Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times

Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times

by Steve Solomon


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Grow all your family’s food with just hand labor, four basic hand tools, and with little or no electricity or irrigation

In hard times, the family can be greatly helped by growing a highly productive food garden, requiring little cash outlay or watering. 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.

Gardening When It Counts helps readers rediscover traditional low-input gardening methods to produce healthy food. Currently popular intensive vegetable gardening methods are largely inappropriate to the new circumstances we find ourselves in. Crowded raised beds require high inputs of water, fertility and organic matter, and demand large amounts of human time and effort. 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.

Designed for readers with no experience and applicable to most areas in the English-speaking world except the tropics and hot deserts, Gardening When It Counts is inspiring increasing numbers of North Americans to achieve some measure of backyard food self-sufficiency.

Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780865715530
Publisher: New Society Publishers
Publication date: 04/01/2006
Series: Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series Series , #5
Pages: 360
Sales rank: 177,246
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 16 Years

About the Author

Steve Solomon is a well-known west coast gardening guru, and author of five previous books. The founder of Territorial Seed Company, he has taught Master Gardener and Urban Farm classes at the University of Oregon in Eugene. His book, Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades has appeared in five editions

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction
The coming hard times
Getting land
Becoming a vegetableatarian

Chapter 2: Basics
What is a vegetable?
Helping plants grow
Increasing soil fertility

Chapter 3: Tools and tasks
The basic three and a file
How to start a new garden
Raised beds and raised rows
The bow rake
Restoring a raised bed for planting again
The hoe
Miscellaneous tools
Care of tools

Chapter 4: Garden centers
Transplants: Buyer beware
Growing your own seedlings the easy way
The garden center seedrack

Chapter 5: Seeds
The mail-order seed business
Who to buy from
Making seeds come up
Saving on seed purchases
Growing your own

Chapter 6:Watering ... and not
Four spacing systems
Not suffering drought
A gardener's textbook of sprinkler irrigation

Chapter 7: Compost
Why compost?
Making low-grade compost
Medium-quality compost: The once-a-year heap
Green manure and cover crops

Chapter 8: Insects and diseases
Avoiding trouble
Insects and their remedies
Diseases and their remedies

Chapter 9:What to grow . and how to grow it
Some general tips
Crops that are easiest to grow
Crops that are harder to grow
Difficult vegetables

Chapter 10: Bibliography
Online resources

About the Author

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"I recommend Gardening When It Counts as an excellent first book for the beginning gardener. It includes all the practical details necessary to make, prepare, and tend a garden, make compost, choose varieties and seeds, and to grow just about everything. I also recommend it to all experienced gardeners. It is guaranteed to change the way you view and do gardening. Gardening When it Counts is a magnificent synthesis of garden science, original garden research, and agricultural history."
— Carol Deppe, Ph.D., author of Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener's and Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving .

"In Gardening When it Counts , Steve Solomon prepares the ground by encouraging us to embrace the organic revolution by growing more food with fewer imported resources and more ingenuity. He provides a hands-on account of amendment-centered gardening, using a wide variety of sources, and exhorts us to save seeds of kinds and varieties that we like to eat, that do well for us, and that may be dropped from current commercial seed inventories."
— Alan M. Kapuler, Ph.D., President, Peace Seeds, and former Research Director and cofounder of Seeds of Change

"Steve Solomon's book is delightfully informative and abundantly rich with humor and grandfatherly wisdom. A must-read for anyone wanting a feast off the land of their own making.."
— Elaine Smitha, host of "Evolving Ideas" radio and telvision, and author of If You Make The Rules, How Come You're Not Boss?

Customer Reviews