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Posted April 3, 2000
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!'Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.