Are some plants aphrodisiacs, or is that just a myth? Garden expert and plant detective Helen Yoest takes us on a romp through history, lore and ethnobotany to find out how 50 of these plants got their "hot" reputation - and what modern science has to say about it. Discover which common garden plants and favorite edibles have that "something extra," and why. Plants With Benefits is filled with lush photography, growing tips, and recipes for preparing teas, potions and tasty treats for your pleasurable use.
Succulent plants are easy to grow and design with once you know the basics. And Debra Lee Baldwin, the best-selling author of Designing With Succulents and Succulent Container Gardens, is the ideal guide for gardeners, crafters and DIYers looking for an introduction to these trendy, low-maintenance plants.
Succulents Simplified is a complete primer on choosing, growing and designing with succulents. Along with gorgeous photos packed with design ideas, Baldwin offers her top 100 plant picks and explains how to grow and care for succulents … no matter where you live. Step-by-step projects, including a cake stand centerpiece, special occasion bouquets, a vertical garden and a succulent topiary sphere, will inspire you to express your individual style.
Whether you're a novice or veteran, own an acre or just a few pots, live in Calexico or Canada, Succulents Simplified is a dazzling primer for success with succulents wherever you're planting!
Just as he demystified the soil food web in his groundbreaking book Teaming with Microbes, in this new work Jeff Lowenfels explains the basics of plant nutrition from an organic gardener's perspective. Most gardeners realize that plants need to be fed but know little or nothing about the nature of the nutrients and the mechanisms involved. In his trademark down-to-earth style, Lowenfels explains the role of both macronutrients and micronutrients and shows gardeners how to provide these essentials through organic, easy-to-follow techniques. Along the way, Lowenfels gives the reader easy-to-grasp lessons in the biology, chemistry and botany needed to understand how nutrients get into the plant and what they do once they're inside. (Don't worry: You won't have to learn college-level science.) Teaming with Nutrients will make you a better informed, more successful, more environmentally responsible gardener and will give you a new appreciation for the plants you grow.
Smoothies blended with fresh, crisp greens and natural fruit juices will increase your daily vegetable intake, boost your energy, and improve your overall well-being … and they don't have to cost a fortune! The Green Smoothie Garden teaches you how to make the healthiest green smoothies without breaking the bank. Featuring simple instructions and valuable gardening tips, this book shows you how to grow the vegetables in your favorite smoothies and incorporate them into a variety of delicious recipes. From kale to spinach to collards, the nutrient-rich greens featured in these tasty smoothies can be produced in any gardening space, so you'll be able to reap the benefits of a homegrown green smoothie no matter where you live. The Green Smoothie Garden. gives you the advice and tools you need to make the most nutritious drinks right at home and at a fraction of the cost!
To grow produce of the highest nutritional quality the essential minerals lacking in our soil must be replaced, but this re-mineralization calls for far more attention to detail than the simple addition of composted manure or NPK fertilizers. The Intelligent Gardener demystifies the process while simultaneously debunking much of the false and misleading information perpetuated by both the conventional and organic agricultural movements. In doing so, it conclusively establishes the link between healthy soil, healthy food, and healthy people.
This practical step-by-step guide and the accompanying customizable web-based spreadsheets go beyond organic and are essential tools for any serious gardener who cares about the quality of the produce they grow.
Lawns now blanket thirty million acres of the United States, but until the late nineteenth century few Americans had any desire for a front lawn, much less access to seeds for growing one. In her comprehensive history of this uniquely American obsession, Virginia Scott Jenkins traces the origin of the front lawn aesthetic, the development of the lawn-care industry, its environmental impact, and modern as well as historic alternatives to lawn mania.
The urban landscape has swallowed vast swaths of prime farmland across North America. Imagine how much more self-reliant our communities would be if 30 million acres of lawns were made productive again. Permaculture is a practical way to apply ecological design principles to food, housing, and energy systems; making growing fruits, vegetables and livestock easier and more sustainable.
The Permaculture Handbook is a step-by-step, beautifully illustrated guide to creating resilient and prosperous households and neighborhoods, complemented by extensive case studies of three successful farmsteads and market gardens. This comprehensive manual casts garden farming as both an economic opportunity and a strategy for living well with less money. It shows how, by mimicking the intelligence of nature and applying appropriate technologies such as solar and environmental design, permaculture can:
Permaculture is about working with the earth and with each other to repair the damage of industrial overreach and to enrich the living world that sustains us. The Permaculture Handbook is the definitive, practical North American guide to this revolutionary practice, and is a must-read for anyone concerned about creating food security, resilience and a legacy of abundance rather than depletion.
In The Urban Gardener, garden designer and lecturer Matt James provides an approachable, practical guide to making the most of an urban garden, including:
Will Allen is an organic farming visionary. A true activist, entrepreneur and expert, he understands the complexities of farming firsthand and the impact that commercialization has had. In the early 19th century, as the American population grew rapidly, demands on crop output increased. Seeing an opportunity to play upon fears from market demand, chemical companies declared war on the vile, profit-sucking, output-wrecking, archnemesis of the average American farmer: bugs. With precision, pesticide manufacturers delivered a "shock and awe" media campaign that can only be compared to the current blitzkrieg from today's pharmaceutical companies. Bugs were the threat to the American dream - and there was a cure available to every farmer available in spray, granule, dust or systemic form that could be applied to your crops. Will Allen's War on Bugs reveals how advertisers, editors, scientists, large-scale farmers, government agencies and even Dr. Seuss colluded to convince farmers to use deadly chemicals, hormones and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in an effort to pad their wallets and control the American farm enterprise. Utilizing dozens of original advertisements and promotions to illustrate the story, Allen details how consumers and activists have struggled against toxic food. Echoing the warnings of seminal works on the topic such as The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, 100,000,000 Guinea Pigs by Arthur Kallet and F.J. Schlink, and Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, The War on Bugs shouts that the time to stop poisoning our food, water, air and ourselves is now!
In Tomatoes, a Savor the South cookbook, Miriam Rubin gives this staple of Southern gardens the passionate portrait it deserves. She explores the tomato's rich history in Southern culture while inspiring home cooks to fully enjoy these summer fruits in all their glorious variety. Rubin, a prominent food writer and tomato connoisseur, provides 50 vibrant recipes as well as wisdom about how to choose tomatoes and which tomato is right for which dish. Tomatoes includes recipes that celebrate the down-home, inventive and contemporary, such as Stand-over-the-Sink Tomato Sandwiches, Spiced Green Tomato Crumb Cake, Green Tomato and Pork Tenderloin Biscuit Pie, and Tomato and Golden Raisin Chutney. Rubin also offers useful cooking tips; lively lessons on history, cultivation and preserving; and variations for year-round enjoyment of the tomato.
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Supermarket produce sections bulging with a year-round supply of perfectly round, bright red-orange tomatoes have become all but a national birthright. But in Tomatoland, which is based on his James Beard Award-winning article, "The Price of Tomatoes," investigative food journalist Barry Estabrook reveals the huge human and environmental cost of the $5 billion fresh tomato industry. Fields are sprayed with more than 100 different herbicides and pesticides. Tomatoes are picked hard and green and artificially gassed until their skins acquire a marketable hue. Modern plant breeding has tripled yields, but has also produced fruits with dramatically reduced amounts of calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C, and tomatoes that have 14 times more sodium than the tomatoes our parents enjoyed. The relentless drive for low costs has fostered a thriving modern-day slave trade in the United States. How have we come to this point?
Estabrook traces the supermarket tomato from its birthplace in the deserts of Peru to the impoverished town of Immokalee, Fla., aka the tomato capital of the United States. He visits the laboratories of seedsmen trying to develop varieties that can withstand the rigors of agribusiness and still taste like a garden tomato, and then moves on to commercial growers who operate on tens of thousands of acres, and eventually to a hillside field in Pennsylvania, where he meets an obsessed farmer who produces delectable tomatoes for the nation's top restaurants.
Throughout Tomatoland, Estabrook presents a who's who cast of characters in the tomato industry: the avuncular octogenarian whose conglomerate grows one out of every eight tomatoes eaten in the United States; the ex-Marine who heads the group that dictates the size, color and shape of every tomato shipped out of Florida; the U.S. attorney who has doggedly prosecuted human traffickers for the past decade; and the Guatemalan peasant who came north to earn money for his parents' medical bills and found himself enslaved for two years.
Tomatoland reads like a suspenseful whodunit as well as an exposé of today's agribusiness systems and the price we pay as a society when we take taste and thought out of our food purchases.