Gardening for the Future of the Earth

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Overview

"The key to the future of the world lies in gardening."

So begins this inspiring book from the pioneering organic seed company Seeds of Change, which has introduced millions of gardeners to a cornucopia of luscious, unusual fruits and vegetables?all bred by methods that preserve the irreplaceable resources of water, soil, and genetic diversity for future generations.

Gardening for the Future of the Earth brings together for the first time the...
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Overview

"The key to the future of the world lies in gardening."

So begins this inspiring book from the pioneering organic seed company Seeds of Change, which has introduced millions of gardeners to a cornucopia of luscious, unusual fruits and vegetables—all bred by methods that preserve the irreplaceable resources of water, soil, and genetic diversity for future generations.

Gardening for the Future of the Earth brings together for the first time the techniques of the great pioneers of organic gardening, creating a program that can easily be used by home gardeners. Whether you have a sunny windowsill, a backyard plot, or a country garden, you can apply the principles of leading-edge systems such as permaculture, biointensive, biodynamic, and kinship gardening. The results? More beautiful flowers, vegetables, and fruits than you would have believed possible—and deeper satisfaction for you, the gardener, because you will be working in harmony with nature.

Here is expert advice from the masters on:

  • Garden planning and design that saves work and water
  • Composting and other methods to build soil without chemical fertilizers
  • Planting and pruning techniques for dramatically increased yields
  • The pleasures of seed saving—and even breeding your own varieties
  • Exploring the richness of biodiversity through kinship gardening
  • And much more

Illustrated with color photographs that bring the techniques to life, this is both a practical garden companion and essential reading for anyone interested in preserving the precious resources of our home planet.

One individual with a digging forkand a small garden can make a difference.


So begins this inspiring book from the pioneering organic seed company, Seeds of Change, which now reaches more than one million households annually with its catalog of luscious, unusual fruits and vegetables—all bred by methods that preserve the irreplaceable resources of water, soil, and genetic diversity for future generations.

The authors combine the major techniques of organic gardening—including Permaculture, Biointensive, Biodynamic, and Kinship systems—to create a program that can easilybe used by home gardeners. We learn from the masters: among others, Bill Mollison on garden planning and design; John Jeavons on soil building and planting; Alan Kapuler and Carol Deppe on seed saving and do-it-yourself plant breeding; and Masanobu Fukuoka on growing without pesticides or fertilizers.

Illustrated with beautiful four-color photographs and diagrams, this is both a practical garden companion and essential reading for anyone interested in building a sustainable future. —>
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Editor Shapiro, director of the organic seed company Seeds of Change, and writer Harrisson combine the techniques and philosophies of great pioneers of organic and sustainable gardening. Gardeners who have learned to work with rather than against nature include Bill Mollison, an Australian devotee of permaculture, and John Jeavons, who discusses how to create good soil, the most important element of gardening. Wes Jackson advocates perennial polyculture to increase produce yield without using toxic chemical fertilizers that upset nature's balance, while Carol Deppe explains how to save seeds for breeding to create disease-resistant plants. The authors stress the critical need for restoring earth that has been badly damaged by current agricultural practices. Despite a tenfold increase in insecticide use in the U.S. since 1945, the editors note, crop loss due to insects has doubled. If the depletion of the earth isn't halted, they argue, it may be a mere 15 to 25 years before modern commercial agriculture crashes. Hope balances the doom, however, as each author carefully and enthusiastically explains how ordinary gardeners and homeowners can tip the balance toward a healthier earth and food supply. (Jan.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Author and BBC organic gardening expert Flowerdew's book, beautifully illustrated with color photographs, introduces organic gardening principles, techniques, and pest controls. He also demonstrates how to grow flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruit organically. The fruit and vegetable sections include specific cultural information and recommended cultivars, while less information is available on flowers, shrubs, and herbs. Because of its British slant and the relatively brief cultural information included, North American gardeners may prefer books from Rodale's "Successful Organic Gardening" series, which cover everything from perennials to herbs to vegetables in separate volumes. Beginners will also find Maria Rodale's Organic Gardening (Rodale, 1998) or Karan Davis Cutler's Burpee: The Complete Vegetable & Herb Gardener (IDG, 1998) good introductions to the organic method. Shapiro, agricultural director of Seeds of Change (an organic seed company), and Harrisson, a freelance writer, introduce a selection of ecologically sensitive methods of farming applicable to home gardeners. Biointensive, kinship, biodynamic, and permaculture gardening systems are profiled. The authors also include suggestions on how to conserve soil and water and stress the need to preserve genetic diversity through growing plants and saving their seeds or plant breeding, offering techniques for both. There is also an interesting discussion of the problems created by current chemical-based farming practices and the techniques that can be used to alleviate these problems. Recommended for those interested in alternative organic farming and gardening practices.--Sue O'Brien, Downers Grove P.L., IL Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553375336
  • Publisher: Bantam Books
  • Publication date: 1/4/2000
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.15 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Howard-Yana Shapiro, Ph.D., is vice president of agriculture for Seeds of Change, the largest certified organic seed company in the United States. A two-time Ford Foundation Fellow, a Fulbright Scholar, and a National Endowment for the Arts Award recipient, he is a former university professor and a respected expert in world sustainable agricultural systems.

Shapiro began his work in Europe more than twenty-five years ago and later moved to Latin America, particularly the Oaxaca Valley of Mexico, the highlands of Guatemala, and the altiplano of the Andes. In the United States, his work has been centered in northern New Mexico, where he lives with his wife, Nancy, on the banks of the Rio Grande on land that has been farmed continuously for more than 3,000 years.

He has been widely quoted in print and broadcast media, including Organic Gardening, Sunset, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Sun-Times, The Guardian, Australian Broadcast Corporation, CBS, and National Public Radio. He has also addressed agricultural/economics meetings in the United States, Latin America, Australia, and Asia.

John Harrisson is a freelance writer with more than fourteen books on Southwestern and Hawaiian foods and cooking to his credit.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2000

    Sustainable Gardening - We all 'gotta do it!

    Howard Shapiro has done the organic gardener and the 'thinking about it someday' armchair novice a great favor. He has read most of the good books for you; extensively interviewed and visited with the giants of the subject; and, he has added his own considerable wisdom and experience with Seeds of Change, to provide us with a great, concise volume on sustainable gardening and systems. 'Gardening for the Future of the Earth' is also very serious about its title; Shapiro sprinkles the text with anecdotes and data about the huge genetic, environmental, health, and cultural impacts of modern chemical factory farming - his personal time line is 20 years until the world, all of it, is in serious trouble. It has taken me over 7 years (and several hundred dollars) of intense interest and reading: to be exposed to Bill Mollison, the Tasmanian curmudgeon and genius who coined the term permaculture; to find his mentor/idol, Massanobu Fukuoka, the author of the 'One Straw Revolution' and pioneer of intercropping rice and barley in Japan; to heed the teachings of John Jeavons and his Bio-Intensive, double digging techniques- a savior in the gumbo clay soil of Austin, TX; to uncover the amazing, successful, and almost occult practices of the Biodynamic techniques from the brilliant but difficult writings of Rudolph Steiner in the 1920's; to kindle an interest in perennial farming systems, which was Nature's way in our Midwest (prairie) until two centuries ago from Wes Jackson of the Land Institute in Salina, KS; and, to just start to fathom the import of Alan Kapuler's words on the crisis that is upon us in bio-diversity and the declining gene pool. A whole library in one volume! A pleasant read! You will have no doubt that there is a problem, but there are solutions¿¿and they are not coming out of our major research labs and campuses. They are coming from the grass roots. To quote Shapiro: 'gardeners know a lot more about soil than laboratory scientists!'

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