the super organic gardener

To grow your own organic food is a nice way to get in the garden, stay in nature and benefit wildlife. Most fresh food in supermarkets is either imported or sprayed in chemicals. But even if you just start with the easy crops (like carrots), it’s all for the good.

No-dig gardening is the gardening way of the future. Not only is it easy and better for your back, but it means no garden forks or spades accidentally harming creatures like earthworms or baby stag beetles (big grubs in soil).

The Super Organic Gardener is a wonderful book on how to grow your own organic food, without need for animal products like bone meal or fish meal. Go beyond traditional organic farming and grow food without harming the planet or animals (no-dig methods avoid harming earthworms and stag beetle grubs, and fertilisers free from bonemeal and fishmeal are less likely to attract vermin). In this book, you’ll learn about the environmental and animal welfare issues of traditional gardening, then learn how to be a super organic gardener!

Grow food with natural twine and keep fresh compost away from pets. Make your garden safe for pets (fruit pips & seeds contain cyanide). Use humane ways to prevent slugs/snails, and avoid large-hole netting (traps wildlife – apply fruit protection bags (after pollination). Never face indoor foliage to gardens, to help stop birds flying into windows

In this book, you’ll learn:

    1. How to make & buy natural fertilisers & compost
    2. How to grow & cook nutritious food
    3. How to safely share your plot with wildlife

With a foreword by Cleve West (a gardener who won RHS Chelsea Flower Show Best in Show), find more information at Veganic Organic Network who recommend Natural Grower fertiliser.

the science of growing food (simplified)

simplify vegetable gardening

Simplify Vegetable Gardening combines gardening know-how with science knowledge. Learn how good soil impacts on your plants, and learn the science of photosynthesis and the effects of water and plant food. Learn propogation techniques to grow better plants that are more resilient, to grow free food for you and your community. The book profiles 16 plant families to encompass 81 food crops. Author Tony O’Neill is a firefighter who also has spent 14 years sharing gardening knowledge. He has studied horticulture from 16, thanks to his grandfather who encouraged him to pursue his studies. He lives in Wales where he grows near-record-sized cabbages, squashes, rhubarb and potatoes.

how to grow food in layers (like nature)

the layered edible garden

The Layered Edible Garden shows how to create a high-yielding and self-sustaining food garden that saves spaces by growing plants in layers, just as nature intended. Say goodbye to long straight rows of vegetable plants lined up and waiting for attack from disease, and instead say hello to an interplanted polyculture paradise filled with layers of edible plants that outcompete weeds, share resources and grow beautifully together.

Gardening pro Christina Chung introduces a modern approach to home food gardening that follows nature’s lead by growing plants in mixed communities, instead of agriculture-centric monocultures. By intentionally including edible plants from 8 layers (trees, sub-canopy trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, annuals, ground cover and edible roots), you build a ‘mini food forest’ that will produce food for years to come, and require less work and fewer resources.

Meet dozens of plants in each of the 8 layers, and discover the perks of growing perennial food crops that return year after year. Find design and planting advice and learn how to convert a sunny or shady garden into a food-growing paradise. Christina Chung is a trained horticulturalist who lives in Vancouver, Canada.

7-steps to a permaculture garden

the practical permaculture project

The Practical Permaculture Project is a simpified 7-step process of designing a ‘food forest’ that basically lets nature take care of itself, once planted. Learn how to grow fresh delicious food, even if you have no experience. If you’re concerned about the planet and economy, learn how to come after to a garden full of fresh homegrown food, knowing you’re also helping to save the planet.

Permaculture is actually the answer to many of the world’s problems. You may soon find yourself feeding more than your family! The book gives a brief history of permaculture and why it’s the future of growing food. Learn the basics (garden design, water management, soil and compost). Then use the 7 steps to design your own garden, with detailed tips on building garden beds for long-term success. You’ll even learn how to turn extra produce into profit, so you can produce local organic food for the community.

When I learned about permaculture almost 10 years ago, I thought it was an ingenious way to slam the brakes on rapid environmental degradation and improve our lifestyles with sustainable agricultural practices. It’s helped me to achieve economic stability and food security, through working in harmony with nature. It gave me more control over my health, since I no longer had to rely on store-bought vegetables and fruits that have been treated with various chemicals.

Sophie McKay is an emerging star in the world of sustainable gardening and permaculture. Passionate about self-sufficiency, foraging and food preservation, she loves to help readers gain independence by growing their own food, and also helping to repair the planet in small ways. She believes that with the right knowledge, anyone can grow their own food, becoming less dependent on major economies. She loves to cook, bringing out the natural flavours of her homegrown produce, cooked in her family’s home in the countryside.

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