Other Good Books on Organic Gardening

Discussion in 'Organic Gardening' started by drmargy, May 7, 2009.

  1. drmargy

    drmargy Member

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    I tried to respond to an older post on good books, but it wasn't allowed. So, I am starting a new thread instead.

    I found two great pamphlet resources, also by Rodale Press, called The Basic Book of Organic Gardening (1988) and a companion pamphlet called Companion Planting and Intensive Gardening (1981). I got each for about $2 in used book stores. You can still find them online at Amazon, but try a used book store first. They are simple but very complete and have guided me through several years of successful raised bed gardening in a floating garden. What's that? You can see more by click here.
     
  2. RootlessAgrarian

    RootlessAgrarian Member

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    Well, my first influential OG book was of course Jeavons' classic How to Grow More Vegetables (though I've since got over the fascination with double-dig and prefer no-till methods). Lasagna Gardening had a big influence on me! Companion planting books like Carrots Love Tomatoes were charming and instructive.

    But the most important books I read were not "gardening" books; they were more about the reasons why organic gardening is urgently important. Jules Pretty's Agri-Culture, Toby Hemenway's Gaia's Garden, Mollison's Permaculture spring to mind. Will Allen's The War on Bugs. The Agrarian Reader edited by Wirzba. Vandana Shiva's various works on Indian agriculture. FH King (Farmers of Forty Centuries) of course, and Albert Howard (The Soil and Health). I sometimes think that the general principles absorbed from this literature may serve us better, in the long run, than specific How-To manuals (though these also are useful, particularly herbaries and companion planting guides, seed saving techniques and other documents preserving traditional skills which Big Ag seems hell-bent on eradicating [ahem] from the general population).

    And then, these days, there are the web sites! Good heavens, the amount of helpful info available for free online is such -- so rich and deep -- that I sometimes wonder why I ever bought gardening books! And then I remind myself that the books are still useful after the power goes out :-)
     
  3. greengarden bev

    greengarden bev Active Member

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    Great books! Anything by Vandana Shiva is terrific. She is absolutely amazing-- she really understands the breadth and depth of organic gardening and farming.

    The old books by Rodale are worth trying to find. Even old copies of Organic Gardening magazine (from the 80s) are filled with good information. Nowadays OG is just another consumer ad rag with "print bytes" and bulleted lists and editors who think we all have a 20-second attention span. And full of stupid ads for lawn tractors and home-sized backhoes. Ugh.

    I'd like to add a book to the must-read list: Lee Reich's Weedless Gardening.
     
  4. drmargy

    drmargy Member

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    Thanks for you book suggestions. I have found lots of good used books at a much more reasonable cost than the glossy ones in stores. My best finds have been at the hospital thrift shop in my home town. They cost 50 cents each and since lots of people have lived here for many years, the finds have been exciting.
     
  5. bob 2

    bob 2 Active Member

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  6. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I've read the book recommended by Bob 2, and I agree it is a good book. It does not talk about organic gardening, but rather about toxicity levels, and safety of actual organic chemicals, and a few synthetic chemicals. The book points out the fact that not all organic controls that are thought to be safe are actually safe. - Millet (1,347-)
     
  7. GreenElephant

    GreenElephant Active Member

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    Sir Albert Howard "An Agricultural Testament"
    John Todd "Gaia's Garden"
     
  8. 2annbrow

    2annbrow Active Member

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    I'd like to offer an excellent online bookstore resource. If you haven't discovered it yet,
    betterworldbooks.com is great - and eco-friendly too. Very reliable folks, in my experience.
     
  9. Mossflower

    Mossflower Member

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    I really love Heather Flores' "Food Not Lawns". It talks about organic gardening and permaculture ideas, but it also goes into the deeper organic gardening culture. Lots of info on working in your community to organize resources ie building garden beds out of scrap lumber or composting with the city's lawn clippings. A great read!
     

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