Grow a Sustainable Diet: Planning and Growing to Feed Ourselves and the Earth

Grow a Sustainable Diet: Planning and Growing to Feed Ourselves and the Earth

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by Cindy Conner
     
 

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Everyone loves to prepare a meal with ingredients fresh from their own garden. But for most of us, no matter how plentiful our harvest, homegrown produce comprises only a fraction of what we eat. And while many gardening guides will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about individual crops, few tackle the more involved task of helping you maximize the

Overview

Everyone loves to prepare a meal with ingredients fresh from their own garden. But for most of us, no matter how plentiful our harvest, homegrown produce comprises only a fraction of what we eat. And while many gardening guides will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about individual crops, few tackle the more involved task of helping you maximize the percentage of your diet you grow yourself.

Grow a Sustainable Diet will help you develop a comprehensive, customized garden plan to produce the maximum number of calories and nutrients from any available space. Avoid arriving in August buried under a mountain of kale or zucchini (and not much else) by making thoughtful choices at the planning stage, focusing on dietary staples and key nutrients. Learn how to calculate:

  • Which food and cover crops are best for your specific requirements
  • How many seeds and plants of each variety you should sow
  • What and when to plant, harvest, and replant for maximum yield

Focusing on permaculture principles, bio-intensive gardening methods, getting food to the table with minimum fossil fuel input, and growing crops that sustain both you and your soil, this complete guide is a must-read for anyone working towards food self-sufficiency for themselves or their family.

Cindy Conner is a permaculture educator, founder of Homeplace Earth, and the producer of two popular instructional DVDs on sustainable gardening. Her passion is exploring growing a complete diet in a small space while minimizing the use of fossil fuels.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Grow A Sustainable Diet is just the book you have been looking for!
---John Jeavons, author of How To Grow More Vegetables—and Fruits, Nuts Berries, Grains and Other Crops Than You Ever Thought Possible On Less Land Than You Can Imagine

Amid the plethora of how-to garden books, this book stands out as the comprehensive resource written from the lifetime of rich experience of a successful gardener.
Cindy not only gives us experienced guidelines for the management of a healthy organic garden, but clearly explains the practical details of every aspect of managing a successful garden-homestead from planning, tending, harvest and storage to preserving the harvest. If you are seeking one book to to carry you through the full cycle of gardening, seek no further!

---Eli Rogosa . Heritage Grain Conservancy, growseed.org

Grow a Sustainable Diet is both timely and timeless. Cindy Connor’s book is a valuable addition to current locavore lexicon. The practical down home advice she provides will be of use for generations of gardeners to come. Cindy speaks with authority, drawing on her real life experience, her teaching skills and her love of the earth, providing practical guidance to help readers to design the garden and to grow, store and use the fruits of their labor. A combination of bio-intensive gardening, permaculture planning , and straight forward down home wisdom Grow a Sustainable Diet shows us that good nutrition is a close as our own back yard.
---Darrell E. Frey, Three Sisters Farm, author of The Bioshelter Market Garden

Are you looking for ways to better nourish your family, care for your garden, and walk more lightly on the planet? Come spend a day, a season or the cycle of seasons with one of the nation’s leaders in ecological home food production in the pages of Grow a Sustainable Diet. Ms. Conner’s practical innovations will guide your homesteading endeavors, and her commitment to living in harmony with all life will inspire you.
--- Mark Schonbeck, consultant in sustainable agriculture

Too many of us see gardening as an analog in miniature to Big Ag--an essentially extractive process powered by machines and fossil fuel, requiring purchased inputs to replace depleted soil fertility and protect crops from insects. Imagine gardening instead as a process which improves the soil even as we grow our crops, helps balance and enrich the ecology, relies on free services of nature rather than purchased inputs--and is powered with energy from the nearest star. That is the way of gardening Cindy Conner offers in Growing a Sustainable Diet. ~
---Harvey Ussery, author of The Small-Scale Poultry Flock

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781550925548
Publisher:
New Society Publishers
Publication date:
02/17/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
File size:
4 MB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Cindy Conner is a permaculture educator and founder of Homeplace Earth. She is the producer of two popular instructional DVDs entitled Develop a Sustainable Vegetable Garden Plan and Cover Crops and Compost Crops IN Your Garden. A former market gardener, Cindy was instrumental in establishing a sustainable agriculture program at her local community college which she taught for over a decade. Her passion is exploring growing a complete diet in a small space and getting food from garden to the table while minimizing the use of fossil fuels.

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Grow a Sustainable Diet: Planning and Growing to Feed Ourselves and the Earth 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
mrszoomby More than 1 year ago
This is one of those wonderfully inspiring books that made me want to rush out into my garden and get stuck into growing ALL of my own food. Cindy Conner takes the reader on a comprehensive journey into what is involved with having a diet that is completely sustainable – and grown entirely by the reader. There is no fanciful chitter chatter about sustainability being a walk up the garden path her either. Conner makes sure the reader knows exactly what they are getting themselves into, and, yet, still makes them want to follow this arduous path. She is a very intelligent woman when it comes to growing things in the garden, although, at times, she tends to be a little jaded. However, I imagine this comes with the territory of teaching and learning sustainability and not having everything get through to the target audience – at least she is entirely honest. At times I found this book to be a little too concise. I know this should be a good thing because she certainly does explain everything in great detail, and to some this will be a blessing. However,  this is common trait I find with organic gardening and self sufficiency books, and it is not one I am really overly fond of. While many readers will love the fact that there is an answer for everything in this book, others will find the information overload exactly that – an overload. I am a big believer for not sweating the fine print in gardening – just get out there and give it a go! But this is a minor criticism for a book that is filled to the brim with inspiration, so I am giving Grow a Sustainable Diet by Cindy Conner 4 out of 5 stars!
jeanniezelos More than 1 year ago
Grow a Sustainable Diet. Cindy Conner. Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews. I was brought up with the idea that if we didn't grow it we didn't eat it, with a few exceptions of course. We had a fairly large council house garden, and dad had two allotments nearby, so as well as fruit and veg, we had chickens, rabbits, turkeys ( that was the xmas spending money!) and goats – I still hate the smell of goats milk! So home grown to me seems a natural way of life, and even though we've had some tiny gardens I’ve always tried to grow what I can. I know quite a lot about it by now but there's always room for more info so this book caught my eye. Its a useful, practical book. Packed with simple ideas to maximise the use of space, how to plan ahead to avoid feast or famine gluts, how to preserve what you can in the most efficient way. My mum always used to make jams, chutneys, preserve fruits and tomatoes in kilner jars ( we had a Rayburn always on the go for heating and hot water), salted runner beans in huge crocks, and preserved eggs in Isinglass solution. In US – this book is written in US terms – although you seem to go for canning rather than kilner jars we use in UK, it seems a similar premise. Then there's a section on animal husbandry – useful for those with larger gardens or allotments as we had. Its not just a how to gardening book though, but one where Cindy looks at nutritional needs and advises how to get the calories and vitamins etc we need in our diet. There are some things simply not practical to grow – one thing that caught my eye was oils, and Cindy calculated just how much land would be taken up to produce enough oil. As she says if land is short that space is better taken with something more efficient. I really like the approach she takes about balance...too often the gardening approach is grow it, and spray to kill weeds and insects. Of course that kills beneficial ones too and there are better approaches such as companion planting, and simply looking over crops and picking off bugs as much as is practical. Cindy shows how gradually if you work to attract birds, frogs etc and grow flowing plants to attract insects an ecosystem comes into play, where by and large problems take care of themselves. Composting too is another thing I’m very keen on and which is covered – Cindy looks at the garden in a holistic way, thinking about the circular approach where every effect has another side to it, and makes best use of this. Overall a great book, packed with practical info and balances with an in-depth, scientific look at what’s needed for a healthy diet. Though its most practical if you have a large space its so interesting and informative that I'd recommend it to anyone interested in growing even small amounts of their own food. Stars: five – fabulous, informative read. ARC supplied by Netgalley.
Votingwithmydollar More than 1 year ago
We have been avid organic gardeners for many years and bought this book for more information on permaculture/sustainable processes. We learned, enjoyed the writing style, the forms, the pictures. A beginning gardener could get a good start as well, maybe asking a few questions for clarification, but the author's teaching bacground makes this an easy read, an easy guide to follow.