this book, not only to a perspective grape grower or wine maker, but to those that would like to learn more about wine, its history and how to taste it (all of which are between these covers). ... Read more

    11. Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times (Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series)
    by Steve Solomon
    list price: $19.95 -- our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 086571553X
    Publisher: New Society Publishers
    Sales Rank: 6501
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    Editorial Review

    The decline of cheap oil is inspiring increasing numbers of North Americans to achieve some measure of backyard food self-sufficiency. In hard times, the family can be greatly helped by growing a highly productive food garden, requiring little cash outlay or watering.

    Currently popular intensive vegetable gardening methods are largely inappropriate to this new circumstance. Crowded raised beds require high inputs of water, fertility and organic matter, and demand large amounts of human time and effort. But, except for labor, these inputs depend on the price of oil. Prior to the 1970s, North American home food growing used more land with less labor, with wider plant spacing, with less or no irrigation, and all done with sharp hand tools. But these sustainable systems have been largely forgotten. Gardening When It Counts helps readers rediscover traditional low-input gardening methods to produce healthy food.

    Designed for readers with no experience and applicable to most areas in the English-speaking world except the tropics and hot deserts, this book shows that any family with access to 3-5,000 sq. ft. of garden land can halve their food costs using a growing system requiring just the odd bucketful of household waste water, perhaps two hundred dollars worth of hand tools, and about the same amount spent on supplies — working an average of two hours a day during the growing season.

    Steve Solomon is a well-known west coast gardener and author of five previous books, including Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades which has appeared in five editions.

    ... Read more

    12. The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener (A Gardener's Supply Book)
    by Eliot Coleman
    list price: $24.95 -- our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 093003175X
    Publisher: Chelsea Green
    Sales Rank: 7825
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    Editorial Review

    With more than 45,000 sold since 1988, The New Organic Grower has become a modern classic. In this newly revised and expanded edition, master grower Eliot Coleman continues to present the simplest and most sustainable ways of growing top-quality organic vegetables. Coleman updates practical information on marketing the harvest, on small-scale equipment, and on farming and gardening for the long-term health of the soil. The new book is thoroughly updated, and includes all-new chapters such as:*Farm-Generated Fertility-how to meet your soil-fertility needs from the resources of your own land, even if manure is not available.*The Moveable Feast-how to construct home-garden and commercial-scale greenhouses that can be easily moved to benefit plants and avoid insect and disease build-up.*The Winter Garden-how to plant, harvest, and sell hardy salad crops all winter long from unheated or minimally heated greenhouses.*Pests-how to find "plant-positive" rather than "pest-negative" solutions by growing healthy, naturally resistant plants.*The Information Resource-how and where to learn what you need to know to grow delicious organic vegetables, no matter where you live.Written for the serious gardener or small market farmer, The New Organic Grower proves that, in terms of both efficiency and profitability, smaller can be better. ... Read more

    13. How to Grow More Vegetables and Fruits (and Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains, and Other Crops) Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine
    by John Jeavons
    list price: $19.99 -- our price: $13.59
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1580087965
    Publisher: Ten Speed Press
    Sales Rank: 3639
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    Editorial Review

    A classic in the field of sustainable gardening, HOW TO GROW MORE VEGETABLES shows how to produce a beautiful organic garden with minimal watering and care, whether it's just a few tomatoes in a tiny backyard or enough food to feed a family of four on less than half an acre. Updated with the latest biointensive tips and techniques, this is an essential reference for gardeners of all skill levels seeking to grow some or all of their own food. ... Read more

    14. Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World
    by Paul Stamets
    list price: $35.00 -- our price: $23.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1580085792
    Publisher: Ten Speed Press
    Sales Rank: 7870
    Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    More mushrooms, less pollution! Yes, you heard right: growing more mushrooms may be the best thing we can do to save the environment. Microscopic cells called "mycelium"—the fruit of which are mushrooms —recycle carbon, nitrogen, and other essential elements as they break down plant and animal debris in the creation of rich new soil. What fungi expert Paul Stamets has discovered is that mycelium also breaks down hydrocarbons —the base structure in many pollutants. So, for instance, when soil contaminated with diesel oil is inoculated with strains of oyster mushroom mycelia, the soil loses its toxicity in just eight weeks. In MYCELIUM RUNNING, Stamets discusses this revolutionary trend in mushroom cultivation and provides tips for choosing the appropriate species of fungi for various environmental purposes. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Super Valuable Information, December 1, 2005
    Last summer I attended one of Paul's seminars at Fungi Perfecti. Living near by it was easy to attend however I had absolutely no knowledge of mushrooms other than eating Portobellos et al., and reading a little about the possibility of plugging stumps and logs. In fact, at the seminar I felt a bit out of place amongst all of the others who had particular goals and agendas for being there. I figured a bit of education could help me understand this whole mushroom thing. When I left I was completely blown away by all of the possibilities that mycelium offer and by Fungi Perfecti's excellent presentation of this data. Most all of what Paul and his staff taught in this seminar is in this book.

    This fascinating book is a treasure trove of effective low tech methods for 'running mycelium'. Paul describes everything from gardening techniques to soil restoration to health care application using typical gourmet mushrooms (oh what Oyster mushrooms can do) and many other species. As a scientist, he backs his data with reputable references. He also uses language that may be challenging to those not educated in the biological/medical sciences. However, not unlike Dr. Andrew Weil's publications, it is nearly impossible to simplify this type of information without giving all audiences from foresters to backyard gardeners to medical practitioners enough information to help everyone understand how powerful this natural filter in soil is regardless of their educational background.

    Mycelium Running has very high quality color photos, detailed 'how tos' anyone can follow and specifics describing the chemistry of this powerful ally in its myriad of uses. This is a wonderful text that hopefully will assist us in restoring our battered environment and ailing health one backyard and human body at a time. For what it is worth, this is perhaps the most important and interesting book I have purchased in years. Now I have piles of card board stacked around my property successfully running all kinds of mycelium from spent mushroom kits. I expect to further the `running' using the techniques from this book to build more productive gardens and help keep Rue Creek running clean.

    Because of Fungi Perfecti and Mycelium Running's superb information, I have truly become 'beshroomed'. I now go out of my way to educate friends, relatives, neighbors and co-workers alike of the beneficial effects of growing better gardens, managing yard waste (instead of burning), mitigating damage by clear cut logging, cleaning up polluted soil and water ways, removing termites and ants (cannot wait to get an off the shelf solution for this!), alternative/supplemental solutions for treating disease/cancer and every day use for maintaining good health. All of this is painstakingly described in this book; simply amazing.

    Paul and his staff are the type of people who do wonderful things for humanity. So wonderful, it makes me want to start a new career and open a natural healing center. Because of Mycelium Running, it would seem there is high probability of significant grassroots restoration of earth and human body. Do yourself a huge favor and spend the money to get this book; it is worth its weight in gold. Next thing you'll find is that you'll be running mycelium in some way, shape or form. It is that easy. Kudos to Paul, Dusty and FP staff for your dedication and hard work!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring!, December 9, 2006
    One of my students recommended this book and I had no idea what I was getting into. A book on fungi that I can't tear myself away from? Yes, it's true. Stamets has made mushrooms his life's work. He knows them like no one else. He presents information based on real science, yet he writes in an easy-to-follow conversational tone. And anyone with a bit of patience can grow fungi using the methods Stamets describes. The things he and his colleagues are doing with mushrooms and tree fungi will astound you. A common mushroom that eliminates diesel fuel from contaminated soil! A tree fungus that out-competes (controls)American Chestnut blight! Erosion control, sewage treatment, enhancing forest health and human health... the list is long and truly inspiring. I am eager for warmer weather so I can get outside and start my own experiments with fungi. And perhaps best of all is the fact that most of these incredibly useful organisms are also edible gourmet delights! This is my first book by Paul Stamets. I am now ready to buy his earlier works (as well as a good field guide to mushrooms and other fungi).

    5-0 out of 5 stars The most comprehensive mushroom/fungi book out there, February 21, 2006
    Paul Stamets truly knows the material and has some great insights into the world of growing mushrooms. He succinctly describes how the science of the relatively unknown 5th kingdom (fungi) can be applied to mycoremediation to help unpollute the planet. Even though this sounds like a heavy subject, the material is understandable for people with little scientific or fungal knowledge and helps anybody understand hwo they too can get closer to mushrooms.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mushrooms can be interesting., March 24, 2007
    I took my last science course about 40 years ago and had forgotten how interesting science can be. This book is not light reading and some people will probably not get past the first few pages but I really enjoyed it. I found tons of new information on mushrooms in spite of the fact that I studied mushrooms in college (until my father decided science was not for girls and convinced me to go to Law School. Yep, those were the good old days.) You will enjoy it as long as you take into account that it is a scientific book, perfect for geeks.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fungi Can Help Save the World, December 5, 2009
    When research biologist Paul Stamets suggests fungi can help save the world, he is absolutely serious. In fact, he contends they can rescue it in several different ways. There are the medicines to be derived from fungi, probably more than we can yet imagine. Fungi for insect pest control. Fungi can absorb and often digest toxics from their environments---toxics as diverse as heavy metals, PCB's, oil spills, and radioactivity. Fungal partnerships can revolutionize our farming methods. And we can heal the ecosystems of damaged forest lands by introducing selected fungal species into those environments. Paul Stamets is one of the visionaries of our time. He is revolutionizing the ways we look at fungi.

    This book starts by teaching the basics of mycology. Mycelium are fungal threads that form a network, usually underground. Mushrooms are just their fruiting bodies. Mycelium are so tiny that one cubic inch of soil can contain enough to stretch for 8 miles. But mycelial networks can cover as much as thousands of acres, making certain varieties of fungi the largest organisms in the world, as well as some of the oldest. Fungi build soil by breaking down organic matter, and even cracking apart rocks. Besides that, fungal mycelium enter into symbiotic relationships with trees and other green plants, helping
    them get water and nutrients from the wider environment by surrounding and even penetrating the roots.

    Paul Stamets believes mycelium are information sharing membranes in their environments. He says they are aware, react to change, have the long term health of their host environment in mind, and devise diverse enzymatic and chemical responses to challenges. He cites research to back up these ideas. In other words, he is telling us fungi are intelligent, sentient organisms. Because they regulate the flow of nutrients through the food chain, we can use them to bioengineer ecosystems.

    It has been estimated that three fourths of our medicines come from nature originally. Fungi, Paul Stamets claims, show incredible promise as sources of future pharmaceuticals. Many kinds of fungal mycelium compete with bacteria and viruses in the soil, and in doing that, they secrete a variety of chemical substances that kill those microorganisms. So fungi could protect us from microbial infections in three ways: as antibiotics, by increasing our immunity to fight diseases, and by constructing mycelial mats to filter disease contaminated water. He says, "Preliminary studies on mushrooms have revealed novel antibiotics, anti-cancer chemotherapeutic agents, immunomodulators, and a slew of other active constituents." Stamets himself has discovered and patented fungal extracts effective in protecting human blood cells
    against pox viruses. This particular fungi that kills pox viruses lives only in the old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest, as do many other fungal species in that wet climate. He reminds us that these have been logged to the point where only 5% of the old growth are left standing, and who knows what other medicines have been, or still could be lost by this practice. He also discusses the effectiveness some fungal species have shown against the HIV virus, so research is actively continuing on that front.

    This book contains information on using selected mycelium as "mycopesticides" to control certain insects, such as ants, termites, or beetle blights in forests, with negligible damage to other species or the environment. And these mycelium will continue to grow and offer long term protection.

    Mycoremediation is the name Paul Stamets gives to the "use of fungi to degrade or remove toxins from the environment" by using mycelial mats. Fungi can be used to clean up mercury, polychlorobiphenols (PCB's), fertilizers, munitions, dyes, estrogen-based pharmaceuticals, neurotoxins--including DDT, dioxins, and stored nerve gas. Fungi can also break down oil spills, although several patents on some species are stopping the use of them for clean-ups, he tells us. Mycoremediation apparently takes quite a bit of skill in choosing the best fungi for a given situation, considering both beneficial and hostile competitive microbes in the environment. Also in some cases, these toxin-absorbing mushrooms need to be harvested and taken to toxic waste sites to be stored, incinerated, or otherwise recycled, he advises.

    This book advocates no-till farming, because tilling breaks up mycelial mats, which then lets the soil erode. No-till farming also disrupts wildlife less, uses less energy and fertilizer, and releases less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. He tells us that polysaccharides secreted by mycelium bind soils from erosion. And many temperate fungal species produce glycoproteins to protect mycelium from freezing with the added benefit that they protect green plants during extreme cold. Mycelium decomposing organic matter also raises soil temperatures. So by encouraging mycelium formation, farmers can
    build soils while creating mycofiltration membranes to trap farm pollutants, such as water run-off contaminated with manure. Mycelium Running has a large section of detailed information on farming and gardening with mycelium.

    Paul Stamets explains the principles of mycoforestry, which preserves native forests, recovers and recycles debris, enhances replanted trees, and strengthens sustainability of ecosystems. He describes methods of introducing certain species of fungi into recently logged or burned areas to aid in forest recovery, using native fungal species and matching them to the trees they usually partner. When the mycelium eventually put up mushrooms to reproduce, those are eaten by birds and other animals, who further fertilize the soils and drop seeds from other plant species there, so the new ecosystem
    develops quickly.

    The last approximately one third of this book is devoted to detailed information on many individual fungal species, their natural habitats, methods of cultivation, how to harvest and cook them if they aren't poisonous, their possible medicinal properties, and their potential for mycorestoration of ecosystems.

    Paul Stamets has a retail company called Fungi Perfecti, which sells equipment for growing fungi, spores, kits to grow them, fungal medicinals and other fungal derived products, books about fungi, gifts, etc. All the products are certified organic by the Washington State Department of Agriculture. He also offers classes in growing mushrooms and other fungi, and occasional classes in mycorestoration at his place near Olympia, Washington. You can get a color paper catalog from Fungi Perfecti, or visit his web site: [...]
    Paul Stamets has received many awards from environmental organizations for his research on fungi and repairing damaged ecosystems. He has written numerous articles and academic papers on medicinal, culinary, and psychoactive mushrooms,
    and several books on mushroom cultivation.

    Mycelium Running is a beautiful book with color photos and illustrations on almost every page. This is THE book to read if you are interested in using mushrooms medicinally, ridding environments of toxic chemicals, recovering damaged forests, or practicing sustainable agriculture, particularly permaculture.

    review by Sher June, [...]

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Inspiration and Idea Generating Book!, January 3, 2007
    This is a very well written and organized book, using this has enabled us to do some really wonderful things on our own property and inspired us to do even more. Mr. Stamets has done more to enlighten people about the benefits of fungi than anyone else and in a way that makes it fun and interesting. Will open your eyes to a whole new world.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!, April 6, 2008
    I purchased this book as a gift for a fellow graduate student who is studying the relationship between vascular plant roots and fungi. He and our professor/advisor oohhed and aahhed over it. I should have gotten one for our advisor too!

    A quality book with great photos through-out and it is very readable! I have come to the conclusion that mycologists aren't pretentious wordy folks! They enjoy their work, enjoy spreading their knowledge and it is obvious in this book! I agree with the previous reviews - this book should be recommended, if not required reading for any botany or mycology course.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Should be Required Reading, July 16, 2007
    This book is incredible. If more people read this book, there could be an ecological revolution.

    The reader will not go a page in this book without a "What?? No Way!!" kind of moment. I found myself laughing simply at how amazingly effective and important mushrooms can be.

    Mushrooms can help save the world. "Mycelium Running" should be a high school textbook.

    5-0 out of 5 stars this is an incredibly interesting + informative book, February 22, 2006
    This is a well written, interesting book. And mycelium running has more relevance than I ever imagined (if I thought about it at all). In general, I'd ditch science books for literature in 2 seconds. But I just can't put this book down. It's definitely worth your $$$.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mushrooms saving the world?, October 10, 2007
    The title suggests that mushrooms can solve the world's problems, and that sounds a little hard to believe. But fact is that the authors put so much knowledge about the growing habits of mushrooms in this book that it can indeed be used to solve problems. For example, the authors mention recovery of burnt areas as well as the absorption of spilled oil.

    The book on the whole is impressive and full of knowledge, as wel as beautifully illustrated. Anyone considering to grow mushrooms should read it; and practitioners of permaculture are certainly advised to get this book. ... Read more

    15. The Complete Compost Gardening Guide: Banner batches, grow heaps, comforter compost, and other amazing techniques for saving time and money, and producing ... most flavorful, nutritous vegetables ever.
    by Barbara Pleasant, Deborah L. Martin
    list price: $19.95 -- our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1580177026
    Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC
    Sales Rank: 9030
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Barbara Pleasant and Deborah L. Martin turn the compost bin upside down with their liberating system of keeping compost heaps right in the garden, rather than in some dark corner behind the garage. The compost and the plants live together from the beginning in a nourishing, organic environment. The authors' bountiful, compost-rich gardens require less digging, weeding, mulching, and even less planting. And here's one of the best parts — no more backbreaking slogs from compost bin to garden. The authors even identify the plants that benefit most from compost and how the elements of a composted garden work together.

    A natural Six-Way Compost Gardening System provides the ruling principles for successfully improving every garden with healthy compost. Readers will learn how to:

    1. Choose labor-saving sites that keep gardens and compost piles as close to one another as possible.

    2. Work with the compostable riches produced at home. Every yard and kitchen produces plenty of material — easily identified with at-a-glance charts — for a great start.

    3. Help composting critters do their work by balancing ingredients, adding high-nitrogen meals when needed, and keeping the compost moist.

    4. Reuse recycling bin items, such as large plastic buckets and cardboard boxes, as composting equipment.

    5. Keep diversity in the mix. The magic is in the variety of the components and how they work together to create "gardener’s gold."

    6. Customize composting to suit specific garden needs, always concentrating first on soil care.

    Adhering to these guidelines, Pleasant and Martin bring readers on a thorough, informative tour of materials and innovative techniques, leading the way to an efficient and rewarding home gardening system. Their methods are sure to help gardeners turn average vegetable plots into rich incubators of healthy produce, bursting with fresh flavor, and flower beds into rich tapestries of bountiful blooms all season long.
    ... Read more

    16. Holy Shit: Managing Manure To Save Mankind
    by Gene Logsdon
    list price: $17.50 -- our price: $11.90
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1603582517
    Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
    Sales Rank: 5439
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    In his insightful new book, Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind, contrary farmer Gene Logsdon provides the inside story of manure-our greatest, yet most misunderstood, natural resource. He begins by lamenting a modern society that not only throws away both animal and human manure-worth billions of dollars in fertilizer value-but that spends a staggering amount of money to do so. This wastefulness makes even less sense as the supply of mined or chemically synthesized fertilizers dwindles and their cost skyrockets. In fact, he argues, if we do not learn how to turn our manures into fertilizer to keep food production in line with increasing population, our civilization, like so many that went before it, will inevitably decline.

    With his trademark humor, his years of experience writing about both farming and waste management, and his uncanny eye for the small but important details, Logsdon artfully describes how to manage farm manure, pet manure and human manure to make fertilizer and humus. He covers the field, so to speak, discussing topics like:
    • How to select the right pitchfork for the job and use it correctly
    • How to operate a small manure spreader
    • How to build a barn manure pack with farm animal manure
    • How to compost cat and dog waste
    • How to recycle toilet water for irrigation purposes, and
    • How to get rid ourselves of our irrational paranoia about feces and urine.
    Gene Logsdon does not mince words. This fresh, fascinating and entertaining look at an earthy, but absolutely crucial subject, is a small gem and is destined to become a classic of our agricultural literature.

    ... Read more

    17. The Naturally Clean Home: 150 Super-Easy Herbal Formulas for Green Cleaning
    by Karyn Siegel-Maier
    list price: $10.95 -- our price: $8.76
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1603420851
    Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC
    Sales Rank: 12705
    Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Free delivery confirmation/tracking service, no notes or highlights, orders leave our warehouse usually within 1 business day from Miami, FL ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars I love this book!!!, August 25, 2009
    I love this book. Super helpful without being over the top. Easy to find ingredients and the cleaners really work!! Every recipe that I've followed in this book has worked better than anything I find in the store, and they're a ton cheaper too. I would highly recommened this book to anyone who wants to save money and not give up quality cleaning products.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I love this book!, July 7, 2009
    This book contains recipes for any cleaning product a person could ever want to use around their home, including carpet shampoo, laundry soap, garden and pest control (even deer), potpourri and sachets, tarnish remover, wood cleaners and polishes, computers and office equipment, oven cleaner, BBQ grills, wicker, cars, exterior siding (including stone and brick), and garden tools! And all of the ingredients are completely nontoxic. Not only that, it teaches you HOW to do the jobs and properly care for your home and items you own. It is an excellent all-around instruction book for green housekeeping in every sense.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Naturally Clean Home, December 29, 2008
    This book has a lot of recipes that use essential oils in the mixtures. It is up to date(2008). I will refer to it often to create new cleaning recipes. It also makes a great gift book especially when one becomes aware of all the toxins in cleaning items now on the market.

    1-0 out of 5 stars First recipe tried was epic FAIL, December 9, 2010
    I was so excited to get this book. It has recipes for almost every aspect of the home you can think of. I was particularly excited about the dishwasher and washing machine recipes. Some of the items in this book I could not find locally so I ordered them online. No big deal cause I am all about natural and economical alternatives. I mixed together the recipe for the powder dish washing soap on p.33. I put a little less then the recipe called for and eagerly started my dish washer only to be totally disappointed when I opened it. The residue it left behind was impossible to get off. It even says in the recipe that if you notice a "little" residue to reduce the amount used. I used less then stated in the book to begin with and it was still impossible to get off. I had to literally scrub the dishes to get it off.
    I noticed that a lot of the reviews in this book were from people excited about the book, but who hadn't actually used the recipes yet. To my mind you shouldn't review a book before you actually try it. I can also see some of the reviewer's gripes about every recipe using essential oils. I have a background in aromatherapy so I just so happen to have many of them on hand but they are VERY expensive and I can see how that might annoy some people. I will proceed with caution and try the liquid dish washing liquid recipe instead.
    UPDATE: It has been over a week since I tried this recipe and still finding the residue on my dishes when I run the dishwasher!! I wiped out the inside of the dishwasher and still isn't enough. I have now realized that the stains on my dishes, plastics and silverware are permanent. Horrible, don't waste your money, this book should be recalled.

    5-0 out of 5 stars purchase for healthy cleaning home, December 2, 2009
    The book was exactly as described. Full of alot of excellent easy to follow information. Would highly recommend.

    5-0 out of 5 stars perfect, June 18, 2009
    This book is perfect because it has a lot of information in a minimal number of pages. The "recipes" for cleaners have many options. I use this book as a cookbook and reference book. It doesn't contain a lot of unusual things that you can only get at a health food store - everything I needed to buy I got at my local Wegmans (grocery store)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must for every green household, May 9, 2010
    I got this book for Christmas and have been putting the recipes in it to use ever since. You really can't beat the cleaning power of items like vinegar, baking soda, borax and castile soap. My house gets really clean with these recipes, and I feel good about using natural cleaning products that are safe for my children and pets. I now feel comfortable letting my 4 year old help me with cleaning - I'm not exposing him to toxic fumes or harmful abrasives. It's also brilliant to only have a few things in the pantry for cleaning everything in the house (laundry included). I bought most of my supplies online (there is a list in the back of the book for online retailers who sell supplies). I began making the recipes in the book exactly as each recipe indicates. After a couple of months, I was able to eye-ball amounts and can mix things quickly on the fly now. I have also had a lot of fun playing with my own essential oil blends. When I finish cleaning, my house smells like the woods or like a citrus orchard instead of smelling of synthetic chemicals. This book is definitely a well-thumbed resource in my house!

    4-0 out of 5 stars LOVE this book!, April 4, 2010
    The only reason I am giving this book four stars instead of five is because I haven't tried any of the wonderful sounding formulas yet, but since picking up this book at the library, I haven't been able to stay away from it! Being new to concocting my own Green cleaning products, I find it very educational, super-easy to read, and pretty ;) Complementing the attractive cover, the colors of the print inside the book are an aesthetically pleasing sage green and chocolate - very soothing, with a pretty font for the headings. Being a visually oriented person, that adds very much to my enjoyment of this book. If the print were just your average boring, black, Times New Roman, it would simply be another plain book of cleaning recipes. This pretty little purse-sized book is a delight to read as I learn about which types of products to use for which jobs.

    The author includes a supply list of the basic ingredients you will need to have on hand for whipping up any of her quick and easy formulas to replace just about every house-hold cleaning product I think I use in my own home, as well as a chart to explain the beneficial properties of the essential oils she recommends for each formula. She also tells you where you can purchase some of the more difficult items to find, such as soap flakes, or how to make your own, if you prefer.

    Sadly, it's time for me to return my library book, but on the up-side, I will now have my own lovely little copy! This is an excellent book for beginners. Not too much information to be overwhelming, and plenty of different formulas to experiment with, all wrapped up in a pretty little package!

    4-0 out of 5 stars great but some small issues, March 17, 2010
    This book is great to have on hand. Explains the uses of natural cleaners very well. Only reason it got a 4 and not a 5 is that the recipes tend to be all the same thing. If you cant find a specific product it calls for you will have to make due with a variation of your own making. The book does give you all the needed tools to make your own recipes.

    OH and one thing... I would love to see/find a book that uses/lists soap nuts. They wonderful thing for green cleaning but I have yet to find a book that lists them. How sad. :(

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good Clean Fun, June 5, 2010
    This is a very small book, but while it might not look good on a shelf, it is full of really useful stuff. You can probably find everything in this text littered around the internet on green sites and essential oil sites; however, I am not incluned to do all of that and am pleased that the recipes are organized for me. So far, the couple that I have tried appear to work and are not that difficult to put together. It also makes cleaning up a little bit more fun. I particularly liked the shopping lists and product descriptions in the front, so I knew what I was getting into, and found the product location suggestions helpful for those few things that are not readily available at my local markets. ... Read more

    18. Rodale's Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening: The Indispensable Green Resource for Every Gardener
    list price: $24.99 -- our price: $16.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1594869170
    Publisher: Rodale Books
    Sales Rank: 8188
    Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Rodale's Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening has been the go-to resource for gardeners for more than 50 years—and the best tool novices can buy to start applying organic methods to their fruit and vegetable crops, herbs, trees and shrubs, perennials, annuals, and lawns. This thoroughly revised and updated version highlights new organic pest controls, new fertilizer products, improved gardening techniques, the latest organic soil practices, and new trends in garden design.
    In this indispensable work readers will find:
    comprehensive coverage for the entire garden and landscape along with related entries such as Community Gardening, Edible Landscaping, Horticultural Therapy, Stonescaping, and more
    the most in-depth information from the trusted Rodale Organic Gardening brand
    a completely new section on earth-friendly techniques for gardening in a changing climate, covering wise water management, creating backyard habitats, managing invasive plants and insects, reducing energy use and recycling, and understanding biotechnology
    entries all written by American gardeners for American gardeners, with answers for all the challenges presented by various conditions, from the humid Deep South and the mild maritime coasts to the cold far North and the dry Southwest
    Rodale's Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening has everything anyone needs to create gorgeous, non-toxic gardens in any part of the country.
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Not encyclopedic, in my opinion, February 2, 2010
    I've enjoyed most of the other books in this series, so perhaps my expectations were high. This book is really just not that helpful. Partly the problem is the "encyclopedic" organization. The book is (obviously) arranged alphabetically. Fine - but then the index and TOC are useless additions of wasted paper that serve no real function, because hey - everything is alphabetical! The index is worthless for cross-referencing. Oddly, some things are alphabetical by scientific name, others by general name, etc. Another reviewer mentioned it was good for general reading. I didn't feel it was readable this way at all, but I wasn't expecting to. It really is organized as an "encyclopedia" and more conducive to looking up specific items. But when you look something up, the information itself is just not that useful. As a beginner to intermediate gardener, I was underwhelmed with the depth of the info - and at 700+ pages, you'd think there would be a lot of information! There are also about a half-dozen small black and white illustrations in the entire book.
    Overall - it's okay, but not worth the money or the wasted trees....

    5-0 out of 5 stars Informative for new gardeners, March 12, 2010
    This book has alot of information for beginning, as well as experienced gardeners. Very informative from pest control to garden and flower beds, to harvesting and planting just about anything. Great resource book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A standard for every organic gardener, December 8, 2009
    This is an excellent reference book that I find myself constantly using. Sometimes it is in reference to a specific problem, other times, I just find it interesting to read. Most often, I will pick it up to look something specific up and then realize that 30 minutes has gone by because I have found other interesting things to read. Great, reliable, organized well, and lots of great ideas.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very helpful book, July 8, 2009
    I am new to the organic lifestyle and am growing our first organic garden. I think this book is very useful and full of good information. I recommend it for beginners.

    5-0 out of 5 stars thorough, February 14, 2010
    I found the earlier edition of this book to be the most thorough of the gardening books I have collected. It goes into greater depth. For example, it was one of the few general gardening books (as opposed to one on just berries) which mentioned the existence of June-bearing and everbearing strawberry plants, and the advantages and disadvantage of each. I look forward to getting this updated edition.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Avoid Kindle Ed., December 5, 2009
    A great reference. Avoid the Kindle Edition, however, which has navigation suitable for a page turning novel not a reference book.


    TOC - no A-Z link on each page of the TOC to navigate quickly from the TOCs A's for Artichoke to the P's for Peat. The reader has to page through screen after screen after screen of TOC to get to the Ps.

    TOC links seem to be tied to hard copy page numbers, not Kindle place markers. So links always land a screen or two before or after the entry you seek.

    Appendix and additional material referenced in the text are not included in the Kindle Edition.

    Many reference links inside the text or at foot/end notes for a chapter do not link to the information indicated or are not linked at all.

    A lot of reference opportunities are lost because there are no links around in the text.

    re the 9.99 Boycott - I think reference books fall into different category because it would take two or three times as long to set up this book properly with regards to navigation and the e-book conversion hack should be compensated for taking the time to do the job properly.

    However, as it stands this book in Kindle Ed. is a waste of money due to poor navigation.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Kindle Edition Useless, March 13, 2010
    Getting around in the Kindle Edition of this book is next to impossible. I feel that I completely wasted my money. I won't buy another Kindle reference book unless its downloadable in a format, such as PDF, that I can search for material. The purpose of the Kindle purchase was to eliminate the lugging of multiple books out to my garden this spring. Now I find it is best suited for "brain candy" books LOL. If I am doing something wrong, I don't know what it is and would welcome input.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Must Have, March 23, 2009
    Every gardener should own this book, because, in the end, every gardener should grow organically. It's the ultimate source and resource.

    1-0 out of 5 stars disappointing, June 5, 2009
    Disclaimer: I have used this ebook only on my iPhone.
    Both the TOC (table of contents) function and the organization of the book is very problematic, the content is quite trivial -- far from encyclopedic, the overall user experience is maddeningly glacial. ... Read more

    19. One Year to an Organized Life: From Your Closets to Your Finances, the Week-by-Week Guide to Getting Completely Organized for Good
    by Regina Leeds
    list price: $16.95 -- our price: $11.53
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1600940560
    Publisher: Da Capo Press
    Sales Rank: 7734
    Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    The organized way to get organized: a week-by-week plan to forever streamline all aspects of your life.

    Who would you be if you felt at peace and had more time and money? An organized life enables you to have more freedom, less aggravation, better health, and to get more done. For nearly twenty years, Regina Leeds--named Best Organizer by Los Angeles magazine--has helped even the messiest turn their lives around. Anyone can get organized--she'll prove it to you!One Year to an Organized Life is a unique week-by-week approach that you can begin at any time of year. Regina helps you break down tasks and build routines over time so that life becomes simple, not overwhelming.

    *Master time management
    *Make your kitchen efficient
    *Permanently organize closets and drawers
    *Deal with your finances
    *Reclaim "dumping grounds" like the guest room, garage and basement
    *Declutter the kids' rooms
    *Organize your travel plans--and the vacation photos and souvenirs
    *Entertain with joy

    Regina reveals her magic formula for organizing anything, plus her method to stop the chronic cycles of clutter, misplaced items, and lateness. Whether you're living in chaos or just looking for new ways to simplify, this essential book will help you get the whole household organized--and stay that way. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Get Those Ducks In a Row!, January 1, 2009
    There's books to help you get organized, and then there's books to help you get organized- and this book is great! I think what makes it so different than your typical book on organization is that is leads you through the organizational steps and process so well....EVERY WEEK FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR!! And this, I feel, is its main strength. So how does it accomplish the lofty goal of getting one organized? According to the book, the magic formula is as follows:

    1) eliminate
    2) categorize
    and 3) organize!

    If it sounds simple, it is- or rather should I say that this book makes it about as simple as it can get. Three steps, eliminate, categorize, and organize- and that's about what you can expect to do for each month of the year for a specific disorganized area, easily broken into down steps, week-by-week. Here's some of the areas of your life the book tackles:

    -the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, attic, the home office and living room
    -additionally, the book covers getting organized while traveling, while moving, while entertaining, as well as the busy school time and holiday seasons.

    As you can tell, the book is really complete and will guide you to a more organized life, week-by-week for an ENTIRE year. Get it if you're lazy like me and need to be led by the hand. If you can't get past just reading the steps, try The Sixty-Second Motivator. Good luck!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just Do It, December 31, 2009
    I've searched for the perfect book on organizing - and it doesn't exist. That's because my needs are specific, my patterns of procrastination unique etc. But nearly perfect is Regina Leeds' Organized Life. Leeds teaches a basic set of techniques for not just getting organized, but staying organized. People often want to be spoon fed. Hey guys, wake up! Maybe it's that kind of passivity and laziness that got you where you are! Leeds invites the reader to explore his/her life, keep notes, and really look at WHY YOU SHOULD ORGANIZE - WHICH IS TO HAVE MORE TIME TO HAVE FUN. Sure, Leeds gives personal examples, and has her own style. I think a book on organizing without that would be very dry and boring. But as well, Ms. Leeds provides ample margins for jotting personal notes. I wouldn't get too hung up on style and structure. If you work with this book for awhile you will understand the philosophy, and the logical steps you yourself can take to improve your life, and do more with less stress. The point is the author offers both concrete advice and inspiration. It worked for me. I used the techniques in this book over the holidays and had my best Christmas in years. I got more done with less stress. Don't wait to find the perfect book on organizing. Write your own, with the help of this author! This author's a great coach. Take what works. A real plus is the spacious size of the book with plenty of room to write your own notes.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Not worth the time, May 25, 2009
    I bought this book thinking that it would help me get more organized. It was of very little help. The author asks lots questions such as "does your home need new carpet? Should it be painted? etc. These questions are of little value. The author offers very little in the way of helpful advice.

    I was particularly turned off by her suggestion that people moving into a new house have a ceremony such as Feng Shui or (her favorite) use the American Indian tradition of burning a stick. She says (page 214) "Walk from room to room asking that the energies of all previous residents and their experiences leave this space. You can trace the outline of all doors and windows as a way of sealing in the good energy you are creating with this ceremony."

    To be honest, I didn't (couldn't) read the entire book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Need help organizing - this makes it doable, January 9, 2008
    I own over 30 Get Organized books and by far this is the 1 that has made it finally happen for me. The author is witty and straight forward. Organization Tasks are broken down into categories (i.e. kitchen, bedroom, etc.)and are assigned to you to do during a specific month of the year. However, where this book made a difference for me is each month is broken down into weeks, and each week we are given assignments to be completed that are not overwhelming ... just baby steps that are part of the huge overwhelming mess we have created by being unorganized. I highly recommend this book as it holds your hand and never allows you to have to decide "what am I going to do next". It takes the guess work out of organizing, and where my hiccups come in, is trying to decide where to start - well this book removes that by braking everything down for you. Very simple organizing education, it is like having your own personal organizer with you every step of the way, every day.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Start organizing your life inside and out!, February 10, 2008
    I read this in during a time of my life that felt most disorganized, chaotic, and out of control. My mom gave me this book, and I thought it would just be about physically organizing my home, but instead, it's actually about organizing yourself mentally and emotionally then physically.

    The author takes you on a step by step process of imagining and reflecting on why you are the way you are--why you are always late or why you impulse buy or why you can't seem to find your keys. Through reflection, you are able to organize yourself internally and then begin the challenging but completely doable process of clearing and organizing your living space.

    It also has a helpful section about moving, which happens to be a timely project for me (my husband and I are moving cross-country in a few months).

    I plan on giving this to all my friends!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Covers way too much territory to explain a simple concept, April 29, 2008
    On page 24, Regina Leeds says just about everything that needs to be said on the subject: "Everything you do needs to be scheduled". This happens to be the same message David Allen delivers much more effectively in his "Getting Things Done".

    Of course, saying it is a lot easier than doing it, which is why people like Leeds and Allen can count on their books selling year after year.

    Leeds takes the approach of teaching you how to organize your life over the course of a year, with new projects every month. For me, the approach simply doesn't work. Too much territory is covered. For example, I'm not going to be moving into a new home, so that chapter - and the month's project - is wasted on me.

    Also, Leeds is a bit too "New Age" for my personal taste. Tidbits like an "affirmation" for the month strike me as treacly. August, for instance, tells you: "I am guided with ease to my new home. I embrace the life waiting for me. I also bless and thank my current home. I release it to the new occupants. I am thankful for all the participants in this transition."

    Regina Leeds has quite a following, apparently, but I don't think I'll be joining it.


    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent and inspiring resource, November 18, 2008
    Out of all the organizing books I've read--more than I'd like to admit--Regina Leeds' "One Year to an Organized Life" stands out as the most comprehensive and inspiring book yet.

    The book is organized into 12 sections--one for each month of the year, starting with January, although as Regina points out, there's no time like the present to get started. She takes you through not only the main areas of your home--the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom all get their own sections, as well as "common rooms" and, intriguingly, "hidden areas" which includes the attic, basement, garage, laundry and guest rooms--but also devotes sections on travel, entertaining, creating a festive atmosphere, and paper organization. I'm especially drawn to July's section, titled, "Fun in the Sun: Scrapbooks, Memorabilia, Greeting Card Collections, and Your Address Book." There are also sections on Back-to-School and Moving, both of which offer general tips and strategies anyone can apply--even those who don't have kids or are planning to move.

    The sections contain an introduction, a summary, and four chapters that correspond with the weeks in a month. Each chapter opens with a bulleted list, encouragingly titled "This week you can," followed by a time estimate for how long it takes to complete the task. The short essay at the beginning of the section introduces the "Habit of the Month," while a week-by-week summary, followed by a "Bonus tip," and "Affirmation of the Month," provides review and closure.

    It's been two months now since I received "One Year" and the difference in my home is evident in almost every single room. Just following the "Habit of the Month" alone can make a significant difference. While some reviewers apparently are uncomfortable about the spiritual aspect of organizing that is part and parcel of Leeds' approach, I LOVE this about the book. It's obvious that organizing is so much more than learning "tips or tricks." The perils of chaos--and the benefits of organizing--are undeniably linked to one's emotional health. If you want to get organized and treat yourself in the process, I recommend curling up with a nice cup of tea and plotting your own year to an organized life.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Good idea, not so great execution, April 19, 2008
    This book has a great premise, breaking down a specific organizational task over the course of a month, and has you writing a journal while you do this. So why only 2 stars?

    Too much info about the author. We continually hear about her own experiences, her high-end clients, etc.

    Too much focusing on the past in the journal exercises. The more you dwell on the past, the harder it is to make the future better.

    She calls herself the Zen Organizer, but there is a lot of New Age content in the book also. Would rather have had more organizational tips.

    She has an entire month dealing just with Thanksgiving. Really. If she'd combined it with Christmas and New Year's, as "holiday planning", it would have been plenty.

    The chapter on moving was pretty good, but should have been written with lists instead of all the good information being buried in paragraphs (and this was also a problem in other chapters).

    Overall, I would rate the book 2.5 stars. Good premise, and several good organizing tips, but it gets bogged down in places. Check it out from your library first--you might prefer her approach to that of FlyLady.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great Concept - but Not Complete, May 24, 2010
    So I think this book has a great premise and some good info. That said - there's definitely some pieces missing - so be prepared to fill in the gaps on your own. If you, like me, are handicapped on this subject (which is the most reasonable explanation for buying the book...) then you may want to plan on finding supplemental information. Just an example of the missing pieces - In February she tells you to tackle the bedroom. She spends a whole chapter extolling the values of a bedroom sanctuary and discussing your style and it's importance. She then goes on to give you some touchy-feely, this is why I am the way I am, stuff. Finally, she takes you through three more weeks on organizing the bedroom closet. You get to the end of the month going - "Hey wait! The rest of my room looks just as bad as when I began! What do I do with the stuff that Isn't clothing?" Don't get me wrong - it has lots to offer - but be prepared to go back through once you've spent a year on her process and finish out what the book just glossed past. I Love the monthly habit part - that's a phenomenal idea. Her quotes are really neat. And the structure of a year is a great idea.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just started it, but I really like it, February 2, 2010
    I downloaded the sample on Kindle along with another book on organization. The other one needed to be better organized! ;-)

    Unlike another reviewer, I like the Zen thoughts she has. A place does "feel" better to me when it is neat and organized and beautifully decorated. She talked at the outset about people having lots of golden strands that never get tied and I liked that too.

    At the outset she wants you to keep an organizational journal---again, this works for me. I like knowing where I was when I get somewhere else. She also talks about seeing your dreams by creating a dream board. I already do something like that with a notebook, so I'm still in sync with her.

    OK, the first month is the kitchen. And right at the get-go she gives you about 5 choices and says choose one or two and make it a habit. One was taking out the garbage each day. Another was unloading the dishwasher when it completes a cycle. Another was wiping off the counters after every use. You get the idea. A habit that takes a few minutes. I took out the trash right away. Unloading the dishwasher is another matter---LOL, I store my dishes in there---but I am going to try.

    It does make you feel empowered. I would have chosen wiping off the counters, but---eeek, where are they. I don't cook, so my counters catch everything. Notebooks and projects and thus and so.

    I will update this as I go along---but, this is exactly what I was looking for. Someone to give me choices AND direction and break it down into pieces I can manage.

    ... Read more

    20. Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set Up and Maintain a Worm Composting System
    by Mary Appelhof
    list price: $12.95 -- our price: $10.36
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0977804518
    Publisher: Flower Press
    Sales Rank: 15827
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    The definitive guide to vermicomposting-a process usingredworms to recycle food waste into nutrient-rich food forplants. Newly revised and updated, this 162 page manual providescomplete illustrated instructions on setting up and maintainingsmall-scale worm composting systems. Topics include different bins,what kind of worms to use, sex life of a worm, preparing wormbeddings, how to meet the needs of the worms, what kinds of foods tofeed the worms, harvesting worms, and making potting soil from thevermicompost produced. A 63 page bibliography, 24 annotatedreferences, a glossary,and comprehensive index make this a valuabereference book as well as a practical manual. ... Read more

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