How to Grow More Vegetables : And Fruits, Nuts - Shroomery

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Transcript

The Story So Far . . .
1972
1⁄
Ecology Action begins a 2 -acre research
demonstration and teaching Biointensive
garden and a 3-acre community garden on
Syntex Corporation land in the Stanford
University Industrial Park in Palo Alto,
California. Ecology Action emphasizes
economic mini-farming.
1973
1972 Preliminary Research Report outlines
initial yield and resource consumption
information.
1974
We publish our first book on Biointensive
philosophy and techniques, How to Grow
More Vegetables.
1976
1972–1975 Research Report Summary
is published with detailed data on yields,
resource consumption, and worldwide
applications for Biointensive mini-farming.
1977
We begin an apprentice program.
through fair displays; school and college
lectures; radio interviews; national and
international magazine articles; a PBS-TV
special, Gardensong, about Alan Chadwick
and the projects he inspired, and the
publication of Soybeans, The U-Bar, Food
from Your Backyard Homestead, The SelfFertilizing Herbal Lawn, and Beginning to
Mini-Farm—booklets in the Self-Teaching
Mini-Series. Tests of garden beds by a
University of California graduate student
in soil science shows an unexpected accelerated rate of humified carbon buildup, a
process that normally takes hundreds of
years. Two beds from the research site
are moved to a protected area to allow
future monitoring.
The Shri A.M.M. Murugappa Chettier
Research Centre in India reports successful use of the Biointensive method to
improve local nutrition. A major article
about Ecology Action’s work appears in
the premier issue of Science ’80. Alan
Chadwick, originator of the Biointensive
approach used by Ecology Action, dies.
His work, vision, and example inspired
thousands of people.
1978
1981
A second edition of How to Grow More Vegetables is published by Ten Speed Press.
Six years of research determine the feasibility of an economic mini-farm earning
$5,000–$20,000 on as little as 1 ⁄ 8 acre with
one person working it, and of a complete
vegetarian diet for one person being
grown on as little as 2,800 square feet.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Bob Bergland, notes that Ecology Action’s work is
“10 years ahead of its time.” Ecology
Action cosponsors the Third International
Conference on Small-Scale and Intensive
Food Production. One hundred participants attend from 14 countries, including
Mainland China. A transcript of the conference, Intensive Food Production on a
Human Scale, is published. This conference also results in a Biointensive project
in China. Three more Self-Teaching MiniSeries booklets—Modular Multi-Use
Mini-Greenhouse Plans, A 10-Crop 5-Year
Learning and Test Workbook, and A Perspective—are published. Twenty books by
other organizations and individuals using
Biointensive techniques based on Ecology
Action publications have appeared by this
time. Ecology Action actively looks for a
new research garden/mini-farm site.
1979
How to Grow More Vegetables is published
with Spanish data in metric units. Biointensive Mini-Farming: A Rational Use
of Natural Resources and Cucumber
Bonanza, the first two booklets in our SelfTeaching Mini-Series, are published.
1980
This is the last year for Ecology Action’s
Garden/Mini-Farm site in Palo Alto. Information on the method continues to spread
1982
How to Grow More Vegetables is revised a
third time and is expanded by over 40%.
Calorie, compost, and tree crops are
added, making the book really about how
to grow more food. New booklets, Grow
Your Compost Materials at Home and
Examining the Tropics, are published.
Newsweek covers gardening, highlighting
Ecology Action’s program. Continued
airing of the PBS-TV special, Gardensong,
results in thousands of inquiries to Ecology Action. Ecology Action moves to a
new rural site in northern California, just
outside of Willits. This site’s rustic conditions, heavy winter rains, prolonged summer droughts, short growing season,
steep slopes, and depleted rocky soil are
similar in many ways to those in countries
where Ecology Action’s work is having its
most dramatic impact.
1983
A second report is received from India
about a successful pilot program, this one
involving women raising food under
drought conditions. Our first apprentice at
the Willits site graduates and leaves with
his family for a new home in Brazil.
Steve and Judy Rioch offer their farm
and energies for an East Coast Biointensive mini-farming site in the United
States. Ecology Action launches Bountiful
Gardens, a mail-order supply service for
essential seeds, books, and supplies, to
increase our outreach. A Reader’s Digest
article on gardening and Ecology Action’s
approach is published.
Six Self-Teaching Mini-Series booklets—The U-Bar (1980), Food from Your
Backyard Homestead (1980), The SelfFertilizing Herbal Lawn (1980), Begin-ning
to Mini-Farm (1980), Modular Multi-Use
Mini-Greenhouse Plans (1981), and A 10Crop 5-Year Learning and Test Workbook
(1981)—are gathered together in
Backyard Homestead, Mini-Farm and
Garden Log Book, which is published by
Ten Speed Press.
[continued at end of book]
. . . for lo, the eternal and sovereign luminous space,
where rule the unnumbered stars,
is the air we breathe in
and the air we breathe out.
And in the moment betwixt the breathing in
and the breathing out
is hidden all the mysteries
of the Infinite Garden.
—Essene Gospel of Peace
How to
A Primer on the Life-Giving Sustainable
GROW BIOINTENSIVE ®
Method of Organic Horticulture
*than you ever thought possible
Grow More
Vegetables*
(and fruits, nuts, berries, grains, and other crops)
by John Jeavons
Ecology Action of the Midpeninsula
TEN SPEED PRESS
BERKELEY • TORONTO
on less land than you can imagine
Copyright © 1974, 1979, 1982, 1990, 1991,
1995, 2001, 2002 by Ecology Action of the
Midpeninsula, 5798 Ridgewood Road,
Willits, CA 95490-9730
www.growbiointensive.org
Ten Speed Press
P.O. Box 7123
Berkeley, California 94707
www.tenspeed.com
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be
reproduced in any form, except brief excerpts for
the purpose of review, without written permission
of the publisher.
Distributed in Australia by Simon & Schuster
Australia, in Canada by Ten Speed Press Canada,
in New Zealand by Southern Publishers Group, in
South Africa by Real Books, and in the United
Kingdom and Europe by Airlift Book Company.
Library of Congress
Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Jeavons, John.
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 / by John Jeavons.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 1-58008-156-8
1. Vegetable gardening. 2. Organic gardening.
I. Title.
SB324.3 .J424 2002
635—dc21
2001006451
Cover design by Larissa Pickens
Interior design by Linda Davis, Star Type,
based on a design by Brenton Beck,
Fifth Street Design Associates
Major illustrations by Pedro J. Gonzalez
Illustrations on pages 10 through 12 by Ann Miya,
based on illustrations by Pedro J. Gonzalez
Illustrations on pages vi, vii, 2, 6, 22, 34, 49,
62, 65, 66, 74, 121, 142, and 156 by Susan
Stanley
Illustrations on pages 66 (top) and 78 (bottom)
by Sue Ellen Parkinson
Other illustrations by Betsy Jeavons Bruneau
Copyediting by Shirley Coe
Printed in the United States
3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 — 08 07 06 05 04
Drawing of the original Common Ground Garden in Palo Alto, California, provided by Landal Institute, Sausalito, California.
Contents
A Perspective for the Future / viii
How to Grow Made Simple / xiv
A General Preface / xvii
An Historical Introduction / xxii
1
2
3
Histor y and Philosophy / 2
4
5
6
Compost / 34
Bed Preparation / 6
Initial Preparation Process
Ongoing Preparation Process
Complete Texturizing Process
U-Bar Process
Sustainability / 22
The Loss of Soil Nutrients
and Humus
Initially Adding Nutrients
and Humus to the Soil
Losses = Gains?
100% Sustainability Impossible
The Need for Up to “99%”
Sustainability
A “Natural” System
Functions
The Process
Soil and Other Materials in
the Compost Pile
Building the Pile
Key Organic Functions
Watering the Pile
Locating the Pile
Ecology Action’s Pursuit of
Sustainability
Current Goals of Understanding and
Achieving “99%” Sustainability
How to Better Sustain Your Soil’s
Fertility
The 60/30/10 Crop Area Model
Sustainability Worldwide
Size and Timing
Compost Curing Maturation
and Application Rates
Composting Methods Compared
Materials to Use Minimally
or Not at All
Functions of Compost in the Soil
Building a Compost Pile
Step by Step
Fertilization / 49
Soil Testing
Organic Soil Amendments
What a Home Soil Test Will
Not Tell You
pH
Shaping the Bed
Adding Fertilizers and Compost
More-Sustainable Fertilization
Seed Propagation / 62
Seed Planting
Flats
Flat Soil
Some Causes of Poor Germination
Pricking Out
Transplanting
Spotting
Planting by the Phases of the Moon
Watering
Shade Netting
Mini-Greenhouses
Key Water Factors
Weeding
Planting in Season
Plant-Growing Temperature Ranges
Soil Temperatures for Seed Germination
7
8
9
MASTER CHARTS
(Use Column H for Spacings)
Vegetables and Garden Crops
Calorie, Grain, Protein Source, and
Vegetable Oil Crops
Compost, Carbon, Organic Matter,
Fodder, and Cover Crops
Energy, Fiber, Paper, and Other
Crops
Tree and Cane Crops
Flower Spacing Chart
Herb Spacing Chart
Making the Garden Plan / 121
Four-Year Plans for One-Person
Mini-Garden
Four-Person Family Food Garden
The Garden Year
Simple Mini-Garden
Companion Planting / 142
Health
Nutrition
Beneficial Herbs
Crop Rotation
Multi-Crop Planting
Physical Complementarity
Weed, Insect, and Animal Relationships
Companionate Vegetable Chart
Companionate Herb Chart
A Balanced Natural Backyard
Ecosystem and Its Insect Life / 156
Natural Predators
Other Initiatives
Insect Pests and Plant Controls
Bibliography / 165
Alan Chadwick
Animals
Appropriate Technologies
Arid Regions/Dryland Farming
Bamboo
Biodynamic
Biointensive
(see also GROW BIOINTENSIVE )
Calorie/Diet Crops
Children’s Books
Climate
Communities
Companion Planting
Compost/Carbon/Fodder/Organic
Matter/Cover Crops
Composting
Container Gardening
Cookbooks
Crafts
Development
Education (see Learning/Teaching)
Energy
Farming
Fertilizer
Fiber Crops
Flowers
Food and Nutrition
(see also Solar Cooking)
Food Preservation and Storage
Fruits, Berries, and Nuts
Fukuoka Culture
Gardening (see also
Container Gardening)
Global Perspective
Gourds
Grains
Grasses
Greenhouse Culture
GROW BIOINTENSIVE
(see also Biointensive)
Health
Hedges
Herbs
High-Altitude Food Raising
History
Homesteading
Housing
Human Waste
Hydroponics
Income
Insect Life and Balance/
Plant Health
Intensive Gardening
Language and Travel
Learning/Teaching
“Living Farm” Museums
Mushrooms
Native Americans
Out-of-Print Book Sources
Permaculture
Philosophy
Plant Names
Plant Nutrient Indicators
Who Is Ecology Action? / 219
Index / 235
Pruning
Reference
Roots
Seed Catalogs
Seed Saving
Seeds/Diversity
Seeds/GMOs
Seeds/Green Revolution
Seeds/Plant Propagation
Soil
Solar Cooking
Supply Catalogs
Sustainable Agriculture
Terracing
Testing
Tools
Traditional Agriculture
Trees
Tropics
Vegetables
Water
Weeds
What are the dimensions of this challenge? Current agricultural practices reportedly destroy approximately 6 pounds of
soil for each pound of food produced.1 United States croplands
are losing topsoil about 18 times faster than the soil formation
rate. This is not sustainable. In fact, worldwide only about 42 to
84 years’ worth of topsoil remains.2
Why is this happening? Conventional agricultural practices
often deplete the soil 18 to 80 times more rapidly than nature
builds soil. This happens when the humus (cured organic
matter) in the soil is used up and not replaced, when cropping
patterns are used that tend to deplete the soil’s structure, and
when minerals are removed from the soil more rapidly than
they are replaced. Even organic farming probably depletes the
soil 17 to 70 times faster than nature builds it by importing
organic matter and minerals from other soils, which thereby
become increasingly depleted. The planetary result is a net
reduction in overall soil quality.
Ecology Action is in its 31st year of rediscovering the original principles behind the highly effective, resource-conserving,
and sustainable 4,000-year-old Chinese Biointensive way of
farming. One to two millennia ago, cultures in Latin America,
Europe, and other parts of Asia developed similar approaches.
Ecology Action developed the GROW BIOINTENSIVE growing
method, which is patterned after nature’s own intensive biological plantings. Based on over 10,000 years of field trials, the
features of GROW BIOINTENSIVE include:
• Deep soil preparation, which develops good soil structure.
Once this structure is established, it may be maintained
for several years with 2-inch-deep surface cultivation (until
compaction once again necessitates deep soil preparation).
• The use of compost (humus) for soil fertility and nutrients.
• Close plant spacing, as in nature. (How surprised we
would be to find natural meadows, forests, and fields
growing in rows, with the area between the rows resembling long strips of desert.)
• Synergistic planting of crop combinations so plants that are
grown together enhance each other.
• Carbon-efficient crops—planting approximately 60% of the
growing area in dual-purpose seed and grain crops for
the production of large amounts of carbonaceous material
for compost and significant amounts of dietary calories.
• Calorie-efficient crops—planting approximately 30% of
the growing area in special root crops, such as potatoes,
burdock, garlic, and parsnips, which produce a large
amount of calories for the diet per unit of area.
1. Developed from U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics.
2. Developed from P. Buringh, “Availability of Agricultural Land for Crop and Livestock
Production,” in D. Pimentel and C. W. Hall (eds.), Food and Natural Resources (San Diego:
Academic Press, 1989), pp. 69–83, as noted in “Natural Resources and an Optimum Human
Population,” David Pimentel, et al., Population and Environment: A Journal of Interdisciplinary
Studies, Vol. 15, No. 5, May 1994; and with statistics from the United Nations.
A PERSPECTIVE FOR THE FUTURE
ix
A Perspective
for the Future
“Population will increase rapidly, more rapidly than
in former times, and ’ere long the most valuable of
all arts will be the art of deriving a comfortable
subsistence from the smallest area of soil.”
—Abraham Lincoln
“They’re making more
people every day, but
they ain’t makin’ any
more dirt.”
—Will Rogers
T
here is an exciting challenge ahead of us. How can we
revitalize our extraordinary planet, ensuring life and
health for the environment, the life-forms of a myriad
of ecosystems, humankind, and future generations? The answer
is as close to each of us as the food we consume each day.
We can begin to create a better world from right where we
are—in home gardens and mini-farms, in virtually all climates
and soils. Millions of people are already doing this in over
one hundred countries around the world, using sustainable
GROW BIOINTENSIVE ® mini-farming techniques.
We “farm” as we eat. For example, if we consume food that
has been grown using methods that inadvertently deplete the
soil in the growing process, then we are responsible for depleting
the soil. If, instead, we raise or request food grown in ways that
heal the Earth, then we are healing the Earth and its soils. Our
daily food choices will make the difference. We can choose to
sustain ourselves while increasing the planet’s vitality. In the
bargain we preserve resources, breathe cleaner air, enjoy good
exercise, and eat pure food.
It has been estimated that about 1 ⁄ 3 of the health care costs
in the United States could be eliminated through an increase in
exercise and by eating a nutritious diet. Gardening and minifarming provide both of these, resulting in a win-win proposition. By doing something that is wondrous and fun—growing
food—each individual becomes important again in the face of
an otherwise overwhelming global environmental challenge.
The Earth, the soils, and each individual will be better as a
result of these efforts.
viii A PERSPECTIVE FOR THE FUTURE
“Our future security now
depends . . . on developing
new, more productive farming
technologies.”
—Lester Brown
• Open-pollinated seed use to preserve genetic diversity.
• A whole, interrelated farming system. The GROW BIOINTEN SIVE food-raising method is a whole system, and its
components must all be used together for the optimum
effect. If you do not use all of its elements together, the
method’s high yields can rapidly deplete the soil. In this
book you will see the terms GROW BIOINTENSIVE and
Biointensive. The latter refers to individuals, projects, and
programs before Ecology Action’s 1999 trademark registration of GROW BIOINTENSIVE and/or not using all of the
GROW BIOINTENSIVE features.
It is interesting to note that during the last 50 years, since
mechanized and chemical agricultural approaches have been
used in China (as opposed to traditional Biointensive practices),
China has lost as much as 33% of her farmland.3 In contrast,
when properly used, GROW BIOINTENSIVE sustainable minifarming’s miniaturization of agriculture can build the soil up
to 60 times faster than in nature,4 while making possible
• a 67% to 88% reduction in water consumption per unit
of production;
• a 50+% reduction in the amount of purchased fertilizer
required per unit of production;
• a 99% reduction in the amount of energy used per unit
of production;
• a 100+% increase in soil fertility, while productivity
increases and resource use decreases;
• a 200% to 400% increase in caloric production per unit
of area;
• a 100+% increase in income per unit of area.
Up to 6 billion microbial life-forms can live in one 5-gram
amount of cured compost, about the size of a quarter. Life
makes more life, and we have the opportunity to work together
with this powerful force to expand our own vitality and that of
this planet.
Gandhi observed that “To forget how to dig the earth and
tend the soil is to forget ourselves.” In Candide, Voltaire points
the way: “The whole world is a garden and what a wonderful
place this would be, if only each of us took care of our part of
the Garden!” Each of us is needed. Building a truly sustainable
agriculture is an essential part of building sustainable communities. As we build soils, we also build a culture made up of
healthy living and effective farming, as well as enduring
communities. In order to accomplish this, we need to shift our
agricultural perspective. We need to stop growing crops and start
growing soils! Granted, in order to grow soil, we need to grow
crops. But rather than growing crops for the sole purpose of
3. New York Times, March 27, 1994.
4. “Worldwide Loss of Soil and a Possible Solution,” Ecology Action, 1996.
x A PERSPECTIVE FOR THE FUTURE
consumption, the goal changes to one of giving and creating
life—producing, in the process, an abundance of food.
We must begin by educating ourselves, then sharing what
we have learned by teaching people to understand the importance of growing soil. This new challenge will be to discover
how to live better on fewer resources. It is possible! The way
humankind is currently living and increasing in population, we
will not be able to provide for our own food needs soon if we do
not grow soils. The information on page xiii illustrates how, in as
little as 12 years, there may be an average of just 9,000 square
feet (or less) of farmable land per person to feed most people
on Earth. But regardless of the amount of arable land available,
as early as 1992, many countries had only enough water to irrigate 4,000 square feet per person. However, GROW BIOINTENSIVE
sustainable mini-farming can make it possible to grow all the
food for one’s own nutrition, as well as food for the soil, on as
little as 4,000 square feet. This may be accomplished at intermediate yield levels, which can be obtained without a great amount
of difficulty.
It is important to note from the examples given that at some
point during the years 2014 to 2021, there probably will not be
enough land to produce all the nutrition needed for most of the
world’s population using current standard agricultural practices.
These practices currently require about 7,000 to 63,000 square
feet of farmable land, and most people will have access to only
9,000 square feet of arable soil as early as 2014. Further, most
of the current practices are growing only food in the areas
indicated, yielding insignificant net amounts of organic matter
to produce the soil-nurturing humus needed to ensure the
development of a healthy soil. With many of these practices,
an additional equal area will be needed to produce the amount
of organic matter necessary to sustain soil fertility for both
the food-growing farm area and the organic matter-growing
farm area.
However, GROW BIOINTENSIVE sustainable mini-farming alone
(or any other sustainable farming practice) is not the answer. If
not used properly, GROW BIOINTENSIVE practices can deplete
the soil more rapidly than other farming practices because of
the high yields. In contrast, when used properly—so all wastes
are recycled and enough organic matter is grown to ensure that
each farm can produce enough compost to create and maintain
sustainable soil fertility—GROW BIOINTENSIVE sustainable minifarming can create soil rapidly and maintain sustainable soil
fertility. It is how each one of us uses GROW BIOINTENSIVE , or
other food-raising practices, that makes a living difference!
On the other hand, to use only one agricultural approach to
grow food could be unhealthy. This would be another form of
“monocropping” in a living world ecosystem that needs
diversity. Agriculture in the future will probably be a synthesis,
a sustainable collage, of:
A PERSPECTIVE FOR THE FUTURE
xi
“The Jeavons approach has
done more to solve poverty
and misery than anything else
we’ve done.”
—Bob Bergland, former
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
• GROW BIOINTENSIVE mini-farming
• agroforestry
• no-till Fukuoka food raising
• traditional Asian blue-green algal wet rice farming
• natural rainfall “arid” farming
• indigenous farming
Also, to preserve the plant and animal genetic diversity upon
which we all depend, we need to keep 1⁄ 3 of the world’s
farmable land in wild.
As we begin to use sustainable, land- and resource-conserving
food-raising approaches, more wilderness areas can remain
untouched so more of the endangered plant and animal diversity on this Earth can be preserved. This wealth of genetic
diversity is necessary if the planet on which we live is to
support abundance.
Alan Chadwick, the horticultural genius who taught us the
basis for GROW BIOINTENSIVE sustainable mini-farming practices,
guided us: “Just grow one small area, and do it well. Then,
once you have got it right, grow more!” Each of us can begin in
this way to revitalize ourselves, the soil, and the Earth—one
small growing area at a time. Before we know it, we will all live
on a thriving, vibrant Earth consisting of many personal and
community mini-preserves, reestablished with health as a vital,
dynamic whole!
Each one of us has tremendous potential to heal the Earth.
Let us begin.
APPROXIMATE AREA REQUIRED TO GROW ONE PERSON’S DIET USING
CONVENTIONAL MECHANIZED CHEMICAL OR ORGANIC TECHNIQUES
High Meat Diet (fossil fuels available) currently
31,000–63,000 sq ft
Average U.S. Diets5 (fossil fuels available) currently
15,000–30,000 sq ft
Average U.S. Vegan (fossil fuels available) currently
7,000 sq ft
Average U.S. Vegan Diet (no animal products)
(post-fossil fuel era)
Average of actual areas needed for diets eaten in
developing nations, using actual agricultural practices
(fossil fuels available)
21,000–28,000 sq ft
1977: 30,000 sq ft
1988: 22,000 sq ft
2000: 16,000 sq ft
5. Assuming average amounts of vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, eggs, milk, cheese, and meat are eaten.
xii A PERSPECTIVE FOR THE FUTURE
ESTIMATED ARABLE LAND AVAILABLE TO GROW ONE PERSON’S DIET
WITH DIFFERENT LEVELS OF WATER AVAILABILITY IN THE FUTURE
Year 2000, Developing Nations (where 80% of the
world’s population will be living) with water available
16,000 sq ft
Year 2014–2021, Developing Nations (where 90%
of the world’s population will be living) with water available
9,000 sq ft
Year 2000, in water-scarce areas around the world
4,000 sq ft
AREA REQUIRED TO GROW ONE PERSON’S DIET WITH THE GROW BIOINTENSIVE
METHOD, INCLUDING CROPS THAT PRODUCE A HIGH LEVEL OF CALORIES PER
UNIT OF AREA (SEE PAGES 31–32)
GROW BIOINTENSIVE
intermediate yields with soil
fertility sustained
4,000 sq ft
By the year 2014–2021 with an average of 9,000 square feet
available (see above), sufficient land and resources may be
available in many developing-nation areas with GROW
BIOINTENSIVE , leaving up to 5,000 square feet surplus farmland
for the preservation of plant and animal genetic diversity
in adequate water situations.
WILL THERE BE ENOUGH LAND TO GROW A COMPLETE DIET FOR ONE PERSON
USING CONVENTIONAL MECHANIZED CHEMICAL OR ORGANIC TECHNIQUES OR
USING THE GROW BIOINTENSIVE METHOD?
Vegan
Vegan
Conventional
or Organic
Conventional
or Organic
Conventional
or Organic
Conventional
or Organic
(post fossil fuel)
Insufficient
Insufficient
Sufficient land
and 9,000 sq ft
surplus6
Insufficient
Sufficient land
and 12,000 sq ft6
surplus
9,000 sq ft
Insufficient
(year 2014–2021, water available)
Insufficient
Sufficient land
and 2,000 sq ft
surplus6
Insufficient
Sufficient land
and 5,000 sq ft6
surplus
4,000 sq ft
(year 2000, water scarce)
Insufficient
Insufficient
Insufficient
Sufficient land
and no surplus
Land Available
with Different
Levels of Water
Agricultural
Technique
16,000 sq ft
(year 2000, water available)
High Meat
Vegan with
special root crops
Avg. U.S.
Diet
Insufficient
GROW BIOINTENSIVE
(Intermediate
yields/sustainable)
6. Number of square feet represents the area that is in surplus, not needed for food production, that could be left in a natural state to preserve
plant and animal genetic diversity and ecosystems.
A PERSPECTIVE FOR THE FUTURE
xiii
How to Grow
Made Simple
T
he table of contents has special notations to make this
book especially easy to use for the beginning gardener.
One of the advantages of How to Grow More Vegetables
is that it describes a complete general approach to gardening.
As you learn the basics of soil preparation, the simple joys of
gardening will gain depth. Bed preparation, fertilization,
composting, seed propagation, transplanting, watering, and
weeding are performed essentially the same way for all crops.
Only the seedling flat and growing bed spacings are different
from one crop to another (these are given in columns H, L1,
and M2 of each section of the Master Charts beginning on
page 87). So, once you know how to grow lettuce, you know most
of the basics for growing onions, tomatoes, wheat, apple trees,
and even cotton!
Remember to enjoy gardening while you are working—
experience the warmth of the sun, the touch of a breeze, the
scent of a flower, the smell of freshly turned soil, a bird’s song,
and the beauty of it all. Above all, have fun!
One way to harvest your fullest enjoyment is to garden with
your family or friends. Light conversation makes the time pass
quickly during even the most difficult tasks. Consider having a
barbecue or picnic after double-digging, holding a neighborhood compost building party, or inviting your children to join in
the harvesting! And preserving the year’s harvest through
drying, freezing, or canning vegetables and fruits is always a
social occasion. Gardening together is half the fun of this practical experience of learning and sharing.
If you are a beginning gardener or mini-farmer reading How
to Grow More Vegetables, you may want to skip most of the
tables except for column H in the Master Charts for planning
on pages 87–115, which lists plant spacings. You will probably
start by growing vegetables and a few flowers and herbs, and
many of these crops can be bought as seedlings from a local
xiv
HOW TO GROW MADE SIMPLE
nursery. Starting your own seedlings is a higher skill level that
you may not want to try until your second or third year.
If you are an intermediate gardener, you will begin to use
more of the tables and charts and to grow some compost crops,
grains, and fruit trees. The bibliography (beginning on page
165) is a source of additional information on topics of interest
that you may like to pursue as your skill as a mini-farmer grows.
Ten years in the garden will produce a fully experienced food
grower. You can now draw on all of the information provided in
this book as you work on growing most or all of your family’s
food at home, plant a mini-orchard in the front yard, begin an
economic mini-farm, or teach others the skills you have already
mastered.
As you begin to grow GROW BIOINTENSIVEly, be sure to grow
sustainable soil fertility crops—which we are calling carbon-andcalorie crops (see pages 27–29)—as part of your garden. We
need to grow crops that feed the soil as well as ourselves. There
are many such soil fertility crops. Examples are corn, millet,
wheat, oats, barley, cereal rye, and amaranth. These crops grow
a lot of carbonaceous material for the compost pile, which in
turn feeds the soil with humus, as well as provides a great deal
of nutritious food to eat. Be sure to try a few soil fertility crops
in your garden or mini-farm this year. Information about these
dual-purpose crops, which provide both dietary calories and
compost materials, is included in the Master Charts section
beginning on page 87 of this book and in the compost crop
sections of Ecology Action’s Self-Teaching Mini-Series Booklets
10, 14, 15, 25, and 26.
It is important to grow calorie crops in your garden or minifarm. About 90% of your diet-growing area should eventually
be planted in these nutritious crops. There are two kinds—
crops that are area-efficient in the production of calories,
and crops that are weight-efficient for calories.
HOW TO GROW MADE SIMPLE
xv
Area-efficient crops produce a large number of calories
in a given area because of their high yields per unit of area.
Examples of these farming-efficient crops are potatoes, sweet
potatoes, garlic, parsnips, burdock, and salsify.
Weight-efficient crops contain a large number of calories per
pound of food, but have lower yields per unit of area. Examples
of these kitchen-efficient crops are wheat, millet, oats, cereal
rye, barley, and corn. Each garden or mini-farm should optimally contain some of both kinds of these calorie crops.
For more information about these concepts, also see One
Circle, published by Ecology Action, and The Sustainable
Vegetable Garden, published by Ten Speed Press. Important
information about calorie crops is included in the Master
Charts as well as in Ecology Action’s Self-Teaching Mini-Series
Booklets 14, 15, 25, 26, and 28.
How to Grow More Vegetables provides you with everything
you need to create a garden symphony—from the basic techniques to advanced planning skills for a beautifully planted
backyard homestead. But the real excitement is that each of us
will never know everything! Alan Chadwick, after he had been
gardening for 50 years, said, “I am still learning!” And so are we
all. We have a lifetime of growing before us, and the opportunity to continually improve our understanding of the living
canvas we are painting.
xvi
HOW TO GROW MADE SIMPLE
A General
Preface
Ecology Action Goal: Act as a catalyst,
teach teachers, and train students
T
he Common Ground Garden was started in California
in 1972 to determine what agricultural techniques
would make food-raising by small farmers and gardeners more efficient. We call the results “mini-farming.” Minifarms can flourish in nonagricultural areas such as mountainous
regions, arid areas, and in and around urban centers. Food
can be produced where people live. With knowledge and skill,
the yield per hour can be high without using the expensive
machinery that is the preoccupation of our current agriculture.
Mini-farming is available to everyone.
We began by concentrating on the exciting possibilities
presented by the Biointensive method—does this method really
produce four times the yield, as Alan Chadwick claimed? If so,
does it take more water? Does it consume vast amounts of
fertilizer and organic matter? Does it exhaust the soil? Or the
people working? The only way to answer these questions was to
plunge in and try it. Initially, we worked mainly on the quantitative aspects, developing the tools and data to maximize yields
within the framework of Biointensive’s life-giving approach. This
involved experimentation with and evaluation of plant spacings,
fertilizer inputs, various watering methods, and other variables.
The work has always been worthwhile despite the continuing challenge of attracting strong, ongoing support. The biggest single asset to this undertaking is John Jeavons’ unfailing
stamina and dedication. Over and over, when we all ask, “Can it
work?” he answers, “How are we going to make it work?” It is
becoming increasingly clear that sustainable GROW BIOINTEN SIVE mini-farming will be an important part of the solution to
starvation and malnutrition, dwindling energy supplies, unemployment, and exhaustion and loss of arable land, if the social
and political challenges can be met.
After 30 years of testing, GROW BIOINTENSIVE farming has
produced amazing benefits, but a lot of work is still to be done.
A GENERAL PREFACE
xvii
Yields can average 2 to 6 times those of U.S. agriculture and a
few range up to 31 times as high. The full potential for all areas
has probably not yet been reached. We are still working to
develop an optimally healthy soil system. Calorie and compost
crops present the most challenges because they are crucial in
meeting the nutritional needs of people and the soil. Experiments include soybeans, alfalfa, fava beans, wheat, oats,
cardoon, and comfrey. So far our yields are from 1 to 5 times
the U.S. average for these crops. Water use is well below that
of commercial agriculture per pound of food produced, and is
about 33% to 12% that of conventional techniques per unit of
land area.
Energy expenditure, expressed in kilocalories of input, is 1% of
that used by commercial agriculture. The human body is still
more efficient than any machine we have been able to invent.
Several factors contradict the popular conception that this is a
labor-intensive method. Using hand tools may seem to be more
work, but the yields more than compensate. Even at 25¢ a pound
wholesale, zucchini can bring as much as $9 to $16 per hour
depending on the harvest timing because it is easy to grow,
maintain, and harvest. Time spent in soil preparation is more
than offset later in less need for weeding, thinning, cultivation,
and other chores per unit of area and per unit of yield. Hand
watering and harvesting appear to take the most time. Initial soil
preparation, including fertilization and planting, may take 5 to
9 1 ⁄ 2 hours per 100-square-foot raised bed. Thereafter, the time
spent decreases dramatically. A new digging tool, the U-bar, has
reduced subsequent bed preparation time to as little as 20
minutes when that is desirable. A new hand watering tool that
waters more quickly and more gently is also being developed.
Nature has answered our original queries with an abundance even greater than expected, and we have narrowed our
research to the most important question that can be asked of
any agricultural system: Is it sustainable? The GROW BIOINTEN SIVE method currently uses 1 ⁄ 2 or less the purchased fertilizer
that commercial farmers use. Can we maintain all nutrient
levels on site, once they have been built up and balanced? Or is
some outside additive always necessary? We need to look more
closely at all nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, potash, calcium,
and trace minerals. Anyone can grow good crops on good soil,
cashing in on nature’s accumulated riches. The GROW BIOIN TENSIVE method appears to allow anyone to take “the worst
possible soil” (Alan Chadwick’s appraisal of our original Palo
Alto research site) and turn it into a bountiful garden or minifarm. Preliminary monitoring of our soil-building process by a
University of California soil scientist was probably the most
important information garnered about our initial site. Continued
monitoring will unlock new secrets and provide hope for
people with marginal, worn-out, or desertified soils. However, a
complete answer to the long-term question of sustainable
xviii A GENERAL PREFACE
soil fertility will require at least 50 years of observation as the
living soil system changes and grows! We continue to work on
that issue.
Nine years of growing and testing in Ecology Action’s urban
garden mini-farm came to an end in 1980 due to the termination
of our lease and new construction on that land. Like so much
other agricultural land in the United States, our lovingly tended
beds succumbed to the press of urbanization. The city growing
area prepared us for a rural site. The facilities of grocery store
and electric lines were exchanged for open skies and room to
grow more herbs, flowers, vegetables, beans, grains, and
compost crops than we ever imagined. At the Common Ground
mini-farm in Willits, California, we are enjoying a permanent
site where we can grow trees of all kinds—for food, fuel, and
beauty. Other projects include a self-fertilizing lawn composed
of fragrant herbs and clovers, and a working mini-farm. In 1973,
we initially estimated that a one-person small holding ( 1 ⁄ 8 to
1 ⁄ 2 acre) could grow crops bringing in a net income of $5,000 to
$20,000 a year (about $100 to $400 a week) after 4 to 5 years.
However, one woman in Vancouver, British Columbia, was later
earning about $400 a week growing gourmet vegetables for
restaurants on 1 ⁄ 16 of an acre 20 years after we began. At first
she thought it could not be done, but when she tried growing
crops for income it worked. She then passed her skills on to
12 other women. Crops grown may include collards, chard,
beets, mangels, spinach, green onions, garlic, radishes, romaine
and Bibb lettuce, zucchini, patty pan squash, cucumbers, and
lavender. Rather than solely looking to Ecology Action for
answers, we hope you will dig in and try GROW BIOINTENSIVE
for yourself! The techniques are simple to use, as this book
shows. No large capital expenses are necessary to get started.
The techniques work in varied climates and soils. American
farmers are feeding the world, but mini-farming can give people
the knowledge to feed themselves.
Posted on the wall of our local environmental center, there
once was a tongue-in-cheek guide called “50 Really Difficult
Things You Can Do to Save the Earth.” The second item was to
“grow all your own vegetables.” We had to laugh. We moved up
to our new mini-farm in Willits with a plan for short-term food
self-sufficiency. That was about 20 years ago. We still take a
neighborly ribbing for racing down to the farmers’ markets to
buy sweet corn, carrots, and other vegetables and fruits to feed
an extended family of staff, apprentices, interns, and friends at
our research site. Research priorities often interfere with
growing all our vegetables and fruits, but we are attempting to
grow significant amounts of calories and compost crops. It is
difficult to research, write, publish, teach, do outreach around
the world, and farm—all at the same time!
A GENERAL PREFACE
xix
Robin Leler Jeavons said, “My first garden was a total
failure. I planned, dug, and planted, but I had not really learned
how to garden yet. Now my favorite class to teach is compost.
I bring a glass jar of waste—a slimy brew of potato peels, coffee
grounds, and last week’s rotting roses. The other jar has compost—sweet smelling, earthy, and alive and, by the way, nothing
like the sifted and homogenized product sold at garden centers.
These two jars remind me of the magical transformation of a
garden: health from garbage, riches out of waste. I can ‘see’
that magic immediately, though it may take me years to fully
comprehend it!”
Betsy Jeavons Bruneau, a senior staff person at Ecology
Action, has an affinity for tiny life-forms. She taught us to appreciate the infinitely variable lichens that cling to bare rock and
fallen trees, creating soil for larger life-forms to follow. People
used to bring insects into our store for identification. Betsy’s
first response was usually a hushed “How beautiful!” She still
marvels at the intensely colorful tomato hornworms, the intricate markings on the shells of wise old snails, and the fact that
earwigs are wonderful mothers.
We live in an age of consumption, when we are constantly
exhorted to measure ourselves by our possessions. Yet no
matter how rich we manage to become, something human in us
says our true worth is reflected by what we ourselves create.
Why not make it full of life and beauty rather than pollution?
Our neighbor Ellen spent all day putting up jars of string beans
and picalilli, then worked until midnight to finish up a batch of
raspberries. One of her notes reads, “There is no rest for the
gardener . . . but there is always dessert!”
Gardening is not always easy, but the rewards are personal
and fun. For most of us, the environment is what is around us,
separate from human activity. Gardening offers the chance to
become partners with nature. The reward is not just a salad
from the backyard or a gleaming jar of peaches. Gardening is
the process of digging the soil, starting small seeds, watching
an apple tree grow. Gardening is an education in observation,
harmony, honesty, and humility—in knowing and understanding
our place in the world.
But the impact is also global. Alan Chadwick felt that
gardening was the only way to prevent another world war—to
bring a living, active peace on Earth by working with healthy,
creative, positive life forces. In doing this, we become one with
those life forces. The homegrown tomato requires no fuel for
transportation, no packaging to be sent to the landfill, no political decisions about who will be allowed to work the fields or
what level of pollutants is acceptable in our groundwater.
Nature is not always a Garden of Eden. Some partnership is
required to bring out the best in both nature and people. “Give
to Nature, and she will repay you in glorious abundance,” was
one of Chadwick’s favorite sayings. Gardening and mini-farming
xx
A GENERAL PREFACE
give us the opportunity to participate in the subtle transformation of desert to “dessert.” All we need to do is to start with one
growing bed and tend it well, and we have begun the exciting,
expansive, giving process of enlivening and healing the earth
and ourselves.
Ecology Action Staff
January 2, 2002
A GENERAL PREFACE
xxi
An Historical
Introduction
I
n September 1971, Larry White, Director of the Nature and
Science Department for the City of Palo Alto, invited
Stephen Kafka, Senior Apprentice at the University of California Santa Cruz Student Garden, to give a 4-hour class on the
biodynamic/French intensive method of gardening. Two years
before, the city had made land available to the public for
gardening, and residents appeared eager to hear more about
this method. Alan Chadwick had brought the method to Santa
Cruz 5 years earlier, and with love, vision, and apparent magic,
the master horticulturist had converted a barren slope into a
Garden of Eden. Vegetables, flowers, and herbs flourished
everywhere. The method’s techniques were primarily available
through training in a 2-year apprentice program at Santa Cruz
and through periodic classes given by Alan Chadwick or
Stephen Kafka. However, neither detailed public classes nor
vegetable yield research were being conducted regularly at
Santa Cruz or in Palo Alto.
In January 1972, Ecology Action’s board of directors
approved a Biointensive research and education project. The
purposes of the Ecology Action project were to:
• teach regular classes;
• collect data on the reportedly fourfold yields produced by
the environmentally sound horticultural method;
• make land available for gardening to additional midpeninsula residents;
• publish information on the method’s techniques.
In May, after a 5-month search for land, the Syntex Corporation offered 33⁄ 4 acres of their grounds in the Stanford Industrial
Park with all the water needed for the project at no cost. Frank
Koch, Syntex Public Affairs Director, told Dr. Alejandro Zaffaroni of the Alza Corporation about the project, and Dr. Zaffaroni
subsequently contributed the first money to the project, $5,000,
xxii AN HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION
without which we never could have begun. Commitment by
Frank Koch, Don Keppy, Chuck and Dian Missar, Ruth
Edwards, Ibby Bagley, numerous other individuals, several
corporations, and the Point Foundation enabled the project
to continue.
Alan Chadwick soon visited the garden site and gave us
basic advice on how to proceed. We then attended a series of
lectures given by Mr. Chadwick in Saratoga, California. Using
the classes taught by Alan Chadwick and Stephen Kafka as a
base, we began teaching our own classes in the spring of 1972.
Further study and experience in the garden made it
possible to increase the original class to a 5-week series. The
classes led to the development of information sheets on topics
such as vegetable spacings and composting techniques. Many
people asked for a book containing all the information we gathered. Those who were unable to attend our Saturday classes or
who had friends living outside the area were especially insistent. This book was the result. Robin Leler Jeavons, Betsy
Jeavons Bruneau, Tom Walker, Craig Cook, Rip King, Bill
Spencer, Claudette Paige, Keven Raftery, Marion Cartwright,
Paka, Phyllis Anderson, Wayne Miller, Paul Hwoschinsky, Dave
Smith, Steve and Judi Rioch, Louisa Lenz, Bill Bruneau, Dean
Nims, Tommy Derrick, Carol Cox, John Beeby, Cynthia Raiser
Jeavons, Dan Whittaker, Shirley Coe, members of Ecology
Action, and friends have all made important contributions to
the book’s content and spirit.
I assume responsibility for any inaccuracies that may have
been included; they are mine and not Alan Chadwick’s or
Stephen Kafka’s. This book is not intended to be an exhaustive
work on the subject, but rather one of simple completeness.
Most of us at Ecology Action are only beginning to intermediate
GROW BIOINTENSIVE gardeners. The purpose of this book is to
turn on as many people as possible to a beautiful, dynamically
alive method of horticulture and life. I had hoped that the great
interest this book stimulated would encourage Alan to write an
extensive work on the many sophisticated techniques that only
he knew well. Because of his untimely death in 1980, this is no
longer possible.
Our initial research indicates that GROW BIOINTENSIVE can
produce an average of 2 to 6 times more vegetables per acre
than the amount grown by farmers using mechanized and
chemical agricultural techniques. The method also appears to
use 33% to 12% the water, 50% to no purchased nitrogen fertilizer, and 1% the energy consumed by commercial agriculture
per pound of vegetable grown.7 The vegetables usually taste
7. Figures for yield and water and fertilizer consumption are based on data collected
through 1979. The 1% energy consumption figure is from a November 2, 1973, letter from
Richard Merrill, Director of the New Alchemy Institute—West, Pescadero, California. Energy
data were collected and evaluated by Mr. Merrill and Michael J. Perelman, Assistant Professor
of Economics, California State University at Chico. The data are for a growing area with a
AN HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION xxiii
excellent, and there are indications that their nutritive value
can be higher than that of commercially grown vegetables. This
method is exciting to me because each of us becomes important as we find our place in relation to nature.
One person annually consumes in food the energy equivalent (in calories or British Thermal Units) of 32.6 gallons of
gasoline.8 In contrast, the most efficient economy car will use
that much gas in a month or two of ordinary driving. Imagine
the fuel consumed by a tractor or industrial machine in a year!
People are not only beautiful, they are very capable and efficient. We believe GROW BIOINTENSIVE can produce more net
income per acre than commercial agriculture. With GROW
BIOINTENSIVE we help provide for the needs of the plants
instead of trying to dominate them. When we provide for these
real needs, the plants bounteously provide more food. In
striving for quality gardening, a person will be able to provide a
diet and income more than sufficient for his or her needs. The
effort will produce a human renaissance and a cornucopia of
food for all.
Our work grows out of a personal concern about worldwide
starvation and malnutrition. If we could determine the smallest
amount of land and resources needed for one person to supply
all of his or her own needs in a sustainable way, we might have
a personal solution. What if a person could, in a tiny area, easily
raise all the crops that would supply all food, clothes, building
materials, compost materials, seeds, and income for an entire
year? We asked whether others knew the smallest area required
to do this, and no one did—so we began our 30-year quest to
help settle an ongoing problem and make possible a better
quality of life.
Generally, the challenges of world hunger, soil depletion,
and diminishing resources seem so overwhelming that we
tend to look for big solutions, such as massive grain shipments,
breeding high-yield miracle crops, or establishing infrastructures—bank loans, machinery and fertilizer purchases, markets, and roads. These solutions create long-term dependency.
What is so exciting about a personal approach is that it seeks to
answer the question: “How do we enable ourselves to take care
of our own needs?” Personal solutions will have as many varied
applications as there are people, soils, climates, and cultures.
Our work is one way for people to begin to develop those
solutions.
proper humus content after a 5-year development period. The data are a qualitative projection
and have been assembled during a 3-year period of tests performed on root and leaf crops
(except brassicas) grown by hand cultivation in the Santa Barbara area with its 9-month
growing season. (The 1/100 figure does not include the energy required to get the soil system to
the point noted above and does not include unproductive plants that constituted 10% of the area
under cultivation.)
8. Michael Perelman, “Efficiency in Agriculture: The Economics of Energy,” in Richard
Merrill (ed.), Radical Agriculture (New York: Harper & Row, 1976), p. 86.
xxiv
AN HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION
Universal scientific principles operate within GROW
BIOINTENSIVE sustainable mini-farming’s biological systems. Yet
our gardening results change each time we modify our
system. For example, the microbial life levels and yields differ
depending on whether we prepare the soil 7 inches, 12 inches,
or 24 inches deep. Why? We do not know all the reasons yet.
As we explore, we will come to understand the underlying
principles, and a whole new world will unfold. We will be able
to make changes to improve the health, fertility, effectiveness,
and sustainability of the way we farm for an even better life on
this planet.
Much new material is included in this latest revision: some
improved techniques, understandings, and approaches; updated
yield and seed information; corrected and updated planning
data; and a greatly expanded bibliography. That is, more information to add to your fun as you grow past the beginning stage
of GROW BIOINTENSIVE mini-farming in depth and breadth! This
edition represents 30 years of working with plants, soils, and
people—in virtually all climates and soils around the world. The
result is for your benefit. I hope it will make your path easier.
John Jeavons
January 2, 2002
Willits, California
AN HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION
xxv
“Nothing
happens in
living nature
that is not innnnn
relation to
the whole.”
—Goethe
1
History
and
Philosophy
Goal: Learn from the experiences
of farmers through time
T
Winter lettuce growing in an 1890s
cloche (bell-glass). The standard diameter is 16 3/4 inches.
2
HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY
he GROW BIOINTENSIVE method of horticulture is a
quiet, vitally alive art of organic gardening that relinks
people with the whole universe—a universe in which
each of us is an interwoven part of the whole. People find their
place by relating and cooperating in harmony with the sun, air,
rain, soil, moon, insects, plants, and animals rather than by
attempting to dominate them. All of these elements will teach
us their lessons and do the gardening for us if we will only
watch and listen. We become gentle shepherds providing the
conditions for plant growth.
The GROW BIOINTENSIVE method is a combination of two
forms of horticulture practiced in Europe during the 1800s and
early 1900s. French intensive techniques were developed in the
1700s and 1800s outside Paris. Crops were grown on 18 inches
of horse manure, a fertilizer that was readily available. The
crops were grown so close to each other that when the plants
were mature, their leaves would barely touch. The close
spacing provided a mini-climate and a living mulch that reduced
weed growth and helped hold moisture in the soil. During the
winter, glass jars were placed over seedlings to give them an
early start. The gardeners grew up to nine crops each year and
could even grow melon plants during the winter.
Biodynamic techniques were developed in the early 1920s by
Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian genius, philosopher, and educator.
Noting a decline in the nutritive value and yields of crops in
Europe, Steiner traced the cause to the use of the newly introduced synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides. An increase
was also noticed in the number of crops affected by disease
and insect problems. These fertilizers were not complete and
vital meals for the plants, but single, physical nutrients in a
soluble salt form. Initially, only nitrogen fertilizers were used
to stimulate growth. Later phosphorus and potassium were
added to strengthen the plants and to minimize disease and
insect problems. Eventually, trace minerals were added to the
chemical larder to round out the plants’ diet. After breaking
down nutrients into their component parts for plant food,
people found it necessary to recombine them in mixtures
approximating a balanced diet. This attempt might have been
more successful if the fertilizers had not caused chemical
changes in the soil that damaged its structure, killed beneficial
microbiotic life, and greatly reduced its ability to make nutrients already in the air and soil available to the plants.
Rudolf Steiner returned to the more gentle, diverse, and
balanced diets of organic fertilizers as a cure for the ills
brought on by synthetic chemical fertilization. He stressed the
holistic growing environment for plants: their rate of growth,
the synergistic balance of their environments and nutrients,
their proximity to other plants, and their various companion
relationships. He initiated a movement to scientifically explore
the relationship that plants have with each other. From
centuries of farmer experience and from tests, it has been
determined that certain flowers, herbs, weeds, and other plants
can minimize insect attacks on plants. Many plants also benefit
one another. Strawberries and green beans produce better
when grown together. In contrast, onions stunt the growth of
green beans. Tomatoes are narcissists; they prefer to be grown
alone in compost made from tomato plants.
The biodynamic method also brought back raised planting
beds. Two thousand years ago, the Greeks noticed that plant
life thrives in landslides. The loose soil allows air, moisture,
warmth, nutrients,1 and roots to properly penetrate the soil.
Artificial fertilization.
Natural fertilization.
French gardeners at lettuce beds in the
early 1900s.
1. Alan Chadwick used to call these nutriments, the things that “nourish or promote growth
and repair the natural wastage of organic life.” He used the term to distinguish them from
nutrients, which are merely “nourishing substances or ingredients.” He did this in particular to
note the importance of multinutrient organic fertilizers, which break down over a period of time
and nourish microbial life growth. In contrast, chemical fertilizers generally break down rapidly
and cause inefficient decomposition of organic matter. This organic matter is the microbial life’s
food source. In this book, nutrient has both meanings.
HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY
3
(Left) GROW BIOINTENSIVE raised bed;
(right) traditional rows.
Row plants are more susceptible to soil
compaction.
4
HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY
The curved surface area between the 2 edges of the landslide
bed provides more surface area for the penetration and
interaction of the natural elements than a flat surface. The
simulated landslides or raised beds used by biodynamic
gardeners are usually 3 to 6 feet wide and of varying lengths.
In contrast, the planting rows usually made by gardeners and
farmers today are only a few inches wide with wide spaces in
between. The plants have difficulty growing in these rows due
to the extreme penetration of air and the greater fluctuations
in temperature and moisture content. During irrigation, water
floods the rows, immerses the roots in water, and washes soil
away from the rows and upper roots. Consequently, much of
the beneficial microbiotic life around the roots and soil, which
is so essential to disease prevention and to the transformation
of nutrients into forms the plants can use, is destroyed and
may even be replaced by harmful organisms. (About 3 ⁄ 4 of
the beneficial microbiotic life inhabits the upper 6 inches of
the soil.) After the water penetrates the soil, the upper layers
dry out and microbial activity is severely curtailed. The rows
are then more subject to wide temperature fluctuations.
Finally, to cultivate and harvest, people and machine trundle
down the trough between the rows, compacting the soil and
the roots, which eat, drink, and breathe—a difficult task with
someone or something standing on the equivalent of your
mouth and nose!
These difficulties are also often experienced at the edges
of raised beds prepared in clay soils during the first few
seasons. Until the soil texture becomes friable, it is necessary
to level the top of the raised bed to minimize erosion (see
chapter on Bed Preparation), and the soil on the sides of the
beds is sometimes too tight for easy planting. Increased exposure to the elements occurs on the sides, and the tighter soil
of the paths is nearby. The plants along the sides usually do
not grow as vigorously as those further inside the bed. When
raised beds are prepared in friable soil, the opposite is true.
The top of the bed can now be curved and erosion will not be
a problem. The soil is loose enough for plants to thrive along
the sides. The edges of the beds are included in the miniclimate effect created by closely spaced plants, and the water
that runs from the middle of the bed provides the extra moisture the edges need.
Between the 1920s and 1930s, Alan Chadwick, an Englishman, combined the biodynamic and French intensive techniques
into the biodynamic/French intensive method. The United
States was first exposed to the combination when Mr. Chadwick
brought the method to the 4-acre organic Student Garden at
the University of California’s Santa Cruz campus in the 1960s.
Chadwick, a horticultural genius, had been gardening for half
a century and was also an avid dramatist and artist. He studied
under Rudolf Steiner, the French gardeners, and George
Bernard Shaw, and worked as a gardener for the Union of
South Africa. The site he developed at Santa Cruz was on the
side of a hill with poor, clayey soil. Not even “weeds” grew well
there—except poison oak, which was removed with pickaxes.
By hand, Chadwick and his apprentices created a good soil in
2 to 3 years. From this soil and vision, a beautiful, wondrous
and real Garden of Eden was brought into existence. Barren
soil was made fertile through extensive use of compost, with its
life-giving humus. The humus produced a healthy soil that grew
healthy plants less susceptible to disease and insect attacks.
The many nuances of the biodynamic/French intensive method
—such as transplanting seedlings into a better soil each time
a plant is moved and sowing by the phases of the moon—were
also used. The results were beautiful flowers with exquisite
fragrances and tasty vegetables of high quality. As an added
bonus for all the tender loving care they received, the vegetable
plants produced yields four times greater than those produced
by commercial agriculture.
As the biodynamic/French intensive gardening method
has continued to evolve and be simplified by Ecology Action,
so has its name. It is now known simply as GROW BIOINTENSIVE
gardening.
Lush growing beds at Common Ground
make optimal use of garden space.
HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY
5
2
Bed
Preparation
Goal: Develop soil structure so the plants
will have a “living sponge cake”
in which to thrive
P
Proper soil structure and nutrients
allow uninterrupted and healthy
plant growth.
6
BED PREPARATION
reparing the raised bed is the most important step in
GROW BIOINTENSIVE gardening. Proper soil structure and
nutrients allow uninterrupted and healthy plant growth.
Loose soil with good nutrients enables roots to penetrate the
soil easily, and a steady stream of nutrients can flow into the
stem and leaves. How different from the usual situation when a
plant is transferred from a flat with loose soil and proper nutrients into a hastily prepared backyard plot or a chemically stimulated field. Not only does that plant suffer from the shock of
being uprooted, it is also placed in an environment where it is
more difficult to grow. The growth is interrupted, the roots
have difficulty getting through the soil and obtaining food, and
the plant develops more carbohydrates and less protein than
usual. Insects like the carbohydrates. The plant becomes more
susceptible to insect attack and ultimately to disease. A debilitating cycle has begun that often ends in the use of pesticides
that kill soil life and make the plants less healthy. More fertilizers are then used in an attempt to boost the health of the
plants. Instead, the fertilizers kill more soil life, damage the
structure of the soil further, and lead to even sicker plants that
attract more insects and need more toxic “medicines” in the
form of additional pesticides and fertilizers. Well-documented
reports tell us that a wide variety of commercial pesticides
kill beneficial invertebrate predators while controlling pest
populations. These pesticides exterminate earthworms and
other invertebrates that are needed to maintain soil fertility.
The pesticides also destroy microorganisms that provide
symbiotic relationships between the soil and plant root systems.
Why not strive for good health in the first place!
Unless you are lucky enough to have loose soil, preparing
and planting a raised bed initially can take a lot of time—as
much as 61 ⁄ 2 to 11 hours for a 100-square-foot bed the first time.
As you become skilled, the double-dig often takes 2 hours or
less. After the first crop, however, only 4 to 61 ⁄ 2 hours should be
required on an ongoing basis for the whole preparing and planting process, because the soil will have better structure. Once the
beds are planted, only about 30 minutes a day are required to
maintain a 200-square-foot area—an area large enough to provide
one person with vegetables 12 months a year in an area with a 4to 6-month growing season.1 Even less time per day and only a
100-square-foot area may be required in an area with an 8- to 12month growing season. Beginning gardeners may require a
larger area for the same yield, but we recommend a new
gardener use only 100 square feet and allow the soil to gradually
produce more food as his or her skills improve.
The square footage required to provide the vegetable supply
for one person is approximate since the exact amount varies
depending on whether the individual likes corn (which takes up
a lot of space per pound of edible vegetable grown) or a lot of
carrots, beets, potatoes, and tomatoes (which require much less
area per pound of food produced). Using the tables in “Making
the Garden Plan” (based on yields produced by the GROW
BIOINTENSIVE method for all vegetable crops), you can determine the actual area needed for each crop. Be patient in this
soil-building process. It takes 5 to 10 years to build up a good
soil (and one’s skills). Actually, this is very rapid. Nature often
requires a period of 2,000 years or more to build a soil!
Instructions for the initial preparation of a 100-square-foot
bed in a heavy clay, very sandy, or good soil are given below.
Instructions for the repreparation of a bed are also given. After
the soil has been initially prepared, you will find that the GROW
BIOINTENSIVE method requires less work than the gardening
technique you presently use. The Irish call this the “lazy bed”
method of raising food. It has the added benefit of producing
tasty vegetables and an average of 4 times more vegetables
than your current yield! Or, if you wish to raise only the same
amount of food as last year, only 1 ⁄ 4 the area will have to be dug,
weeded, and watered.
INITIAL PREPARATION PER 100 SQUARE FEET
First, perform a soil test (see the soil test section in
“Fertilization”), then do the following:
1. If needed, soak the area to be dug for 2 hours with a sprinkler
(for hard, dry clays).
2. Let the soil dry out partially for 2 days.
3. Loosen 12 inches of soil with a spading fork, and remove weeds.
1 to 2 hours.
4. Water gently by hand for 5 minutes, and let the soil rest for 1 day.
If your soil has particularly large clods, wait several extra days,
1. Two hundred square feet can yield over 300 pounds of vegetables and soft fruits in a
4- to 6-month growing season at intermediate GROW BIOINTENSIVE yields. The average person
in the United States consumes about 322 pounds of vegetables and soft fruits annually.
BED PREPARATION
7
Notes
• 1 cubic foot = 1.5 5-gallon buckets
• 1 5-gallon bucket = 0.67 cubic feet
• The most cured compost that can be
added per 100-square-foot area per
4- to 6-month growing season on a
sustainable basis is probably 8 cubic
feet (including 50% soil by volume).
This amount has been added with
good results historically in Europe.
However, in various situations, 1.6
to 2.8 to 5.6 cubic feet of cured
compost (that is 50% soil by volume)
may be a sufficient and sustainable
amount to be added the same
growing season. More research is
needed to determine which amounts
produce the best results in different
climates and soils.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
and let nature help do the work. The warm sun, cool nights, wind,
and water will help break down the clods. Water the bed lightly
every day to aid the process.
At this time, sand may be added to a bed with clayey soil, or clay
to a bed with sandy soil, to improve texture. Normally you should
not add more than a 1-inch layer (8 cubic feet) of sand or clay.
(More sand may allow the water-soluble fertilizers to percolate
down too rapidly.) Mix the sand or clay thoroughly into the loosened 12 inches of soil with a spading fork. 1 hour.
Up to a 1-inch layer (8 cubic feet or 12 5-gallon buckets) of cured
compost—whatever is available—is spread onto and incorporated
into the surface of a bed that has good soil. (You may add up to a
2-inch layer [16 cubic feet per 100 square feet] of compost
[preferably] or aged manure2 to soil with poor [very sandy or
very clayey] texture on a one-time basis only.) 1 ⁄ 2 hour.
Water gently by hand for 5 minutes, and let the soil rest for
1 day, if needed.
Remove 7 5-gallon buckets of soil from the upper level of the
first trench (assuming a 5-foot-wide growing bed—see drawing on
page 21). Use 6 buckets of soil to make compost (these will eventually be returned to the growing beds in the form of added
compost) and 1 bucket of soil to make flat soil to grow seedlings
in. Even though you have removed one upper trench of soil, there
will be enough soil at the end of the double-dig process to fill in
the last trench, due to the expansion of the soil’s volume as air is
incorporated into the soil during the dig.
Double-dig the soil with a flat spade and a spading fork (see
pages 10–14 for double-digging instructions). Be sure to use a
digging board to avoid unnecessary soil compaction. 2 to 4 hours.
Be sure to dig trenches across the width of the bed. It helps to
level the soil with a rake after every 3 to 4 trenches during the
digging process.
Level and shape the bed, filling last trench with soil. 1 ⁄ 2 hour.
Sprinkle organic nitrogen, phosphorus, potash, calcium, and trace
mineral fertilizers (such as alfalfa and kelp meals, wood ash, and
eggshells) as indicated by your soil test evenly over the surface of
the bed after leveling and shaping it. Include any desirable levels
of pH modifiers (such as special leaf or pine needle compost to
make the soil less alkaline, or lime to make the soil less acid) as
indicated by your soil test. Sift in fertilizers and pH modifiers only
2 to 4 inches deep with a spading fork (2 inches if surface cultivation is being used—see page 59). After sifting in fertilizers, do no
further raking to avoid disturbing the even distribution of fertilizers and compost. (If there seems to be an excess of air in your
soil, tamp the soil down by placing your digging board on various
sections of the bed and then standing on it. This removes excess
air from the upper few inches of the bed.) 1 ⁄ 2 to 1 hour.
Plant or transplant. 1 to 2 hours.
Total: 61 ⁄ 2 to 11 hours for initial soil preparation, fertilization,
and transplanting.
2. Two-year-old steer or cow manure, or 2-year-old horse manure that originally contained a
lot of sawdust, or 2-month-old horse or chicken manure not containing much sawdust.
8
BED PREPARATION
The proper tools will make the
work easier and more productive.
FOR SOIL PREPARATION
FOR SEED PROPAGATION
Bow rake
Hand fork
D-handled
flat spade
Transplanting
trowel
D-handled
spading fork
Dibber
ONGOING PREPARATION FOR REPLANTING PER
100 SQUARE FEET—BEFORE EACH NEW CROP
1. Remove remaining vegetation, if necessary. Remove 7 5-gallon
buckets of soil from the upper level of the first trench. Use 6
buckets of soil to make compost (they will eventually be returned
to the growing bed in the form of added compost) and 1 bucket of
soil to make flat soil.3 Double-dig the soil. 2 to 3 hours.
2. Level and shape the bed. 1 ⁄ 2 hour.
3. Add any fertilizers and pH modifiers indicated by a soil test to the
surface of the bed, and then add up to a 1-inch layer (8 cubic feet
or 12 5-gallon buckets) of compost per 4-month growing season to
the surface of the bed.4 Sift in materials 2 to 4 inches deep with a
spading fork. 1 ⁄ 2 to 1 hour. (Adding the compost after the doubledig for ongoing soil preparation minimizes problems caused by
water-soluble nitrogen leaching in increasingly loose soil.)
4. Plant or transplant. 1 to 2 hours.
Note the difference in side views of a
shovel and a spade.
D-handled spade
Total: 4 to 6 1 ⁄ 2 hours for ongoing soil preparation, fertilization,
and transplanting.
3. If you are digging only 25 rather than 100 square feet, only hold out 13/4 5-gallon buckets
of soil for making compost and flat soil, and return 51/4 5-gallon buckets of soil into the bed.
4. Do this at least once a year—normally at the beginning of the main growing season. Generally our practice for autumn crops is to only single-dig and to add no compost or fertilizers.
Standard shovel
BED PREPARATION
9
The Initial
Double-Dig
Process
1.
2.
Step by Step
1. Spread a layer of compost over the
entire area to be dug.
2. Using a spade, remove the soil from
a trench 1 foot deep and 1 foot wide
across the width of the bed, and put
the soil into buckets or a wheelbarrow for use in making compost
and flat soil. If the bed is 5 feet
wide, the soil will fill 7 5-gallon
buckets. (The trench is being dug
across the width of the bed.)
Sides of bed may be dug
outward into path.
10
BED PREPARATION
The goal of double-digging is to loosen the soil to a depth of
24 inches below the surface. The first year, you may only be
able to reach 15 to 18 inches with reasonable effort. Be satisfied with this result. Do not strain yourself or your tools. More
important than perfection the first year or two is going in the
right direction. Nature, the loose soil, worms, and the plant
roots will further loosen the soil with each crop so digging will
be easier each year and the depth will increase 3 to 6 inches
annually.
For all-around ease, D-handled flat spades and D-handled
spading forks of good temper are usually used for bed preparation. (Poor tools will wear out rapidly while you are preparing
your garden area.) D-handles allow you to stand straight with
the tool directly in front of you. You must frequently hold a
long-handled tool to your side. This position does not allow for
simple, direct posture and leverage. When digging for long
periods of time, many people find the use of a D-handled tool
less tiring (though it will probably take the digging of 3 beds to
3a.
4.
get used to!). However, people with back problems may need
long-handled tools. In fact, people with back problems and those
not in good health should check with their physician before
proceeding with the physically active process of double-digging.
The flat spade has a particular advantage in that it digs
equally deep all along its edge rather than in a pointed V
pattern. This is especially important in the double-dig since all
points in the bed should be dug to an equal depth. The blade
on the flat spade also goes into the soil at less of an angle and
without the usual shovel’s curve. This means the sides of the
bed can be dug perpendicular or even diagonally outward into
the path, a plus for root penetration and water flow.
You should only dig when the soil is evenly moist. It is easier
and also better for the soil. Digging a hard, dry soil breaks
down the structure, and it is difficult to penetrate. Wet soil is
heavy and easily compacted. Compaction destroys friable structure and minimizes aeration. These conditions kill microbiotic
life. The main reason for drying-out periods after watering the
3a. Loosen the soil an additional
12 inches with a spading fork by
digging the tool in to its full depth
and then pushing the tool handle
downward so the fork tines will
lever through the soil, loosening
and aerating it. (See illustrations
on page 12 for loosening
compacted soil.)
4. Dig out the upper part of a second
trench 1 foot deep and 1 foot wide.
Move each spadeful of soil forward
(into the first trench), mixing the
soil layers as little as possible.
BED PREPARATION
11
3b(i).
3b(i). For compacted soil: While
standing in the trench, loosen
the soil an additional 12 inches
with a spading fork by digging
in the tool to its full depth and
lifting out a tight soil section on
the fork pan.
3b(ii). Then, by moving your arms
upward in a small jerk, the soil
will break apart as it falls downward, hits the fork tines, and
falls into the hole below.
12
BED PREPARATION
3b(ii).
soil is to attain the proper moisture level and to make digging
enjoyable and beneficial. Soil is too dry for digging when it is
loose and will not hold its shape after being squeezed in the
palm of your hand (in the cases of sands or loams) or when it is
hard and dry and cannot be penetrated by a spade (in the case
of clays). Soil is too wet when it sticks to the spade as you dig.
Double-digging is the term used for the process of preparing
your soil 2 spades deep (about 24 inches). To begin, mark out a
bed 3 to 5 feet wide and at least 3 feet long. Most people prefer
a bed 5, 10, or 20 feet long, but the maximum is up to you. To
double-dig, remove the soil from a trench 1 foot deep and 1 foot
wide across the width of one end of the bed. Use a 5 ⁄ 8 -inch-thick
plywood board, 2 to 3 feet long by 3 to 5 feet wide, to stand on.
Place it on top of the 1-inch compost layer you spread over your
bed, and advance it along the bed 1 foot at a time as you prepare
to dig each new trench. Move 7 5-gallon buckets of soil from
the beginning of the bed to a soil storage area for use in
making compost and flat soil.
You can move the soil with the spade, in buckets, or by
wheelbarrow. Make as few motions and use as little muscle as
possible in this process. This will conserve your energy and
involve less work. In fact, as you dig the soil, you will discover
you can use an Aikido-like economy of motion and energy in
which you are virtually just shifting your balance and weight
rather than digging. (For a visual representation of this, see the
Dig It! video carried by Ecology Action’s Bountiful Gardens
international mail-order service.)
Now, standing in the trench, dig down another 12 inches
(if possible) with a spading fork, a few inches at a time if the
soil is tight. Leave the fork as deep as it has penetrated, and
loosen the subsoil by pushing the fork handle down and levering the tines through the soil. If the soil is not loose enough for
this process, lift the chunk of soil out of the trench on the fork
tines. Then throw the chunk slightly upward, and allow it to fall
back on the tines so it will break apart. If this does not work,
use the points of the fork tines to break the soil apart. Work
from one end of the trench to the other in this manner.
Next, dig another trench behind the first one, moving each
spadeful of the top 12 inches of soil forward into the first trench.
Sometimes you will have to work over a trench a second or third
time to remove all the soil and obtain the proper trench size.
Repeat the subsoil loosening process in the second trench. Dig
a third trench, and so on, until the entire bed has been doubledug. (When you are through double-digging, the aerated soil in
the bed will be enough to fill in the last trench at the end of the
bed, and you will have added some soil to the bed in the form of
cured compost.) It helps to level the soil with a rake after every
3 to 4 trenches during the digging process.
When you are sliding the soil forward from one trench into
another, notice two things. First, some of the compost layer
you have added to the surface of the bed before beginning to
dig slides 3 to 6 inches down into the trench creating a small
mound of soil or landslide. This approximates the way nature
adds leaves, flower bodies, and other decaying vegetation to the
top of the soil, where they break down and their essences
percolate into the soil. Second, the upper layer of soil—the top
12 inches—should not be turned over during the double-dig
and succeeding double-digs. Most of the microbiotic life lives in
the upper 6 inches of the soil. Also, the natural layering of the
soil that is caused by rainfall and leaching, leaf litter, temperature, gravity, and other natural forces is less disturbed when the
soil is not generally mixed, even though the soil is loosened up
and disturbed somewhat. Aim for a balance between nature’s
natural stratification and the loosened landsliding soil. (As a
goal, strive not to mix the soil layers. The goal is important
even though it will never be reached and significant mixing
sometimes occurs. Without this goal, however, excessive
disruption of the soil layers will occur.)
731 ⁄ 2 29
The U-bar (see pages 15 and 17).
BED PREPARATION
13
TYPES OF DEEP SOIL PREPARATION
Simplified Side Views
Ecology Action uses four basic types of deep soil preparation processes: the initial double-dig, the ongoing double-dig,
the complete texturizing double-dig, and the U-bar dig. Following are simplified side views of each of these processes. The
first two are described in the text.
The complete texturizing double-dig was developed to
improve soil quality more rapidly and is used one time only. It is
used usually in place of the initial double-dig, but it can be used
Initial Double-Dig
1. When the soil is lightly moist,
loosen the top 12 inches of the
entire area to be dug with a
spading fork, and remove any
weeds.
2. Spread a 1-inch layer of compost
over the entire area to be dug
(after mixing in a 1-inch layer of
sand or clay 12 inches deep;
optional, see page 8).
3. Remove the soil from the upper
part of the first trench, and place
it in a soil storage area for use in
making compost and flat soil.
4. Loosen the soil an additional
12 inches.
5. Dig out the upper part of the
second trench, and move it
forward into the first trench.
6. Loosen the lower part of the
second trench.
7. Continue the double-digging
process (repeating steps 3, 4,
5, and 6) for the remaining
trenches. Rake after each
3–4 trenches to ensure even
bed height.
8. Shape the bed by raking it. Then
evenly spread any needed fertilizers over the entire area, and
sift them in 2 to 4 inches deep
with a spading fork. The doubledug bed is now completed.
14
BED PREPARATION
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
Ongoing Double-Dig
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
at a later point in time. We have found this soil preparation
process greatly improves plant health and yields immediately in
poor, compacted and heavy soil. It is often worth the extra
digging time involved. However, it does use an insustainable
amount of organic matter.
The U-bar dig can be used as a substitute for the ongoing
double-dig in soil that is in reasonably good shape. This usually
means after one normal double-dig or more. The 18-inch-long
U-bar tines (see page 13) do not prepare the soil as deeply as a
spade and a spading fork used to double-dig 24 inches deep, but
the lower 12 inches of the growing bed compact more slowly
over time than the upper 12 inches. Also, the U-bar appears to
have the advantage of mixing up the soil strata much less than
double-digging with a spade and a spading fork. It aerates the
soil less, however. This is an advantage in looser, sandier soil
and can be a problem in tighter clays. If you use a U-bar regularly, do a normal double-dig as often as increased compaction
A primary difference between
the ongoing and the initial
double-dig is that the compost
is put on after the digging
process in the ongoing
double-dig.
1. The bed is shown after
harvest with a slightly raised
mound of partially recompacted soil and residual
compost. When the soil is
lightly moist, loosen the entire
top 12 inches of the area to be
dug with a spading fork, and
remove any weeds.
2. Remove the soil from the
upper part of the first trench,
and place it in a soil storage
area for use in making
compost and flat soil.
3. Loosen the soil an additional
12 inches. (See Note below.)
4. Dig out the upper part of the
second trench, and move it
forward into the first upper
trench.
5. Loosen the lower part of the
second trench.
6. Continue the double-digging
process (repeating steps 4 and
5) for the remaining trenches.
Rake after each 3–4 trenches
to ensure even bed height.
7. Shape the bed by raking it.
Evenly spread a 1-inch layer
of compost and any needed
fertilizers over the entire area.
Sift in compost and any fertilizers 2 to 4 inches deep with a
spading fork.
Note
After the lower trench has been
loosened, potatoes may be placed on
its surface on 9-inch centers using
offset spacing (see “Seed Propagation,” pages 63–65). The soil from
the next trench’s upper level may
then be moved forward onto them.
This is the easiest way we have
found to plant potatoes. (Mark the
location of the potatoes with stones
or sticks in the outside paths before
covering them with soil. This will
indicate where potatoes should be
placed on the surface of each
succeeding lower trench.)
BED PREPARATION
15
Complete Texturizing
Double-Dig
One time only for compacted
heavy soils.
1. When the soil is lightly moist,
loosen the top 12 inches of the
entire area to be dug with a
spading fork, and remove any
weeds.
2. Spread a 1-inch layer of compost
over the entire area to be dug
(after mixing in a 1-inch layer of
sand or clay 12 inches deep;
optional, see page 8).
3. Thoroughly mix in compost
12 inches deep.
4. Remove the soil from the upper
part of the first trench and
place it in a soil storage area for
use in making compost and flat
soil.
5. Loosen the soil an additional
12 inches.
6. Spread a 1-inch layer of compost
on the loosened soil in the first
trench.
7. Thoroughly mix the compost
placed on top of the lower first
trench into the soil 12 inches
deep.
8. Dig out the upper part of the
second trench, and move it
forward into the first trench.
9. Loosen the lower part of the
second trench.
10. Spread a 1-inch layer of
compost on the loosened soil in
the second trench.
11. Thoroughly mix in the compost
on the lower second trench
12 inches deep.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
16
BED PREPARATION
12.
13.
12. Continue the complete texturizing double-digging process
(repeat steps 8 through 11)
for the remaining trenches.
Rake after each 3–4 trenches
to ensure even bed height.
13. Shape the bed by raking it.
Then evenly spread any needed
fertilizers over the entire area,
and sift them in 2 to 4 inches
deep with a spading fork. The
complete texturizing double-dug
bed is completed.
U-Bar Dig
1.
2.
3.
4.
indicates. U-barring is quicker and easier than using a spade
and a spading fork, though some knowledge of how your soil is
improving, or not improving, is lost with the decreased personal
contact with the soil. (For detailed plans on how to build a
U-bar, see Ecology Action’s Backyard Homestead, Mini-Farm and
Garden Log Book.) At Ecology Action, we prefer to double-dig,
as we learn more from it and stay more in touch with the soil.
1. After harvest, if necessary, weed
the entire slightly raised bed.
2. When the soil is lightly moist,
begin U-barring the soil along
the length of the bed. No digging board is used. The soil will
be loosened 3 ⁄ 4 as deep as in the
double-dig.
3. Continue U-barring until the
bed is done. Two or three U-bar
passes along the length of the
bed may be necessary epending
on the bed’s width. The U-bar is
about 2 feet wide and loosens
the soil 2 to 2 1 ⁄ 2 feet wide. See
the drawing on page 13.
4. Break up any remaining large
clumps with a spading fork.
Shape the bed by raking it. Then
evenly spread compost and any
needed fertilizers over the entire
area, and sift them in 2 to 4
inches deep with a spading fork.
Note
See Backyard Homestead, Mini-Farm
and Garden Log Book on the proper
techniques for using a U-bar.
BED PREPARATION
17
SELECTED VEGETABLE ROOT SYSTEMS SHOWN IN SCALE
Feet
sweet corn
lettuce
tomato
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
path
bed
Soil in the path is subject to compaction;
soil in the bed remains loose.
The loosened soil of the planting bed
makes weeding easier.
18
BED PREPARATION
Once the bed is prepared, you will truly appreciate its width.
The distance between the tips of your fingers and your nose is
about 3 feet when your arm is extended out to the side. Thus a
3- to 5-foot-wide bed can be fertilized, planted, weeded, and
harvested from each side with relative ease, and insects can be
controlled without walking on the bed. A 3- to 5-foot width also
allows a good miniclimate to develop under closely spaced
plants. You may wish to use a narrower bed, 11 ⁄ 2 to 2 1 ⁄ 2 feet
wide, for plants supported by stakes, such as tomatoes, pole
beans, and pole peas, for easier harvesting.
Try not to step on the growing beds once they have been
prepared. To do so compacts the soil and makes it more difficult for the plants to grow. If the bed must be walked on, use
the double-digging board. This will displace your weight over a
large area and minimize the damage. Plants obtain much of their
water and nutrients through the contact of their root hairs with
the soil. If they do not develop an abundant supply of root hairs,
less water and nutrients are taken in. The root hairs are more
numerous and vigorous in looser soil, so keep your soil loose.
When weeding, note that the entire weed root usually
comes up out of loosened raised-bed soil. This is a welcome
change to weeding, and, if you get all the root, you will not have
to weed as often. Also, you do not need to cultivate the soil of
raised beds as much as other gardens. The living mulch shade
cover provided by mature plants helps to keep the soil surface
loose. If the soil compacts between young plants before the
mini-climate takes effect, you should cultivate.
carrot
cauliflower
Once this beautifully alive bed is prepared, it should be kept
evenly moist until and after planting so the microbiotic life and
plants will stay alive. The bed should be planted as soon as
possible so the plants can take advantage of the new surge of
life made possible by bringing together the soil, compost, air,
water, sun, and fertilizers.
A good growing bed will often be 2 to 10 inches higher than
the soil’s original surface. A good soil contains 50% air space.
(In fact, adequate air is one of the missing ingredients in most
soil preparation processes.) Increased air space allows for
increased diffusion of oxygen (which the roots and microbes
depend on) into the soil, and of carbon dioxide (which the
leaves depend on) out of the soil. The increased “breathing”
ability of a double-dug bed is a key to improved plant health.
Thus, the prepared depth will be as much as 34 inches in clayey
soil. A sandy soil will probably not raise as high as clayey soil
at first.
If the bed raises higher than 10 inches as you are doubledigging, be sure to level it out with a rake as you go along.
Otherwise you will end up with a very wide and deep trench at
the end of the bed. Then you will have to move a large amount
of soil from one end of the bed to the other to even it out when
you are tired. This would also cause a disproportionate misplacing of topsoil into the subsoil area. Whenever you re-dig a
bed (after each crop or season), the 24-inch depth of the bed
should be measured from the top of the bed, rather than from
the path surface. We currently reprepare the soil after each
beet
The GROW BIOINTENSIVE raised bed.
A balance between nature’s natural
stratification and our loosened landsliding soil.
For different types of ongoing soil
cultivation practices to use after
digging, refer to the “Cultivation”
information sheet in the Gardening
Techniques information packet (see
page 228).
BED PREPARATION
19
crop, except for autumn compost crops. Some people prefer to
do this only once each year. As your soil improves and the large
clods disappear, your bed may not raise as high as initially. Do
not worry about this. It is just a sign that you and your soil are
successful. The goal of double-digging is not the height of the
bed, but the looseness and good structure of the soil.
Once a good structure has been established by doubledigging, it may be better to use surface cultivation (the
loosening of the upper 2 inches of the soil with a cultivating
tool) for several years. In this way, the developed structure
and soil organic matter are better preserved. One simple way
to determine whether your soil has good structure follows.
Squeeze a sample of reasonably moist soil firmly in your hand.
Then open your hand. If the soil falls apart easily, it does not
have good soil structure. If it holds the shape of your hand
even when you press it gently with the fingers from your other
hand, it does not have good soil structure. If the soil breaks
apart into small clumps when you press it with your fingers, it
probably has good soil structure.
When surface cultivation is used, compost made without soil
will be used, because soil will not be removed from the bed
during the soil preparation process. Whenever the lower soil
becomes compacted, the bed may be double-dug again to
encourage reestablishment of a well-aerated structure.
The soil’s texture is determined by its basic ingredients: silt,
clay, and sand particles. Its structure is the way its ingredients
hold together. With your assistance, “threads” exuded by microbial life and “glue” exuded by plant roots help to loosen a clay
soil and improve a sandy soil. The goal is to create a sumptuous
“living sponge cake.” Bon appétit!5
5. For more information on growing soil quality and soil structure, also see “Table 20.1—
Qualitative Soil Health Indicators,” in U.S. Department of Agriculture/Agriculture Research
Service, Soil Quality Test Kit (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture/Agriculture
Research Service, 1999); and Fred Magdoff and Harold van Es, Building Soils for Better Crops,
2nd edition (Burlington, VT: Sustainable Agriculture Network, 2000).
20
BED PREPARATION
Good soil preparation makes GROW
BIOINTENSIVE fertility possible—up to 4
times the productivity per unit of area!
BED PREPARATION
21
3
Sustainability
Goal: Grow and maintain
sustainable soil fertility
“The grandfather keeps sheep,
the son keeps goats,
the grandson keeps nothing.”
—Richard St. Barbe Baker, My Life, My Trees
S
ustainability means living in such a way that there are
enough resources to live well in an alive, diverse, thriving
environment—indefinitely.
Sustainability is possible—individual people, families, and
communities accomplish this frequently all around the world.
Yet most people find this challenging. Many of us are living
on 6 times—or more—the resources that would be available
to each person in the world, if the resources were divided
up equally!
We often think of sustainability in terms of using nonrenewable resources carefully. More important, however, is using
renewable resources well. If all the earth’s agriculture became
organic tomorrow, it would be wonderful and challenging. A
more healthy resource-conserving, food-raising, and planetary
ecosystem would be possible. However, the cost of purchasing
the cured compost needed to grow food organically would be
too high because the demand would exceed current supply.
For that reason, we need to properly preserve, manage, and
develop our renewable resources. Soil, for example, needs a
given level of humus, or cured compost, in order to thrive.
We each need to make sure we grow enough organic matter
for our own needs.
For a garden or mini-farm to be sustainable, it must be able
to produce sufficient crops to provide the gardener or farmer
with what she or he needs over an indefinite period of time.
This is possible only if the mini-farm’s soil is kept fertile in a
way that relies neither on nonrenewable resources, such as
petroleum, nor on the nutrients or health of another soil. Most
chemical fertilizers and pesticides are created in part from
petroleum, which also fuels tractors, processing machinery,
and transport vehicles. While organic fertilizers may seem
to be a good alternative, their production relies on another
22
SUSTAINABILITY
farm’s soil being able to produce the raw materials, such as
alfalfa, cottonseed, and feed for animals that provide bone and
blood meals. With these materials constantly taken away from
the soil that produces them, these soils lose nutrients and eventually become depleted and infertile.
When our focus is on harvesting as much as we can from
the soil, we forget to give the soil what it needs to remain
fertile. We must grow soil in a way that is sustainable. Only
then can it continue to provide us with abundant food. If we
farm in a way that does not sustain soil fertility, the soil that is
currently used to grow crops will soon be able to grow only
fodder for sheep, later only scraggly weeds for goats, and then
nothing at all.
The Loss of Soil Nutrients and Humus
When soil grows crops, it loses the nutrients the crops
extract as well as the humus that the soil microorganisms
consume. To maintain the soil’s fertility, the nutrients and
humus must be replenished. Both of these requirements can
be met simultaneously when the crop and all other residues
from those who consumed the edible portion of the crop are
composted and returned to the soil. The cured compost will
have almost all of the nutrients that the crop contained and,
depending on the crops that are grown, enough humus to
replenish the soil’s supply. (Also, see Future Fertility.)
The carbon that left the soil in the form of carbon dioxide
will be returned if plants that store a lot of carbon in their
bodies (such as corn, amaranth, wheat, and rice) are grown and
added to the soil as cured compost. These kinds of compost
crops should optimally be grown on about 60% of the farm area
over the course of a year in order to generate enough cured
compost to maintain the soil’s fertility.
Initially Adding Nutrients and Humus to the Soil
Not all soils naturally have all of the nutrients they need for
their optimum health and crop productivity. Deep-rooted crops
such as alfalfa and comfrey can be grown to bring up nutrients
from below the range of most roots, then composted and added
to the topsoil. However, if the needed nutrients are not in the
deeper regions of the soil, they will not be present in the cured
compost. On the other hand, when cured compost is added to
the soil, nutrients that were previously unavailable in the soil
may be made available by the biogeologic cycle.
In the biogeologic cycle, humic acid—which is produced
from the decomposition process and is contained in the cured
compost—along with the carbonic acid developed around the
plant’s roots, can increase soil microbial activity, decompose
larger minerals, and possibly alter soil pH so that previously
SUSTAINABILITY
23
unavailable nutrients are made available. However, if the nutrients are not in the soil in the first place, even in an unavailable
form, the cured compost made from plants grown on the nutrientdeficient soil will not contain the deficient nutrient, and the soil
will still be unbalanced after the cured compost is added. Therefore, in some cases, you may need to bring nutrients in the
form of organic fertilizers into the mini-farm from the outside,
but probably only on a one-time basis, before the mini-farm can
be maintained sustainably.
You may also need to bring carbonaceous materials into the
garden or mini-farm in the beginning so sufficient humus can
be added to the soil. Humus is the food of soil microorganisms
that are responsible for creating good soil structure and soil
fertility. It also helps hold the nutrients in the soil. If there is
not enough humus (about 4% to 6% organic matter in temperate
regions; about 3% organic matter in tropical ones), nutrients
that are returned to the soil in the form of cured compost may
leach out.
Losses = Gains?
Some nutrients will escape from the garden or mini-farm,
whether from leaching, from rainfall runoff, or from the wind
picking them up and carrying them away (although water
and wind erosion are usually not a problem when the soil’s
humus supply is maintained and all of the GROW BIOINTENSIVE
techniques are used). At the same time, however, nutrients are
added naturally to the mini-farm through rainfall, wind, the
breakdown of the soil’s parental rock material, and the upsoaking of groundwater. With GROW BIOINTENSIVE sustainable
gardening and mini-farming, the gain in nutrients may eventually be approximately equal to the loss of nutrients, and the soil’s
nutrient balance may be maintained if all nutrients are recycled.
100% Sustainability Impossible
According to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, all
systems proceed toward a state of entropy or disorder. Therefore, no system, including agriculture, can be sustained indefinitely. At the extreme, all mini-farms will cease, as will all life as
we know it, when the sun burns out millions of years from now.
However, until this happens, we can maintain our soils at a level
close to complete sustainability (instead of close to complete
insustainability, as is now the situation with most agricultural
systems). Within a garden or mini-farm, some soil nutrients
may not be replenished by natural forces, or the same natural
forces may add soil nutrients in excess. In both situations, if
proper soil nutrient maintenance is not pursued, the soil may
cease to be able to grow significant amounts of crops in a very
short period of time.
24
SUSTAINABILITY
The Need for up to “99%” Sustainability
At Ecology Action, we are looking for the quickest, most
effective, most resource-conserving, and most ecologically
sound ways to replenish and balance soil nutrients. Once the
soil’s nutrient base has been properly built and balanced, we
need to learn how best to maintain those nutrients in our gardens and mini-farms. One promising approach is to grow all of
our own compost materials in sufficient quantities so that the
cured compost we add to the soil contains as many of the
nutrients the crops removed from the soil as possible, as well as
enough humus to feed the soil microbes and prevent nutrient
leaching. In this way, our food-raising area becomes
a source—rather than a sink—of carbon, nutrients, and fertility.
(The net loss of carbon dioxide, or “leakage,” from the system
is a key concern. Worldwide, the loss of carbon from our
soils—and plants in the form of harvested trees and their use
for fuel—is a situation causing increasing problems.)
Keeping the nutrients within the mini-farm, as well as
learning how to minimize the amount of nutrients we need to
bring in from the outside, are important tasks if we are to grow
all of our food, clothing, and building materials on the 9,000
square feet (or about 1 ⁄ 5 of an acre) that may soon be all that is
available to each man, woman, and child living in developing
nations (see “A Perspective for the Future”). Soon we simply
will not have the luxury of taking nutrients from one soil to
feed another.
With about 42 to 84 years’ worth of topsoil remaining in the
world, learning how to enrich, improve, and maintain soil—
in a way that is sustainable—is of vital importance if we, as a
species, are to survive. If they can only provide food for about a
century before they deplete the soil, the agricultural systems
that have brought us to where we are now are clearly not
sustainable. Ancient civilizations sustained their soils to feed
large populations for lengthy periods of time. China’s soils, for
example, remained productive for 4,000 years or more until the
adoption of mechanized chemical agricultural techniques that
have been responsible, in part, for the destruction of 15% to 33%
of China’s agricultural soil since the late 1950s. Many of the
world’s great civilizations have disappeared when their soil’s
fertility was not maintained. Northern Africa, for example, used
to be the granary for Rome until overfarming converted it into
a desert, and much of the Sahara Desert was forested until it
was overcut.
Ecology Action’s Pursuit of Sustainability
When Ecology Action began the Common Ground MiniFarm in Willits, California, the soil was so infertile that many
carbonaceous compost crops did not grow well. In an effort to
SUSTAINABILITY
25
improve the soil so it could grow all of the carbonaceous
compost material needed to provide the mini-farm with sufficient cured compost, carbonaceous compost material (straw)
and nutrient-containing horse manure were imported to the
mini-farm. This approach eventually did not feel appropriate
because we were importing a significant amount of carbon.
Consequently, we limited our compost building to include materials produced by the mini-farm whenever possible. However,
because many crops we were testing did not contain much
carbon, the mini-farm produced significantly less carbonaceous
compost material than was needed to increase and maintain the
soil’s fertility. Without sufficient cured compost, the soil began
losing the humus it had, and its ability to grow sufficient
organic matter declined.
While we still chose to grow some experimental crops that
did not produce a significant amount of carbonaceous compost
material, we grew more of our own compost material than
before and supplemented our supply of carbonaceous compost
material with purchased straw, goat litter (primarily from
outside fodder inputs), and/or straw from noncrop areas.
We have been getting closer to achieving closed-system soil
humus sustainability within the limits of the mini-farm and are
now working toward closed-system soil humus sustainability by
using compost materials grown primarily within the limits of the
growing beds that receive cured compost. In the future, we will
be emphasizing the growing of an even larger percentage of the
carbonaceous compost material we need each year, and will
continue to do so until we are growing all of this material ourselves in our own growing beds. In addition, we are exploring
different levels of maintaining sustainable soil fertility. These
methods involve using different amounts of cured compost
(depending on its availability), with different corresponding
crop yield levels resulting.
Current Goals of Understanding
and Achieving “99%” Sustainability
Our goals are to understand how a garden or mini-farm can
• produce all of its own compost material initially without
having to import any straw, manure, or other carbonaceous
material for the soil’s humus sustainability,
• maintain nutrient sustainability.
Because we are not currently returning the nutrients in
our human urine and manure to the mini-farm’s soil, we need
to import some organic fertilizers to maintain the nutrient
levels and balance in the soil. However, for the future, we are
exploring ways to safely, effectively, and legally return the
nutrients in our waste to the soil from which they came.
26
SUSTAINABILITY
How to Better Sustain Your Soil’s Fertility
In order to more easily sustain the fertility of your soil, you
should divide your growing area as follows:
• approximately 60% in carbon-and-calorie crops that produce
large amounts of carbon for compost and that also produce
food in the form of significant amounts of calories (To grow
the nitrogen needed to make a good compost, legumes will
need to be interplanted with these crops; for example, fava
beans among wheat in winter and bush beans with corn in
summer. See The Complete 21-Bed Biointensive Mini-Farm
and One Basic Mexican Diet for more details.)
• approximately 30% in special root diet crops that produce
large amounts of calories
• a maximum of 10% in vegetable crops for additional vitamins
and minerals (Up to 3 ⁄ 4 of this area may be planted in income
crops if the missing needed vitamins and minerals are
provided by 1 ⁄ 4 of the area.)
See the information on pages 28 and 29 for details. We hope
these guidelines will make your path to sustainability easier.
In order to mini-farm sustainably, the following goals should
be taken into account as you grow compost crops and apply
compost:
GOALS* FOR COMPOST AND SUSTAINABLE SOIL FERTILITY**
Per 100 sq ft per 4- to 6-month growing season
Mature
Material
to Grow
lb/100 sq ft
Immature
Material
to Grow
lb/ 100 sq ft
15 lb
and up
90 lb
and up
1 cu ft
1.5
5gB
1/8
inch
~1 X
(U.S. Average)
—
—
1.6 cu ft
2.4
5gB
1/5
inch
—
30 lb
and up
180 lb
and up
2 cu ft
3
5gB
1/4
inch
~2 X
One expert’s “good” amount
of compost for soil fertility and
productivity
—
—
2.8 cu ft
4.2
5gB
1/3
inch
—
amount for
a high level of sustainable soil
fertility
60 lb
and up
360 lb
and up
4 cu ft
6
5gB
1/2
inch
~4 X
amount
for a beginning level of
sustainable soil fertility**
GROW BIOINTENSIVE
Ed Glenn’s research
for Biosphere II*
amount
for an intermediate level of
sustainable soil fertility
GROW BIOINTENSIVE
GROW BIOINTENSIVE
Potential
Crop
Yields
Compost Application
(including 50% soil)
*including approximately 50% soil
SUSTAINABILITY
27
The GROW BIOINTENSIVE Sustainable Mini-Farm
Approximate Crop Area Percentages for Sustainability: 60/30/10
Approximately 40 beds (4,000 sq ft) for one person
(~5,000 sq ft including paths)
60%
carbon-and-calorie crops (e.g., grains)
for maximum carbon and
satisfactory calorie
production
~24 beds
30%
high-calorie
root crops
(e.g., potatoes)
for maximum
calories
~12 beds
10% vegetable crops
(e.g., salad crops) for
vitamins and minerals
~4 beds
If desired, 50% to 75% of the vegetable crops area may be used for income crops.
28
SUSTAINABILITY
CLARIFICATIONS AND EXAMPLES FOR THE 60/30/10 CROP AREA MODEL
General Aids for Planning Your Diet
~60% of the area: “Carbon-and-calorie crops”—High-carbon-producing and significantcalorie-producing (weight-efficient [see below], crops)
• Grains: wheat, cereal rye, oats, barley, triticale, corn, sorghum, amaranth, quinoa, etc.
• Fava beans (grown to maturity for dry bean and dry biomass production)
• Sunflowers (sunflower seeds very high in fat; maximum to avoid copper toxicity = 0.62 pound per day)
• Jerusalem artichoke (if stored for a long time)—almost weight-efficient and minimally carbon-efficient
• Filberts
• Raisins
~30% of the area: “High-calorie root crops”—Area- and weight-efficient crops for calories
Crops for this area need to be both area- and weight-efficient. As defined for this worksheet, a
crop is considered to be “area-efficient” if the annual area needed for total calories is 16 beds
(1,600 sq ft) or less, assuming GROW BIOINTENSIVE intermediate yields. It is considered to be
“weight-efficient” if the daily weight of food to be eaten for total calories is 9 pounds or less.*
BOTH AREA- AND WEIGHT-EFFICIENT
Potatoes (15.7 / 8.6)
Maximum to avoid potassium toxicity = 2.5 lb / day
Garlic (13.3 / 4.4)
Burdock (14.6 / 5.6) (assuming Carrot yield)
Parsnips (12.6 / 8.2)
Sweet Potatoes (14.2 / 6.4)
Salsify (6.8 / 7.4) (if stored for some time)
AREA in 100-sq ft beds / WEIGHT in lbs: e.g., it takes 15.7 beds of potatoes to produce the
2,400 calories per day needed by an average person who would have to eat 8.6 lbs of potatoes per day.
The crops below are weight-efficient but require more area to grow and produce relatively
little biomass. Therefore, they should be included in the 10% “Vegetable Crops” category.
Beans (56.5 / 4.5)
Peanuts (34.2 / 0.9)Very high in fat
Soybeans (59.9 / 3.9)
Cassava (22.9 / 3.5) May produce modest amounts of carbon
The following crops can be area-efficient if yields are high enough, but the daily weight of food
eaten exceeds the guidelines, so they should be included in the 10% “Vegetable Crops” category.
Onions Regular ( 14.0 / 15.3)
Turnips + Tops (9.0 / 9.8)
(assuming 2 crops are possible OR yield is two times intermediate)
Leeks (14.8 / 19.5)
Rutabaga (12.4 / 13.6)
NOTE: For diet diversity, you may choose crops that are less weight-efficient (e.g. regular onions, 15.3 lb per day);
in which case, you need to have a significant amount of food from crops that are more weight-efficient (e.g. filberts,
0.8 lb per day) and/or increase your design area.
ROOT CROPS THAT ARE NOT GOOD CHOICES FOR THIS CATEGORY:
Carrots (37.4 / 15.4) Beets / Mangels (roots only) (58.1 / 17.5) Radishes (63.5 / 34.8)
~10% of the area: “Vegetable Crops”—Low-calorie-producing, low-carbon-producing
miscellaneous vegetables for vitamins and minerals
* In the book One Circle by Duhon, different efficiency guidelines are used: an “area-efficient” crop can provide total calories with 700 sq ft or less
(550 sq ft for a woman, 850 sq ft for a man), and a “weight-efficient” crop can provide total calories in 6 pounds or less for a man or 5.5 pounds or
less for a woman.
SUSTAINABILITY
29
Sustainability Worldwide
“A [farmer] took up land [in
Saskatchewan], dug a cellar
and built a frame house on
top of it; ploughed up the
prairie and grew wheat and
oats. After twenty years he
decided the country was no
good for farming, for eight
feet of his soil had gone and
he had to climb up into his
house.”
—Richard St. Barbe Baker,
My Life, My Trees
30
SUSTAINABILITY
Nature grows plants close together rather than in rows.
That’s why so many weeds grow between the rows in commercial agriculture. The GROW BIOINTENSIVE method of growing
food takes advantage of Nature’s propensity to fill any void with
living plants through maximizing yields by growing bountiful
crops on a minimal amount of area.
The Chinese miniaturized agriculture in a similar way over
4,000 years ago! They grew food by closely spacing plants and
maintaining soil fertility (using nutrient- and carbon-containing
compost) for thousands of years without depleting their
resources. As recently as 1890 this process enabled the Chinese
to grow all the food for one person on about 5,800 to 7,200
square feet, including animal products used at the time. Other
people in different areas of the world—Greece, Bolivia, Peru,
Nepal, Guatemala, Mexico, and Japan—independently developed miniaturized forms of agriculture 2,000 years ago. How
does this apply to our modern world? Recently, this kind of
miniaturized crop-raising has appeared in Russia, Ireland, and
other parts of Europe.
Ecology Action has built on the work of the Chinese,
Mayans, and others by using traditional agricultural techniques
that are thousands of years old, discovering the universal scientific principles that underlie them. We have spent years making
mistakes, learning and relearning, as we attempted to streamline these techniques and make them available to other people
(including developing written how-to materials that are easy to
understand). The worldwide results of our research and information outreach have been amazing and rewarding.
The people in Biosphere II, a closed-system living project
in Arizona during the 1990s, used techniques based on those
rediscovered by Ecology Action: They raised 80% of their food
for two years within a closed system. Their experience demonstrates that a complete year’s diet for one person could be
raised on the equivalent of just 3,403 square feet! In contrast, it
currently takes commercial agriculture 15,000 to 30,000 square
feet to do the same. Moreover, commercial agriculture has to
bring in large inputs from other areas and soils just to make
this possible, depleting other soils in the process. To raise all
the food for one person in a developing nation takes about
16,000 square feet, given the diets eaten and the food-raising
practices used.
The Environmental Research Laboratory at the University of
Arizona performed the first tests for Biosphere II, documenting
the status of the soil and crop yields over time. In the Human
Diet Experiment, all crop tests involved sustainable Biointensive
crop rotations including grains, legumes, and green manures,
and all crop residues were returned to the soil after harvest and
composting. Dr. Ed Glenn, who conducted the tests, stated:
“Although funding was not available to continue these experiments for the number of years necessary to draw final conclusions, the results supported the hypothesis that sustainable
food production with few or no outside inputs will not only
continue to produce high yields but will improve rather than
deplete the organic constituents in the soil.”
In India, just one copy of How to Grow More Vegetables
became the textbook for a gardening program at an alternative
technologies training center, Shri A.M.M. Muragapa Chettier
Center in Madras State. That program evolved over a 15-year
period into preparations for a national Biointensive program.
We recently received word that village women who have been
gardening the Biointensive way on their own small plots were
able not only to raise food to feed their families but also to raise
an annual income by growing crops in a small area.
In all 32 states of Mexico, millions of people are currently
using Biointensive methods to grow food for nutrition intervention for themselves and their families. Each year, new people
are taught these processes by extension agents, universities,
governmental entities, communities, and organizations, or by
those already using the techniques. It is estimated that 1.6
million people are currently using these practices. In addition,
many Spanish publications and videos are spreading Biointensive techniques throughout Latin America.
In Kenya, the Manor House Agricultural Centre has been
directly and indirectly responsible for training well over 40,000
mini-farmers in just a 16-year period. The Centre gives 2-year
apprentice training to individuals who are sent by their villages
to learn Biointensive techniques so they can go back and teach
these methods to their whole village. There are also shorter
training periods, and a local outreach program sends teachers
out to surrounding areas on a frequent basis to educate members of the communities. The Centre has now opened its
training program to international students.
In the Philippines, Biointensive publications, conferences, and workshops given by the International Institute for
Rural Reconstruction resulted in the initiation of a mandated
national Biointensive educational program for all grade school
and high school students.
There is also the beginning of a GROW BIOINTENSIVE network in the United States. Ecology Action’s 3-day introductory
workshops have drawn many people who are committed to sharing their own enthusiasm for GROW BIOINTENSIVE techniques
with other people. This has been true of the 3-day workshop
held in Seattle in September 1992, the one at Stanford University in March 1993, the one given in San Diego in November
1993, as well as more recent ones in Willits and around the
United States. To date, 1,163 people from 45 states, the District
of Columbia, and 20 countries have been trained in these workshops. People from different parts of the country who have
SUSTAINABILITY
31
Note
In order to preserve diversity on
Earth: It is important to keep at
least half of the Earth’s viable
land as a natural preserve. GROW
BIOINTENSIVE sustainable minifarming—with its high yields and
low local-resource needs—can
help make this possible.
32
SUSTAINABILITY
taken Ecology Action workshops have gone on to teach GROW
BIOINTENSIVE techniques to other people. One woman’s correspondence with Habitat for Humanity has developed into that
organization’s support of an associated project, Gardens for
Humanity, which includes GROW BIOINTENSIVE practices.
A group in Seattle has developed a rural Community Supported Agriculture project to sustainably grow all the food for
people in urban areas with the Biointensive method.
We hear from people all over the country that they are starting to seriously use GROW BIOINTENSIVE techniques, some to
produce income as well as food for their families.
Even though we are pleased that so many people and
programs have adopted GROW BIOINTENSIVE practices, there is
still a challenge to be met. Many people are successfully using
GROW BIOINTENSIVE farming techniques to grow food for nutrition intervention, but few are trying to grow all their calorie
food needs on a basis that also feeds the soil adequately. When
people say they are growing all of their own food, they generally mean that they are growing 5% to 10% of their diet (the
vegetables that they can produce during the growing season).
Calorie and sustainable soil fertility mini-farming and gardening
is the next step, which needs to be catalyzed by each of us!
The Ecology Action publications One Circle, The Sustainable
Vegetable Garden, and the Self-Teaching Mini-Series Booklets
14, 15, 25, and 26 deal with growing a complete diet. Once this
additional 90% of calorie-growing area has been established in
the garden, it only takes an average of about 15 minutes or less
each day per bed to maintain the garden!
There has been a great shift in human consciousness since
Ecology Action first set up its research garden mini-farm 30
years ago. This shift has come about because many individuals
have begun to realize that although they might not be able to
change the world, they can change the way they do things in
their own lives. Raising food in a gentle and conscious manner
is one change that has made a difference.
Being disconnected from our food base has separated us
from the soil and the life of the Earth. Producing food from a
small area is a strengthening, slowing-down process—a way of
tuning in to the Earth’s needs as we meet our own. We put life
into the soil, and the soil enriches our lives.
We as humans are part of the Earth’s nutrient cycle, just as
the plants and animals are. The Earth welcomes us by creating
what we need. The trees are a wonderful example of this: they
absorb our carbon dioxide and give us back oxygen to breathe.
As we become more aware of and attuned to our place in the
circle of life, then it will seem natural to plant at least 60% of
our growing area in carbon-producing crops, which also produce
calories. In this way our crops will give life back to the Earth that
has fed us. As we become more responsible for our place in this
exciting nutrient flow, we will want to grow all of our diet.
Despite its worldwide impact, Ecology Action has remained
a small organization, believing that small is effective and
human. We consider ourselves to be a catalyst: Our function is
to empower people with the skills and knowledge necessary to
enable them to improve their lives and thus transform the
world into a garden of health and abundance. The message is
to live richly in a simple manner—in a way we can all enjoy.
You can assist Ecology Action in this work by finding 5
friends and getting them involved in GROW BIOINTENSIVE
sustainable mini-farming and/or other sustainable food-raising
practices. Together we can make a significant difference in the
world, one small area at a time. This is our opportunity. It is fun
to be part of the whole picture and part of the long-term world
environmental solution! A healthy soil grows healthy crops,
which grow healthy people, who can grow a healthy planet and
ecosystem.
BED PREPARATION
33
4
Compost
Goal: Maximize quality and quantity of cured
compost produced per unit of compost built
and maximize microbiodiversity
A “Natural” System
Cereal rye roots grow to six feet deep.
In nature, living things die, and their death allows life to be
reborn. Both animals and plants die on forest floors and in
meadows to be composted by time, water, microorganisms, sun,
and air to produce a soil improved in structure and nutrients.
Organic plant growing follows nature’s example. Leaves, grass,
weeds, prunings, spiders, birds, trees, and plants should be
returned to the soil and reused—not thrown away. Composting
is an important way to recycle such elements as carbon, nitrogen, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, phosphorus, potash, and trace
minerals. These elements are all necessary to maintain the
biological cycles of life that exist naturally. All too often we
participate instead in agricultural stripmining.
Composting in nature occurs in at least 3 ways: (1) in the
form of manures, which are plant and animal foods composted
inside an animal’s body (including earthworms) and then
further aged outside the animal by the heat of fermentation.
Earthworms are especially good composters. Their castings
are 5 times richer in nitrogen, 2 times richer in exchangeable
calcium, 7 times richer in available phosphorus, and 11 times
richer in available potassium than the soil they inhabit;1 (2) in
the form of animal and plant bodies that decay on top of and
within the soil in nature and in compost piles; and (3) in the
form of roots, root hairs, and microbial life-forms that remain
and decay beneath the surface of the soil after harvesting. It is
estimated that one rye plant in good soil grows 3 miles of hairs
a day, 387 miles of roots in a season, and 6,603 miles of root
hairs each season!2
1. Care must be taken to avoid overdependence on worm castings as a fertilizer; the nutrients in them are very available and can therefore be more easily lost from the soil system.
2. Helen Philbrick and Richard B. Gregg, Companion Plants and How to Use Them (Old
Greenwich, CT: Devin-Adair Company, 1966), pp. 75–76.
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COMPOST
Qualitatively, some people feel that compost made from
plants is 4 times better than that made from manure and that
compost in the form of plant roots is twice as good as plant
compost! It is interesting that the roots (which have a special
relationship with the soil microbes and the soil itself) often
weigh about as much as the plants above the ground.
fresh materials
breaking down materials
topsoil
fine rock particles
larger rock pieces
rock
Functions
Compost has a dual function. It improves the structure of
the soil. This means the soil will be easier to work, will have
good aeration and water-retention characteristics, and will be
resistant to erosion. Compost also provides nutrients for plant
growth, and its organic acids make nutrients in the soil more
available to plants. Fewer nutrients leach out in a soil with
adequate organic matter.
Improved structure and nourishment produce a healthy soil.
A healthy soil produces healthy plants better able to resist insect
and disease attacks. Most insects look for sick plants to eat.
The best way to control insects and diseases in plants is with a
living, healthy soil rather than with poisons that kill beneficial
soil life.
COMPOST
35
Compost keeps soil at maximum health with a minimum
expense. Generally, it is unnecessary to buy fertilizers to be
able to grow healthy plants. At first, organic fertilizers may
have to be purchased so the soil can be brought to a satisfactory level of fertility in a short period of time. Once this has
been done, the soil’s health can be maintained with compost,
good crop rotation, and the recycling of plant residues into the
compost pile.
It is important to note the difference between fertilization
and fertility. There can be plenty of fertilizer in the soil, and
plants still may not grow well. Add compost to the soil, and the
organic acids it contains will release the hidden nutrients in a
form available to the plants. This was the source of the amazing
fertility of Alan Chadwick’s garden at Santa Cruz.
The Process
Compost is created from the decomposition and recombination of various forms of plant and animal life, such as leaves,
grass, wood, garbage, natural-fiber clothes, hair, and bones.
These materials are organic matter. Organic matter is only a
small fraction of the total material that makes up the soil—
generally between 1% and 8%. Yet organic matter is absolutely
essential to the sustenance of soil life and fertility. Organic
matter refers to dead plant and animal residues of all kinds and
in all stages of breakdown or decay. Inseparable from these
decaying dead residues are the living microorganisms that
decompose, or digest, them.
Microscopic life-forms (bacteria and fungi) in the soil
produce the recombining process, which creates the warmth in
the compost pile. Most of the decomposition involves the
formation of carbon dioxide and water as the organic material is
broken down. You can monitor the temperature of your compost pile with a compost thermometer. You can also do this by
inserting a 1-inch by 1-inch piece of wood into the pile, removing it periodically and feeling the warmth with your hand. You
can judge whether the latest measurement is hotter or cooler
than before.
As the available energy is consumed, microbial activity
slows down, their numbers diminish—and the pile cools. Most
of the remaining organic matter is in the form of humus
compounds. Humus is the living and dead bodies of microbial
life. As humus is formed, nitrogen becomes part of its structure. This stabilizes nitrogen in the soil because the humus
compounds are resistant to decomposition. They are worked on
slowly by soil organisms, but the nitrogen and other essential
nutrients are protected from too rapid solubility and dissipation.
Organic matter includes humus and some undecomposed
organic matter.
Humus also acts as a site of nutrient adsorption and
36
COMPOST
exchange for plants in the soil. The surfaces of humus particles
carry a negative electric charge. Many of the plant nutrients—
such as calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, and most
trace minerals—carry a positive electrical charge in the soil
solution and are thereby attracted to and adhere to the surface
of humus. Some of the plant nutrients—such as phosphorus,
sulfur, and the form of nitrogen that is available to plants—
are not positively charged. Fortunately, a good supply of these
nutrients becomes available to the plants through biological
transformation in the compost pile and soil.
As plant roots grow through the soil in search of nutrients,
they feed on the humus. Each plant root is surrounded by a
halo of hydrogen ions that are a by-product of the roots’ respiration. These hydrogen ions also carry a positive electric charge.
The root actually “bargains” with the humus, exchanging some
of its positively charged hydrogen ions for positively charged
nutrient ions stuck onto the surface of the humus. An active
exchange is set up between humus and roots, the plants
“choosing” which nutrients they need to balance their own
inner chemistry.
Therefore, humus is the most reliable plant food, and plants
pull off whatever combinations of nutrients they choose from
its surface. GROW BIOINTENSIVE practices rely on this natural,
continual, slow-releasing biological process for nutrient release
to the plants, rather than making available all the season’s nutrients chemically at one time.
The beauty of humus is that it feeds plants with nutrients
that the plants pick up on its surface and it also safely stores
nutrients in forms that are not readily leached. The humus
contains much of the remainder of the original nitrogen that
was put in the compost pile in the form of grass, kitchen
wastes, and so on. The humus was formed by the resynthesizing activity of numerous species of microorganisms feeding
off that original “garbage.”
The microorganisms in the soil then continue to feed on the
humus after the finished compost is spread on the soil. As the
microorganisms feed, the core nutrients in the humus are
released in forms available to plant roots. Thus, the microorganisms are an integral part of the humus, and one cannot be
found without the other. The only other component of the soil
that holds onto and exchanges nutrients with plant roots is clay,
but humus can hold onto and exchange a far greater amount of
these nutrients.
“Give back to the soil as much
as you have taken—and a little
bit more—and Nature will
provide for you abundantly!”
—Alan Chadwick
Soil and Other Materials in the Compost Pile
It is important to add soil to your compost pile. The soil contains a good starter supply of microorganisms. The organisms
help in several ways. Some break down complex compounds
into simpler ones the plants can utilize. There are many species
COMPOST
37
Tip
Always be sure to add at least 3 different kinds of crops to your compost
piles. Different microbes flourish in
specific kinds of crops. The result of
this crop diversity is microbe diversity
in the soil, which ensures better soil
and plant health.
of free-living bacteria that fix nitrogen from the air in a form
available to plants. Many microorganisms tie up nitrogen
surpluses. The surpluses are released gradually as the plants
need nitrogen. An excessive concentration of available nitrogen
in the soil (which makes plants susceptible to disease) is therefore avoided. There are predaceous fungi that attack and
devour nematodes, but these fungi are only found in large
amounts in a soil with adequate humus.
The microbial life provides a living pulsation in the soil that
preserves its vitality for the plants. The microbes tie up essential nutrients in their own body tissues as they grow, and then
release them slowly as they die and decompose. In this way,
they help stabilize food release to the plants. These organisms
are also continuously excreting a whole range of organic
compounds into the soil. Sometimes described as “soil glue,”
these excretions contribute to the building of the soil structure.
The organic compounds also contain disease-curing antibiotics
and health-producing vitamins and enzymes that are integral
parts of biochemical reactions in a healthy soil.
Note that at least 3 different materials of 3 different textures
are used in the GROW BIOINTENSIVE method compost recipe
and in many other recipes. The varied textures will allow good
drainage and aeration in the pile. The compost will also have a
more diverse nutrient content and greater microbial diversity. A
pile made primarily of leaves or grass cuttings makes the
passage of water and air through the pile difficult without
frequent turning because both tend to mat. Good air and water
penetration are required for proper decomposition. The layering
of the materials further promotes a mixture of textures and
nutrients and helps ensure even decomposition.
Microbe diversity is very important in the growing soil.
Many microbes produce antibiotics that help plants resist
diseases, and healthy plants have fewer insect challenges. Each
microbe tends to have a food preference—some prefer beet
refuse, others wheat straw, and so on. Therefore, a way to maximize microbe diversity in the compost pile is to build your
compost pile with a large variety of materials.
Building the Pile
Tip
You will probably want to build some
compost without soil for your perennial
growing areas. This is because you
cannot easily take soil from these areas
to build compost piles. Also, the perennial roots will necessitate surface cultivation to an approximately 2-inch depth
in most cases.
One recipe for GROW BIOINTENSIVE compost is, by weight:
dry vegetation(which becomes rehydrated to full weight as
you water the compost pile), 1 ⁄ 3 green vegetation (including
kitchen wastes), and 1 ⁄ 3 soil 3—though we have found with our
heavy clay soil that less soil produces better results. These
material amounts by volume are approximately equal parts of
green and dry materials to 1 ⁄ 4 part of soil. It is not necessary to
1⁄ 3
3. See Ehrenfried E. Pfeiffer, The Compost Manufacturer’s Manual (Philadelphia: The Pfeiffer
Foundation, 1956), especially pp. 23–48.
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COMPOST
rehydrate the dry material until it is added to the compost pile.
Each layer should be watered well as it is created. This 1 ⁄ 3 to 1 ⁄ 3
to 1 ⁄ 3 recipe will give you a carbon-nitrogen ratio in your built
compost pile of about 30 to 1, and will produce compost with a
significant amount of higher quality, short-term humified
carbon. The result will be a hotter (thermophilic: 113° to
149°F) pile with faster-releasing cured compost that generally
releases nutrients over a 3-month to 2-year period. A lot of the
carbon in this type of compost pile is lost, however, and the
resulting cured compost only contains about 1 ⁄ 3 to 1 ⁄ 2 the cured
compost that a cooler (mesophilic: 50° to 113°F) 60-to-1
compost pile will produce. A 60-to-1 pile is built with approximately 2 parts dry vegetation to 1 ⁄ 2 part green vegetation
(including kitchen wastes) and 1 ⁄ 4 part soil. The result of this
pile will be a slower-releasing cured compost that generally
releases nutrients over a 3-month to 5,000-year period—
especially if the sources of dry matter contain a large amount of
lignin, such as corn and sorghum stalks. This can be a way to
build up your soil fertility on a long-term basis, but the more
readily available nutrients in the cured compost from a 30-to-1
pile will be important for the good growth of most vegetables.
We make separate compost piles of small tree branches, since
they can take 2 years to decompose.
The ground underneath the pile should be loosened to a
depth of 12 inches to provide good drainage. Next, lay down
roughage (brush, corn stalks, or other materials) 3 inches
thick, if available, for air circulation. The materials should optimally be added to the pile in 1- to 2-inch layers with the dry
vegetation on the bottom, the green vegetation and kitchen
wastes second, and the soil third (in a 1 ⁄ 4 - to 1 ⁄ 2 -inch layer). You
can, however, build a pile spontaneously, adding materials daily
or so, as they become available. This kind of pile will usually
take a little longer to cure, but can be built more easily. Always
be sure to cover kitchen waste and fresh manures with soil to
avoid flies and odors!
Green vegetation is 95% more effective than dry vegetation
as a “starter” because its higher nitrogen content helps start
and maintain the fermentation process. Dry vegetation is high
in carbon content. It is difficult for the microbes in the compost
pile to digest carbon without sufficient amounts of nitrogen.
Unless you have a large household, it may be necessary to save
your kitchen scraps in a tight-lidded unbreakable container for
several days to get enough material for the kitchen waste layer.
You may want to hold your breath when you dump them
because the stronger-smelling anaerobic form of the decomposition process has been taking place in the closed container.
The smell will disappear within a few hours after reintroducing
air. All kitchen scraps may be added except meats and sizable
amounts of oily salad scraps. Be sure to include bones, tea
leaves, coffee grounds, eggshells, and citrus rinds.
Note
We are finding that cold compost piles,
which are built with more carbon and
can take up to one year to fully cure,
may produce much more cured carbon
(humus) and compost per unit of
carbon added to the pile after the built
point. This could be essential to maintaining sustainable soil fertility, since
sufficient humus is the essential factor
in making this fertility possible. You
may wish to experiment with this!
COMPOST
39
KEY ORGANIC MATTER FUNCTIONS
There are more than 6 billion microbial
life-forms in only 1 level teaspoon of
cured compost—more than the number
of people on Earth!
1. Organic matter feeds plants through nutrient exchange and
through nutrient release upon its decomposition.
2. It is a continual slow-release source of nutrients for plants.
3. Organic acids in humus help dissolve minerals in the soil,
making the mineral nutrients available to plants. Organic
acids also increase the permeability of plant root membranes
and therefore promote the plant roots’ uptake of water and
nutrients.
4. Organic matter is the energy source for the soil’s microbial
life-forms, which are an integral part of soil health. In 1 gram
of humus-rich soil there are several billion bacteria, 1 million
fungi, 10 to 20 million actinomycetes, and 800,000 algae.
5. The microbes that feed on organic matter in the soil
temporarily bind the soil particles together. The fungi, with
their thread-like mycelia, are especially important. They literally sew the soil together. The microbes secrete compounds
into the soil as they live, metabolize, and ultimately decompose. Their secretions are a bacterial glue (polysaccharides)
that holds soil particles, thus improving the soil’s structure.
Structure is vital to soil productivity because it ensures good
aeration, good drainage, good water retention, and erosion
resistance.
6. Organic matter is the key to soil structure, keeping it safe
from severe erosion and keeping it in an open, porous
condition for good water and air penetration.
Add the soil layer immediately after the kitchen waste. It
contains microorganisms that speed decomposition, keeps the
smell down to a minor level, and prevents flies from laying
eggs in the garbage. The smell will be difficult to eliminate
entirely when waste from members of the cabbage family is
added. In a few days, however, even this soil-minimized odor
will disappear. Also, the soil in the compost pile becomes “like
compost.” It holds compost juices, microbes, and minerals that
would otherwise leach out of the pile. It is one way to get
“more” compost.
Watering the Pile
Soil is added to a compost pile after green
vegetation and a kitchen waste layer.
40
COMPOST
As each layer is added, water it thoroughly so the pile is
evenly moist—like a wrung-out damp sponge that does not give
out excess water when squeezed. Sufficient water is necessary
for the materials to heat and decompose properly. Too little
water results in decreased biological activity, and too much
simply drowns the aerobic microbial life. Water the pile, when
CROSS SECTION OF A GROW BIOINTENSIVE COMPOST PILE
soil
green vegetation and
kitchen wastes
dry vegetation
twigs, small branches,
corn, and sunflower stalks
loosened soil (12)
necessary, as you water your garden. The particles in the pile
should glisten. During the rainy season, some shelter or covering may be needed to prevent waterlogging and the less optimal anaerobic decomposition that occurs in a waterlogged pile.
(The conditions needed for proper functioning of a compost pile
and those required for good plant growth in raised beds are
similar. In both cases, the proper mixture of air, soil nutrients,
structure, microorganisms, and water is essential.)
Locating the Pile
Compost piles can be built in a pit in the ground or in a pile
above the ground. The latter is preferable, since during rainy
periods a pit can fill up with water. A pile can be made with or
without a container. We build our compost piles without using
containers. They are unnecessary and use wood and metal
resources.
The pile should optimally be built under a deciduous oak
tree. This tree’s nature provides the conditions for the development of excellent soil underneath it. And compost is a kind of
soil. The second-best place for a compost pile is under any
other kind of deciduous tree (with the exceptions of walnut and
eucalyptus). As a last resort, you can build your pile under evergreen trees or any shady place in your backyard. The shade
and windbreak provided by the trees help keep the pile at an
even moisture level. (The pile should be placed 6 feet away
from the tree’s trunk so it will not provide a haven for potentially harmful insects.)
COMPOST
41
The least expensive type of compost
container is homemade.
For those who wish to use them, containers can help shape
a pile and keep the materials looking neat. The least-expensive
container is made of 12-foot-long, 3-feet-wide pieces of 1-inch
mesh chicken wire with 5 3-foot-long, 1-inch-by-2-inch boards
and 2 sets of small hooks and eyes. The boards are nailed along
the 2 3-foot ends of the wire and at 3-foot intervals along the
length of the wire (see illustration). The hooks and eyes are
attached to the 2 end boards as shown. The unit is then placed
as a circle on the ground, the hooks attached to the eyes, and
the compost materials placed inside. The materials hold up the
circle. After the pile is built, the wire enclosure may be removed
and the materials will stay in place. You may now use the enclosure to build another pile, or you may use it later to turn the
first pile into if you want to speed up the decomposition process.
We rarely try to accelerate this natural process.
Some other kinds of compost piles.
Pallet type
Open pile type
Modular box type
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COMPOST
Large wire-fabric type
Size and Timing
A minimum compost pile size of 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet
(1 cubic yard of lightly moist, built compost, weighing about
1,000 pounds) is recommended. (In colder climates a minimum
compost pile size of 4 feet by 4 feet by 4 feet will be needed to
properly insulate the heat of the composting process.) Smaller
piles fail to provide the insulation necessary for appropriate
heating (up to 140°F) and allow too much air to penetrate. It is
all right to build up piles slowly to this size as materials become
available, though it is best to build an entire pile at one time. A
large compost pile might be 4 feet high, 5 feet wide, and 10 feet
long. A pile will cure to 1 ⁄ 3 to 1 ⁄ 4 of its original size, depending
on the materials used.
The best time to prepare compost is in the spring or autumn,
when biological activity is highest. (Too much heat or cold
slows down and even kills the microbial life in the pile.) The
two high-activity periods conveniently coincide with the maximum availability of materials in the spring, as grass and other
plants begin to grow rapidly, and in the autumn, as leaves fall
and other plant life begins to die.
An abundant garden starts with good
compost made of “waste products” such
as vegetable peelings, weeds, and
straw. With some knowledge and planning, the garden can produce all its
needed fertilizer and organic matter.
Compost Curing Maturation and Application Rates
Usually, a compost pile needs one turning to adjust the
moisture level and make the mixture more homogeneous for
complete breakdown. This should be done at about the 3-week
point, after the temperature of the compost pile has peaked and
fallen. A decrease in moisture usually occurs at the same time,
the color begins to change to brownish from the original green
and yellow, and the compost’s odor begins to change from
musty to an earthy, freshly plowed soil aroma. The compost will
normally be ready about 2 months later.
Compost is ready to use when it is dark and rich looking
and it crumbles in your hands. The texture should be even,
and you should not be able to discern the original source of
materials. Mature compost even smells good—like water in a
forest spring! A GROW BIOINTENSIVE pile should be ready in
3 to 6 months.4
Notes
• When you turn a compost pile,
make the base of the new pile
smaller than the original base to
give the turned pile more mass.
• If you are not ready to use your
compost when it is fully cured, stop
watering it and spread it out to dry.
(See Ecology Action’s booklet,
Biointensive Composting.)
4. If for some reason you need compost cured quickly, there are 3 ways to speed up the
decomposition rate in a compost pile—though they will probably leave you with much less
cured compost per unit of material added to your pile originally, rather than the greatest quantity of life-enhancing compost you must seek. One way is to increase the amount of nitrogen.
The ratio of carbon to nitrogen is critical for the breakdown rate. Materials with a high carbonnitrogen ratio—such as dry leaves, grain, straw, corn stalks, and small tree branches—take a
long time to decompose alone since they lack sufficient nitrogen, which the bacteria depend
upon for food. To boost the rate of decay in carbonaceous materials, add nitrogen-rich materials
such as newly cut grass, fresh manure, vegetable wastes, green vegetation, or a fertilizer such
as alfalfa meal. Twelve to 20 pounds of alfalfa meal per cubic yard of compost will fortify a
compost pile with a high carbon content. Lightly sprinkle these fertilizers on each layer as you
build your compost pile.
A second method is to increase the amount of air (aeration). Beneficial aerobic bacteria
thrive in a well-aerated pile. Proper layering and periodic turning of the pile will accomplish this.
Third, you may increase the surface area of the materials. The smaller the size of the materials, the greater the amount of their exposed surface area. Broken-up twigs will decompose
COMPOST
43
In the garden a maximum maintenance dressing of 1 inch
of compost should be added to the soil before each crop per
4-month growing season. Guidelines for general maintenance
dressings are a 1 ⁄ 4 - to 1-inch layer of compost (2 to 8 cubic feet)
per 100 square feet,5 if available.
Composting Methods Compared
The GROW BIOINTENSIVE method of making compost differs
in particular from the biodynamic method in that the GROW
BIOINTENSIVE method is simpler, normally uses no manure, and
usually uses no herbal solutions to stimulate microorganism
growth.6 Manure, used continually and in large amounts in
biodynamic compost piles, is an imbalanced fertilizer, although
it is a good texturizing agent because of its usual decomposed
sawdust content. Rather than using herbal solutions, GROW
BIOINTENSIVE practices sometimes use weeds, such as stinging
nettle, and other plants, such as fava beans, as part of the
ingredients in compost piles. Special compost recipes may be
created in GROW BIOINTENSIVE to meet particular pH, structure,
and nutrient requirements.
The GROW BIOINTENSIVE method of making compost differs
from the Rodale method; we use little or no manure and usually
no rock powder fertilizers or nitrogen supplements.7 Fertilizers
do not need to be added to the pile since successful compost
can be made from a mixture of ingredients. The nitrogen
supplements do, however, speed up the decomposition process.
Both the biodynamic and Rodale methods are good ones,
proven by use over a long period of time. Chadwick’s Biointensive recipe seems simpler to use and equally effective.
Some people use sheet composting, a process of spreading
uncomposted organic materials over the soil and then digging
them into the soil where they decompose. The disadvantage of
this method is that the soil should not be planted for 3 months
or so until decomposition has occurred. Soil bacteria tie up the
nitrogen during the decomposition process, thereby making it
unavailable to the plants. Sheet composting may be beneficial if
it is used during the winter in cold areas because the tie-up
prevents the nitrogen from leaching out during winter rains.
more rapidly than twigs that are left whole. We discourage the use of power shredders because
nature will do the job in a relatively short time, and everyone has sufficient access to materials
that will compost rapidly without resorting to a shredder. The noise from these machines is
quite disturbing and spoils the peace and quiet of a garden. They also consume increasingly
scarce fuel.
5. Current research indicates that this amount may eventually be significantly reduced
with the use of a high-quality compost containing higher concentrations of carbon and nutrients
than are obtained in many composting processes. (See Ecology Action’s Self-Teaching MiniSeries Booklet 23, Biointensive Composting, for more details.)
6. For the biodynamic method of compost preparation, see Alice Heckel (ed.), The
Pfeiffer Garden Book (Stroudsburg, PA: Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association, 1967),
pp. 37–51.
7. For the Rodale method of compost preparation, see Robert Rodale (ed.), The Basic Book
of Organic Gardening (New York: Ballantine, New York, 1971), pp. 59–86.
44
COMPOST
Other people use green manures—cover crops such as
vetch, clover, alfalfa, beans, peas, or other legumes, grown until
the plants are at 10% to 50% flower. The nitrogen-rich plants are
then dug into the soil. By using these legumes in this manner,
a maximum of nitrogen is fixed in their root nodules. (The
nitrogen is taken from the nodules in the seed-formation
process. You can tell whether the nodules have fixed nitrogen
by cutting one in half with a fingernail. If the inside is pink,
they have fixed nitrogen.) This is one way to bring unworked
soil into a better condition. These plants provide nitrogen
without your having to purchase fertilizer and they also help
you dig. Their roots loosen the soil and eventually turn into
humus beneath the earth. Fava beans are exceptionally good
for green manuring if you plan to plant tomatoes; their
decomposed bodies help eradicate tomato wilt organisms
from the soil.
However, we find that green-manure crops are much more
effective when used as compost materials, and their roots still
have their good effect in the soil. There are several reasons for
this. Due to their high nitrogen content, green manures decompose rapidly and even deplete some of the soil’s humus. Another
disadvantage of the green manuring process is that the land is
not producing food crops during the period of cover crop
growth and the 1-month period of decomposition. Additionally,
green manures generally produce only about 1 ⁄ 4 the carbon in a
given area that carbonaceous compost crops do, and carbon in
the form of humus is the most limiting and essential element in
maintaining sustainable soil fertility (by serving as the food for
microbial life and holding minerals in the soil so they cannot
easily leach out of it).
The advantage of the small-scale GROW BIOINTENSIVE
method is that backyard composting is easily feasible. When
you use compost crops without digging in the crop residues,
the growing process will put nitrogen into the soil and make it
possible to grow plants, such as corn and tomatoes, that are
heavy nitrogen feeders. (See “Companion Planting.”) And the
plant residues are valuable in the compost pile.
COMPOST
45
Materials to Use Minimally or Not at All
If you need to use manures and/or less desirable materials
in your compost pile, they should make up only 1 ⁄ 6 of your
pile by volume so their less optimum effects will be minimized.
Some materials should not be used in the preparation of
compost, including
• Plants infected with a disease or a severe insect attack
where eggs could be preserved or where the insects
themselves could survive in spite of the compost
pile’s heat
• Poisonous plants, such as oleander, hemlock, and castor
beans, which harm soil life
• Plants that take too long to break down, such as
magnolia leaves
• Plants that have acids toxic to other plants and microbial
life, such as eucalyptus, California bay laurel, walnut,
juniper, acacia, and cypress
• Plants that may be too acidic or contain substances that
interfere with the decomposition process—such as pine
needles, which are extremely acidic and contain a form
of kerosene (However, special compost piles are often
made of acidic materials, such as pine needles and
leaves. This compost will lower the soil’s pH and stimulate acid-loving plants like strawberries.)
• Ivy and succulents, which may not be killed in the heat
of the decomposition process and can regrow when the
compost is placed in a planting bed
• Pernicious weeds, such as wild morning glory and
Bermuda grass, which will probably not be killed in the
decomposition process and will choke out other plants
when they resprout after the compost is placed in a
planting
• Cat and dog manures, which can contain pathogens
harmful to infants. These pathogens are not always killed
in the heat of the compost pile
Plants infected with disease or insects and pernicious weeds
should be burned to be destroyed properly. Their ashes then
become good fertilizer. The ashes will also help control harmful
soil insects, such as carrot worms, which shy away from the
alkalinity of ashes. (Use ashes in moderate amounts.)
Parts of a regular compost pile that have not broken down
completely by the end of the composting period should be
placed at the bottom of a new pile. This is especially true for
twigs and small branches that can use the extra protection of
the pile’s height to speed up their decomposition in a situation
of increased warmth and moisture.
46
COMPOST
FUNCTIONS OF COMPOST IN THE SOIL
Improved Structure—compost breaks up clay and clods, and
binds together sandy soil. Helps make proper aeration in clayey
and sandy soil possible.
Moisture Retention—compost holds 6 times its own weight in
water. A soil with good organic matter content soaks up rain
like a sponge and regulates the supply to plants. A soil stripped
of organic matter resists water penetration, thus leading to
crusting, erosion, and flooding.
Aeration—plants can obtain 96% of the nutrients they need
from the air, sun, and water. A loose, healthy soil assists in
diffusing air and moisture into the soil and in exchanging
nutrients. Carbon dioxide released by organic matter decomposition diffuses out of the soil and is absorbed by the canopy of
leaves above in a raised bed mini-climate created by closely
spaced plants.
Note
In order to maintain good soil fertility,
approximately 4% to 6% (by weight)
organic matter is needed in temperate
soils. About 3% is desirable in tropical
soils. It is noteworthy that the soil
organic matter level used to be measured 11 inches deep many years ago.
Later, the measurement level was
reduced to 6 2/3 inches. Today, it has
been further reduced to less than
6 inches deep.
Fertilization—compost contains some nitrogen, phosphorus,
potassium, magnesium, and sulfur but is especially important
for trace elements. The important principle is to return to the
earth, by the use of plant residues and manures, all that has
been taken out of it.
Nitrogen Storage—the compost pile is a storehouse for nitrogen.
Because it is tied up in the compost-breakdown process, watersoluble nitrogen does not leach out or oxidize into the air for a
period of 3 to 6 months or more—depending on how the pile is
built and maintained.
pH Buffer—a good percentage of compost in the soil allows
plants to grow better in less-than-optimal pH situations.
Soil Toxin Neutralizer—important recent studies show that
plants grown in organically composted soils take up less lead,
heavy metals, and other urban pollutants.
Nutrient Release—organic acids dissolve soil minerals and make
them available to plants. As organic matter decomposes, it
releases nutrients for plant uptake and for the soil microbial
population.
Food for Microbial Life—good compost creates healthy conditions for organisms that live in the soil. Compost harbors earthworms and beneficial fungi that fight nematodes and other soil
pests.
The Ultimate in Recycling—the earth provides us with food,
clothing, and shelter, and we close the cycle in offering fertility,
health, and life through the shepherding of materials.
COMPOST
47
Note
BUILDING A COMPOST PILE STEP BY STEP
1. Under the pile area (3 or 4 square feet), loosen the soil to
12 inches deep with a spading fork.
2. Lay down roughage (brush, corn stalks, or other material),
3 inches thick, if it is available, for air circulation.
3. Put down a 2-inch layer of dry vegetation—dry weeds,
leaves, straw, dry grass clippings, hay, and old garden
wastes. Water it thoroughly.
4. Put down a 2-inch layer of green vegetation and kitchen
wastes—fresh weeds, grass clippings, hedge trimmings,
green cover crops, and kitchen wastes you have saved.
Water well.
5. Cover lightly with a 1 ⁄ 4 - to 1 ⁄ 2 -inch layer of soil to prevent
flies and odors. Moisten the soil.
6. Add new layers of dry vegetation, green vegetation, kitchen
waste, and soil as materials become available until the pile
is 3 to 4 feet high.
7. Cover the top of the pile with a 1 ⁄ 2 - to 1-inch layer of soil.
8. Water the completed pile regularly until it is ready for use.
9. Let the completed pile cure 3 to 6 months while you are
building a new pile. Turn the pile once for faster decomposition. For planning purposes, remember that a 4-foot-high
compost pile will be 1 to 11 ⁄ 3 feet high when it is ready to use.
48
COMPOST
We sometimes build a compost pile on
an unused growing bed so the next
crop grown in that bed will pick up and
utilize any nutrients leached out from
the pile into the soil. The next season
we build compost on another unused
growing bed.
5
Fertilization
Goal: Build and maintain proper levels
of and balances among soil nutrients
T
he first goal of adding fertilizers to your soil is to
build nutrients up to their proper levels and balances
for your particular type of soil type, rainfall, climate,
sun exposure, altitude, and cation-exchange capacity (that is,
a measurement of the availability of nutrients in a given soil).
The second goal is to keep those nutrients in your food-raising
area by composting properly and recycling all wastes. A third
goal is to use enough nutrients, water, and compost in your
growing area.
During a drought years ago, several women in India grew
food using Biointensive methods. Their production was double
that of others who used single-dug row cropping practices.
One woman got even higher yields than other Biointensive
gardeners by using her one unit of water, fertilizers, and seed
on one growing area. Hoping for higher yields, the others had
spread their single units of resources over 7 to 15 units of
growing area. The woman with the best results got more total
production in 1 ⁄ 7 to 1 ⁄ 15 the area. She had benefited by Alan
Chadwick’s observation, “Begin with one bed and tend it well!
Then expand your growing area.”
Over the years we have seen gardeners in many countries
obtain excellent, good, and fair yields using GROW BIOINTENSIVE
techniques, depending on the care taken with the resources
and on what results individuals believed they would obtain. A
good level and balance of nutrients in your soil will help your
garden flourish and make it optimally healthy and productive.
Taking a soil sample.
Soil Testing
A professional soil test performed by a laboratory will
provide you with the most complete evaluation. Unfortunately,
because of variation in soil types, climates, cultivation practices,
The La Motte soil test kit is a home kit.
FER TILIZATION
49
SOIL TEST
Date performed: ________________________
Performed by: __________________________
Test
Nitrogen
Phosphorus
Potassium
pH
(6.5 or slightly
acid is optimum)
Remarks
(including texture)
50
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Results
Recommendations
per 100 Square Feet
NITROGEN (N), PHOSPHORUS (P), AND POTASSIUM (K)
Pounds of fertilizer to add per 100 square feet. Pounds of pure nutrients added are given in parentheses.
Note: The goal is to reduce the nutrient deficiencies in the soil slowly over time. (If you add large amounts
of readily available nutrients all at once, nutrients not in short supply in the soil may become unavailable.)
Test Rating
Nitrogen (N)
Phosphorus (P)
Potassium (K)
Very High1
(.1)
4.2 lbs alfalfa meal
(.2)
4.5 lbs phosphate
rock or 4.5 lbs
soft phosphate
(.15)
1.5 lbs wood
ashes2 and 1.5 lbs
crushed granite3
High1
(.2)
8.4 lbs alfalfa meal
(.3)
6.8 lbs phosphate
rock or 13.6 lbs
soft phosphate
(.2)
1.5 lbs wood
ashes2 and 2.5 lbs
crushed granite3
Medium High
(.25)
10.5 lbs alfalfa meal
(.35)
8 lbs phosphate
rock or 16 lbs soft
phosphate
(.25)
1.5 lbs wood
ashes2 and 3.5 lbs
crushed granite3
Medium
(.3)
12.6 lbs alfalfa meal
(.4)
9 lbs phosphate
rock or 18 lbs soft
phosphate
(.3)
1.5 lbs wood
ashes2 and 4.5 lbs
crushed granite3
Medium Low
(.35)
14.7 lbs alfalfa meal
(.45)
10.2 lbs phosphate
rock or 20.4 lbs soft
phosphate
(.35)
1.5 lbs wood
ashes2 and 5.5 lbs
crushed granite3
Low
(.4)
16.8 lbs alfalfa meal
(.5)
11.4 lbs phosphate
rock or 22.8 lbs soft
phosphate
(.4)
1.5 lbs wood
ashes2 and 6.5 lbs
crushed granite3
Very Low
(.5)
18.9 lbs alfalfa meal
(.6)
13.6 lbs phosphate
rock or 27.2 lbs soft
phosphate
(.5)
1.5 lbs wood
ashes3 and 8.5 lbs
crushed granite3
1. Addition of nutrients at these levels is optional.
2. Wood ash application should be used with care for soils with a pH above 6.5.
3. Finely ground.
FER TILIZATION
51
rainfall, altitude, sun exposure, drainage conditions, the types of
crops grown, and cation-exchange capacity, no standard added
nutrient formula will work in all situations.
If you can, test your soil for major nutrients and trace minerals, including pH (the acidity or alkalinity level of your soil),
before choosing fertilizers. The major minerals, those that
plants utilize in relatively large amounts, include nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, magnesium, and calcium. Trace
minerals—such as zinc, boron, copper, and iron—are important
elements that are required in very small quantities. For professional soil testing, we use the Timberleaf soil testing service.4
It specializes in testing for organic farmers and gardeners, with
an emphasis on Biointensive fertility. The service analyzes all
soil and plant minerals and the soil’s physical characteristics
and can provide follow-up review and advice on your year’s
experience in the garden. If you are unable to arrange a professional soil test, purchase a home test kit. The best such kit is
the La Motte kit.5 With the home kit you will be limited to
testing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium content, and pH.
To take a soil sample from your yard, use a nonferrous
trowel or a stainless steel spoon to dig a vertical soil slice from
8 inches below the surface. Take samples from 6 to 8 representative areas and mix them together well in a clean plastic
bucket. Make sure you do not include residues, such as roots
and surface organic litter, in the composite sample. Also, do not
sample for 30 days after adding any fertilizers, manure, or
compost to the area. The samples normally should be taken at
the end of a growing season or just before one. You will need a
total soil volume of 1 pound for professional testing or 4
heaping tablespoons for the home test kit. Remember that soil
tests can save you a lot of money, since they all guard against
overapplication of fertilizers, allow you to account for nutrients
already available in your soil for good plant growth, and
increase yields.
To use the Timberleaf service, ship your composite sample
as instructed in its soil test packet without drying the soil. For
a home test kit, let samples dry in a small paper bag in indirect
sunlight—not in the sun or an oven. When you are ready to
begin testing, follow the included with the kit. Record home
test results on a photocopy of the chart on page 50. Once you
have completed the test, use the information page 45 to determine a general fertilization plan for your garden.
As you become more skilled, you may want to use John
Beeby’s book Test Your Soil with Plants to test your soil. This is
how people used to learn about their soil’s nutrient needs for
thousands of years before chemical soil tests became available.
Eventually each of us should have a living soil test of plants
4. Timberleaf, 39648 Old Spring Road, Murieta, CA 92563-5566.
5. La Motte Chemical Products, Box 329, Chestertown, MD 21620: Model STH.
52
FER TILIZATION
grown in a small area that is “read” to determine existing
nutrient levels in the soil of that area! Until about 100 years ago,
this is how farmers determined soil nutrient needs. It will take
many years to fully rediscover and develop all these skills.
ANALYSIS OF RECOMMENDED ORGANIC
SOIL AMENDMENTS 6
N, P, and K refer to three of the major nutrients that plants
need. According to law, any product sold as a fertilizer must
provide an analysis upon request for these three minerals.
Nitrogen contains proteins, is a food source in compost piles,
and causes green growth. Phosphorus gives plants energy and is
necessary for the growth of flowers and seeds. Potassium aids
in protein synthesis and the translocation of carbohydrates to
build strong stems. Plants also need a good supply of organic
matter to give them additional nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur,
copper, zinc, boron, and molybdenum, and they need 8 other
nutrients. Only under ideal conditions do native soil minerals
provide these nutrients naturally. Plants need a full meal of
nutrients, and as good stewards of the soil we are responsible
for providing them. Be aware that laboratory analysis to determine fertilizer amendments does not always show all of the
actual needs of the soil plant system. Also, the composition may
vary for products from various sources. Be sure to check the
analyses on the bags.
NITROGEN
Alfalfa Meal
2% to 3% N, .7% P, 2.25% K. Lasts 3 to 4 months. Use up to 19 lbs
(16 3 ⁄ 4 qt)/100 sq ft. A quick-acting source of nitrogen and some
potassium. (If not organic, it can contain methoxichlor pesticide
residues.)
Note
Remember that too much nitrogen
in your soil can cause the soil’s
all-important organic matter to break
down too quickly.
Fish Meal
9% to 10.5% N, 6% P, 0% K. Lasts 6 to 8 months. Use up to 5 lbs
(3 2 ⁄ 3 qt)/100 sq ft. Good combined nitrogen and phosphorus
source. (Caution: Some can contain significant amounts of toxic
heavy metals.)
PHOSPHORUS
Phosphate Rock
~11.5% to 17.5% total P. Lasts 3 to 5 years. Use up to 9 lbs
(2 2 ⁄ 3 qt)/100 sq ft. Very slow releasing.
6. Note: GROW BIOINTENSIVE no longer uses many organic fertilizers because of disease,
pesticide residue, or heavy metal toxicity challenges.
FER TILIZATION
53
Soft Phosphate (Colloidal)
~8% total P; ~2% available P. Lasts 2 to 3 years. Use up to 18 lbs
(2 2⁄ 3 qt)/100 sq ft. Clay base makes it more available to plants
than the phosphorus in phosphate rock, though the two are
used interchangeably.
POTASSIUM
Wood Ash
1% to 10% K. Lasts 6 months. Use up to 1.5 lbs (1 3 ⁄ 4 qt)/
100 sq ft. Ash from wood is high in potassium and helps repel
maggots. Ash also has an alkaline effect on the soil, so use it
with care if your soil pH is above 6.5. Black wood ash is best.
Wood ash provides strength and plant essence, aids in insect
control, and is a flavor enhancer for vegetables, especially
lettuce and tomatoes. You can produce it with a controlled, soilcovered, slow-burning fire built during a soft drizzle or rain.
This ash is higher in potassium and other minerals because
they do not readily escape into the atmosphere as the wood is
consumed by fire. Wood ash should be stored in a tight
container until it is used; exposure to air will destroy much of
its nutrient value. Grey wood ash from a fireplace may be used
if it is from wood and not from colored or slick paper.
Crushed Granite (Finely Ground)
3% to 5% K. Lasts up to 10 years. Use up to 8.5 lbs (3 1 ⁄ 2 qt)/
100 sq ft. It is a slow-releasing source of potassium and trace
minerals.
SOIL MODIFIERS
Dolomitic Lime
~25% Ca. ~6% to 14% Mg. A good source of calcium and magnesium to be used when both are needed. Do not use dolomitic
lime in a soil with an adequate or high level of magnesium. Do
not use lime to “sweeten” the compost pile as doing so will
result in a serious loss of nitrogen. A layer of soil will
discourage flies and reduce odors. 1 qt = about 3 lbs 8 oz.
High Calcium Lime (Calcite)
A good source of calcium when magnesium levels are too high
for applying dolomitic lime. Oyster shell flour lime (~34% to 36%
Ca) is a good substitute. 1 qt = about 30 oz.
Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate)
~23% Ca. ~19% S. Used to correct excess levels of exchangeable
sodium. Apply only when recommended by a professional soil
test. 1 qt = about 1 lb 4 oz.
Crushed Eggshells
High in calcium. Especially good for cabbage family crops.
54
FER TILIZATION
Eggshells help break up clay and release nutrients tied up in
alkaline soils. Use up to 2 lbs (11 ⁄ 4 qt)/100 sq ft. Dry them first.
Manure (All Types)
A good source of organic matter in the garden. The nutrient
levels in each manure will depend on proper management
of the curing process and on the amount of straw or sawdust
in the manure. Optimally, do not use more than 4 cubic feet
(6 5-gallon buckets) of aged manure per year (about 136 lbs dry
weight, or a 1 ⁄ 2 -inch layer). It is best to use manure that
contains little undecomposed sawdust. Approximately 2 cubic
feet (3 5-gallon buckets) of manure (50 lbs dry weight) applied
per 100 square feet can lower the pH one point. Manure is a
microbial life stimulant and an animal and plant essence that
has been “composted” both inside the animal and outside in a
curing pile. Avoid using too much manure because manures
that do not contain much sawdust or straw can contain excess
salt and imbalanced ratios of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The GROW BIOINTENSIVE method uses as much (or more)
phosphorus and potassium as nitrogen. This results in stronger,
healthier plants. It is one difference between the GROW BIOIN TENSIVE method and the French intensive approach that
depended heavily on the use of horse manure, which is about
3 parts nitrogen to 1 part phosphorus to 3 parts potassium.
This ratio is unbalanced in favor of nitrogen, which in time
results in weak and rank plant growth more susceptible to
disease and insect attack. A ratio of 1 part nitrogen to 1 part
phosphorus to 1 part potassium is better. Using a large amount
of composted or aged manure is recommended as an alternative to compost only when compost is not available.
MANURES—SOLIDS
(approximate)
Chicken—Fresh
Chicken—Dry
Dairy Cow
Horse
Pig—Fresh
Sheep
Steer
1.50% N
4.50% N
.56% N
.69% N
.50% N
1.40% N
.70% N
1.00% P
3.50% P
.23% P
.24% P
.32% P
.48% P
.55% P
Caution
In order to obtain a 1-inch layer of
aged steer manure for use as compost
on a 100-square-foot area, fodder for
the animal to eat must be grown on a
500-square-foot area. This means an
area four times as large as your
growing area is being depleted of trace
minerals and life-sustaining humus!
Such a practice is not sustainable if
used over a long period of time. When
the proper compost crops are used
instead, the compost materials for your
100-square-foot garden can be grown in
just your 100-square-foot garden itself!
.50% K
2.00% K
.60% K
.72% K
.46% K
1.20% K
.72% K
Compost
Good compost is the most important part of the garden.
It aerates soil, breaks up clay, binds together sand, improves
drainage, prevents erosion, neutralizes toxins, holds precious
moisture, releases essential nutrients, and feeds the microbiotic
life of the soil, creating healthy conditions for natural antibiotics,
worms, and beneficial fungi. Each 4-month growing season, use
FER TILIZATION
55
up to an inch of cured compost (8 cubic feet/100 square feet),
which is about 1 ⁄ 3 of a cubic yard. (One cubic yard equals 27
cubic feet. Two cubic feet of cured compost will cover 100 square
feet 1 ⁄ 4 inch deep.) Generally, use only a maximum 8 cubic feet
cured compost made with equal amounts by weight of dry
material, green material, and soil (or 4 cubic feet cured
compost made without soil) per 100 square feet per 4- to 6month crop to avoid using more than a sustainable amount
of compost.
You should note the heavy emphasis that the GROW BIOIN TENSIVE method places on compost. The demand for organic
fertilizers is increasing while the supply available to each
person in the world is decreasing. Soon, few fertilizers will be
available at reasonable prices. Also, the materials used to
produce chemical fertilizers are becoming less available. Materials for GROW BIOINTENSIVE compost, on the other hand, are
plants and soil, which can be produced in a sustained way by a
healthy garden. These compostable materials can be produced
indefinitely if we take care of our soils and do not exhaust
them. In fact, 96% of the total amount of nutrients needed for
plant growth processes are obtained as plants use the sun’s
energy to work on elements already in the air and water.7 Soil
and compost provide the rest.
GROW BIOINTENSIVE compost (see “Compost”) is high in
most major and trace minerals. It also contains nitrogen and,
when made properly, can be high in nitrogen. A thin layer of
manure added to the soil during the fertilization stage can
also provide nitrogen. Periodically growing legumes—such as
peas, beans, clover, alfalfa, and vetch—in the planting beds will
provide nitrogen, too. The nitrogen that the legumes fix from
the air is released when their roots, stems, and leaves decompose. Compost, manure, wood ash, nitrogen from legumes,
and nutrients from the growth of certain kinds of herbs and
weeds in the beds (see “Companion Planting”) supply the 4% of
a plant’s diet not provided by the air and water.
What a Home Soil Test Will Not Tell You
A professional soil test is an excellent tool for analyzing
deficiencies, excesses, and the relative balance of all plant nutrients in your garden’s soil. A home test kit, however, is very
limited and only points out pH level and deficiencies of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. If you have difficulty growing
healthy plants in your garden, a home test kit may not provide
the solution. Plants grown in soil lacking any of the major or
trace minerals show their deficiency in yellowed leaves, stunted
growth, purple veins, or any number of other ways.
7. Joseph A. Cocannouer, Farming with Nature (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma
Press, 1954), p. 50.
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SOIL pH SCALE
4.0
4.5
5.0
5.5
acid
6.0
6.5
7.0
neutral
7.5
8.0
alkaline
pH
A pH reading tells you the relative acidity or alkalinity of
the soil water, generally called the soil solution. Nutrient availability for vegetable plants, soil microbial activity, and soil structure are all affected by pH. Most vegetables grow best in a
slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.8. A range of 6.0 to 7.0 is fine
for most crops.
More important than the actual pH reading is the quality of
the pH. This is determined by testing for the amount of plantavailable potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium in your
soil. Only a professional soil test can determine the soil’s
mineral balance. You should have this information before you
apply pH modifiers to your soil. For instance, limestone is a
common pH modifier; however, all limestones do not have the
same mineral composition. An application of a dolomitic instead
of a calcitic lime to a soil with a high magnesium content could
disrupt your soil balance and adversely affect plant growth.
Soil-applied organic matter and manure can alter the pH
over time. When adequate organic matter is used, we find crops
will tolerate a wider pH range. Leaf mold, pine needles, and
sawdust produce an acidic compost that can lower the pH.
Manures may be alkaline and raise the pH, although they may
lower the pH one point in some cases. Compost can be either
acidic or alkaline. Using the proper limestone with the correct
mineral balance is the least expensive and most practical way
to increase pH. Mined sulfur, a soil nutrient deficient in many
soils, is an excellent amendment to lower the pH. Although you
can use organic matter to alter pH, you will need to know your
soil mineral structure, the existing soil pH, and the pH of the
applied material in order to apply it accurately and in an effective amount.
The Analysis of Recommended Organic Soil Amendments,
beginning on page 53, gives the mineral nutrient content of
many commonly used organic fertilizers. This information
will help you determine the amounts of each fertilizer to add
FER TILIZATION
57
if you are using a home test kit and are unable to have a
professional soil test performed. In your calculations, it is not
necessary to subtract the nutrients you add to the soil in the
form of manure and compost. Be careful, though, about adding
manure. Much aged or composted manure actually contains
little nitrogen and may have a substantial amount of nitrogendemanding sawdust. If you use a lot of manure containing large
amounts of sawdust as a soil texturizer, you may want to add
some additional nitrogen fertilizer, such as 4 extra pounds of
alfalfa meal per 100 square feet. (Notice that the release times
are different for different fertilizers.)
Shaping the Bed
Broadcasting fertilizers.
The bed should be shaped before adding fertilizers. If
your soil is in good condition, use a rake to shape the bed into
a mound. The soil will not easily wash off or erode from beds
shaped in this manner, once the structure of the soil is
improved. While you are still improving the structure of heavy
clay soils, you may want to form a flat-topped bed with a small
lip on the outer edges of the bed. This will minimize erosion
caused by watering. The sides of the bed should have about a
30-degree slope; a sharper angle will encourage erosion. When
you have shaped the bed, tamp the soil down before planting,
if necessary, by placing the digging board on all parts of the
(Left) Raking soil outward from the inside for a lip;
(right) raking the soil up from the side for a lip.
58
FER TILIZATION
bed and walking across the board. If you add a lip to the bed,
do it after tamping down the soil.
Adding Fertilizers and Compost
Add fertilizers and other amendments one at a time. Avoid
windy days, and hold the fertilizer close to the bed surface
when spreading. Use the different colors to help you. The soil
is dark, so sprinkle on a light-colored fertilizer (such as oyster
shell flour) first, then a darker fertilizer (such as alfalfa meal),
and so on. It is better to underapply the fertilizers because you
can go back over the bed afterward to spread on any leftover,
but it is difficult to pick up fertilizer if too much falls in one
place. Aim for even distribution. Next, add compost and/or aged
manure. After all are applied, sift in the fertilizers and other
amendments by inserting a spading fork 2 to 4 inches deep at a
slant, then lifting it upward with a slight jiggling motion.
Several things should be noted about the nutrients added
to the upper 3 to 4 inches of soil. (1) The nutrients are added
to the upper soil layer as they occur in nature. (2) The nutrients are relocated through the soil when larger soil organisms
and when water flows downward. (3) Organic fertilizers break
down more slowly than most chemical fertilizers. By utilizing
natural nutrient cycles, plant-available minerals are released
over an extended period of time.
(Left) Casting fertilizer onto a bed’s
surface; (right) sifting in fertilizers with
a spading fork. (A “twist dig” is now
being used to sift in fertilizers also.
It is easier on the back and does not
require bending over as far. This
method requires three motions at once:
[1] a slight up-and-down motion with
the left hand, [2] a twist back and forth
holding onto the D-handled spade with
the right hand, and [3] a slight pushing
in and out of the handle through the
left hand with the right hand. Develop
this skill by practicing.) Do not rake
the bed to smooth it out after sifting in
fertilizers, as this usually creates irregular concentrations of fertilizers that
were previously spread evenly.
FER TILIZATION
59
More-Sustainabile Fertilization
Each gardener should strive to use less and less fertilizer
brought in from outside his or her own garden area. This will
be especially true when such amendments become scarce due
to the increased number of people using them. There are at
least 4 ways to create a more “closed system” garden, to which
few resources are imported:
1. Use most of the food you grow at home, so all the residues
are returned to your soil. “Export” as little as possible of
your valuable soil resource.
2. Grow some trees. Their deep root systems will bring up
nutrients from far down in the subsoil into the topsoil and
even into the tree leaves. These nutrients would not otherwise become available for use as plant food.
3. “Grow” your own fertilizers by raising plants that produce
good amounts of compost material, which concentrates the
nutrients required in a form that plants can use. For beginning information on plants to use, see Ecology Action’s SelfTeaching Mini-Series Booklet 12, Growing and Gathering
Your Own Fertilizers (see Ecology Action Publications, page
225), Bargyla and Gylver Rateaver’s Organic Method Primer,
and Ehrenfried Pfeiffer’s Weeds and What They Tell (see
pages 184 and 199 in the bibliography, respectively). If
everyone were to use organic fertilizers, there would be a
worldwide shortage; eventually the key will be growing our
own and recycling all wastes. Deep-rooting alfalfa (as deep
as 125 feet) and comfrey (up to 8 feet) also help bring up
leached-out and newly released nutrients from the soil strata
and rocks below.
4. Maintain at least a 4% to 6% organic matter level in at least
the upper 6 inches of soil in temperate zones and 3% organic
matter level in tropical ones. This will encourage microbial
life growth, which can keep nutrients from leaching out of
the soil.
The GROW BIOINTENSIVE method has roots 4,000 years into
the past in Chinese intensive agriculture, 2,000 years into the
past in the Greek use of raised beds and, more recently, in
European farming. Similar practices are still used today in the
native agriculture of many countries, such as Guatemala. GROW
BIOINTENSIVE will extend its roots into a future where environmentally balanced resource usage is of the utmost importance.
60
FER TILIZATION
The balanced ecosystem:
“Nothing happens in living
nature that is not in relation to
the whole.”
—Goethe
FER TILIZATION
61
6
Seed
Propagation
Goal: Enhanced and uninterrupted
plant growth
N
ow that we know a little about the body and soul of our
Earth, we are ready to witness the birth of seedlings.
Just for a moment, close your eyes, and pretend you
are the seed of your favorite plant, tree, vegetable, fruit, flower,
or herb. You are all alone. You can do nothing in this state.
Slowly you begin to hear sounds around you. The wind,
perhaps. You feel warmth from the sun, feel the ground underneath you. What do you need for good growth? Think like a
seed, and ask yourself what a seed needs. It needs an entire
microcosm of the world—air, warmth, moisture, soil, nutrients,
and microorganisms. Plants need all these things, as do birds,
insects, and animals.
Generally, the elements needed for growth fall into two categories: terrestrial (soil and nutrients) and celestial (air, warmth,
moisture). The celestial elements cannot be completely categorized, however, since air, warmth, and moisture come from the
heavens to circulate through the soil, and plants can take in air
through their roots as well as through their leaves. Nutrients
can also be borne upon air currents. In fact, citrus trees take in
the important trace mineral zinc more readily by their leaves
than by their roots. See “Companion Planting” for further information on the parts that other elements in the plant and animal
worlds play—the parts of other plants and insects, for example.
Seed Planting
A seed is planted at a depth equal to its
vertical dimension.
62
SEED PROPAGATION
Seeds should be planted as deep as the thin vertical dimension of each side. Lima and fava beans may be planted on their
sides. Their root systems, which emerge from an eye, can
grow straight down. The seeds should be covered with humuscontaining flat soil, which is similar to the soil with decomposed
plant matter found over germinating seeds in nature. The compost stimulates the germination process.
Seeds, whether they are planted in beds or in flats, should
be planted in a diagonally offset or hexagonal spacing pattern
with an equal distance between each seed. The Master Charts
later in this chapter tell how far apart to space different types of
plants. When plants are mature in flats or planting beds, their
leaves should barely touch. Appropriately spaced plants form a
living mulch, which retards weed growth, aids in the retention
of soil moisture by shading the soil, and creates the living
mulch miniclimate under their leaves so essential to balanced,
uninterrupted growth. When spacing seeds in flats, place the
seeds far enough apart that the seedlings’ leaves will barely
touch when the seedlings are transplanting size. Try 1-inch to
2-inch spacings depending on the size of the seedling at its
transplanting stage (see the Master Charts at the end of this
chapter). In general, the plant spacings listed in the Master
Charts for vegetables, flowers, and herbs are equal to the
“within the row” spacings listed on the back of seed packets, or
sometimes 3 ⁄ 4 of this distance. Disregard any “between row”
spacings. You will have to establish spacing for plants grown on
hills by experimentation. The Master Charts list our best
spacing determinations to date for these plants.
To make the placement of seeds in planting beds or flats
easier, use frames with 1-inch or 2-inch mesh chicken wire
stretched across them. The mesh is built on a hexagonal
pattern, so the seeds can be dropped in the center of a hexagon
and be on the proper center. Or, if a center greater than 1 inch
is involved and you only have 1-inch mesh, just count past the
proper number of hexagons before dropping the next seed.
Hexagonal spacing:
Leaf lettuce is spaced on 8-inch
centers.
SEED PROPAGATION
63
A spacing frame aids in placing seeds
in flats. Place one seed in the center of
each space.
Use a spacing stick for placing seeds in
beds. 3-inch to 36-inch sizes are used
according to the crop planted. Triangulation is the way we plant most seeds
and transplant seedlings.
Use a triangular spacing template
for placing seeds in beds.
64
SEED PROPAGATION
When transplanting or planting seeds on spacings of 3
inches or more, try using measuring sticks cut to the required
length to determine where each plant should be located. Transplant or sow a seed at each point of the triangulation process.
You will eventually be able to transplant with reasonable accuracy without measuring!
Once you get the feel for plant spacing, you may want to
practice broadcasting seeds by hand in flats for some crops,
such as lettuce and flowers. Broadcasting was the method that
Alan Chadwick and his apprentices used with flats. Be sure
the seeds end up 1 ⁄ 4 to 1 ⁄ 2 inch apart in the first flat so the
seeds can take advantage of their complete miniclimate for
early growth stimulation and health. This method does,
however, require more time to do several prick outs. When
these seedlings’ leaves are barely touching, prick them out
(transplant them) into other flats on 1- to 2-inch centers. One
flat of these broadcasted seeds will fill approximately 4 flats
after pricking out.
Cover the seeds in their flats with a layer of the flat soil
mixture described later in this chapter. When broadcasting
seeds onto a growing bed, gently “chop” them in afterward with
a bow rake to a depth equal to their diameter (when they are
lying flat on a surface). Be sure to chop the rake only up and
down; do not pull it toward you. If you pull, seeds, fertilizers,
and compost may concentrate irregularly over the bed rather
than remain evenly spread. Or you may poke large seeds into
the soil to their proper depth with your index finger. Fill the
hole by pushing soil into it with your thumb and index finger.
Use your digging board as a planting
board to minimize compaction. As you
move it along the bed, reloosen the
soil underneath with a hand fork.
Now that you have prepared your GROW BIOINTENSIVE bed
and have spread the compost, you have a choice as to whether
to sow seeds directly into the bed or to use seedlings.
Transplanting seedlings involves more advance planning and
more time, but in a small garden, this has several advantages:
• Transplanted seedlings make better use of bed space. Seeds
can take from 5 days to 12 weeks or more to reach transpplanting size. If that growing is done in a flat, something
else can be growing in the bed in the meantime.
• You can be reasonably sure that each transplanted seedling
will grow into a healthy mature plant. Not all seeds germinate, so no matter how carefully you sow seeds directly in
the bed, you can end up with gaps between plants and,
therefore, bare soil that allows evaporation.
• Plants grow better if they are evenly spaced. Some seeds
are sown by broadcasting, scattering them over the soil.
Broadcast seeds—no matter how evenly you try to scatter
them—will inevitably fall in a random pattern, with some
closer and some farther apart than the optimal spacing for
best plant growth. Plants that are too close together compete with each other for light, water, and nutrients. When
plants are too far apart, the soil around them may become
compacted, more water may evaporate, and space is wasted.
The roots of evenly spaced transplanted seedlings can
find nutrients and grow more easily, and their leaves will
cover and protect the soil, creating a good miniclimate with
A bottom view of full-sized seedling flat
construction. Leave 1 ⁄ 8 inch between
board pieces for drainage.
23
14
Seedling flat ends are 1 inch by 3
inches redwood. A 3-inch-deep, fullsized flat with evenly moist flat soil and
plants weighs about 45 pounds.
3
SEED PROPAGATION
65
A
GROW BIOINTENSIVE
bed.
better protection for the soil. Carbon dioxide is captured
under the leaf canopy of closely spaced plants, where the
plants need it for optimal growth.
• Transplanting stimulates growth. When you transplant
a seedling into a double-dug, composted bed that is fluffy,
aerated, and full of nutrients, you give it a second “meal”
of nutrients, air, and moisture after its first meal in the flat.
If the seeds are sown directly in the bed, the soil will begin
to recompact after its initial digging while the seeds are
germinating and growing into seedlings. Therefore, the soil
will not be as loose for the plants to grow in once the
seedling stage is reached.
• Seedlings in a flat require much less water (1 ⁄ 2 gallon
per day) than seedlings in a bed (10 to 20 or more gallons per 100 square feet per day).
Flats
The leaves are roots in the air . . .
Roots are leaves in the ground . . .
66
SEED PROPAGATION
If you build your own flats, the standard flat size is 3 inches
deep by 14 inches wide by 23 inches long. For smaller home
gardens, and people with less sturdy backs, half-sized flats may
be more convenient. The depth is critical since an overly shallow flat allows the seedling roots to touch the bottom too soon.
When this occurs, the plants believe they have reached their
growth limit, and they enter a state of “premature senility.” In
this state the plants begin to flower and fruit even though they
are only transplanting size. We have experienced this with broccoli and dwarf marigolds; the broccoli heads were the size of
the nail on a little finger. The flat’s length and width are not as
critical. They should not become too large, however, or the flat
will be hard to carry. If plants must remain in a container more
than 4 to 6 weeks, use a half-sized flat that is 6 inches deep.
When planting seeds or seedlings, remember that the most
important areas for the plant are the 2 inches above and the
2 inches below the surface of the flat or planting bed. The miniclimate created under the plants’ leaves and the protection of
the upper roots in the flat or the bed by the soil is critical.
Without proper protection, the plants will develop tough necks
at the point where the stem emerges from the soil. A
toughened neck slows the flow of plant juices and interrupts
and weakens plant growth. These few inches are also important
because in a very real sense the roots are leaves in the soil and
the leaves are roots in the air. The roots “breathe in” (absorb)
gases in significant amounts as if they were leaves, and the
leaves absorb moisture and nutrients from the air. Also, plant
life activity varies above and below the ground according to
monthly cycles. Root growth is stimulated more during the
third quarter of each 28-day period, and leaf growth is stimulated more during the second quarter, in accordance with the
phases of the moon. (See pages 71–74.)
The critical distance above and below the surface of the planting bed is not exactly 2 inches. Obviously it will be different
for radishes than for corn, since their leaves begin at different
heights from the soil surface and because their root systems
have different depths. Generally speaking, though, the 2-inch/
2-inch guideline helps us develop a sensitivity to the plants’
needs above and below ground. (The need for proper conditions
above and below ground was also noted in the comparison
between the normal use of rows in gardening and farming and
the use of raised beds for growing plants, discussed on pages 3
and 4.) In particular, this miniclimate protects feeder roots and
microbial life, which are both concentrated in the upper soil.
Once you have planted a flat, there are several locations—
depending on the weather—where you can place it while the
seeds germinate and grow:
• In a greenhouse or miniature greenhouse if the weather
is cold
• In a cold frame for two days when the seedlings are almost
transplanting size as part of their hardening off (acclimatization to the cooler outside) for transplanting in cold weather
• In the open for two more days to complete the hardening
off process before transplanting
• In the open during warm and hot weather
• In the shade to slow down their growth in hot weather
You may want to build flat covers to protect seedlings from
birds and mice. An easy way to do this is to build a flat similar
to the ones the seedlings will be in, but without the wooden
bottom. We use 1 ⁄ 2 -inch galvanized wire fabric on the “bottom.”
Then we turn the unit upside down and place it on top of the
flat to protect the seeds and seedlings.
A seedling flat.
Half-sized flats are easier to carry.
This shallow flat, with evenly moist
flat soil and plants, weighs about
22 1 ⁄ 2 pounds.
Flat Soil
You are now ready to prepare the soil in which to grow
seedlings. A good simple flat soil mix is one part sifted compost
and one part bed soil (saved from the first trench when you
double-dug) by volume. “Old” flat soil, which has been used to
raise seedlings, can be stored in a bin. Although some of the
nutrients will have been depleted, it will still be rich in nutrients
and organic matter, so it can be used to make a new flat mix. In
this case, the recipe would be one part old flat soil, one part
sifted compost, and one part bed soil. Compost for the flat soil
mix should be passed through a sieve of 1 ⁄ 2 -inch or 1 ⁄ 4-inch wire
fabric. As your bed soil and your compost improve, your flat
soil and seedlings also will improve.
Remember to completely fill your flat with soil, or even mound
it slightly above the edge of the flat, so the seedlings will have as
much depth as possible to grow in. If available, line the bottom
of the flat with a 1 ⁄ 8 -inch layer of oak leaf mold (partially
3
14
2
1/
11
6
14
2
1/
11
A half-sized deep flat (6 inches deep)
ensures a manageable weight. This flat,
with evenly moist flat soil and plants,
weighs about 45 pounds.
SEED PROPAGATION
67
Pricking Out
Lift the first seedling out
of the first flat.
decayed oak leaves) for drainage and additional nutrients. You
may place crushed eggshells above the oak leaf mold for
calcium-loving plants such as carnations and members of the
cabbage family. Lightly sprinkle the eggshells to cover 1 ⁄ 4 of
the total surface area.
Alan Chadwick’s classic planting mixture for starting seeds
in flats is one part each by weight: evenly moist compost (sifted,
if possible), sharp (gritty) sand, and turf loam. These three
ingredients provide a fertile, loose-textured mixture. Turf loam
is made by composting sections of turf grass grown in good
soil. The sections of grass are composted alternating grass
sides together and soil sides together within the pile (see the
illustration, opposite). Good garden soil, from the first trench of
a double-dug bed, for example, can be substituted for turf loam.
Thoroughly mix the compost, sand, and garden soil or turf
loam and place them in the flat on top of the oak leaf mold.
Some Causes of Poor Germination
Open the planting space
in the new flat while . . .
. . . placing the seedling in
the hole.
Gently sweep the soil into
the hole.
When seeds fail to germinate or plants hardly grow at all
after germination, some common causes are:
• Using redwood compost. This compost is widely available
as a mulch or soil conditioner but contains growth inhibitors
that can keep seeds from germinating or plants from growing well. (This is how redwood trees reduce competition.)
• Planting too early or too late in the season. Seeds and seedlings wait for the right temperature and length of day to
start and continue growth.
• Using weed killers or soil sterilizers. Many weed killers
are short-lived, but they can limit growth in a garden long
after they are supposed to degrade. Some people use them
to minimize or eliminate yard care, but they can continue to
have an effect for 2 years. There is never any reason to use
these poisons in your yard. Also, dumping used motor oil
can destroy valuable growing areas. Take it to a service
station for recycling.
• Using old seeds. Check your source.
• Planting in soil that is too wet. Wet soil restricts oxygen,
which is required for root growth. Plants can die in fertile
soils when soil oxygen is too low to sustain growth.
Pricking Out
Evenly spaced pricked-out seedlings.
68
SEED PROPAGATION
The GROW BIOINTENSIVE method continually seeks to foster
uninterrupted plant growth. Part of this technique is embodied
in the “Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner!” concept that Alan Chadwick
stressed. If seedlings are raised in very good soil—with good
nutrients and a good structure—only to be transplanted into
an area that has few nutrients and a poor structure, the plants
Turf loam compost pile.
will suffer root shock. Results are better when seedlings are
pricked out from a flat with a good planting mixture “breakfast”
into a second flat with a “lunch” consisting of fresh flat soil. The
plant will forget the trauma of being pricked out when it tastes
the delectable new lunch treats in the second flat. This process
minimizes shock and even fosters growth. Finally, a splendid
GROW BIOINTENSIVE “dinner” greets the plant in the growing bed!
With this kind care and stimulated healthy plant growth, there
is less likelihood of insect and disease damage. In the GROW
BIOINTENSIVE method, pricking out and transplanting can stimulate growth rather than slowing it down.
Seedlings from broadcast seed are ready to be pricked out
after their cotyledons (the first “seed leaves” that appear,
although they are not true leaves) have appeared and before
their roots are too long to handle easily. You should do the
second pricking out (if it is called for) when the seedlings’ leaves
have just begun to touch each other.
To prick out seedlings, fill a 3-inch- or 6-inch-deep flat with
flat soil, and mound the soil slightly (remember to fill in the corners). Use a widger or kitchen knife to loosen the soil under the
seedlings so you can lift out one seedling at a time, holding it by
its cotyledons and keeping as much soil on the roots as possible.
Place the widger or kitchen knife into the soil of a second
flat at a slight backward angle, just behind where the seedling
should be, and pull the widger toward you to open a hole.
Drop the seedling into the hole by its roots, placing it a little
deeper than it was in the first flat.
Lift out the widger, and let the soil fall around the seedling.
It is often not necessary to spend time carefully pushing the
soil up around the seedling; when you water the flat, the soil
will settle in around the stem and roots. If soil does need to be
added to the hole into which the seedling is placed, just gently
sweep the soil into the hole with a widger with one motion.
Arrange the seedlings on offset, or hexagonal, centers to maximize the space in the flat and to optimize the miniclimate that
will develop around the seedlings as they grow.
Loose soil with good nutrients enables
roots to penetrate the soil easily, and a
steady stream of nutrient flows into the
stem and leaves.
Hold a seedling by its leaves.
The hand fork.
Transplanting
A Biodynamic gardener once had a row of broccoli plants.
Only two plants had aphids, but both were quite infested. The
SEED PROPAGATION
69
Unpot a seedling correctly.
Note
Seedlings are transplanted when they
are 2 to 3 inches high except for those
marked “LG” in column L4 and M4 of
the Master Charts on pages 87–115.
The LG seedlings are transplanted
when they are 6 to 9 inches high.
Spread root-bound plant roots out
before transplanting them into a bed.
For best bulb formation, do not plant
onions too deeply; instead, plant as
shown here.
two plants were dug up, and the gardener discovered that the
plants had experienced root damage during transplanting. The
healthy broccoli, which had experienced uninterrupted growth,
were untouched by the insects, while nature eliminated the
unhealthy plants.1
When transplanting, it is important to handle the seedlings
gently and to touch them as little as possible. Plants do not like
their bodies to be handled, though they do like to have human
companionship and to have dead leaves removed from their
stems. You should hold them only by the tips of their leaves (if
the plant must be touched) or by the soil around their roots. If
you have grown the seedlings in a flat, use a hand fork to
gently separate a 4-inch-square section of soil and plants from
the rest. Using the fork, gently lift that section from the flat
and place it on the ground. Then carefully pull away one plant
at a time from the section for transplanting. If it is particularly
dry, hot, or windy, place the section on a wet towel. Always
keep as much soil around the roots as possible when
transplanting. If the seedling has been grown in a pot, turn the
pot upside down, letting the plant stem pass between your
second and third fingers, and tap firmly on the bottom of the
pot with your other hand. Or tap the lip of the pot on
something solid.
In all cases, if the plants are root bound (the roots being so
tightly grown together from having been kept in a starting flat
or pot so long that with the soil they constitute a tight mass),
gently spread the roots out in all directions. This process is
important because the plant should not spend critical growth
energy sending out a new, wide-ranging root system for eating
and drinking when a good root system has already been
produced. Instead, the plant’s energy will go into the natural
flow of continuous growth.
Be sure to place the seedling into a large enough hole so
that the plant can be buried up to its first set of true leaves.
Water the seedlings after transplanting to help settle the soil
around the roots, to eliminate excess air spaces, and to provide
an adequate amount of water for growth. As the soil is packed
down under the pressure of watering, the final soil level will
remain high enough to cover the upper roots. The plant’s roots
need firm contact with the soil to properly absorb water and
nutrients. Press the soil firmly around the seedling, if necessary, but not too tightly. Tight packing will damage the roots
and will not allow the proper penetration of water, nutrients, and
air. Soil that is too loose will allow air and moisture to concentrate around the roots. This will cause root burn and decay.
Transplanting seedlings up to their first true leaves prevents
them from becoming top-heavy and bending over during their
early growth period. (This is especially true for members of
1. John and Helen Philbrick, Gardening for Health and Nutrition (New York: Rudolph Steiner
Publications, 1971), p. 93.
70
SEED PROPAGATION
the cabbage family.) If a plant bends over, it will upright itself,
but will develop a very “tough neck” that will reduce the quality
and size of the plant and crop. Onions and garlic, however, do
better if the bulb does not have much soil weight to push up
against.
Optimally, transplanting should be done in the early evening
so the seedlings get settled into their new home during more
moderate weather conditions. If transplanting is performed
during the day some temporary shading may be needed. In our
hot, summer weather, we shade newly transplanted seedlings
with 30% shade netting or Reemay, a “row cover” cloth, for
several days to minimize transplanting shock and wilt.
Transplanting is preferable to directly sowing seeds. More
importantly, transplanting improves plant health. Beds become
compacted as they are watered and the soil will not be as loose
for a seed that is planted directly in the bed. Some compaction
will have occurred by the time it is a “child” a month later and,
in some cases, so much so after 2 months, when it is likely to
be an “adolescent,” that its “adulthood” may be seriously
affected. If, instead, you transplant the 1-month-old “child” into
the growing bed, a strong adult root system can develop during
the next 2 months, and a good adult life is likely. In fact, a study
at the University of California at Berkeley in the 1950s indicated that a 2% to 4% increase in root health can increase
yields 2 to 4 times.2
Most vegetables should be transplanted
up to their first two true leaves.
proper
improper
Spotting
Some newly transplanted seedlings may die for various
reasons or be eaten by animals or insects. Therefore, we
usually save the surplus seedlings left in the flats after transplanting. We use these seedlings during the next 10 days to fill
in the holes or “spots” in the miniclimate. This process has
been named “spotting.”
result
Planting by the Phases of the Moon
One of the most controversial aspects of the GROW BIOIN method is Alan Chadwick’s method of planting seeds
and transplanting seedlings according to the phases of the
moon. Short- and extra-long–germinating seeds (which take
approximately 1 month to germinate) are planted 2 days before
the new moon, when significant magnetic forces occur, and
up to 7 days after the new moon. Long-germinating seeds are
planted at the full moon and up to 7 days afterward. Seedlings
are transplanted at the same time. Both planting periods take
advantage of the full sum of the forces of nature—which are
greatest at the new moon—including gravity, light, and
TENSIVE
Tip
When the stems of cucumbers, melons,
squash, pumpkin, and gourds grow
into the path, turn the stems back into
the bed’s growing area to keep walkways clear. The stems prefer the more
humid miniclimate in the growing area
and will stay there.
2. Charles Morrow Wilson, Roots: Miracles Below—The Web of Life Beneath Our Feet
(Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1968), p. 105.
SEED PROPAGATION
71
magnetism. The lunar gravitational pull that produces high
tides in the oceans and water tides in the soil is very high at
the new moon. And the moon, which is dark, gets progressively
lighter. (See the drawings.) The exact day on which you plant
or transplant is not as important as generally taking advantage
of the impetus provided by nature.
If you place short-germinating seeds in the ground 2 days
before the lunar tide forces are greatest, the seed has time to
absorb water. The force exerted on the water in the seed helps
create a “tide” that helps burst the seed coat in conjunction with
the forces produced by the seed’s swelling. No doubt you have
wondered why one time beet seeds come up almost immediately and another time the germination process takes 2 weeks
in the same bed under similar conditions. Temperature and
moisture differences, pH changes, and humus levels may influence the seeds in each case, but the next time you note a
marked difference in germination time, check your calendar
to determine the phase the moon was in when you sowed the
seeds. You may find the moon had an influence.
Looking at the drawing of the moon’s phases, you can see
that there are both increasing and decreasing lunar gravitational and light force influences that recur periodically during
the lunar month. Sometimes the forces work against each other,
and sometimes they reinforce one another. When the lunar gravitational pull decreases and the amount of moonlight increases
during the first 7 days of the lunar cycle, plants undergo a period
of balanced growth. The decreasing lunar gravity (and the corresponding relative increase in Earth’s gravity) stimulates root
growth. At the same time, the increasing amount of moonlight
stimulates leaf growth.
During the second 7 days of the lunar cycle, the lunar gravitational force reverses its relative direction, and it increases. This
pull slows down the root growth as Earth’s relative gravitational
pull is lessened. The moonlight, on the other hand, continues
to a peak, and leaf growth is especially stimulated. If root growth
PLANTING BY THE PHASES OF THE MOON
2 days before new moon
Plant short- and extra-long–
germinating seeds (most vegetables
and herbs) in flats and/or beds
72
SEED PROPAGATION
First 7 days
Balanced increase in rate of root
and leaf growth
Moonlight +
Lunar Gravity –
Second 7 days
Increased leaf growth rate
Moonlight +
Lunar Gravity +
has been sufficient during previous periods, then the proper
amounts of nutrients and water will be conveyed to the aboveground part of the plant, and balanced, uninterrupted growth
will occur. This time of increasing gravitational, moonlight, and
magnetic forces gives seeds that have not yet germinated a
special boost. Seeds that did not germinate at the time of the
new moon should do so by the full moon. Alan Chadwick said
it is during this period that seeds cannot resist coming up, and
mushrooms suddenly appear overnight.
During the third 7 days of the lunar cycle, the amount of
moonlight decreases along with the lunar gravitational pull. As
the moonlight decreases, above-ground leaf growth slows down.
The root growth is stimulated again, however, as the lunar gravitational pull decreases. This is a good time to transplant, since
root growth is active. This activity enables the plant to better
overcome transplant shock and promotes the development of a
good root system while leaf growth is slowed down. Then, 21
days later, when leaf growth is at a maximum, the plant will
have a developed root system that can provide it with sufficient
nutrients and water. This is also the time to plant long-germinating seeds that take approximately 2 weeks to germinate;
they will then be ready to take advantage of the boost from the
high gravitational pull of the new moon.
During the last 7 days of the lunar cycle, the lunar gravitational force increases, and root growth slows down. The amount
of moonlight decreases and also slows down leaf growth. This
period is one of a balanced decrease in growth, just as the first
7 days in the lunar month is a period of balanced increase in
growth. The last 7 days, then, is a rest period that comes before
the bursting forth of a period of new life. Short-, long-, and
extra-long-germinating seed crops are listed in the Master
Charts later in this chapter.
A planted seed bursts its seed coat around the 28th day of
the lunar month and proceeds into a period of slow, balanced,
and increasing growth above and below ground, passes into
KEY:
New Moon
First Quarter
Full Moon
Fourth Quarter
+ = Increasing
– = Decreasing
Full Moon
Transplant short- and extra-long–
germinating seedlings from flats into beds
and plant extra-long–germinating seeds
(most flowers) in flats and/or beds
Third 7 days
Increased root growth rate
Moonlight –
Lunar Gravity –
Fouth 7 days
New Moon
Balanced decrease in rate of root and
leaf growth (resting period)
Moonlight –
Lunar Gravity +
SEED PROPAGATION
73
English Haws watering can.
Special upward-pointing
Haws watering rose.
a period of stimulated leaf growth, then goes into a period of
stimulated root growth (getting ready for the next period of
stimulated leaf growth), followed by a time of rest. This plant
growth cycle repeats itself monthly. Plants are transplanted at
the full moon so they may begin their life in the growing bed
during a time of stimulated root growth to compensate for the
root shock that occurs during transplanting. (It is also vital that
the plant’s root system be well developed so it can later provide
the leaves, flowers, vegetables, fruits, and seeds with water
and nutrients.) The transplanted plant then enters a time of
rest before beginning another monthly cycle. The workings
of nature are beautiful.
Planting by the phases of the moon is a gardening nuance
that improves the health and quality of plants. If you do not
follow the moon cycles, your plants will still grow satisfactorily.
However, as your soil improves and as you gain experience,
each gardening detail will become more important and will
have a greater effect. Try this one and see.
Watering
Ross watering fan attached
to a valve unit.
Ross watering fan attached to
a variable water pressure gun.
When beds and flats are watered, the GROW BIOINTENSIVE
method approximates rainfall as much as possible. The fine
rain of water absorbs beneficial airborne nutrients as well as
air, helping the growth process. For seeds and seedlings in
flats, you can use a special English Haws sprinkling can, which
has fine holes in the sprinkler’s “rose.” 3 The rose points up so
that when you water, the pressure built up in the rose first goes
up into the air, where much of the pressure is dissipated as it
flows through the air. The water then softly falls on the plants
from above like rain, with only the force of gravity pulling the
water down. When watering planting beds, you may employ the
same method of spraying water into the air and letting it fall
back down, using a water gun or a valve unit with a fan spray
nozzle attached.4 (If you use a water gun or a valve unit, you
may need a heavy duty hose to contain the water pressure.)
This gentle method of watering packs down the soil in the bed
less, and the plants are not hit and damaged by a hard water
spray. If you choose to point the fan downward, stand as far
away from the plants as possible and/or keep the water pressure adjusted to a low point to minimize soil compaction and
water damage.
Some plants, such as those in the cabbage family, like wet
leaves. It is all right, and in fact beneficial, to water these plants
from overhead. Other plants, such as tomatoes, peas, and members of the squash and melon families, can suffer from wilt and
mildew, and their fruit may rot when their leaves are wet, espe3. Available by mail order from Walter F. Nicke, Box 667G, Hudson, NY 12534.
4. A Ross No. 20 is best.
74
SEED PROPAGATION
Watering with a wand:
Water falls in a circular pattern on the
bed, landing approximately 3 feet from
the waterer at its closest point.
Watering with a fan:
Water falls in an oval pattern on the
bed, landing approximately 10 feet away
from the waterer. When watering closer,
reduce the water pressure.
Watering tomato plants using a wand.
→
→
cially in foggy or humid climates. Take care when watering
these plants to water only the soil around them whenever
possible. (In drier climates it probably will not matter.) To avoid
spraying a plant’s leaves, hold the fan just above the soil and
point it sideways. A better method is to use a watering wand,
which will allow you to more easily direct the water under the
plant’s leaves.
Water the beds sufficiently each day to keep them evenly
moist. Daily watering washes the dust, grime, and insects from
plant leaves and creates a deliciously moist atmosphere
conducive to good plant growth and thriving microbial life.
(Watering may be more or less frequent when the weather is
warmer or cooler than normal.)
Water mature plants in beds when the heat of the day first
subsides. This is about 2 hours before sunset during the summer and earlier during the winter. However, weather conditions,
especially cloud cover, may necessitate earlier watering. The
soil, warmed during the day, warms the cool water from the
24
18
→
→
SEED PROPAGATION
75
hose so it is more temperate by the time it reaches the plant
roots. The roots suffer less shock, and the soil and plants have
more time to absorb water during the cooler, less windy night.
Also, plants do a significant amount of their growing at night,
and this ensures they will have plenty of water to do so. If you
water early in the morning, much of the water will be lost in
evaporation caused by the sun and wind, and the watering will
be less effective. The loss will be even greater if you water at
midday. If you water in the evening, the plants will be more
susceptible to mildew and rust problems due to unevaporated
water left on their leaves. By watering in the late afternoon, the
water can percolate into the soil for 12 hours or more before
the sun and wind reappear in strength. When they do, the bed
will have a good reservoir of water from which the plants can
draw before their next watering.
Seeds and seedlings in flats and immature plants in the
growing beds may have to be watered in the morning and at
noon as well as late in the afternoon. Until the living mulch
effect occurs, the flats and beds dry out more rapidly. When the
leaves grow closer together, less watering will be required.
To determine how much water to give a bed each day, strive
for a 1 ⁄ 2 - to 15-second “shiny.” 5 When you first begin to water, a
shiny layer of excess water will appear on top of the soil. If you
stop watering immediately, the shiny layer will disappear quickly.
You should water until the shiny layer remains for 1 ⁄ 2 to 15
seconds after you have stopped watering. The actual time
involved will differ depending on your soil’s texture. The more
clayey the texture, the longer the time will be. A newly prepared bed with good texture and structure will probably have
enough water when a 1 ⁄ 2 - to 3-second shiny is reached. A newly
prepared clayey bed may indicate that it has enough water
with a 3- to 5-second shiny, since a clayey soil both retains more
moisture and lets the water in less rapidly. A month-old bed
(which has compacted somewhat due to the watering process)
may require a 5- to 8-second shiny, and beds 2 to 3 months
old may require more than that. A 2- to 4-month-old bed may
require a longer shiny.
Eventually the watering process will become automatic,
and you will not have to think about when the bed has received
enough water; you will know intuitively when the point has
been reached. Remember to allow for the different natures of
plants. Squash plants, for instance, will want a lot of water in
comparison to tomato plants. One way to determine whether
you have watered enough is to go out the next morning and
poke your finger into the bed. If the soil is evenly moist for the
5. Another simple way to estimate the amount of water a bed is receiving is to first measure
the gallons delivered per minute. Turn the hose on, and point the spray into a 1-gallon jar or a
4-quart watering can. If, for example, it takes 15 seconds to fill the jar, then you know you are
delivering 4 gallons per minute to the bed. Currently, in our moderately heavy clay, we find each
5-feet by 20-feet bed will take anywhere from 5 to 20 gallons daily (10 gallons on the average),
depending on the weather, the type of plant, the size of the plants, and the tightness of the soil.
76
SEED PROPAGATION
first 2 inches and continues to be moist below this level, you
are watering properly. If the soil is dry for part or all of the
first 2 inches, you need more shiny. If the soil is soggy in part
or all of the upper 2 inches, you need less shiny.
Remember also to adjust your watering according to the
weather. A bed may lose more moisture on a cloudy, windy,
dry day than on a hot, clear, humid, and still one. And there are
times when the flats and beds need no water or need watering
twice a day. It is important to note these differences and to
become sensitive to the plants’ needs. You should water for
good fruit, flower, and seed production, not just so the plant
will stay alive. Be sure to water the sides and ends of the
planting beds more than the middle. These areas, which many
people miss or underemphasize, are critical because they are
subject to more evaporation than the middle of the bed. Newly
dug but still unplanted beds should be watered daily so they
will not lose their moisture content. A transplant in a bed that
has a low moisture level (except in the recently watered upper
2 inches or so) will have difficulty growing well because of the
dry pan below. If you wait until plants are wilting and drooping
before you water them, they will revive but they will have
suffered some permanent damage—an open invitation for pests
and diseases. Slight drooping, however, is not usually a sign
that you should water. Plants are just minimizing water loss
(due to transpiration) when they droop on a hot day, and
watering them at this time will increase water loss rather than
lessen it. It will also weaken the plant through too much
pampering.
Note
It is important to realize that we are
watering the soil, so that it may thrive
as a living sponge cake. We are not
watering the plants. The soil in turn
then “waters” the plants. Keeping
the soil alive will help retain water and
minimize the water consumed.
Shade Netting
After you have watered your newly planted bed, in hot
weather you may want to consider covering this area with
30-percent shade netting from approximately 10 A.M. to 5 P.M.
Use shade netting that is 3 feet wider and 3 feet longer than
your growing bed, so the netting can drape down around the
edges to provide shade on the sides as well as the top. We
generally insert 3-foot-long pieces of 1-inch by 1-inch wood on a
45-degree angle into the soil at the four corners of the bed and
every 5 feet along and perpendicular to the sides. Headless
nails are hammered part way into the top end of the sticks so
the shade netting can be held in place. At 5 P.M. we unhook the
netting from the long eastern side of the bed and hook its
edges over the nails on the other side several times to secure
the netting and keep it out of the paths and the bed. We reverse
this process at 10 A.M. the next day. Make sure the nails do not
jut into the path where they can be a hazard to you.
We also use shade netting to protect newly transplanted
grains in the fall and winter from birds. In this case, we leave
the shade netting on for 10 days and use long pieces of 5⁄ 8 -inch
SEED PROPAGATION
77
shiny layer established
A newly prepared bed is properly
watered when the shiny layer of excess
water disappears within 1 ⁄ 2 to 3 seconds
after the watering stops.
1⁄ 2
second later
1 second later
2 seconds later
rebar to hold down the edges of the netting so birds cannot
enter the growing area. We adjust the 1-inch by 1-inch sticks
so the netting edges lie on the ground with the rebar along the
edges. After 10 days, the shade netting is removed because at
this point the plants are less tasty and, therefore, are not attractive to the birds.
Mini-Greenhouses
wet
dry
wet
Dry pan.
A mini-greenhouse made from plastic sheeting and wood6
can increase the temperature of the soil and the air surrounding plants and allow you to get an early start on the growing
season in the spring and to lengthen the growing season in the
autumn. Our design has double-walled construction, which can
keep the inside temperature above the freezing point when the
outside temperature falls as low as 20°F. This makes the unit a
good season-extender for crops.
A mini-greenhouse.
6. For plans and instructions, see Backyard Homestead, Mini-Farm and Garden Log Book
(Willits, CA: Ecology Action, 1993).
78
SEED PROPAGATION
KEY WATER FACTORS
The GROW BIOINTENSIVE method is especially important for
areas with scarce water. Though much more experimentation is
needed in this area, the information below should assist you.
• Seventy-five percent of the Earth’s land surface where food
is generally grown receives 10 inches of rainfall or more
annually. About one-half of this rainfall can be retained in soil
properly prepared for plant use. To grow a good yield, 20
inches of rain are needed annually. In an area receiving only
10 inches of rainfall, the rain a growing area receives can be
increased to 20 inches in the “bent bed” examples at the
bottom of this page and in the margin on page 80.
• The GROW BIOINTENSIVE method uses an average of 10
gallons (a 5- to 20-gallon range) per day per 100 square feet
while commercial food raising consumes an average of 20
gallons per day for the same area. GROW BIOINTENSIVE
produces
4 times the food in the same area as commercial agricultural practices.
• Research by academic institutions has shown that soil that
has living compost as 2% of its volume in the upper 11
inches of soil can reduce the rainfall or irrigation required
for poor soils by as much as 75%. (Poor soils have about 1 ⁄ 2
of 1% living compost in the upper soil area.) GROW BIOIN TENSIVE encourages maintaining more than 2% compost.
• Even under arid conditions, soil that is shaded can reduce
evaporation up to 63%, depending on soil type. The miniclimate created by closely spaced plants provides good shading.
• Plants transpire water, which can be reduced by as much as
75% in soils that have sufficient and well balanced nutrients
in the soil water. The GROW BIOINTENSIVE method prepares
the soil so it provides for a high level of fertility.
Tip
To conserve water, raise your seedlings
in flats until transplanting size (usually
for the first 2 to 4 weeks). For many
crops, one flat, which needs only about
1 ⁄ 2 gallon of water each day, will plant
one 100-square-foot growing area.
When planted, this growing area will
need about 10 to 20 gallons of water
daily during the main growing season.
The water savings in one month
(compared with direct sowing of seeds
in the growing area) is about 285 to
585 gallons of water!
One way to prepare a 5-by-20-foot
“bent bed” for the concentration of
rainwater in your growing area.
SEED PROPAGATION
79
Sloped beds on flat ground (side view)
can be used for water harvesting.
Native American type of “bent bed” is
used to capture rainfall effectively. This
is a key water-harvesting technique.
Note
Twenty inches of rainfall over a
4-month growing season is an
average of .167 inch per day.
80
SEED PROPAGATION
• If you combine the last three factors listed above, water
consumption can sometimes be reduced to 1 ⁄ 32 the level
( 1 ⁄ 4 1 ⁄ 2 1 ⁄ 4) plants normally require. We have found that
GROW BIOINTENSIVE can reduce water consumption on average
to 1 ⁄ 8 that of normal methods per pound of vegetable
produced and to about 1 ⁄ 3 that of normal methods per pound
of grain produced once the soil is in reasonable shape.
• Native people in some parts of Africa have been using a
deeply prepared bed approach successfully with grains. They
triple-dig(!) the soil, incorporating a lot of organic matter into
it just before the seasonal rains. Immediately after the rains
stop, they plant their seeds. No more rain falls, yet crops are
harvested at the end of the season. Others in the area reportedly are unable to grow crops well during this season.
• GROW BIOINTENSIVE techniques should produce at least 4 times
the yield under natural rainfall conditions (when not irrigating) that would be obtained under the same conditions with
commercial techniques. Let us know what works for you.
• Native Americans in the southwestern United States have
used a number of approaches to grow food in limited rainfall
areas. One method is to create large diamond-shaped growing areas on a slight slope, with one point each being at the
top and the bottom of the slope. Crops are planted in the
bottom 1 ⁄ 4 to 1 ⁄ 2 of each diamond—depending on the amount
of rainfall. (More water per unit of soil area is concentrated
in the bottom part of the diamond.)
With this method, use the following information to determine how much of the diamond to plant: Well-prepared soil
needs to retain approximately 10 inches of water per unit of
area (623 gallons per 100 square feet) to grow one complete
crop during a 4-month growing season. To retain this much
water, the soil needs about 20 inches of rainfall (1,246 gallons
per 100 square feet) per season. If only 10 inches fall, you
would have only 1 ⁄ 2 the water needed, and you would plant
only the bottom 1 ⁄ 2 of each diamond. If you had only 5 inches
of rain, you would only have 1 ⁄ 4 the water needed for a crop,
and you would only plant the bottom 1 ⁄ 4 of the diamond
(more or less). Experimentation will be required before you
have optimum success. Be careful not to overplant. A
completely dry soil does not rewet or absorb water easily,
which will lead to erosion. To be on the safe side, start with
a small area and plant 1 ⁄ 4 less crop than the above recommendations to ensure that the soil retains some moisture.
Once you achieve success, you can increase the area under
cultivation. Please share your experiences with us and others
so this approach can be better understood.
• See John A. Widtsoe’s Dry Farming (see page 169 in the
bibliography) for more information on dry farming.
Weeding
Intensively planted raised beds do not require weeding as
often as other types of gardens due to the living mulch that the
plants create. Usually, our beds only need to be weeded once,
about a month after the bed is planted. A bed prepared in a new
area may have to be weeded more often at first, however, since
many dormant seeds will be raised to a place in the soil where
they can germinate readily. Over time, as the soil becomes richer
and more alive, you will probably have fewer weeds, since they
tend to thrive more in poor and deficient soils than in healthy
ones.
There really is no such thing as a “weed.” A weed is just a
plant that is growing in an area where you, the gardener, do not
want it to grow. In fact, many so-called weeds, such as stinging
nettle, are quite beneficial to the soil and to other plants. (This
will be discussed in more detail in “Companion Planting.”)
Instead of weeding indiscriminately, you should learn the
natures and uses of the different weeds so you can identify and
leave some of the most beneficial ones in the growing beds.
Until they are removed, weeds help establish a more quickly
nourishing miniclimate for your current crop. Add the weeds
you pull to the compost pile. They are rich in trace minerals
and other nutrients and will help grow good crops next season.
Weeds are generally hardier than cultivated plants since
they are genetically closer to their parental plant stock and
nearer to the origin of the plant species. They tend to germinate before broadcasted cultivated plants. You should usually
wait to remove these plants from the beds until the cultured
plants catch up with the weeds in height or until the cultured
plants become established (about transplanting size)—whichever comes first. Weeding before this time is likely to disturb
the germinating cultured plant seeds or disturb the developing
new root systems, causing interrupted plant growth and weakened plants. However, be sure to remove any grass plants that
develop in the beds after the first weeding. These plants put out
incredibly large root systems that interfere with other plants in
the competition for nutrients and water.
Appropriate posture can make
weeding easier.
flowers
cover crops
grains
trees
herbs
Planting in Season
Vegetables, flowers, and herbs—all plants for that matter—
should be planted in season. This is a good way to love your
plants. If they are forced (grown out of season), much of their
energy is used up straining to combat unseasonable weather
in the form of cold, heat, rain, or drought. Less energy is left
for balanced growth, and a plant with limited energy reserves—
not unlike people—is more susceptible to disease and insect
attacks. Also, for the best crop health and yields, be sure to
keep your plants harvested! To determine the best time to plant
various crops, see the information on page 82.
SEED PROPAGATION
81
SATISFACTORY (AND OPTIMAL) PLANT-GROWING TEMPERATURE RANGES7
Determine the Planting-Range Calendar for Your Area
Crop
Season
Temperature
Range
Cool-Season
Crops8
30°F
Warm-Season
Crops
Hot-Season
Crops
Optimal
Temperature
Range
Plant
Asparagus
•
Rhubarb
40°–75°F
(60°–65°F)
Beet • Broad bean • Broccoli •
Brussels sprouts • Cabbage • Chard •
Collard • Horseradish • Kale • Kohlrabi •
Parsnip • Radish • Rutabaga • Sorrel •
Spinach • Turnip
45°–75°F
(60°–65°F)
Artichoke • Carrot • Cauliflower •
Celeriac • Celery • Chicory • Chinese
cabbage • Endive • Florence fennel •
Lettuce • Mustard • Parsley • Pea •
Potato
45°–85°F
(55°–75°F)
Chicory • Chive • Garlic • Leek •
Onion • Salsify • Shallot
50°–80°F
(60°–70°F)
Bean • Lima bean
50°–95°F
(60°–75°F)
Corn
50°–90°F
(65°–75°F)
Pumpkin
60°–90°F
(65°–75°F)
Cucumber
65°–85°F
(70°–75°F)
Sweet pepper
65°–95°F
(70°–85°F)
Eggplant
•
Cowpea • New Zealand spinach
•
•
Squash
•
Muskmelon
•
Tomato
Hot pepper • Okra •
Sweet potato
•
Watermelon
7. From James Edward Knott, Handbook for Vegetable Growers (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1957), pp. 6–7.
8. Try these crops in shady areas in the summer. Remember, crops need at least 4 hours of direct sunlight to grow.
Seven hours are preferred, and 11 hours are even better.
82
SEED PROPAGATION
SOIL TEMPERATURE CONDITIONS FOR VEGETABLE SEED GERMINATION9
Crop
Minimum
Optimum Range
Optimum
Maximum
Asparagus
50°F
60°–85°F
75°F
95°F
Bean
60°F
60°–85°F
80°F
95°F
Bean, Lima
60°F
65°–85°F
85°F
85°F
Beet
40°F
50°–85°F
85°F
95°F
Cabbage
40°F
45°–95°F
85°F
100°F
Carrot
40°F
45°–85°F
80°F
95°F
Cauliflower
40°F
45°–85°F
80°F
100°F
Celery
40°F
60°–70°F
70°F*
85°F*
Chard, Swiss
40°F
50°–85°F
85°F
95°F
Corn
50°F
60°–95°F
95°F
105°F
Cucumber
60°F
60°–95°F
95°F
105°F
Eggplant
60°F
75°–90°F
85°F
95°F
Lettuce
35°F
40°–80°F
5°F
85°F
Muskmelon
60°F
75°–95°F
90°F
100°F
Okra
60°F
70°–95°F
95°F
105°F
Onion
35°F
50°–95°F
75°F
95°F
Parsley
40°F
50°–85°F
75°F
90°F
Parsnip
35°F
50°–70°F
65°F
85°F
Pea
40°F
40°–75°F
75°F
85°F
Pepper
60°F
65°–95°F
85°F
95°F
Pumpkin
60°F
70°–90°F
95°F
100°F
Radish
40°F
45°–90°F
85°F
95°F
Spinach
35°F
45°–75°F
70°F
85°F
Squash
60°F
70°–95°F
95°F
100°F
Tomato
50°F
60°–85°F
85°F
95°F
Turnip
40°F
60°–105°F
85°F
105°F
Watermelon
60°F
70°–95°F
95°F
105°F
*Daily fluctuation to 60 degrees or lower at night is essential.
9. From James Edward Knott, Handbook for Vegetable Growers (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1957), p. 8.
SEED PROPAGATION
83
Master Charts
The Master Charts that follow should help your gardening
efforts. The charts for grains, compost crops, trees, and other
crops provide a picture of what you can accomplish in your own
backyard or small farm-holding. (Also see Ecology Action’s
Backyard Homestead, Mini-Farm and Garden Log Book.) Additional information about special seed sources and harvesting,
cleaning, grinding, storing, and preserving these crops will be
included in the future. The charts are largely based on our many
years of experience and are generally complete and accurate.
Ecology Action continues to study the spacings and other
growing information for grains, fodder crops, fibers, bush and
dwarf fruit trees, other tree crops, berries and grapes, and
compost crops. As testing continues, the information is revised
and the chance of error reduced. (A good explanation of the
information in these charts is given in the planning section of
The Sustainable Vegetable Garden.)
It should be noted that:
• You may not reach maximum yields in the first year. Also,
one plant, grown alone, will probably not produce as large a
yield as one plant grown among several plants under miniclimate conditions.
• Seeds grown out of season will take longer to germinate
and/or may decompose before they do germinate unless
grown under special mini-greenhouse or shade netting
conditions.
• Closer spacing may be needed during the winter to make up
for slower plant growth during this period and to create a
balanced winter miniclimate. (Try 3 ⁄ 4 or 1 ⁄ 2 the usual spacing
with lettuce in the winter.) Closer spacing can also promote
faster, balanced growth by more rapidly creating a miniclimate. Thin extra plants to make room for larger plants.
(Baby carrots and beets are a delicacy.)
• You may need wider spacings in the humid tropics during
the wetter months.
One of the exciting things about the GROW BIOINTENSIVE
method is its emphasis on the soil. Once you know how to prepare soil well for vegetables, a whole world of crops becomes
available to you. The bed preparation, fertilization, and watering
approaches remain essentially the same—only the plant spacings are different!
These charts will help you expand from growing only vegetable crops to including plants from the following broad groups:
• grains, protein sources, and vegetable oil crops
• compost, organic matter, and fodder crops. Some compost
crops, such as pearl millet, sorghum, and corn, can produce
very high yields of biomass and should be fully recycled
84
SEED PROPAGATION
through composting whenever possible to minimize the
potential for soil depletion.
• tree and cane food crops
• energy, fiber, paper, and miscellaneous crops
Eventually, we hope to add tree crops for fuel and building materials. If you seek more information than is contained
in these detailed charts, refer to the books listed in the
bibliography.
There is a convenient soil improvement succession that is
good to know. Vegetables from one year improve soil for grains
the next year, and this leads to soil that supports more permanent
tree crops the third year. If you want to study this process more
closely, see Ecology Action’s Backyard Homestead, Mini-Farm
and Garden Logbook crop-testing chapter for vegetable, grain,
fodder, and tree crops, and read our “Soybean Test” booklet.
The importance of the soil is especially apparent with a
permanent crop-growing system. Even biological and tree cultivation systems can be environmentally unsound if improperly
used. Dr. Hans Jenny, soil scientist emeritus at the University of
California, Berkeley, pointed to this in Science magazine:
Note
Microbial life-forms thrive and greatly
increase in activity when the nighttime
air temperature reaches a minimum of
60°F. The next time you go out in the
morning early in the season and notice
that your garden has grown a foot
overnight and is a darker, lush green,
check the previous night’s temperature. You may be surprised!
Other Key Air Temperatures
32°F:
Nitrogen release begins
in the soil.
50°F:
Significant nitrogen
release occurs in the soil.
86°–95°F: The maximum nitrogen
release point is reached in
the soil.
90°F:
The pollination process
begins to decrease.
95°–104°F: A significant decrease in
nitrogen release occurs in
the soil.
131°F:
Nitrogen release stops
in the soil
At the turn of the century, farsighted agricultural experiment
stations set up permanent cultivation plots and monitored for decades
the nitrogen and carbon balances. Stirring soil and removing crops initiated profound declines in nitrogen, carbon, and humus substances and
caused deterioration of soil structure. Under these circumstances water
infiltration is reduced and runoff and sheet erosion are encouraged.
Crop yields suffer. While applications of nitrogen fertilizers boost yields,
they have not restored the soil body. In central Europe, farmers used to
remove forest litter and put it on their fields for manuring. Tree production declined markedly, documented by Aaltonen.10 . . .
I am arguing against indiscriminate conversion of biomass and
organic wastes to fuels. The humus capital, which is substantial,
deserves being maintained because good soils are a national asset. The
question will be raised, How much organic matter should be assigned to
the soil? No general formula can be given. Soils vary widely in character
and quality.
Growing crops must be approached, then, with a sensitivity
to how the way they are being grown affects the sustainability
of the soil’s vitality and health. Understanding this proper relationship will take time and eventually will involve growing many
different crops, including a large number of trees. Trees beneficially modify our climate, bring up and make available nutrients
from deep down in the soil, protect the soil from erosion, help
maintain healthy water tables, and provide us with food and
building materials.
Food value columns have been added to the Master Charts
for protein, calories, and calcium for each crop. These are
important, but so are many other food values—including iron,
vitamins, and amino acids. See the reference books listed in the
10. V. T. Aaltonen, Boden und Wald (Berlin: Parey, 1948).
SEED PROPAGATION
85
Note
techniques can be
used to grow important protein crops.
Experiments with wheat, soybeans,
grains, beans, and other seeds have
worked well. For information on how
to grow your own open-pollinated seeds
in the smallest area while preserving
genetic diversity, see Ecology Action’s
Self-Teaching Mini-Series Booklet
Growing to Seed.
GROW BIOINTENSIVE
bibliography if you want to pursue this further. Be sure to
explore growing compost crops in between your trees to
increase the soil’s friability and its nitrogen and organic matter
content. Try medium red clover. It has beautiful red flowers.
Increasingly, more people want to grow food. One hundred
square feet of grain may yield 4, 8, 12, or more pounds of edible
seed. If you are in a cooler climate and wish to grow beans for
eating, try varieties such as the peanut, yellow-eye, and cranberry beans available from the Vermont Bean Seed Company.
Dwarf fruit trees, if nurtured properly, can yield 50 to 100 pounds
of fruit annually at maturity. Two trees on 8-foot centers in 100
square feet can have a combined yield of up to 200 pounds, and
the average person in the United States eats only about 162
pounds of tree fruit per year. Fava beans may yield the greatest
amount of organic matter. Alfalfa and clover are also fun to raise
as nitrogen-fixing legumes to improve your soil’s fertility.
Our goal with wheat is to eventually get 2 26-pound crops in
an 8-month period. This would yield 1 1-pound loaf of bread for
every week in the year from only 100 square feet! Then we
could literally raise our own bread in our backyards. Sound
impossible? Yields close to this are already occurring in some
parts of the world. Wheat can be threshed easily with a minithresher11 made available by a public organization in your area.
Our highest wheat yield to date is at the rate of about 21
pounds per 100-square-foot bed, using about 10 inches of water
for the whole season, with compost we grew ourselves for fertilizer and a small amount of purchased organic fertilizer. The
Zulus in South Africa use a technique similar to the GROW
BIOINTENSIVE method and grow grains with natural rainfall.
See what you can do! Let us know if you get to 26 pounds—
and tell us how you do it!
When planning your garden, remember to look closely at all
the factors involved. For example, sesame seeds are very high
in nutrition, but they usually have low yields (compared with
other protein crops), are somewhat difficult to harvest, and
exhaust the soil. So on a per-square-foot, sustainable nutrition
yield basis, sesame seeds are not particularly superior to other
protein sources, even though they are great nutritionally and
good to eat. A large harvest of sesame seeds would also require
a very large growing area. It is important to examine each
crop’s total practicality.
When you begin to produce intermediate yields, another
factor to consider is the quantity of nutrients each crop takes
from the soil. Many “heavy givers” of nitrogen can exhaust the
soil of other nutrients over time. Soybeans are “heavy giving”
legumes, but continuous cropping of them has been demonstrated to wear out the soil. It is important to develop and work
within natural sustainable cycles.
11. One good foot-treadle–powered mini-thresher is available from CeCe Co., P.O. Box 8,
Ibaraki City, Osaka, Japan.
86
SEED PROPAGATION
Master Charts
LETTER CODES
A
AA
AC
B
BB
BC
C
c
CA
D
E
EL
F
FA
G
H
I
— Approximate germination rate as
sold by seed companies. No known
minimum legal germination rate.
Can be higher or lower.
— Each “seed” contains about 3 seeds,
of which half germinate.
— Harvest alfalfa and clover 2 to 4
inches above the growing crown
(sheep shears work well for this),
loosen the soil with a border fork,
water the bed, and cover the growing
area with shade netting cloth for
1 to 2 weeks.
— In beds.
— Soak seeds overnight for best
germination.
— Broadcast.
— Centers.
— Cups.
— Cantaloupe.
— Do not know yet.
— Spacing increases with warmth of
climate.
— Extra-long–germinating seed
(22 to 28 days).
— In flats.
— Fall.
— Best “seed” is a seed packet of 2 to
6 seeds, of which approximately 1.62
germinate.
— Honeydew.
— Transplant into 1- to 5-gallon container
as appropriate. Raise sapling until
1 year old. Then transplant into soil.
J
K
L
LG
M
N
P
Q
qt
R
S
SN
SP
SU
T
— Germination average in laboratory.
— Straw weight is generally 1 to 3+ times
harvested and cleaned seed weight for
GROW BIOINTENSIVE ly grown grains,
1 to 2 times for grains grown with
commercial agriculture (Roger Revelle
in Scientific American, September
1976).
— Long-germinating seed (8 to 21 days).
— Transplant seedling when larger—
about 6 inches tall.
— Cook to minimize oxalic acid, calcium
tie-up.
— Narrow bed (2 feet wide) will
produce better yields due to improved
pollination.
— Perennial.
— Celery is pricked out into a third
flat, 6 inches deep, on 2-inch centers,
where it grows for a further 4 to 6
weeks until it is ready to be transplanted. The seedlings may be 4
inches tall. Overall, it takes 3 to 4
months from sowing until
transplanting.
— Quarts.
— Replant at points where germination
fails. We call this “spotting.”
— Short-germinating seed (1 to 7 days).
— During hot weather, cover with shade
netting cloth between approximately
10 A.M. and 5 P.M. for better results.
— Spring.
— Summer.
— Tablespoon.
t
— Teaspoon.
TO — 18 inches for cherry tomatoes; 21
inches for regular tomatoes; 24 inches
for large tomatoes. Sequential information in columns D, H, and I should
be used according to spacing chosen.
U — A 1-pound loaf of bread requires
2 ⁄ 3 pound flour (2 1 ⁄ 2 cups).
V — Approximate minimum.
W — 12 or 15 inches for midget varieties;
18 inches for 5- to 7-pound varieties;
21 inches for 10- to 15-pound varieties;
24 inches for largest varieties.
WI — Winter.
Y — Estimate.
Z — Based on Ecology Action experience,
half of the garlic cloves are large
enough to use, on the average.
* — Digestible protein for animals.
** — Depending on variety selected.
— — Not applicable.
# — First set of figures: summer sowing in
lathhouse for fall set-out or winter
sowing in areas with a less cold winter
and a greenhouse for spring set-out.
Second set of figures: winter sowing
in a good greenhouse or a miniature
greenhouse in areas with very cold
winters for spring set-out.
Harden off for 2 days outside in flat
before transplanting into bed.
## — If direct sowing on centers, rather
than broadcasting, plant 2 seeds per
center to compensate for low
germination rate.
+ — Yield may be significantly higher.
++ — Given harvest time in column O.
SEED PROPAGATION
87
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
88
Artichoke, Jerusalem
Artichoke, Regular
Asparagus
Basil
Beans, Lima, Bush
Beans, Lima, PoleN
10.5 lbs / —
From divided
roots or seeds
Seeds:
.70 A
3 roots / —
.32 / 1 t or
159 roots
875–1,250
12,000
Baby: 75–94
Regular: 25–38
Baby: 35–90
Regular: 25–38
.70
.60
.70
.70
.70
.70
.65
.65
.75
.70
.60
.75
.75
.55
.75
.55
.65
.80
.75
.80
.60
.5 Z
—
.75
.75
.60
.80
.80
Tubers: 100 / 206 / 420+
Biomass, air-dry: ~75 / ~15 / ~30
G
Average U.S. Yield
in Pounds per
100 Square Feet 20, 21
—
F
Possible GROW BIOINTENSIVE
Yield in Pounds per
Plant 18, 19
E
Sprouted 2 oz
tuber pieces
Beans, Snap, Bush
100–125
Beans, Snap, PoleN
100–125
Beets, Cylindra
1,500–1,625
Beets, Regular
1,500–1,625
Broccoli
9,000
Brussels Sprouts
9,000
Burdock
1,700
Cabbage, Chinese
9,000
Cabbage, Regular
9,000
18,750–25,000
Carrots
Cauliflower
9,000
Celery
72,000
Chard, Swiss
1,500
Collards, Annual & Perennial
9,000
Corn, Sweet
112–156
Cucumbers
938–1,000
Eggplant
6,500
Cloves: 12
Garlic
Live roots used
Horseradish
Kale
9,000
Kohlrabi
9,000
Leeks
12,500
Lettuce, Head
25,000
Lettuce, Leaf
25,000
SEED PROPAGATION
D
Possible GROW BIOINTENSIVE
Yield in Pounds per
100-Square-Foot
Planting 17
C
Ounces / Volume
Seed per 100 Square
Feet (adj. for germ.
rate, offset spacing,
and curv. surf.) 14, 15, 16
A
B
YIELD
Minimum Legal
Germination Rate 13
PLANT
SEED
Approx. No. Seeds
per Ounce 12 (range:
larger–smaller seed)
VEGETABLES AND
GARDEN CROPS
Tubers: 1.20–5.00+
D
D
D
.09 / 1 t
9.5 / 19 / 38
35 / 75 / 150
Regular:
35.5–23.3 / 6 3⁄16–33⁄4 c
Dry: 11.5 / 17.2 / 23
.06–.24
.06–.24
0.02–.04
20.7
6.2
Regular:
18.3–12 / 3 3⁄16 –2 c
Dry: 11.5+ / 17.2+ / 23+
8.8–7.0 / 11⁄2 –11⁄8 c
8.8–7.0 / 1 ⁄2 –1 ⁄8 c
1
1
1.4–1.3 / 6 T AA
1.4–1.3 / 6 T AA
.01 / 1⁄ 24 t
30 / 72 / 108
30+ / 72+ / 108+
Roots: 110 / 220 / 540
Greens: 55 / 110 / 270
Roots: 55 / 110 / 270
Greens: 55 / 110 / 270
Heads: 26 / 39 / 53
Leaves: 52+ / 78+ / 106+
D
4.6
.04+ –.07+
.05–.17
.05+ –.17+
4.6+
12.9
12.9+
.08–.40
.04–.20
.04–.20
.04–.20
“68.0”
D
.31–.63
.62–1.26
“34.0”
D
29.6
D
.023 / 012 /
.007 / 1⁄ 24 t
71 / 106 / 142
75 / 150 / 300
96 / 191 / 383
96 / 191 / 383
.2 / 11⁄4 t BB
Roots: 100 / 150 / 400+
.01 / 1⁄ 24 t
.022 / ⁄ 8 t
44 / 100 / 291
240 / 480 / 959+
200 / 405 / 810
96 / 191 / 383
1.34–2.68
.06–.22
.48–1.91
.60–7.22
.04–.16
.52–3.46
.39–1.54
.62–2.5
.60–2.41
1.0–.72 / 2–1 c
Shelled, wet: 17 / 34 / 68
Biomass, air-dry: 12 / 24 / 48
15 C: .20–.81
20 lbs / 10 qt bulbs
158 / 316 / 581
54 / 108 / 163
60 / 120 / 240+
1.00–3.65
1.02–3.08
.04–.18+
25.5
45.2
55.1
33.3
159 roots / —
D
D
D
.01 / ⁄ 24 t
76 / 114 / 153
67 / 135 / 270
240 / 480 / 960
75 / 150 / 300
135 / 202 / 540
.90–1.82
.05–.20
.39–1.55
.47–1.89
“16.0”
.01 / 1⁄ 24 t
1.3 / 4 T
.03 / ⁄ 8 t
1
.016 / ⁄ 24 t
1
33 / 11⁄ 2 T AA
1
.2 / 1 ⁄ 4 T
1
.014 / 1⁄ 12 t
1
.20 / 1⁄16 t
.1 / ⁄ 8 t
3
.008 / 1⁄ 8 t
.016 / .012 / ⁄ 4 t
1
8 C: .42–1.69
9 C: .54–2.18
36.7
D
72.1
“72.1”
76.2
35.8
152.0
D
D
D
D
73.5
51.2
15 centers
6 depth
72
12
6
84
3
159
621
L
L
L
L
6
8
6
6
4
4
15
18
4
10
621
320
621
621
1,343
1,343
84
53
1,343
201
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
12 / 15 / 159 / 84 /
53
18**
3
15
6
8
12
15
12
18
4
12
15
4
6
12
8 WI /
9 SP–FA
F/B
Seeds: F
Roots: B
Seeds: F
Roots: B
Use 6-inch-deep flat. Put
tubers as close as possible.
Seeds
Seeds
1
175
3–4
Seeds
3–4
1–2
1–2
1–2
1–2
3–4
3–4
O
—
6
6
3
—
2
2
1.5
— — 17–26
60 12–16 D, P
Seeds: 4 yrs.
D
60
Roots: 1 yr.
111 3
6–8
1
BC
175
175
—
—
4
F
1
F
1
F
1
F
1
F / BR 1
F / BR 1
F
1
F
1
F
1
F
1
F
1
F / B## BC
F
1
L / EL
F
BC
S
F
1
S
F
1
S
F
1
S
F
2
175
175
175
175
162
162
187
175
150
187
187
137
187
137
162
200
187
48
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
3
—
4
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
2–3
6
3–4
2–3
6
3–4
3–4+ —
2–3
6
3–4
2–3
6
3–44
3–4 —
2–3
6
3–4
4–6 3
3–4 —
2–3
6
3–4
3–5
—
days
2–3
—
3–4
—
—
—
—
—
—
2
2
—
2
2
—
2
1
—
2
—
—
— — 9–11
12
— — 11–13
12
— —
8
12
— —
8–9
12
— —
8–9
—
— —
8–9
—
3–4
60 5–6 LG 8–9
4–6
3–4
60 5–6 LG 11–13
12
— — Up to 42 8–12
3–4
60 5–6 LG 7–11**
—
3–4
60 5–6 LG 9–16** —
— — 9–11
4+
3–4
60 5–6 LG 8–12** —
250 4–6Q 12–16
—
— —
7–8
44
3–4
60 5–6 LG
12
24
— — 9–13** —
— — 7–10
7–14
150
—
—
187
187
150
200
200
—
—
—
—
—
2
4
4
5–6
—
—
2
—
—
2
—
—
1.5
1.5
—
—
—
60
—
—
111
111
2,507
84
621
320
159
84
159
53 L / EL
1,343
L
159
L
84
S
1,343
S
621
S
159
S
320 /
S
248
F
F
B
B
F
F
F
F
F
1
—
—
1
1
BC
BC
BC
Letter codes on page 88, footnotes on page 116.
D
1–2
#
#
#
#
#
#
#
6
—
—
2–3
6
3–4
2–3
—
3–4
8–12 —
1–2 3
1–2 3
#
#
Q
P
—
8
8
12
#
#
D
Tubers:
420+
D
D
.8
8.7
D
D
5.6
“.3”
23
23+
17.0
29.7
30.6
30.6
5.5
2.8
D
D
D
D
6.1
3.6
17.8
1.0
9.9
29.0
D
D
Shelled,
wet: 9.0
22.6
4.1
}“1.3”
}1.7
}“1.9”
#
#
#
SEED
YIELD
Approx. Maximum
Pounds Seed Yield per
100 Square Feet 27
N
M4
FOOD
NEEDED
Pounds Consumed
per Year by Average
Person in U.S. 21, 26
M3
SECOND FLAT
Depth of Second Flat
(inches)
Approx. No. Weeks in
First Flat 24
FIRST FLAT—3 INCHES DEEP
M2
Approx. No. Weeks
in Harvesting Period
M1
Approx. No. Weeks
to Maturity in Ground 25
L4
Approx. No. Weeks in
Second Flat 24
L3
Approx. No. Plants
per Flat 22
L2
MATURITY
Spacing in Second
Flat (inches)
L1
Approx. No. Plants per
Flat (adj. for germ.
rate)22
Division Factor to
Determine Flats to
Broadcast 23
K
Spacing in First Flat
(inches) or
Broadcast (BC)
Plant Initially in Flats/
Beds (in order of preference)
J
Short/Long/Extra-Long
Germination Time
I
Maximum No. Plants
per 100 Square Feet 15
H
In-Bed Spacing (inches)
BEDS/FLATS
8.9
13.6
1.6
6.2
#
4–6 LG
—
—
3–4#
5–6 LG
—
—
2–3
2–3
10–11
17–44
26
8–9
7–8
19
11–13
6–12**34
13
—
—
17
—
—
1–3
1–3
Reg: 6.7
Pickles: 4.4
“.5”
2.5
.6
Bulbs: 240
D
D
D
3.8
20.1
9.8
1.2
4.0
D
D
22.8
7.4
SEED PROPAGATION
89
1
2
3
4
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
90
Artichoke, Jerusalem
Artichoke, Regular
Asparagus
Basil
Beans, Lima, Bush
Beans, Lima, PoleN
Beans, Snap, Bush
Beans, Snap, PoleN
Beets, Cylindra
Beets, Regular
Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts
Burdock
Cabbage, Chinese
Cabbage, Regular
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celery
Chard, Swiss
Collards, Annual & Perennial
Corn, Sweet
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Garlic
Horseradish
Kale
Kohlrabi
Leeks
Lettuce, Head
Lettuce, Leaf
SEED PROPAGATION
DD
EE
FF
Approx. Ounces Seed
You Need 31
CC
Approx. No. Flats
You Need 30
BB
Approx. Square Feet
You Need 29
AA
MATERIALS NEEDED
Approx. No. Plants
You Need 28
PLANT
FOOD
NEEDED
Pounds You Select
VEGETABLES AND
GARDEN CROPS
(continued)
35
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
36
—
—
—
—
—
37
—
Burpee
Fordhook
38
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
SN
SN
NOTES
NUTRITION
NN
HF
HF
HF
SP
FA
SP
7.2
5.3
6.4
Fresh: 22
Stored: 235
Fresh: 16
Stored: 85
66
44
93
56
HF
HG
HG
HG
HG
LF
LF
HF
HF
LF
HF
HF
LF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
LF
LF
HF
LF
LF
HF
HF
SU
SU
SU
SP, SU
SP, SU
D
D
D
1,565
327
Letter codes on page 88, footnotes on page 116.
SP, SU, FA
SP, SU, FA
} 92.5
} 7.6
5.1
} 5.6
12.7
SP, FA 13.6
SP, FA 20.4
SP, FA 9.4
SP, FA 5.3
5.3
SP, FA 8.2
SP, SU, FA
4.1
SP, FA 12.2
SP, FA 5.3
SP, SU, FA
10.0
SP, FA 16.3
SU
8.7
SU
3.9
SU
4.4
SP, FA 24.8
SP, FA 10.6
SP, FA 14.1
SP, FA 6.6
SP, FA 5.2
SP, FA 3.9
SP, SU,
3.8
FA, WI
OO
Calcium Content
per Pound in
Milligrams (mg) 33
MM
Calorie Content
per Pound 33
LL
Protein Content per
Pound in Grams (g)
(454g per pound) 33
KK
Time of Year to Plant
(SP, SU, FA, WI)
JJ
Especially Good
Varieties, Possible Seed
Sources, and Remarks
II
Your Yield Compared
with U.S. Average 32
HH
Your Actual Yield
per 100 Square Feet
GG
MISCELLANEOUS
Heavy Giver (HG),
Light Feeder (LF),
Low Nitrogen User (LNU),
Heavy Feeder (HF) (see p. 145)
YIELDS
128
124
137
61
51
302M
113
158
364
1,189
188
400
62
150
225
189
98
127
200
171
156
122
62
104
181
240
65
92
547
288
128
96
123
56
52
134
113
189
367M
921
7
108
44
116
464
601
136
123
86
197
:Raw. 31% refuse. Used in alcohol production for gasohol.
Good source of organic matter. Harvest when top is dead.
:Raw.
:Raw. 44% refuse.
:Dry seeds.
Pick when beans are bulging through pods so plants will
set more beans.
:Raw. 12% refuse.
:Roots, raw. 30% refuse.
Excellent tops often mean too much nitrogen fertilizer and poor
root growth. Cylindra variety twice the weight of regular beets.
:Greens, raw.
:Head, raw. 22% refuse.
:Leaves, raw. Contain more nutrition than heads.
:Raw. 8% refuse. When sprout node begins to bulge,
remove leaf below it for best growth.
Sow Watanabe in spring for summer harvest and Takinogawa in
spring or fall for late summer or following spring harvest, respectively.
:Raw. 3% refuse.
:Green, raw. 10% refuse.
:Red, raw. 10% refuse.
:Raw, without tops. 18% refuse. Excellent tops often mean
too much nitrogen fertilizer and poor root growth.
:Raw. Cauliflower head often develops in just a few days.
:25% refuse.
:Raw. 8% refuse. Harvest sequentially as leaves mature.
Good organic matter crop at high yields.
:Leaves and stems, raw. Harvest sequentially as leaves mature.
:Raw. 45% refuse (cob). Harvest when fluid in kernel is halfway between
clear and milky. Air-dry biomass can be as much as for flour corn if plants
are left to grow 4 weeks after harvest of ears.
:Raw, whole. 5% refuse. Harvest when swollen, but not
yellowing for sweetest taste.
:Raw. 19% refuse.
:12% refuse. Most bulb growth occurs in last 45 days. Contains
antibiotics. Amount of seed depends on size of bulbs and cloves.
:Raw. 27% refuse.
:Raw leaves and stems. 26% refuse.
Good vitamin and mineral content.
:Raw. 27% refuse.
:Raw. 48% refuse.
:Raw. 5% refuse. Harvest in very early morning for best taste.
:Raw. 36% refuse. Harvest in very early morning for best taste.
Winter growing in double-walled mini-greenhouse.
SEED PROPAGATION
91
31
32
33
34
35
Mangels
Melons
Mustard
Okra
Onions, Bunching
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
Onions, Regular
Onions, Torpedo
Parsley
Parsnips
Peas, Bush
Peas, PoleN
Peppers, Cayenne
Peppers, Green
Potatoes, Irish
Potatoes, Sweet
Pumpkin
Radishes
Rhubarb
Rutabagas
Salsify
Shallots
New Zealand,
Spinach, Malabar
Spinach, Regular
Squash, Crookneck
Squash, Patty Pan
Squash, Winter
Squash, Zucchini
Tomatoes
Turnips
Watermelon
92
SEED PROPAGATION
1,600
1,000–1,250
15,000
500
11,250–12,500
8,125
8,125
18,000
12,000
94–156
94–156
4,500
4,500
—
—
94–250
2,500–3,125
1,700 Y
9,375–11,875
1,900
8 Y (bulbs)
350
2,800
218–281
300
100–250+
300
10,000–12,000
9,375–12,500
Small seed: 500–625
Large seed: 187–312
.65
.75
.75
.50
.70
.70
.70
.60
.60
.80
.80
.55
.55
—
—
.75
.75
.60Y
.75
.75
.75Y
.40
.60
.75
.75
.75
.75
.75
.80
.70
F
G
Average U.S. Yield
in Pounds per
100 Square Feet 20, 21
E
Possible GROW BIOINTENSIVE
Yield in Pounds per
Plant 18, 19
D
Possible GROW BIOINTENSIVE
Yield in Pounds per
100-Square-Foot
Planting 17
C
YIELD
Ounces / Volume
Seed per 100 Square
Feet (adj. for germ.
rate, offset spacing,
and curv. surf.) 14, 15, 16
A
B
Minimum Legal
Germination Rate 13
PLANT
SEED
Approx. No. Seeds
per Ounce 12 (range:
larger–smaller seed)
VEGETABLES AND
GARDEN CROPS
(continued)
Roots: 200 / 400 / 800+
Greens: 100 / 200 / 400+
Roots: .46–1.85
Greens: .23–1.11
Roots: “68.0”
Greens: D
50 / 72 / 145
180 / 225 / 270
30 / 60 / 120
100 / 200 / 540
.60–1.73
.29–.43
.19–.75
.04–.21
49.1CA
44.1H
.2 / 3⁄ 16 t
100 / 200 / 540
200 / 400 / 800+
}
.08 / 1⁄ 2 t
45 / 91 / 182 (4- to 6-mo. harvest)
119 / 238 / 479
.07–.40
.15–.60+
.05–.22
.09–.36
Fresh: 25 / 53 / 106
Dry: 4 / 10 / 24
Fresh: 25+ / 53+ / 106+
Dry: 4 / 10 / 24
Fresh: .01–.04
Dry: .001–.01
Fresh: .02–.08+
Dry: .003–.02
}
12 lbs / —
5 / 10 / 20 Dry
36 / 83 / 197
100 / 200 / 780
82 / 164 / 492
.03–.13
.23–1.24
.40–3.15
.33–1.98
.75–.07 / 1⁄ 10 T
Whole: 48 / 96 / 191
Seeds without hulls: 1 / 2 / 4
2.5–3.1 / 42⁄ 3 T
Roots: 100 / 200 / 540
.025 / ⁄ 3 t
Stalks: 70 / 140 / 280
.09 / 1⁄ 4 t
.006 / .004 /
.003 / 1⁄ 25 – 1⁄ 40 t
200 / 400 / 800+
100 / 200 / 400+
60 / 120 / 240+
180 / 225 / 270
50 / 100 / 225
35 / 75 / 150
75 / 150 / 307
50 / 100 / 350
160 / 319 / 478+
100 / 194 / 418
.18–.13 / 2⁄ 3 t
.41 / 3.4 T AA
.09–.1 / 1⁄ 2 t
.055 / 1⁄4 t
.64 / 3 ⁄ 2 t
1
.29–.32 / 5⁄ 16 t
.2 / ⁄16 t
3
.19 / 2⁄ 3 c
2–1.25 lbs / 2–1 ⁄ 4 c
1
1.1 lbs–10.7 oz /
11⁄10– 2 ⁄3 c
.064 / 3⁄ 8 t
.064 / 3⁄ 8 t
23.25–31 lbs /
12–16 qt
2
1.7 / ⁄ 2 c
1
14.0 / 7 qt (bulbs)
1.14 / 6 T
.37 / 2 t
.5–.4 / 2–11⁄ 2 T
.37 / 11⁄ 3 T
12 C: 2.12–.84 / 91⁄2 –33⁄4 T
15 C: 1.12–.45 / 5–2 T
18 C: .71–.28 / 31⁄ 5 –11⁄4 T
.24 / 2.4 t
Small seed:
12 C: .45–.36 / 3–23⁄ 8 t
18 C: .15–.12 / 11⁄ 8 – 3⁄4 t
21 C: .10–.08 / 5⁄ 8 – 1⁄ 2 t
24 C: .07–.06 / 7⁄ 16 – 3⁄ 8 t
Large seed:
12 C: 1.2–.73 / 2 3⁄4 T
18 C: .4–.24 / 2 5⁄ 8 –15⁄ 8 t
21 C: .27–.16 / 13⁄ 4 –13⁄16 t
24 C: .20–.12 / 13⁄ 8 – 3⁄4 t
Whole: 18” C: .91–3.60
30” C: 3.42–13.64
Seeds: 18” C: .02–.08
30” C: .07–.29
D
D
D
91.1
D
D
Fresh: 6.8
Dry: 4.4
D
59.0
78.7
34.0
D
D
.02–.09
D
2.69–10.77
.32–1.29 “68.0+”
D
.04–.16
D
.04–.18+
D
1.13–1.70
.08–.36
29.8
D
.42–1.79
D
.89–3.65
12 C: .31–2.20
15 C: .60 – 4.17
18 C: .94 – 6.60
D
3.02–9.02
D
18 C: 1.89 –7.89
21 C: 2.89 –11.94
24 C: 3.85–16.08
Fresh: 61.5
Processing: 143.9
Roots: 100 / 200 / 360
Greens: 100 / 200 / 360
Roots: .07–.27
Greens: .07–.27
D
50 / 100 / 320
.31–12.30
50.0
7
15
432
84
S
S
F
F
1
2
162
45
—
—
3–4+ —
6
12
621
159
S
L
F
F
1
1
187
125
—
—
3–4
6–8
S
S
S
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
BC
BC
BC
BC
1
1
1
1
1
175
175
175
150
150
200
200
137
137
—
6–8
F
F
B
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
2
2
2
2
—
—
—
—
—
39
—
40
30–60 —
2
45 —
— — —
1 150 —
1 187 —
1 187 —
— — —
2
24 —
1 150 —
2
45 —
2
45 —
2
45 —
2
45 —
1 187 —
F
F
1
2
3
4
4
5
4
3
4
12
12
2,507
1,343
1,343
833
1,343
2,507
1,343
159
159
9 centers
248
9 depth
9 centers
248
9 depth
18 / 30 53 / 14
2
5,894
24
26
6
621
3
2,507
4
1,343
12
159
6
621
15
84
15
84
12 / 15 / 159 / 84 /
18
53
18
53
18 / 21 /
24TO
53 / 35 /
26
4
1,343
12 / 18 /
21 / 24W
159 / 53
35 / 26
L / EL
L
S
S
L / EL
L / EL
L
L
S
S
L
S
S
L
L
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
39
40
F
B
Seeds: F
Roots: B
200
42
Letter codes on page 88, footnotes on page 116.
—
—
—
—
—
N
O
8–12+
—
—
6
—
—
2
—
—
60
— 12–17**
—
5–6
3–4 7–8
—
—
—
2
—
—
—
2
2
—
—
—
—
2
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
60
—
—
—
60
60
—
—
—
—
60
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
6–8
—
—
—
3–4
3–4
—
3–4
3–4
—
—
—
3
—
—
—
6
6
—
—
—
—
6
—
—
—
—
—
3–4 LG
—
—
—
3–4 LG
—
—
—
6
—
—
—
2
—
—
—
60
—
—
—
—
—
—
3–4 LG
6–8#
8–10
6–8#
8–10
2–3
3–4
1–2
1–2
2–3
2–3
—
4–6
3–4 LG
—
D
3–4 LG
3–4 LG
4–6
2–3
3–4 LG
3–4#
5–7 LG
3–4#
5–7 LG
—
—
—
—
SEED
YIELD
Q
P
Approx. Maximum
Pounds Seed Yield per
100 Square Feet 27
M4
FOOD
NEEDED
Pounds Consumed
per Year by Average
Person in U.S. 21, 26
M3
SECOND FLAT
Depth of Second Flat
(inches)
Approx. No. Weeks in
First Flat 24
FIRST FLAT—3 INCHES DEEP
M2
Approx. No. Weeks
in Harvesting Period
M1
Approx. No. Weeks
to Maturity in Ground 25
L4
Approx. No. Weeks in
Second Flat 24
L3
Approx. No. Plants
per Flat 22
L2
MATURITY
Spacing in Second
Flat (inches)
L1
Approx. No. Plants per
Flat (adj. for germ.
rate)22
Division Factor to
Determine Flats to
Broadcast 23
K
Spacing in First Flat
(inches) or
Broadcast (BC)
J
Plant Initially in Flats/
Beds (in order of preference)
I
Short/Long/Extra-Long
Germination Time
In-Bed Spacing (inches)
H
Maximum No. Plants
per 100 Square Feet 15
BEDS/FLATS
—
D
D
13
8
13
11.3CA
12.4H
2.9
5.7
8–17
—
14–17
—
14–17
—
10–13 17–26
15
—
8–10
12
10–11
12
9–11
17
9–12
17
9–17
—
13–17 (3-mo. var.)
26–34 (6-mo. var.)
—
14–16
—
3–9**
—
D
D
D
} 18.6
D
D
}“4.1”
D
6.4
47.8
4.1
“.6”
9.3
39.6
10.3
10.3
24.8
24.8
24
24
.1
.3
Tubers: 780
D
492
5.1
20.6
D
.03
D
13
17
17–26
10
6–7
—
—
—
42
—
D
D
5.4
27.7
D
Bulbs: 240
D
1.0
10
17+
D
17+
4+
26
17+
—
13
D
17.2
10.8
6.1
6.1
5.7
6.1
D
Seeds: 3 yrs.
Roots: 1 yr.
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
7
— 11–17**
—
7–9
3–4 LG 8–13
— 5–10**
— 10–13
D
D
Canned: 75.6
Fresh: 17.4
D
14.5
5.5
14.7
2.6
SEED PROPAGATION
93
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
Mangels
Melons
Mustard
Okra
Onions, Bunching
Onions, Regular
Onions, Torpedo
Parsley
Parsnips
Peas, Bush
Peas, PoleN
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
Peppers, Cayenne
Peppers, Green
Potatoes, Irish
Potatoes, Sweet
Pumpkin
Radishes
Rhubarb
Rutabagas
Salsify
Shallots
New Zealand,
Spinach, Malabar
Spinach, Regular
Squash, Crookneck
Squash, Patty Pan
Squash, Winter
Squash, Zucchini
Sunflowers
Tomatoes
Turnips
Watermelon
94
SEED PROPAGATION
DD
EE
FF
Approx. Ounces Seed
You Need 31
CC
Approx. No. Flats
You Need 30
BB
Approx. Square Feet
You Need 29
AA
MATERIALS NEEDED
Approx. No.
Plants You Need 28
PLANT
FOOD
NEEDED
Pounds You Select
VEGETABLES AND
GARDEN CROPS
(continued)
Yellow
Intermediate41
42
—
—
—
Ishikura43
44
LF
HF
HF
HF
LF
LF
LF
HF
LF
HG
HG
HF
—
—
—
—
—
—
HF / LNU
45, 39, SN
LF
46
LF / LNU
47
HF
LF
HF
LF
LF
LF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
48
—
—
—
—
Droughtresistant
—
Bush
Bush
Bush and
vine
Bush and
vine
—
—
LF / LNU
49
HF
Letter codes on page 88, footnotes on page 116.
MM
Calorie Content
per Pound 33
LL
NOTES
NN
OO
Calcium Content
per Pound in
Milligrams (mg) 33
NUTRITION
Protein Content per
Pound in Grams (g)
(454g per pound) 33
KK
Time of Year to Plant
(SP, SU, FA, WI)
JJ
Especially Good
Varieties, Possible Seed
Sources, and Remarks
II
Your Yield Compared
with U.S. Average 32
HH
Your Actual Yield
per 100 Square Feet
GG
MISCELLANEOUS
Heavy Giver (HG),
Light Feeder (LF),
Low Nitrogen User (LNU),
Heavy Feeder (HF) (see p. 145)
YIELDS
∆
Approximately 12% of the calories, 8% of the protein, and
18% of the calcium eaten worldwide is in the form of
potatoes grown on 2.4% of the cropland. Harvest when
tops are dead.
SP, SU, FA
D
D
D
SU
SP, FA
1.6
2.3
68
94
32
32
9.5
98
73
:Raw. 30% refuse.
SU
9.4
140
359
:Raw. 14% refuse.
SP, SU, FA
6.5
1.8
157
76
222
67
157
157
200
293
111
111
921
193
145
45
1,542
290
1,371
681
82
112
33
47
279
26
:Raw. 19% refuse. Green parts poisonous.
375
430
83
2,508
118
118
67
231
:Jewel (firm).
:Puerto Rican (soft). 19% refuse.
:Raw fruit. 30% refuse.
:Seeds. Hulls 30% of unhulled weight.
69
62
177
51
287
86
85
89
93
122
374
254
185
148
263
304M
124
124
152
171
117
107
102
57
73
100
121
59
:Raw. 5% refuse. Harvest when 10 inches long.
117
127
152
1,116
:Roots, raw.
:Greens, raw.
54
15
:Raw. 54% refuse.
SP, FA 6.2
SP, FA 6.2
SP, FA 16.3
SP, FA 6.6
SP, FA 10.9
SP, FA 109.4
SU
45
4.5
SU
5.1
SP, SU 7.7
6.6
SU
6.2
3.2
SU
131.5
SP, FA 4.1
SP
2.3
SP, FA 4.2
SP, FA 11.4
SP, FA 10.0
SP, SU, FA
10.0
SP, FA 10.5
SU
5.3
SU
4.0
5.2
4.4
SU
4.2
SU
5.2
SU
5.0
3.9
SP, FA 13.6
SU
1.0
}
:Cantaloupe. 50% refuse.
:Honeydew. 37% refuse.
:Raw. Bulb and entire top. 4% refuse.
:Raw. Bulb and white portion of top. 63% refuse.
:Dry. Raw. 9% refuse.
:Dry. Raw. 9% refuse.
:Raw.
:Raw. 15% refuse.
:Green. 62% refuse (pods).
Harvest when seeds are bulging in pods.
:Dry. Try sugar snap edible variety.
:Dry (including seeds). 4% refuse.
:Green. 18% refuse.
:Red. 20% refuse.
}
See above ∆
:Raw, without tops. 10% refuse.
:Raw, without leaves. 14% refuse. Green parts poisonous.
:Raw. 15% refuse. Very flavorful when GROW BIOINTENIVEly
grown.
:Fresh. Caloric content rises to 324 after being stored for
some time.
:Raw. 12% refuse.
:Raw.
:Raw. 28% refuse.
:Raw. 2% refuse.
:Raw. 2% refuse. Harvest the white variety when bone white
with only a tinge of green left.
:Acorn, raw. 24% refuse.
:Butternut, raw. 30% refuse.
:Hubbard, raw. 34% refuse.
}
Harvest when neck stem is dry.
:Raw.
SEED PROPAGATION
95
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
96
Amaranth, Grain and Leaf
Barley
Beans, Fava, Cold-Weather
Beans, Fava, Hot-Weather
Beans, Kidney
Beans, Mung
Beans, Pinto
Beans, Red Mexican and Black
Beans, White
Cassava
Chickpea (Garbanzo)
Corn, Flour or Fodder, Dry
Cowpea
Lentils
Millet, Japanese
Millet, Pearl
Millet, Proso
Oats
Peanuts
Pigeon Pea
Quinoa
Rapeseed
Rice
Rye, Cereal
Safflower
Sesame
Sorghum
Soybeans
Sunflowers
Wheat, Durum
Wheat, Early Stone Age
Wheat, Hard Red Spring
Wheat, Red Winter
Wheat, White
SEED PROPAGATION
.70 A
.70 A
.75
.75
.70 A
.70 A
.70 A
.70 A
.70 A
—
.70 A
.70 A
.75
.70 A
.70 A
.70 A
.70 A
.70 A
.70 A
.70 A
.70 A
.70 A
.70 A
.70 A
.70 A
.70 A
.65 A
.75
.50+ Y
.70 A
.70 A
.70 A
.70 A
.70 A
500 hulled
15–70
15–70
50
500
70
50–100
90–180
—
50
100–200
150
600
10,000
2,200 unhulled
2,200 unhulled
90 hulled
20–70 unshelled
30–90 shelled
D
10,000
8,000
1,100 unhulled
500 hulled
640 unhulled
11,000
1,000
100–250
650 in shell Y
500 hulled
800 unhulled
500 hulled
500 hulled
500 hulled
035–.017 / 1⁄ 3 – 1⁄6 t
.009–.004 / 1⁄40 –1⁄80 t
Edible greens-type: 68 / 136 / 272+; Seed: 4 / 8 / 16+
Biomass, air-dry (stalks): 12 / 24 / 48
Biomass, wet: 79 / 198 / 475
2.4 / 6 1⁄3 T
Seed: 5 / 10 / 24K, U
Biomass, air-dry: 12 / 30 / 72
28.4–6.1 / 7.5–1.6 c
55.2–11.8 / 14.5–3 c
Seed: 5 / 9 / 18
Biomass, air-dry: 18 / 36 / 72
Biomass, wet: 90 / 180 / 360
Seed: 2 / 3 / 6
Biomass, air-dry: 6 / 12 / 24
Biomass, wet: 30 / 60 / 120
F
G
Average U.S. Yield
in Pounds per
100 Square Feet 20, 21
25,000–53,400
E
Possible GROW BIOINTENSIVE
Yield in Pounds per
Plant 18, 19
D
Possible GROW BIOINTENSIVE
Yield in Pounds per
100-Square-Foot
Planting 17
A
C
YIELD
Ounces / Volume
Seed per 100 Square
Feet (adj. for germ.
rate, offset spacing,
and curv. surf.) 14, 15, 16
PLANT
B
Minimum Legal
Germination Rate 13
For protein, also see: Beans, Lima;
Buckwheat; Collards; Corn, Sweet; Garlic;
Peas; Potatoes, Irish and Sweet
SEED
Approx. No. Seeds
per Ounce 12 (range:
larger–smaller seed)
CALORIE, GRAIN,
PROTEIN SOURCE,
AND VEGETABLE OIL
CROPS
Greens: .08–.30
Seed: .11–.44+
Seed: .006–.03
Biomass, dry: .01–.09
Seed: .02–.06
Biomass, dry: .06–.23
Seed: .003–.01
Biomass, dry: .01–.04
Seed: “4”
Biomass,
air-dry: “6”
Seed: 6.6
Biomass, dry:
est. 9.9
.006–.04
.003–.02
.006–.04
.006–.04
.006–.04
1.67–6.67
.003–.02
“4.0”
3.6
3.6
3.6
3.6
D
D
17.7 / 1 ⁄ 10 c
Seed: 4 / 10 / 24
3.8 / 7.6 T
Seed: 4 / 10 / 24
12.7 / 14⁄ 10 c
Seed: 4 / 10 / 24
17.7–8.9 / 2 1⁄10–11⁄ 10 c
Seed: 4 / 10 / 24
9.9–4.9 / 13⁄4 –5⁄6 c
Seed: 4 / 10 / 24
D
Root: 30 / 60 / 120
38.4 / 6 c
Seed: 4 / 10 / 24
1.2–.6 / 3–2 T
Seed: 11 / 17 / 23+
Biomass, air-dry: 24 / 48 / 96
Biomass, wet: 107 / 214 / 428
Seed: .13–.27+
Seed: 17.3
1.5–.25–.17 /
31⁄ 2 T–11⁄ 4 T
Seed: 2.4 / 4.5 / 9
Green hay: 91 / 183 / 366
Seed: .02–.50
Green hay: .57–20.33
D
3.2 / 6 ⁄2 T
Seed: 4 / 6 / 8+
.003–.006+
2.8
.06 / ⁄4 t
Seed: 3 / 7 / 13+ K
Biomass, air-dry: 12 / 30 / 72
Seed: .002–.03+
Seed: “3.4”
.3 / D
Seed: 3 / 6 / 12
Biomass, air-dry: 15 / 40 / 75
Biomass, wet: 70 / 185 / 350
Seed: .01–.03
Biomass, dry: .03–.17
D
Seed: .002–.03+
Seed: 4.1
Seed: .004–.02
Biomass, dry: .01–.09
Seed: 4.4
Biomass, dry:
est. 6.6
6.2
D
9
1
3
D
D
1.25 / 3 T
Seed: 3 / 6 / 12+ K
Biomass, air-dry: 6 / 15 / 36
Seed: 3 / 7 / 13+ K, U
Biomass: air-dry: 12 / 30 / 72
11.8–3.9 / 4.4–1.5 c
shelled
Seed: 4 / 10 / 24
D
Seed: 2 / 4 / 16+
.02–.10
.50–4.00
.023 / ⁄6 t
Seed: 6 / 13 / 26
Biomass, air-dry: 18 / 39 / 78
Seed: .04–.16
.04 / 2 t
Seed: 5 / 10 / 20
.02–.08
3.1
Seed: 8 / 16 / 32 K, U
Biomass, air-dry: 24 / 54 / 96
Seed: 4 / 10 / 24 K, U
Biomass, air-dry: 12 / 30 / 72
Seed: 4 / 9 / 17+
Biomass, air-dry: 5 / 10 / 20
Seed: .006–.02
Biomass, dry: .02–.07
Seed: .005–.03
Biomass, dry: .01–.09
Seed: 13.0
Biomass, dry:
est. 19.5
Seed: 3.7
Biomass, dry:
est. 5.6
Seed: .005–.02+
Seed: 3.3
.08 / 1⁄5 T
Seed: 1.5 / 3 / 6+
Seed: .002–.01+
D
Reg. type: .66 / 12⁄ 3 T
Broom type: 1.9 / 6 4⁄5 T
Reg. type: Seed: 6 / 12 / 24
Biomass, air-dry: 25 / 50 / 100+
Biomass, wet: 88 / 175 / 350+
Reg. type:
Seed: .01–.06
Biomass, dry: .06–.23
Reg. type:
Seed: 8.6
.28 / 4⁄ 5 T
1
1.7 / 3 ⁄5 T
3
2.4 / 5 2⁄5 T
1.8 / 2.6 c
8.2–3.3 / 11⁄ 8–1⁄ 2 c
.08 / .76 / ⁄ 3–3 T
1
2.4 / D
1.5 / D
2.4 / 6 1⁄ 3 T
2.4 / 6 1⁄ 3 T
2.4 / 6 1⁄ 3 T
Dry seed: 4 / 8 / 14+
Seed, hulled: 24 C: 2.5 / 5 / 10
Stalks, air-dry: 9 C: 20 / 40 / 80
Seed: 4 / 10 / 26 K, U
Biomass, air-dry: 12 / 30 / 72
Seed: 4 / 10 / 17 K, U
Biomass, air-dry: 12 / 30 / 51
Seed: 4 / 10 / 26 K, U
Biomass, air-dry: 12 / 30 / 72
Seed: 4 / 10 / 26 K, U
Biomass, air-dry: 12 / 30 / 72
Seed: 5 / 10 / 24 K, U
Biomass, air-dry: 12 / 30 / 72
.006–.02+
D
Biomass, wet: 52.3
5.3
Seed: 24 C: .10 –.38 Seed, hulled:
Stalks: 9 C: .08 –.32
3.5
Seed: 5.1
Seed: .005–.03
Biomass, dry:
Biomass, dry: .01–.09
est. 7.7
Seed: .005–.02+
D
Biomass, dry: .01–.06
Seed: 4.8
Seed: .005–.03
Biomass, dry:
Biomass, dry: .01–.09
est. 7.2
Seed: 6.5
Seed: .006–.03
Biomass, dry:
Biomass, dry: .01–.09
est. 9.8
Seed: “3.7”
Seed: .005–.03
Biomass, dry:
Biomass, dry: .01–.09
est. 5.6
Greens: 6
Seed: 12
621
159
5
8
6
6
4
6
6
6
36
4
15
833
320
621
621
1,343
621
621
621
18
1,343
84
12 / 24 / 159 / 26 /
36E
18
4
7
7
7
5
9
60
12
9
4
5
5
6
1,343
432
432
432
833
248
4
159
248
1,343
833
833
621
Reg. type: 7
Broom type: 4
432
1,343
6
621
24 / 9
26 / 248
5
5
5
5
5
833
833
833
833
833
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
—
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
L
S
S
S
S
L
S
S
S
F
F
F / BR
F / BR
F
F
F
F
F
B
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
BC
175
1 or BC 175
1 187
1 187
1 175
1 175
1 175
1 175
1 175
— —
1 175
1 175
1 187
1 175
1 or BC 175
1 or BC 175
1 or BC 175
1 or BC 175
2
42
1 175
BC 175
BC 175
1 175
1 or BC 175
1 175
1 175
1 or BC 162
1 187
1 125+
1 or BC 175
1 or BC 175
1 or BC 175
1 or BC 175
1 or BC 175
Letter codes on page 88, footnotes on page 116.
4
2
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
2
2
2
2
—
—
4
2
—
2
—
—
2
—
—
2
2
2
2
2
1
1–2
2
2
1–2
1–2
1–2
1–2
1–2
—
1–2
3–5
days
2
1–2
2–4
2–4
2–4
1–2
2–4
2–3
1
1–2
2
1–2
2–3
3
2–3
2
2–3
1–2
2–3
1–2
1–2
1–2
3
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
3
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
1.5
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
1.5
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
111
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
111
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
3
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
3
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
N
O
SEED
YIELD
Q
P
Approx. Maximum
Pounds Seed Yield per
100 Square Feet 27
M4
FOOD
NEEDED
Pounds Consumed
per Year by Average
Person in U.S. 21, 26
M3
SECOND FLAT
Depth of Second Flat
(inches)
Approx. No. Weeks in
First Flat 24
FIRST FLAT—3 INCHES DEEP
M2
Approx. No. Weeks
in Harvesting Period
M1
Approx. No. Weeks
to Maturity in Ground 25
L4
Approx. No. Weeks in
Second Flat 24
L3
Approx. No. Plants
per Flat 22
L2
MATURITY
Spacing in Second
Flat (inches)
L1
Approx. No. Plants per
Flat (adj. for germ.
rate)22
Division Factor to
Determine Flats to
Broadcast 23
K
Spacing in First Flat
(inches) or
Broadcast (BC)
J
Plant Initially in Flats/
Beds (in order of preference)
I
Short/Long/Extra-Long
Germination Time
In-Bed Spacing (inches)
H
Maximum No. Plants
per 100 Square Feet 15
BEDS/FLATS
Greens: 6
Seed: 12
Greens: 4+
Seed: —
9–10
17–43
13–17
12
12
12
12
12
26–52
9
11–16
9–12
12
6–8
17–21
10–13
13–17
17
22
16
—
—
—
8
8
8
8
8
D
D
D
8
—
8
8
—
—
—
—
—
26+
—
D
D
D
D
17
17
17
13–17
13
—
—
—
8
—
2–4
—
—
—
—
—
—
20.8
.6
24
23+
9
8+
13+
12
12+
13+
24
16+
26
20
24
24
17+
6+
24
14
10
26
17+
26
26
26
Green: 8–9
Dry: 16–17
12
16–18
16–20
16–18
16–18
16–18
D
.7
D
D
All dry
edible
beans:
“13.5”
152.3
D
—
D
D
D
6.5
.64
D
D
Oil: “1.0”
D
D
All purposes:
“467.4”
D
See Wheat,
Hard Red Spring
D
All
purposes:
911
Food
products:
151.4
SEED PROPAGATION
16+
24
18
6
24
24
24
24
24
97
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
98
Amaranth, Grain and Leaf
Barley
Beans, Fava, Cold-Weather
Beans, Fava, Hot-Weather
Beans, Kidney
Beans, Mung
Beans, Pinto
Beans, Red Mexican and Black
Beans, White
Cassava
Chickpea (Garbanzo)
Corn, Flour, or Fodder, Dry
Cowpea
Lentils
Millet, Japanese
Millet, Pearl
Millet, Proso
Oats
Peanuts
Pigeon Pea
Quinoa
Rapeseed
Rice
Rye, Cereal
Safflower
Sesame
Sorghum
Soybeans
Sunflowers
Wheat, Durum
Wheat, Early Stone Age
Wheat, Hard Red Spring
Wheat, Red Winter
Wheat, White
SEED PROPAGATION
DD
EE
FF
Approx. Ounces Seed
You Need 31
CC
Approx. No. Flats
You Need 30
BB
Approx. Square Feet
You Need 29
AA
MATERIALS NEEDED
Approx. No.
Plants You Need 28
PLANT
FOOD
NEEDED
Pounds You Select
CALORIE, GRAIN,
PROTEIN SOURCE,
AND VEGETABLE OIL
CROPS (continued)
41
Hull-less41
Banner
(to 10°F)41
50
51
51
51
50
51
—
51
50
50, 51
51
52
—
53
Hull-less41
53
—
—
53
—
35
54
—
41
35
—
—
41
41
—
—
HF
HF
HG
HG
HG
HG
HG
HG
HG
LF
HG
HF
HG
HG
HF
HF
HF
HF
HG
HG
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HG
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
Letter codes on page 88, footnotes on page 116.
SU
SP, FA
FA, SP
SP
SU
SU
SU
SU
SU
—
SU
SP
SU
SP, SU
SU
SU
SU
SP, FA
SU
SU
SU
NUTRITION
NOTES
NN
OO
Calcium Content
per Poumd in
Milligrams (mg) 33
MM
Calorie Content
per Pound 33
LL
Protein Content per
Pound in Grams (g)
(454g per pound) 33
KK
Time of Year to Plant
(SP, SU, FA, WI)
JJ
Especially Good
Varieties, Possible Seed
Sources, and Remarks
II
Your Yield Compared
with U.S. Average 32
HH
Your Actual Yield
per 100 Square Feet
GG
MISCELLANEOUS
Heavy Giver (HG),
Light Feeder (LF),
Low Nitrogen User (LNU),
Heavy Feeder (HF) (see p. 145)
YIELDS
15.9
69.5
200
1,775
1,212
2,224
:Greens. Good calcium source.
:Seed.
37.2
43.5
3.2*
1,583
1,579
224
73
154
145
:Light.
:Pearled or scotch.
:Straw and chaff, dry.
13.0
113.9
13.0
113.9
162
1,533
162
1,533
42
463
42
463
:In pods. 66% refuse.
:Dry beans.
:In pods. 66% refuse.
:Dry beans.
102.1
109.8
103.9
1,556
1,542
1,583
499
535
612
103.9
102.1
1,583
1,556
612
499
101.2
5.5
93.0
40.4
103.4
112.0
1,542
677
1,633
1,579
1,556
1,542
653
309
680
100
336
538
D
D
D
Use 45-day variety.
:Dry. Seeds form in about 45 days when days become shorter.
Yields can be 3 times higher in hot climate and good soil.
}
Hulling of regular varieties difficult.
Use hull-less varieties.
}
Excellent organic matter crop. For biomass
only, harvest when plants begin to lose
their maximum green. Fixes up to .16+ lb
nitrogen per 100 sq ft per year. Caution:
Beans can be toxic to some people.
:Red Mexican.
:Black.
:Dry seeds, raw.
Harvest sequentially when
seeds bulge through pods.
:Raw. Transplant stem cuttings 12–18 inches long and 1–1.5 inches in
diameter at beginning of rains. Some varieties take 104 weeks to mature.
:Dry seeds, raw. Harvest like beans.
:Dry seeds, raw. Also produces a lot of organic matter.
:Dry. Harvest sequentially when seeds bulge through pods.
Can harvest up to 1⁄3 of leaves from 21–30 days until flowering.
:Dry seeds, raw. Harvest like beans.
19.0*
44.9
D
D
1,483
91
:Dry. High in iron.
64.4
3.2*
1,769
233
240
86
117.9
92.5
73.5
313
485
640
:Grain, dry.
Hulling of regular varieties difficult.
Use hull-less varieties.
:Straw and chaff, dry.
:Shelled, raw. Shells 27% of unshelled weight.
Can be carcinogenic if not stored properly.
:Dry. Hulls 61% of unhulled weight.
Short–lived perennial in tropical climates.
}
SP, SU, FA
D
2,558
1,551
1,600
1,960
D
:Dry. Helps eradicate weeds.
SU
FA
SU
SU
SU
SU
SU
FA
FA
FA
FA
FA
34.0
30.4
2.7*
1,633
1,647
D
145
109
86
:Brown.
:White.
:Straw and chaff, dry.
54.9
86.6
84.4
1,515
90
172
118
:Dry, whole grain.
:Straw and chaff, dry.
2,790 —
2,554 5,262
:Dry.
}
15% in wheat bread buffers phytates
that otherwise tie up iron.
:Dry, hulled. Source of organic matter and vegetable oil.
Harvest when 98–100% of heads dry. Hulls 49% unhulled weight.
:Dry. Very high in calcium. Seed = 40% oil.
49.9
15.0*
49.9
154.7
1,506
351
608
1,828
127
154
304
1,025
108.9
2,540
544
57.6
1.3*
83.0
D
63.5
1.3*
1,506
100
D
D
1,497
100
168
95
D
D
163
95
:Grain, dry.
:Fodder, dry.
:Green.
:Hulled, dry.
:Dry seeds without hulls. Hulls 46% of unhulled weight.
Seed = approx. 20% oil.
:Grain, dry.
:Straw and chaff, dry.
Triticum monococcum var. Hornemanii.
:Grain, dry.
Variety up to 12,000 years old.
:Straw and chaff, dry.
More difficult to thresh than other wheat.
:Grain, dry.
:Straw and chaff, dry.
55.8
46.3
1.3*
1,497
1,497
100
209
191
95
:Grain, dry, hard variety.
:Grain, dry, soft variety.
:Straw and chaff, dry.
42.6
1.3*
1,520
100
163
95
:Grain, dry.
:Straw and chaff, dry.
}
}
For milder, wetter climate, like the
Pacific Northwest. Not widely used.
SEED PROPAGATION
99
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Alfalfa
Buckwheat
Cardoon
Clover, Alsike
Clover, Crimson
14,000
1,000
688
44,875
7,000
.70 A
.70 A
.60
.70 A
.70 A
Clover, Sweet, Hubam
Clover, Medium Red
Clover, White
Comfrey, Russian
Grass, Rye, Italian
Kudzu
Roots, General
Sainfoin
Sunnhemp, Giant
Teosinte
Timothy
Vetch, Purple, Hairy, or Woolly Pod
11,400
14,500
45,750
—
16,875
2,000
.70 A
.70 A
.70 A
—
.70 A
.70 A
100
BB
SEED PROPAGATION
E
F
G
Average U.S. Yield
in Pounds per
100 Square Feet 20, 21
A
D
Ounces / Volume
Seed per 100 Square
Feet (adj. for germ.
rate, offset spacing,
and curv. surf.) 14, 15, 16
Approx. No. Seeds
per Ounce 12 (range:
larger–smaller seed)
PLANT
1
2
3
4
5
C
Minimum Legal
Germination Rate 13
B
For organic matter, also see: Artichoke,
Jerusalem; Beans, Fava
YIELD
Possible GROW BIOINTENSIVE
Yield in Pounds per
100-Square-Foot
Planting 17
SEED
Possible GROW BIOINTENSIVE
Yield in Pounds per
Plant 18, 19
COMPOST, CARBON,
ORGANIC MATTER,
FODDER, AND
COVER CROPS
.085 / 1⁄ 4 T
Biomass, air-dry: 44 / 82 / 123
Biomass, wet: 148 / 275 / 412,
5–6 cuttings
D
Biomass, air-dry:
16.0; Biomass,
wet: “53.6”
2.6 / 1⁄2 c
Biomass, air-dry: 2 / 4 / 6
Grain: 4 / 8 / 16+
D
D
.04 / 11⁄2 t
Biomass, air-dry: 20 / 40 / 80
Dry: 1.11–4.44
D
.3–.55+ / ⁄ 6 t
Biomass, air-dry: 12 / 25 / 38
.01–.05
Biomass,
air-dry: “4.3”
.6+ / 11⁄ 4 t
Biomass, air-dry: 12 / 25 / 38
Biomass, wet: 38 / 81 / 120 (6-mo. yield)
Dry: .01–.05
Biomass,
air-dry: “4.3”
1.1 / 2⁄ 3 t
Biomass, air-dry: 12 / 25 / 38
Biomass, wet: 38 / 81 / 120 (6-mo. yield)
Dry: .01–.05
Biomass,
air-dry: “4.3”
.08 for hay / .72 for
green manure /
2 T / 1 1⁄ 10 c
Biomass, air-dry: 25 / 50 / 75
Biomass, wet: 38 / 81 / 120 (6-mo. yield)
Dry: .03–.09
Biomass,
air-dry: “8.7”
.03 / 1⁄ 4 t
Biomass, air-dry: 12 / 25 / 38
Biomass, wet: 38 / 81 / 120 (6-mo. yield)
Dry: .01–.05
Biomass,
air-dry: “4.3”
53 roots
Biomass, air-dry: 10 / 27 / 37
Biomass, wet: 92 / 220 / 339 (6-mo. yield)
Dry: .06–.23
Biomass, air-dry:
“62.6” world high
(12-mo. season)
3.6 / 11⁄ 3 c
D
D
D
D/D
Biomass, air-dry: 13 / 26 / 53
Biomass, wet: 53 / 105 / 211
1
Propagated by seeds,
An important hidden compost crop beneath the ground. Root matter in the soil can range from
In pods: 1,560
Cleaned: 2,040
D
440
82,500
800
.50 A
.70 A
.70 A
.70 A
.70 A
.82 hulled / D
Biomass, air-dry: 12 / 25 / 38
(6-mo. yield)
Dry: .01–.05
D
D/D
Biomass, air-dry: 18 / 44 / 108
Biomass, wet: 79 / 198 / 475
Dry: .04–.25
D
.11 / 2⁄ 3 T
Grain: 2 / 4 / 6
Biomass, air-dry: 17 / 34 / 68
Biomass, wet: 88 / 166 / 232
Dry: .48–1.94
D
.01 / ⁄ 8 t
Biomass, air-dry: 12 / 25 / 38
Biomass, wet: 38 / 81 / 120 (6-mo. yield)
Dry: .01–.05
Biomass,
air-dry: “4.3”
D
D
1
5.5 (.63 if interplanted) /
3
⁄ 4 c (11⁄ 2 T)
Biomass, air-dry: 5 / 9 / 18
Biomass, wet: 25 / 50 / 100
}
Planted alone
5
833
Broadcast
D
36
18
5
5
5
5
5
12
833
833
833
833
833
159
Broadcast
D
S
S
S
F
B
F
BC
—
1
175
—
150
4
—
—
8
—
2–3
—
—
6
—
—
2
—
—
60
—
—
3–4
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
F
F
F
F
F
B
B
BC
BC
BC
BC
BC
—
—
175
175
175
175
175
—
—
4
4
4
4
4
—
—
8
8
8
8
8
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
N
O
Q
P
Approx. Maximum
Pounds Seed Yield per
100 Square Feet 27
M4
SEED
YIELD
FOOD
NEEDED
Pounds Consumed
per Year by Average
Person in U.S. 21, 26
M3
SECOND FLAT
Depth of Second Flat
(inches)
Approx. No. Weeks in
First Flat 24
FIRST FLAT—3 INCHES DEEP
M2
Approx. No. Weeks
in Harvesting Period
M1
Approx. No. Weeks
to Maturity in Ground 25
L4
Approx. No. Weeks in
Second Flat 24
L3
Approx. No. Plants
per Flat 22
L2
MATURITY
Spacing in Second
Flat (inches)
L1
Approx. No. Plants per
Flat (adj. for germ.
rate)22
Division Factor to
Determine Flats to
Broadcast 23
K
Spacing in First Flat
(inches) or
Broadcast (BC)
J
Plant Initially in Flats/
Beds (in order of preference)
I
Short/Long/Extra-Long
Germination Time
In-Bed Spacing (inches)
H
Maximum No. Plants
per 100 Square Feet 15
BEDS/FLATS
12 to first
cutting, 5–9
thereafter
3–50+ years
611.9
9–13
—
D
1.8+
16+
Harvest when
stalks mature
1 harvest
D
D
17–26
17–26
17–26
1 cutting
1 cutting
1 cutting
17 to first
cutting, 5–9
thereafter
2–3 years
“547.5”
2.2+
17–26
3–5 years
12–17 to first
cutting
Years
D
D
D
D
D
6.9+
cuttings, and roots. More research needs to be performed. For some information see Book of Kudzu, by Bill Shurtleff, in the bibliography.
45–120% of aboveground biomass at the end of the growing season. (Brady and Weil, The Nature and Properties of Soils, 12th ed., p. 423.)
5
7
21
5
833
432
35
833
Broadcast
D
S
S
S
S
S
F
F
F
F
B
BC or 1
1
1
BC
—
125
175
175
175
—
Letter codes on page 88, footnotes on page 116.
2
—
—
4
—
8
2–3
2–3
8
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
17 to first
cutting, 9
thereafter
D
D
.46+
17+
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
17
D
D
D
D
D
.46+
1.1+
SEED PROPAGATION
101
FOOD
COMPOST, CARBON,
NEEDED
ORGANIC MATTER,
FODDER, AND COVER BB
CROPS (continued)
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Alfalfa
Buckwheat
Cardoon
Clover, Alsike
Clover, Crimson
Clover, Sweet, Hubam
Clover, Medium Red
Clover, White
Comfrey, Russian
Grass, Rye, Italian
Kudzu
Roots, General
Sainfoin
Sunnhemp, Giant
Teosinte
Timothy
Vetch, Purple, Hairy, or Woolly Pod
102
SEED PROPAGATION
Approx. Ounces Seed
You Need 31
FF
Approx. No. Flats
You Need 30
EE
Approx. Square Feet
You Need 29
DD
Approx. No.
Plants You Need 28
AA
CC
Pounds You Select
PLANT
MATERIALS NEEDED
41, AC
41
—
41, AC
41, AC
53, AC
41, AC
41, AC
.
—
—
—
—
54
—
50, 54
53
41
HG
HF
HF
HG
HG
HG
HG
HG
HF
HF
LF
—
HG
HG
HF
HF
HG
Letter codes on page 88, footnotes on page 116.
NUTRITION
SP
Air dry:
53.1*
SP, mid-SU
SP
53.1
—
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
D
—
SP
SU
SU
SP
SP, FA
NOTES
NN
411
1,520
—
667
517
—
36.7*
44.5*
42.6
51.3*
42.6*
3.4
15.4*
436
391
355
450
355
522
558
567
767
567
D
D
D
—
13.3
11.3
D
D
D
D
—
34.0*
—
D
—
—
D
D
D
22.2*
18.6*
69.0*
D
D
D
OO
Calcium Content
per Pound in
Milligrams (mg) 33
MM
Calorie Content
per Pound 33
LL
Protein Content per
Pound in Grams (g)
(454g per pound) 33
KK
Time of Year to Plant
(SP, SU, FA, WI)
JJ
Especially Good
Varieties, Possible Seed
Sources, and Remarks
II
Your Yield Compared
with U.S. Average 32
HH
Your Actual Yield
per 100 Square Feet
GG
MISCELLANEOUS
Heavy Giver (HG),
Light Feeder (LF),
Low Nitrogen User (LNU),
Heavy Feeder (HF) (see p. 145)
YIELDS
186
513
:Air dry at 10% bloom point. Transplant when seedling is 2–3 months
old. Harvest when in 10–50% flowering range. Fixes .35–.57 lb
nitrogen/100 sq ft/year.
:Dry grain. Hulling difficult. Good honeybee plant.
1
⁄2 lb honey/100 sq ft.
Flower market potential. Can become a noxious weed;
do not allow seeds to disperse.
:Dry. Fixes up to .27 lb
See Voison books in
nitrogen/100 sq ft/year.
the bibliography
(under “Compost
:Dry. Fixes up to .21 lb
Crops”) for ways to
nitrogen/100 sq ft/year.
increase grazing
yields significantly.
:Dry.
Try 3–5 times the
seeding rate for hay
:Before bloom. Fixes up to
if growing crop seed.
.23–.3 lb nitrogen/100 sq ft/year.
Roots can equal
biomass weight
:Dry. Fixes up to .23–.3 lb
above ground.
nitrogen/100 sq ft/year.
Not good for soil.
:Dried root.
:Cured hay.
cloth can be made from the root.
}Plus
Can be invasive.
:Dry. Does best in slightly dry climate.
:Dry, early bloom.
:Dry. Fixes up to .25 lb nitrogen/100 sq ft/year.
SEED PROPAGATION
103
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Bamboo, Paper
Bamboo, Regular
Beets, Sugar
Cheese
Cotton, Regular
Cotton, Tree
Eggs, Chicken
Flax
Gopher Plant
Gourds
Guayule
Jojoba
Kenaf
Milk, Cow
Milk, Goat
Sprouts, Alfalfa
Sprouts, Wheat
104
SEED PROPAGATION
F
G
Average U.S. Yield
in Pounds per
100 Square Feet 20, 21
E
Possible GROW BIOINTENSIVE
Yield in Pounds per
Plant 18, 19
D
Possible GROW BIOINTENSIVE
Yield in Pounds per
100-Square-Foot
Planting 17
C
YIELD
Ounces / Volume
Seed per 100 Square
Feet (adj. for germ.
rate, offset spacing,
and curv. surf.) 14, 15, 16
A
B
Minimum Legal
Germination Rate 13
PLANT
SEED
Approx. No. Seeds
per Ounce 12 (range:
larger–smaller seed)
ENERGY, FIBER,
PAPER, AND
OTHER CROPS
General:
“27.5”
Under research.
Under research.
1,600
.65A
.4AA
91 / 182 / 364
.21–.84
102.8
Approx. 1 lb per gallon of milk. Heat milk to 180°F. Add ⁄2 cup vinegar per gallon of milk.
1
300
.70A
.76
1.2 / 2.4 / 4.8+
.007–.03+
1.4
An African perennial variety. Under research.
See Ecology Action’s Backyard Homestead, Mini-Farm and Garden Log Book.
6,000
.70A
Seed: .2 / 1⁄2 t
Fiber: .6 / 12⁄3 t
D
D
D
For automotive oil. Under research. Also, a toxic plant for gopher control. Not to be used around
150
.70A
.5
D
D
For rubber. Under research.
50
D
For oil. Under research.
For newsprint, toilet paper, fiber, twine, rope.
See Ecology Action’s Backyard Homestead, Mini-Farm and Garden Log Book.
A cow requires about twice the fodder as a goat and produces about twice the milk.
To be developed. Nutritious, but a large area is required for the
production of the seed.
D
N
O
Q
P
Approx. Maximum
Pounds Seed Yield per
100 Square Feet 27
M4
SEED
YIELD
FOOD
NEEDED
Pounds Consumed
per Year by Average
Person in U.S. 21, 26
M3
SECOND FLAT
Depth of Second Flat
(inches)
Approx. No. Weeks in
First Flat 24
FIRST FLAT—3 INCHES DEEP
M2
Approx. No. Weeks
in Harvesting Period
M1
Approx. No. Weeks
to Maturity in Ground 25
L4
Approx. No. Weeks in
Second Flat 24
L3
Approx. No. Plants
per Flat 22
L2
MATURITY
Spacing in Second
Flat (inches)
L1
Approx. No. Plants per
Flat (adj. for germ.
rate)22
Division Factor to
Determine Flats to
Broadcast 23
K
Spacing in First Flat
(inches) or
Broadcast (BC)
J
Plant Initially in Flats/
Beds (in order of preference)
I
Short/Long/Extra-Long
Germination Time
In-Bed Spacing (inches)
H
Maximum No. Plants
per 100 Square Feet 15
BEDS/FLATS
All paper and
paperboard:
“699”
7
432
L
F
1
162
—
3–4
—
—
—
—
12
—
All sugars:
67.1 lbs
All syrups: 10+ gal
“30.6”
Stir. Let sit for 5 minutes. Pour through cheesecloth lining a colander. Let drain until excess moisture is gone. Result: soft cheese.
12
159
L
F
1
175
—
3–4
—
—
—
—
17–26
—
D
22.7
Eggs: 240
(30 lbs)
Seed: 5
Fiber: 3
833
2,507
S
F
1
175
—
2–3
—
—
—
—
12–14
—
D
D
S
F
2
42
—
3–4
—
—
—
—
16
—
D
D
young children.
18
53
Grows up to 18 ft high. 8–10 tons of fiber yield per acre possible annually (5 times the pulp per acre compared with wood).
Fluid milk and
cream: 218 lbs
(27.2 gal)
D
Letter codes on page 88, footnotes on page 116.
SEED PROPAGATION
105
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Bamboo, Paper
Bamboo, Regular
Beets, Sugar
Cheese
Cotton, Regular
Cotton, Tree
Eggs, Chicken
Flax
Gopher Plant
Gourds
Guayule
Jojoba
Kenaf
Milk, Cow
Milk, Goat
Sprouts, Alfalfa
Sprouts, Wheat
106
SEED PROPAGATION
DD
EE
FF
Approx. Ounces Seed
You Need 31
CC
Approx. No. Flats
You Need 30
BB
Approx. Square Feet
You Need 29
AA
MATERIALS NEEDED
Approx. No.
Plants You Need 28
PLANT
FOOD
NEEDED
Pounds You Select
ENERGY, FIBER,
PAPER, AND
OTHER CROPS
(continued)
MM
Calorie Content
per Pound 33
LL
NOTES
NN
OO
Calcium Content
per Pound in
Milligrams (mg) 33
NUTRITION
Protein Content per
Pound in Grams (g)
(454g per pound) 33
KK
Time of Year to Plant
(SP, SU, FA, WI)
JJ
Especially Good
Varieties, Possible Seed
Sources, and Remarks
II
Your Yield Compared
with U.S. Average 32
HH
Your Actual Yield
per 100 Square Feet
GG
MISCELLANEOUS
Heavy Giver (HG),
Light Feeder (LF),
Low Nitrogen User (LNU),
Heavy Feeder (HF) (see p. 145)
YIELDS
∆
Probably any abundant local species, reasonably priced,
may be used. Better grades of paper are made from young
and still leafless culms; older, mature culms are too
lignified for easy processing, but can be used for coarse,
dark-fibered paper. 40% paper yield. For wrapping, news,
and book-quality paper. Paper can also be made from
many fibrous plants, including cabbage.
See above. ∆
Building materials, piping.
53
50
54
LF
HF
HF
HF
—
SP, SU, FA
D
D
D
—
SU
SU
—
SP
—
SU
—
—
36.3
—
—
52.1
—
—
—
—
—
1,696
—
—
658
—
—
—
—
—
281
—
—
218
—
—
—
—
—
:Cream cheese. Add parsley, dill seeds, chives for flavor.
—
—
15.9
14.5
299
304
531
585
:3.7% fat.
All year
All year
Letter codes on page 88, footnotes on page 116.
}
Minimum clothes replacement rate per year: 2.5 lbs.
Thousands of years ago in India, people placed a mineral in the soil
with the cotton plants, and colored fibers resulted!
:11% refuse.
For more information on kenaf, write for information packet:
The Newspaper Mill Center, Box 17047,
Dulles International Airport,
Washington, DC 20041.
Has only 1⁄ 3 the vitamin B12 that cow milk has.
Nutritive amounts given for
sprouts differ.
SEED PROPAGATION
107
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
Almond
Apple, Dwarf
Apple, Regular
Apple, Semi-Dwarf
Apricot, Dwarf
Apricot, Regular
Apricot, Semi-Dwarf
Tall
Avocado, Dwarf
Tall
Banana, Dwarf
Blackberries
Low Bush
Blueberries, High Bush
Boysenberries
Cherry, Sour, Bush
Cherry, Sour, Dwarf
Cherry, Sour, Regular
Cherry, Sweet, Bush
Cherry, Sweet, Dwarf
Cherry, Sweet, Regular
Chestnut
Coconut
Currants, Black
Dates
Filbert
Fig
Grapefruit
Grapes, Raisin
Grapes, Table
Grapes, Wine
Guava
Hickory
108
SEED PROPAGATION
12–15
600–1,000
600–1,000
600–1,000
18–20
18–20
D
D
.65A
D
D
.90A
18–20
D
D
D
—
10,000
—
—
D
—
—
—
D
D
200–250
200–250
.80A
D
D
150–160
150–160
1
—
—
40
10–20
—
150–200
—
—
—
D
160
681
27
194
681
70
303
302–193
681
302–193
681
2,723 propagated
by cuttings
by
10,890 propagated
softwood cut2,723 tings in late SP
681 propagated by
cuttings
}
D
4,840
681
1,089
4,840
681
481
27
48
—
—
—
—
2,723 propagated
by cuttings
48 propagated by
cuttings
194 propagated by
cuttings
194 propagated by
cuttings
D
.75A
.72A
D
76
—
—
—
681 propagated by
cuttings
681 propagated by
cuttings
681 propagated by
cuttings
D
D
1–5 depends on
variety.
.55–.80 J
depends on
variety
303
27
2.8 / 5.6 / 8.4+
50 / 75 / 100
50 / 75 / 100
50 / 75 / 100
25 / 50 / 100
In shell:
F
G
Average U.S. Yield
in Pounds per
100 Square Feet 20, 21
E
Possible GROW BIOINTENSIVE
Yield in Pounds per
Plant 18, 19
D
Possible GROW BIOINTENSIVE
Yield in Pounds per
100-Square-Foot
Planting 17
C
Approx. No. Plants
per Acre
A
B
YIELD
Minimum Legal
Germination Rate 13
PLANT
SEED
Approx. No. Seeds
per Ounce 12 (range:
larger–smaller seed)
TREE AND CANE
CROPS
7.6–22.8+
32–64
800–1,600
112–225
25–100
4.7
57.4
57.4
57.4
25.4
156–625
36–144
3.8–7.6+
25.4
25.4
10.9
34.0
“23.8”
.76–3.0
3.0–12.0
D
25 / 50 / 100
25 / 50 / 100
9 / 18 / 36
27 / 60 / 92+
24 / 36 / 48+
19 / 37 / 75
26 / 39 / 52+
8 / 17 / 34
17 / 34 / 51
17 / 34 / 51
8 / 17 / 34
17 / 34 / 51
17 / 34 / 51
In shell: 3.5 / 7 / 15
3 / 6 / 13
16.6–33+
.8–3.0
11–32.6
68–204
.8–3.0
11–32.6
153–459
56–240
27–118
“25.7”
D
D
D
23 / 46 / 70
In shell: 13 / 27 / 55
12 / 24 / 36++
63 / 95 / 126
Raw, dried: 45 / 67 / 90
45 / 67 / 90
32 / 48 / 64
207–630
29–123
27–81++
362–724
29–58
28.8–57.6
20.5–41
D
D
23.3
2.4
14.5
69.3
“45.4”
31.2
“31.6”
47.3
D
D
D
13–81
6–23
39–208
12–59
D
19.8
19.8
D
16.9
16.9
D
D
16.5
8
40
272
64
1,600
15
8
25
12
225
64
625
144
12–15
8
12–15
8
144–225
64
144–225
64
4
16
2
4
4
16
8
3
8
20
3
8
30
40
30
4
30
15 (18–25)
15
24
8
8
8
12
40
64
9
64
400
9
64
900
1,600
900
16
900
225
225
576
64
64
64
144
1,600
L
EL
EL
EL
L
L
L
D
D
D
D
D
L
L
L
L
L
L
F
F
F
4
F
F
F
F
F
F
2
Deep flat
D
Deep flat
F
F
F
F
F
F
D
Deep flat
D
F
D
D
Deep flat
Deep flat
D
Deep flat
D
Deep flat
L
D
D
D
D
D
F
F
F
F
F
F
Letter codes on page 88, footnotes on page 116.
D
I
2
D
39
—
I
4
I
I
I
I
I
6
I
—
—
6
D
I
3
I
—
I
—
I
—
20
I
6
—
5
I
4
—
D
I
6
D
—
D
I
9
—
D
I
9
I
9
D
3
I
D
—
I
—
I
—
I
I
—
D
D
D
“.07”
In shell: 55.0
17
D
D
D
“6.7”
D
D
Dry: “2.0”
D
D
D
“4.6”
“20.4”
D
D
D
25–350
D
D
D
D
Approx. Maximum
Pounds Seed Yield per
100 Square Feet 27
Pounds Consumed
per Year by Average
Person in U.S. 21, 26
Possible Bearing Years
Approx. No.
Years to Max. Bearing
Approx. No. Years
to Bearing
Approx. No. Weeks
in Harvesting
Period
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
—
D
D
D
—
D
D
D
D
3
D
8–12
D
D
D
D
3
D
D
4
D
—
I
D
D
D
D
3
D
D
1
D
D
D
D
D
3
D
D
6
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
6
D
—
D
6
D
D
“.62”
In shell: 15.0
D
10–15
D
D
—
I
D
D
D
D
5–6
D
D
D
D
D
—
D
D
3
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
10–20
D
6–10
D
D
D
“.12”
D
D
D
10–15
D
4
D
D
D
D
D
6–25
—
—
—
—
D
3
D
D
D
10–20
D
D
D
3
D
D
D
D
D
D
“1.3”
D
4
D
D
3
D
—
I
3
D
D
D
D
3
D
D
D
D
“.17”
D
3
D
D
3
D
—
22
3
2
D
D
6–7
8
D
—
I
3
3
D
D
D
3–4
D
D
D
D
“16.0”
D
2
D
D
D
D
—
D
}
}
In shell: 8.4
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
—
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
—
D
D
3
D
D
D
D
—
D
D
3
D
D
4
D
—
D
4
2
D
35–50
D
10
D
—
14
4
4
D
D
D
10
D
—
D
SEED
YIELD
R
“.4”
D
D
5
D
D
4
D
D
D
D
D
3
D
Q
P
3–4
D
—
I
O
D
—
I
2
N
Approx. No. Weeks
in Flats 24
M
Approx. No. Plants per Flat
(adj. for germ. rate)22
L
FOOD
NEEDED
MATURITY
Flats Spacing for First Flat
and Second Flat (inches)
K
Plant Initially in Flats/
Beds (in order of preference)
J
Square Feet Required
per Plant
I
In-Bed Spacing (feet)
H
Short/Long/Extra-Long
Germination Time
BEDS/FLATS
SEED PROPAGATION
D
109
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
Almond
Apple, Dwarf
Apple, Regular
Apple, Semi-Dwarf
Apricot, Dwarf
Apricot, Regular
Apricot, Semi-Dwarf
Tall
Avocado, Dwarf
Tall
Banana, Dwarf
Blackberries
Low Bush
Blueberries, High Bush
Boysenberries
Cherry, Sour, Bush
Cherry, Sour, Dwarf
Cherry, Sour, Regular
Cherry, Sweet, Bush
Cherry, Sweet, Dwarf
Cherry, Sweet, Regular
Chestnut
Coconut
Currants, Black
Dates
Filbert
Fig
Grapefruit
Grapes, Raisin
Grapes, Table
Grapes, Wine
Guava
Hickory
110
SEED PROPAGATION
DD
EE
FF
Approx. Ounces Seed
You Need 31
CC
Approx. No. Flats
You Need 30
BB
Approx. Square Feet
You Need 29
AA
MATERIALS NEEDED
Approx. No.
Plants You Need 28
PLANT
FOOD
NEEDED
Pounds You Select
TREE AND CANE
CROPS (continued)
—
—
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
Early SP
Manchurian
—
—
—
—
—
2 varieties for
pollination
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
Letter codes on page 88, footnotes on page 116.
Time of Year to Plant
(SP, SU, FA, WI)
Early SP
Early SP
LL
84.4
.8
.8
MM
NOTES
NN
OO
Calcium Content
per Pound in
Milligrams (mg) 33
Early SP
KK
Calorie Content
per Pound 33
HF
HF
HF
JJ
NUTRITION
Protein Content per
Pound in Grams (g)
(454g per pound) 33
Heavy Giver (HG),
Light Feeder (LF),
Low Nitrogen User (LNU),
Heavy Feeder (HF) (see p. 145)
—
—
—
II
Your Yield Compared
with U.S. Average 32
HH
Your Actual Yield
per 100 Square Feet
GG
MISCELLANEOUS
Especially Good
Varieties, Possible Seed
Sources, and Remarks
YIELDS
2,713 1,061
242
29
242
29
:Shelled. Shells 49% of unshelled weight.
:Raw. 8% refuse. Spur-type yields higher.
:Raw. 8% refuse.
Early SP
.8
4.3
4.3
4.3
7.1
242
217
217
217
568
29
72
72
72
34
Early SP
3.4
3.7
262
278
25
31
Early SP
5.3
2.9
3.2
5.0
5.0
5.0
3.6
3.6
3.6
30.4
264
259
163
242
242
242
195
195
195
1,710
145
63
86
92
92
92
68
68
68
236
Early SP
8.3
15.9
816
1,569
31
59
Early SP
7.6
10.0
57.2
240
1,243
2,876
267
268
948
Early SP
5.4
19.5
363
1,243
159
572
1.0
11.3
2.4
3.7
3.5
59.9
84
1,311
270
197
273
3,053
33
281
48
46
101
:Raw. 55% refuse.
Trace
:Shelled: 65% of unshelled weight.
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
:Raw. 8% refuse.
:Raw. 6% refuse. A fall-yielding variety also exists.
:Raw. 6% refuse. 30 ft high.
:Raw. 6% refuse.
:25% refuse.
:Yellow.
:Red.
32% refuse.
:Raw. Beds 2–3 ft wide. Some people use 2–ft centers.
:8% refuse. Remove blossoms for first 2 years.
Use bird netting.
:Canned. 8% refuse. 2–ft wide beds. 4–8 canes/center. Bearing season:
Logan (midsummer); young (midsummer); Olallie (late summer).
:Raw. 8% refuse.
:Raw. 8% refuse.
:Raw. 8% refuse. Bear in 3–5 years.
:Canned, without pits.
:Canned, without pits. One self-pollinating variety exists.
:Canned, without pits.
:Dried and shelled: 18% of unshelled weight.
Problems with blight.
:Fresh. 48% refuse.
:Meat.
:Raw. 2% refuse. 2-foot-wide beds.
:Dry and pitted. 1 male to 100 female plants for pollination.
Pits: 13% of dried weight.
:Shelled: 54% of unshelled weight. 46% refuse.
:Raw. Drying ratio 3:1.
:Dried. 23% moisture.
:Dry. 18% moisture. Drying ratio 4.3:1.
:Raw. 11% refuse.
:Raw. 37% refuse.
:Raw. 35% refuse. 15 ft high.
SEED PROPAGATION
111
31
32
33
34
35
Honey Locust
Lemon
Lime
Mango
Mesquite
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
Nectarine, Dwarf
Nectarine, Regular
Olive
Orange, Sweet
Peach, Dwarf
Peach, Regular
Pear, Dwarf
Pear, Regular
Pecan
Persimmon
Pistachio
Plum, Bush
Plum, Regular
Pomegranate
Raspberries
Strawberries
Tangelo
Tangerine
Walnut, No. Calif. Black
Walnut, English (Persian)
Walnut, Eastern, Black
112
SEED PROPAGATION
180
200–300
300–400
D
.50 J
F
D
27
76
194
D
D
65.7
32.3
D
48 propagated by
seed or grafting
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
75 / 112 / 150
128–320
432–864
Pods and beans: 6 / 13 / 26+
D
D
109
Seed: D
Pods: D
D
D
D
D
D
D
681
194
27
40 / 60 / 80
40 / 60 / 80
8 / 17 / 35
25.6–51+
90–180+
129–564
200–300
610
610
750
750
6
74
In shell: 28
D
97
76
Navel: 32 / 48 / 64
Valencia: 42 / 63 / 84
155–310
242–484
D
D
D
D
D
.50 J
D
D
D
50–55
D
D
D
—
40,000
200–300
300–400
3
2
3
G
Average U.S. Yield
in Pounds per
100 Square Feet 20, 21
E
Possible GROW BIOINTENSIVE
Yield in Pounds per
Plant 18, 19
D
Possible GROW BIOINTENSIVE
Yield in Pounds per
100-Square-Foot
Planting 17
C
Approx. No. Plants
per Acre
A
B
YIELD
Minimum Legal
Germination Rate 13
PLANT
SEED
Approx. No. Seeds
per Ounce 12 (range:
larger–smaller seed)
TREE AND CANE
CROPS (continued)
—
D
D
D
.40 A
.80 A
.50 A
681
194
681
170
27
134
109
4,840
134
435
2,723 propagated
by cuttings
43,560 propagated
by seed or runners
109
109
27
27
27
D
Clingstone: 60 / 90 / 120
38–76
29.0
29.0
11.7
75.8
“60.3”
Clingstone: 60 / 90 / 120
Freestone: 39 / 59 / 78
135–270
88–176
“53.4”
34.6
36 / 72 / 108
36 / 72 / 108
In shell: 6 / 12 / 25+
8 / 16 / 32+
23–70
92–276
96–400+
26–103
66.1
66.1
D
D
6.3
D
D
9.5 / 19 / 38
.85–3.4
D
Regular: 19 / 38 / 57
Fresh prune: 11 / 22 / 33
61–184
36–107
20.6
18.2
50 / 75 / 100
12 / 18 / 24
40 / 80 / 160
50–100
.95–.38+
.4–1.6
D
D
D
D
D
5 / 7.5 / 10+
In shell: 5 / 7.5 / 10+
In shell: 5 / 7.5 / 10+
80–160+
80–160+
80–160+
In shell:
“12.3”
83.1
48.2
39.8
5.4
5.4
5.4
40
24
15
1,600
576
225
30
20
8
15
40
900
400
64
225
1,600
22
24
448
576
8
15
8
16 (–20)
40 (–70)
18
20
3
18 (–24)
10
4
1
20
20
40
40
40
64
225
64
256
1,600
324
400
9
324
100
16
1
400
400
1,600
1,600
1,600
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
EL
L
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
EL
L
EL
F
F
F
4
F
F
2
2
F
F
F
F
F
F
Deep flat
F
F
F
F
F
F
Letter codes on page 88, footnotes on page 116.
—
I
2
D
I
2
D
I
—
—
4
I
—
D
—
I
4
I
1
I
2
D
D
I
D
—
I
2
—
I
6
—
I
—
2
60
I
—
I
—
I
D
—
D
—
—
“3.3”
“.34”
“.7”
D
D
D
D
D
D
Approx. Maximum
Pounds Seed Yield per
100 Square Feet 27
Possible Bearing Years
Approx. No.
Years to Max. Bearing
Pounds Consumed
per Year by Average
Person in U.S. 21, 26
Approx. No. Weeks
in Harvesting
Period
D
D
D
D
6–10
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
8
I
D
D
} “2.0”
D
3
D
12
4
D
D
D
4
D
D
D
D
3
D
6
4
D
—
I
D
D
30–50
D
2
D
D
4
D
D
D
20–25
D
D
D
D
2
D
D
1
D
“17.2”
20–300
D
D
D
In shell: 25.0+
D
D
D
D
1
D
D
D
1
D
D
“.4”
D
4
D
D
D
D
up to 150
D
3
—
D
D
D
“1.8”
}
} “3.4”
D
D
—
—
4
D
D
“2.6”
D
2–3
—
D
50–75
D
D
D
D
D
D
—
D
D
D
D
8–12
D
4
—
8
8–12
D
D
D
D
3
D
D
50+
D
D
D
—
1
D
D
3–4
D
}
D
3
—
D
D
D
D
D
D
3
—
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
—
D
D
D
D
—
D
D
8–12
D
“.02”
D
3–4
—
D
D
D
D
D
D
—
—
4
Approx. No. Years
to Bearing
Approx. No. Weeks
in Flats 24
D
D
D
D
“3.8”
“.3”
50+
D
D
R
In shell: 13.0
D
D
—
D
I
Sapling: B
D
D
SEED
YIELD
D
10–100
D
3
—
D
I
Sapling: B
D
D
I
D
D
3
D
—
D
2
D
D
Q
P
O
D
D
2
N
—
I
Sapling: B
F
8
I
Sapling: B
F
F
F
M
Approx. No. Plants per Flat
(adj. for germ. rate)22
L
Flats Spacing for First Flat
and Second Flat (inches)
K
Plant Initially in Flats/
Beds (in order of preference)
Short/Long/Extra-Long
Germination Time
J
Square Feet Required
per Plant
I
In-Bed Spacing (feet)
H
FOOD
NEEDED
MATURITY
BEDS/FLATS
D
}
D
D
In shell: 10.0+
“4.6”
In shell: 10.0+
In shell: 10.0+
SEED PROPAGATION
113
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
Honey Locust
Lemon
Lime
Mango
Mesquite
Nectarine, Dwarf
Nectarine, Regular
Olive
Orange, Sweet
Peach, Dwarf
Peach, Regular
Pear, Dwarf
Pear, Regular
Pecan
Persimmon
Pistachio
Plum, Bush
Plum, Regular
Pomegranate
Raspberries
Strawberries
Tangelo
Tangerine
Walnut, No. Calif. Black
55 Walnut, English (Persian)
56 Walnut, Eastern, Black
114
SEED PROPAGATION
DD
EE
FF
Approx. Ounces Seed
You Need 31
CC
Approx. No. Flats
You Need 30
BB
Approx. Square Feet
You Need 29
AA
MATERIALS NEEDED
Approx. No.
Plants You Need 28
PLANT
FOOD
NEEDED
Pounds You Select
TREE AND CANE
CROPS (continued)
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
HF
—
—
—
Letter codes on page 88, footnotes on page 116.
Time of Year to Plant
(SP, SU, FA, WI)
LL
MM
NOTES
NN
OO
Calcium Content
per Pound in
Milligrams (mg) 33
Early SP
KK
Calorie Content
per Pound 33
HF
HF
HF
JJ
NUTRITION
Protein Content per
Pound in Grams (g)
(454g per pound) 33
Heavy Giver (HG),
Light Feeder (LF),
Low Nitrogen User (LNU),
Heavy Feeder (HF) (see p. 145)
—
—
—
II
Your Yield Compared
with U.S. Average 32
HH
Your Actual Yield
per 100 Square Feet
GG
MISCELLANEOUS
Especially Good
Varieties, Possible Seed
Sources, and Remarks
YIELDS
Can make a flour from the beans. Pods and beans a good
fodder. A very important tree. Gleditsia trianconti.
D
D
Early SP
72
3.3
2.7
82
107
79
126
D
2.1
201
30
:33% refuse. 90 ft high at maturity.
Early SP
17.0
76.2
D
D
260
D
:Seed.
:Pod.
2.5
2.5
267
267
263
263
5.3
8.0
4.0
4.1
442
1,227
157
174
232
—
123
136
150
150
252
252
3,116
286
2,694
272
36
36
33
33
331
22
594
74
:13% refuse. 8 ft high.
Early SP
2.4
2.4
2.9
2.9
41.7
2.6
87.5
2.1
Early SP
2.1
3.4
272
320
74
51
:Damson. 9% refuse.
:Prune. 6% refuse.
Early SP
1.3
160
8
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
:33% refuse.
:16% refuse.
:8% refuse. 8 ft high.
:8% refuse. 25 ft high.
:Green. 16% refuse. Pasquale, up to 40% oil.
:Ripe. 20% refuse.
All other, 16.5–21.8% oil.
:Navels (winter-bearing). 32% refuse.
:Valencia (summer-bearing). 25% refuse.
}
:13% refuse. 25 ft high.
:9% refuse. 8 ft high.
:9% refuse. 30–40 ft high.
:Shelled. 47% of unshelled weight.
:18% refuse. 30 ft high.
:Shelled. 50% of unshelled weight. 30 ft high.
:9% refuse. 3 ft high.
:44% refuse.
:Black. Prune to 2–8 canes/ft of row. Beds 2–3 ft wide.
Some people plant on 2-ft centers.
3% refuse.
:Red. Also yellow and purple varieties.
:4% refuse. Bear well second through fourth year. Use new plants on end of
runners to renew bed by fifth year. Plant initially in fall for a better first-year
crop. Usually propagated by runner rather than seed, except for Alpine variety.
6.6
5.3
321
251
132
97
Early SP
3.0
1.3
2.7
161
104
154
91
—
134
Early SP
D
D
D
Early SP
93.0
67.1
2,849
2,953
449
:Shelled. 55% refuse. Up to 60 ft high.
Trace
:Shelled. 78% refuse. Up to 150 ft high.
A good tree to plant for your great-great-grandchildren!
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
Early SP
}
:44% refuse. 30 ft high.
:26% refuse. 30 ft high.
30–60 ft high.
SEED PROPAGATION
115
FOOTNOTES
12. From Donald N. Maynard and George
J. Hochmuth, Knott’s Handbook for Vegetable
Growers (New York: John Wiley & Sons,
1999), pp. 97–98; and other reference sources.
13. Ibid., p. 460; and other reference
sources.
14. To determine amount divide Column I
by Column B by Column C.
15. The number of plants you will need
may vary. The rise of a curved bed surface
(approximate 10-inch rise) adds up to 10% to
the planting surface, and a “flat-topped” raised
bed (see p. 58) adds up to 20% to the planting
surface. Also, the hexagonal “offset” spacing
uses up less space than spacing where plants
are lined up opposite each other. Up to 159
plants fit in 120 square feet of curved surface
on 12-inch (1-foot) centers, rather than fewer
plants. You will probably have more plants
ready than you need, when using Column I to
plan so use the best plants first and save the
rest for “spotting” areas that lose plants, or
give the extras to friends. To calculate the
distance between rows on offset spacing,
multiply the spacing by 0.87. To calculate the
number of plants on offset spacing in a flat
bed, first calculate the number of plants on
“square” spacing, then multiply by 1.13.
16. Less seed may be necessary if the
seed of a given variety is particularly small
and/or if there is not much rise to the bed.
17. Estimates based on our experience and
research. Use lowest figure if you are a beginning gardener; middle if a good one; highest
if an excellent gardener with a good soil and
climate. (The testing and development
process requires a long time and has involved
many failures. Its direction, however, has
been encouraging over the years, as the soil,
our skills, and yields have improved, and as
resource-consumption levels have decreased.
There is still much left to be done.)
18. The approximate plant yield averages
in some instances are much lower than one
would expect. For example, a beginning
gardener will get carrots much larger than
the 2 ⁄ 3 ounce noted, but all of your carrots
will probably not germinate as well as a good
or excellent gardener’s will and they will
probably not be as large. Therefore, it is
estimated that the average weight of each
carrot would be 2 ⁄ 3 ounce, assuming the bed
produces 2,507 carrots.
19. Column E ÷ Column I.
20. From U.S. Department of Agriculture,
Agricultural Statistics—2000, 1998 data
(Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing
Office, 2000), see the index at the end of the
volume; and other reference sources.
21. Numbers in quotes are approximations
from other data, because official data are not
available for this crop.
22. Assumes flat with internal dimensions
of 13 inches by 21 inches (or 273 square
inches) for both 3-inch- and 6-inch-deep flats,
in which at least 250 plants fit on 1-inch
centers and 60 plants on 2-inch centers; if
half-sized flats are used, 125 plants fit on 1-inch
centers and 30 plants on 2-inch centers.
116
SEED PROPAGATION
23. When seeds are broadcast into a flat, it
is possible to reduce the number of flats used.
To calculate the number of flats needed for
broadcast seed, determine the number of
plants you need, divide by the number in
Column L2, then divide by the number in
Column L3. Broadcast the needed amount of
seed evenly into the number of flats just
calculated.
24. From Donald N. Maynard and George
J. Hochmuth, Knott’s Handbook for Vegetable
Growers (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1999),
p. 51; and from our experience and research.
25. The Approximate Weeks to Maturity in
Ground generally remains the same whether
seeds are started in a flat or in a bed because
the number of weeks to maturity indicated
on the seed packet assumes optimal growing
conditions that are rarely present.
26. From U.S. Department of Agriculture,
Agricultural Statistics—2000, 1998 data
(Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing
Office, 2000), see the index at the end of the
volume; and other sources.
27. Based in part on standard field figures
from James Edward Knott, Handbook for
Vegetable Growers (New York: John Wiley &
Sons, 1975), pp. 198–199; in combination with
a multiplier factor based on our research and
experience, and other reference sources. The
result, however, is preliminary, for your guidance, and very experimental. If growing seed,
remember to adjust for the germination rate
when determining the amount to grow for
your use.
28. Column BB ÷ Column F.
29. Column BB ÷ Column E 100. Use
the lowest figure in Column E if you are a
beginning gardener; middle if a good one
working with good soil; highest if an excellent
gardener working with excellent soil.
30. Column CC ÷ Column M.
31. Column DD Column D .01.
32. Column GG ÷ Column G.
33. From U.S. Department of Agriculture,
Composition of Foods (Washington, DC: U.S.
Government Printing Office, 1963); and other
reference sources.
34. 6 to 8 weeks in warm weather and/or
with a good mini-greenhouse; 9 to 12 weeks
in cooler weather outdoors without a minigreenhouse.
35. Johnny’s Selected Seeds (see page 202).
36. Smaller secondary and tertiary heads
may also be used and may double the yield.
37. The Redwood City Seed Company
carries an interesting tropical variety, Snow
Peak, which heads only in the summer. A
good variety with small heads for out-ofseason growing.
38. Produces 4 times the general protein
(not amino acids) and 8 times the calcium
(free of oxalic acid) per unit of area compared
to the milk produced by a cow or a goat fed
on an equal area of alfalfa.
39. Be sure to obtain “seed” Irish potatoes;
many potatoes in stores have been treated
to retard sprouting. Sprout without soil in a
3-inch-deep flat or box with small air spaces
between the tubers in a warm, dry, airy
location in indirect light for up to 1 month,
until sprouts are about 1 ⁄ 4 inch long. Caution:
Avoid conditions of 90% humidity and 70°F,
or more, for a period of 24 hours; they can
encourage blight. Use pieces of potato
weighing at least 1.5 to 2 ounces. Each potato
piece should optimally have 2 or 3 sprouted
eyes. For planting purposes, tubers are in
dormancy for 5 to 20 weeks after harvest.
For planting procedure, see p. 15.
40. Be sure to obtain “seed” sweet potatoes; many potatoes in stores have been
treated to retard sprouting. Sprout in widemouth canning jars with water. Insert toothpicks into sweet potatoes around their outside
to hold the upper half out of the water. Roots
form on the portion in the water, and small
plantlets grow from the eyes on the upper
portion. Each 8-ounce sweet potato will make
3 to 4 of these “starts.” When a shoot is about
1 to 11 ⁄ 2 inches long, nick it off along with a
very small piece of the sweet potato where it
is attached, and plant it in a 3-inch-deep flat on
2-inch centers so only the last set of leaves is
above the surface of the flat soil. Whole sweet
potatoes may also be sprouted side by side in
a flat; approximately 4 to 8 flats are needed
for a 100-square-foot bed. When the seedlings
are 7 to 9 inches tall, transplant them into the
growing bed so at least 6 inches of the stem
is beneath the soil.
41. Bountiful Gardens (see page 201).
42. Use the French variety (Vilmorin’s
Cantalun—orange-fleshed) or the Israeli
variety (Haogen—green-fleshed). Both have a
smooth exterior without netting. This minimizes rotting.
43. Stokes Seeds (see page 204). Specify
untreated seeds.
44. Try the Torpedo onion. Its long shape
is particularly suited to intensive raised-bed
gardening and farming, and it can produce
twice the yield per unit of area.
45. Irish potatoes. Place your order for
the entire year in January in order to ensure
availability. Specify untreated seed and
delivery date(s) desired (1 month before
planting, so sprouts can develop properly).
Irish Eyes (see page 202) is a good source.
46. Sweet potatoes: Jewel, Centennial,
Garnett, and Jersey varieties. Order in
September untreated, number 2 size, for the
following summer in 40-pound boxes, to
ensure availability. Joe Alvernaz, P.O. Box 474,
Livingston, CA 95334 is a good source,
although not organic. Ask for prices and
include a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
47. Burpee’s Triple Treat variety with hullless seeds. No shelling of nutritious and tasty
seeds!
48. Burpee’s Sparkler variety: red top with
white bottom half. Good looking.
49. Burpee’s New Hampshire Midget variety.
50. Native Seeds/SEARCH (see page 203).
51. Vermont Bean Seed Co. (see page 204).
52. Fedco Seeds (see page 201).
53. R. H. Shumway Seed (see page 203).
54. J. L. Hudson, Seedsman (see page 202).
NOTES ON THE PLANNING CHARTS
SEED PROPAGATION
117
FLOWER SPACING CHART
Spacings vary for flowers depending on the variety and how the flowers are used. The following
will help you start out with the most common flowers.
Annuals—Replant each year in spring from seed
Height
African daisy
Aster
Calendula***
California poppy***
Columbine
Cosmos***
Echinacea
Flowering tobacco
Hollyhock***
Marigold, African
Marigold, French
Nasturtium, climbing***
Nasturtium, dwarf***
Pansy
4–6
1–3
11 ⁄ 2 –2
9–12
2–3
2–3
12
2–3
4–6
2–4
6–18
Trailing
12
6–9
Inches
Apart*
12
10–12
12
12
12
12–18
18–24
18–24
12
12–24
8–12
10
8
8–10
Height
Petunia
Phlox
(P. drummondii)**
Portulaca
Scabiosa
(Salvia splendens)
Scarlet sage
Schizanthus
Shirley poppy
Snapdragons
Stocks
Strawflower
Sweet peas
Zinnia
12–16 Inches
Apart*
12
6–18
6
9
6–9
2 1 ⁄ 2 –3
12–18
11 ⁄ 2 –2
11 ⁄ 2 –2
11 ⁄ 2 –3
12–30
2–3
Climbing
1–3
12–18
12
12–18
12–18
12
12
12–18
12
12–18
Perennials—Need a permanent space in the garden
Alyssum
(Lobularia maritima)
Aubrieta
Baby’s breath
Bachelor’s button
Carnation
Chrysanthemum
Coral bells
(Heuchera sanguinea)
Coreopsis
Delphinium
Foxglove
Gaillardia
4–6
Trailing
3–4
2
1
2–3
10–12
12–15
14–16
12
12
18–24
2
2
1–5
3
2–3
12
9–18
24
12
12
Gazania
6–12
Iceland poppy
1
Jacob’s ladder
(Polemonium caeruleum) 6–3
Marguerite
2 1 ⁄ 2 –3
Oriental poppy
2 1 ⁄ 2 –3
Painted daisy
3
Peony
2
Pinks (Dianthus)
1
Scabiosa
2
Sea pink (Armeria)
4–6
Shasta daisy
2 1 ⁄ 2 –3
Sweet William
1–2
10
12
12–15
18–24
12–14
12
14–16
12
12
10–12
12
12
Note
Most flowers have long-germinating seeds (8 to 21 days).
*
118
Spacings for standard-sized plants. For smaller varieties, reduce
the spacings in proportion to the reduced plant size.
SEED PROPAGATION
** Botanical Latin names prevent possible confusion.
*** Reseed themselves easily by dropping many seeds on ground.
HERB SPACING CHART
Annuals—Plant seed in spring for late summer harvest
Height
Anise
Basil, sweet
Borage
Caraway
Chamomile
(Matricaria vecutita)
Chervil
2
1–2
11 ⁄ 2 21 ⁄ 2 Inches
Apart*
8
6
15
6
21 ⁄ 2 11 ⁄ 2 6–10
4
Height
Inches
Apart*
5
6
18
8
12
5
6
1–11 ⁄ 2 1–11 ⁄ 2 1’
1
2 ⁄2
3–5
21 ⁄ 2 11 ⁄ 2 Cilantro
Coriander
Cumin
Dill
Fennel
Parsley
Savory, summer
Perennials**—Need a permanent space in the garden
Angelica
Bee balm*
Burnet
Catnip
Chamomile, Roman
(Chamaemelum nobile)*
Chives
Comfrey*
Costmary
Feverfew
Geraniums, scented*
Apple
Coconut
Lemon
Lime
Peppermint
Rose
Good King Henry
Horehound
Hyssop
Lavender
Lemon balm
Lemon verbena
4–6
3
15
2–3
36
30
15
15 (spreads)#
3–12
10–24
15–36
2–6’
1–3
12
5
15–36
12
10–15
10
8–12
2–3
2
2
3
1
2
2
3
3
10
18
18
##
18
48
30
16
9 (spreads)#
12
18
12 (spreads)#
24
Lovage
Marjoram
Oregano*
Peppermint
Pineapple sage*
Rosemary
Rue
Sage
Santolina
Savory, winter
Southernwood
Spearmint*
Stinging nettle
St. Johnswort
Tansy
Tarragon
Thyme
Valerian
Woodruff*
Wormwood
Yarrow, common
(Achillea millefolium)
Yarrow, white-, red-,
or pink-flowered*
6
1
2
21 ⁄ 2 4
3–4
3
2
2
1
3–5
2–3
4–6
2’
4
2’
1
4
6–10
3–5
3
12
18–24
12 (spreads)#
24–36
18–24
18
18
30
12
30
15 (spreads)#
24 (spreads)#
8
30
12–18
6
18
8–12 (spreads)#
12–24
3–5
12–18
2 1 ⁄ 2 –3
12
Note
Many herbs have long-germinating seeds (22 to 28 days).
*
**
Generally based on our experience. Others are from the Herb
Chart by Evelyn Gregg, Biodynamic Farming and Gardening
Association, Wyoming, Rhode Island.
Normally started from cuttings or root divisions, they often
take 1 to 4 years to reach full size from seed.
#
##
Spreads underground; keep it contained or plant where it can
keep going.
Unknown.
SEED PROPAGATION
119
Use this space to record your favorite flowers and herbs that are not included in the
preceding spacing charts. Use within-the-row spacings given on the back of the seed packets.
120
SEED PROPAGATION
7
Making the
Garden Plan
Goal: Maximize the quality and quantity of crops
produced through good planning and timing while
maintaining sustainable soil fertility
N
ow we come to the art of putting the theory into a
garden plan. No book can make gardening foolproof.
If growing plants did not involve real learning and
experimentation, it would not be nearly so satisfying. The plants
that follow illustrate some of the considerations that make a
garden successful. They are based on what the average American consumes each year, but do not take the precise amounts
too seriously. Everyone has different tastes and your “average
American diet” will change rapidly when you have abundant
fresh vegetables to eat. You will probably want to eat many
more fresh fruits and vegetables than you do now.
Before you start, you will need some local information. Talk
to your neighbors who garden, check with the county agricultural agent, or ask at the local nursery. You want to know:
Which vegetables grow well in your area?
When does the main planting season start?
When are your first and last frosts?
When are your periods with and without rains?
What are the special requirements of your specific soil?
Are there any special climatic conditions to be aware of,
such as heavy winds, hot dry spells, or excessive rains?
How do people usually plan for this?
The first sample plan that follows is for a one-person minigarden. Plans are included for each of the first four years. The
first year includes the easiest crops to grow in 100 square feet
based on yields expected of a good gardener. The second year,
the square footage doubles, and more difficult crops are added.
The third and fourth years, trees, herbs, strawberries, and
asparagus are included—permanent plantings that are placed
in soil that has now been worked and improved for 2 years—
MAKING THE GARDEN PLAN
121
and a third bed is added. After 3 or 4 years, with improved
gardening skills, the vegetable crop can be condensed from
200 square feet to 100 square feet, leaving 100 square feet of
improved soil for protein crops (wheat, rye, peanuts, lentils,
soybeans, and rice), fibers (cotton or flax), or special interest
crops (chicken, goat, or bee forage; grapes; blueberries;
bamboo; herbs; nut trees; and so on).
Lastly, a garden plan for a family of four is shown. We recommend using a similar 3- to 4-year progression, starting with
approximately 300 square feet for the first year, and adding 300
more square feet each year until the entire garden is developed.
Buying seeds for a backyard garden easily runs up a $10 to
$20+ bill. At our garden supply store in Palo Alto, we purchase
seeds in bulk and sell them out in jars like penny candy using
teaspoons and tablespoons to measure. You can easily buy
seeds for 6 months of vegetables in our store for less than $2.
You can take advantage of the same low prices by having your
favorite local co-op grocery store order bulk seeds for you.
Consider spacing and maturation when you develop your
plan. If you have extra plants, plant the best ones and give any
extras to a friend or save them in case of damage to first transplants. Leaf lettuce matures sooner than head lettuce. Planting
both ensures a continuous harvest. Similarly, half of the tomatoes should be an early variety (maturing in 65 days) for continuous harvesting. Save space by tying tomatoes up to stakes.
Pumpkins take up a lot of space. Plant them at the edge of the
garden where they can sprawl over uncultivated areas. Corn is
pollinated by the wind; a square block of 4 corn plants in each
direction (not a row), for a total of 16 plants, is the minimum for
adequate pollination. In small plantings you may want to handpollinate corn so all the ears fill out optimally. (See Suzanne
Ashworth’s Seed to Seed on page 205 in the bibliography.)
122
MAKING THE GARDEN PLAN
When choosing a site for your garden, take into consideration the amount of available direct sunlight. Optimally, your
garden area should have 11 hours of sunlight or more; 7 hours
may allow plants to grow acceptably, and in some instances,
4 hours may work for cool season crops (see page 82). Experimentation will probably be needed if you plan to garden in soil
that receives less than 11 hours of sun.
THE GARDEN YEAR
Winter
Plan the garden.
Order open-pollinated, untreated seeds (allow 2 months for
delivery if ordering by mail).
Make flats, trellises, mini-greenhouses, and shade-netting
units.1
Spring
Plant flats so seedlings can mature while the soil is being
prepared.
Start new compost piles with weeds, grass clippings, and
compost crops.
Harvest compost crops, dig garden beds, and spread cured
fall/winter compost.
Plant cool-weather crops in early spring and warm- and hotweather crops in late spring and early summer.
Summer
Plant summer crops.
Keep the garden watered and weeded.
Harvest and enjoy the fruits of your work.
In mild-winter areas, plant fall gardens of cool-weather crops
at the end of summer.
Fall
Start additional compost piles with plentiful leaves and
garden waste.
Harvest summer crops.
Plant fall/winter compost crops.
1. See Ecology Action’s Backyard Homestead, Mini-Farm and Garden Log Book for miniature
mini-greenhouse and shade-netting house plans.
MAKING THE GARDEN PLAN
123
SIMPLE MINI-GARDEN, 6-MONTH GROWING SEASON
100–140+ SQUARE FEET
As early as possible in spring, plant (optional):
bare root
dwarf fruit tree
—
1 tree
40.0+ sq ft
6 weeks before last spring frost ________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
head lettuce
leaf lettuce
parsley
—
—
—
5 weeks before last frost
4 seeds S
8 seeds S
2 seeds
______________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
carrots
—
Prick out seedlings into flats:
head lettuce
—
leaf lettuce
—
58 seeds
Start seedlings in flat:
chard
—
3 seedlings S
6 seedlings S
9.5 lbs tubers
2 seeds
3 weeks before last frost________________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flat in flat:
bush peas
—
Prick out seedlings into flat:
parsley
—
230 seeds
1 seedling
2 weeks before last frost________________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
bunching onions
(60 days to maturity)
cherry tomatoes
—
—
Transplant:
bush peas
carrots
head lettuce
leaf lettuce (9)
—
—
—
—
Plant:
radishes
—
10 seeds
3 seeds
3 seeds
—
—
16 seeds
4 seeds
—
75 sprouted
pieces
30.0 sq ft
Start seedlings in flat:
early corn
—
20 seeds
2 weeks after last frost ________________________
(date)
Sprout:
potatoes
—
Start seedlings in flats:
acorn winter squash
pumpkins
zucchini
—
—
—
9.5 lbs tubers
2 seeds
3 seeds
2 seeds
Prick out seedlings into flat:
cherry tomatoes
—
7+ seedlings
Transplant:
chard
early corn
sunflowers
1 seedlingT
15 seedlings 20.0 sq ft
2 seedlingsT
—
—
—
3 weeks after last frost ________________________
(date)
10 seeds
10 seeds
184 seedlings 10.0 sq ft
32 seedlings
4 seedlings S 2.0 sq ft
2 seedlings S 2.0 sq ft
Transplant:
cantaloupes
cucumbers
dwarf marigolds
New Hampshire midget
watermelons (12)
—
—
—
—
7 seedlings 10.0 sq ft
2 seedlings T
2 seedlingsT
11 seedlings
10.0 sq ft
10 seeds
Notes
• Numbers given are for the approximate number of seeds and
seedlings that should be required for each crop for the area
involved.
• To improve the soil fertility and increase the sustainability of
your garden/mini-farm, additionally grow 200 to 300 square
feet of carbon-and-calorie crops, described on pages 31 and 32.
124
Transplant:
potatoes**
—
—
—
(date)
(date)
—
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
cantaloupes
cucumbers
dwarf marigolds
New Hampshire midget
watermelons (12)
sunflowers
1 week after last frost __________________________
4 weeks before last frost________________________
Sprout:
potatoes
(65 days to maturity)
On last frost __________________________________
MAKING THE GARDEN PLAN
S
= Stagger planting for a more continuous harvest.
T
= Transplant seedlings on edge of bed; see plan, opposite.
* = Spot additional seeds later where seeds do not germinate.
** = See potato planting instructions on page 15.
SIMPLE MINI-GARDEN
North
6 weeks after last frost ________________________
(date)
Transplant:
acorn winter squash
bunching onions (3)
cherry tomatoes (18)
pumpkins
zucchini
—
—
—
—
—
1 seedling T
7 seedlings
7 seedlings 15.0 sq ft
2 seedlings T
1 seedling T
dwarf
fruit tree
(optional)
8 weeks after last frost ________________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
head lettuce
leaf lettuce
—
—
3 seeds S
11 seeds S
As first planting comes out, transplant:
parsley
—
1 seedlingT
potatoes**
— 75 sprouted
pieces
sunflowers
30.0 sq ft
corn
(2 crops)
chard
13 weeks before first fall frost __________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
bush beans
carrots
—
—
65 seeds
17 seeds
acorn winter
squash
cherry
tomatoes
11 weeks before first frost ______________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
early corn
—
Prick out seedlings into flats:
head lettuce
—
leaf lettuce
—
2+ seedlings
9+ seedlings
Transplant:
bush beans
46 seedlings
—
dwarf
marigold
dwarf
marigold
20 seeds
potatoes
(2 crops)
10.0 sq ft
10 weeks before first frost ______________________
(date)
Transplant:
carrots
early corn
—
—
9 seedlings
15 seedlings
.5 sq ft
20.0 sq ft
bush peas,
then bush beans
8 weeks before first frost ______________________
(date)
Transplant:
head lettuce
leaf lettuce (8)
—
—
2 seedlingsS
9 seedlingsS
zucchini
2.0 sq ft
2.0 sq ft
watermelons
7 weeks before first frost ______________________
(date)
Plant:
radishes
—
5 seeds
cantaloupe
.125 sq ft
cucumber
lettuce
pumpkins (2)
parsley
bunching
onions
cucumber
carrots
radishes
Scale: 5 ⁄ 16 inch = 1 foot. Growing bed is 100 square feet (5 by 20 feet).
MAKING THE GARDEN PLAN
125
ONE-PERSON MINI-GARDEN, FIRST YEAR, 6-MONTH GROWING SEASON
100 SQUARE FEET
6 weeks before last spring frost ________________
On last frost __________________________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
broccoli
—
cabbage
—
cylindra beets
—
head lettuce
—
leaf lettuce
—
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
pumpkins
—
zucchini
—
3 seeds
6 seeds
15 seeds
3 seedsS
8 seedsS
Prick out seedlings into flats:
green peppers
— 5+ seedlings
regular tomatoes
— 5+ seedlings
5 weeks before last frost________________________
(date)
Prick out seedlings into flats:
head lettuce
—
2+ seedlingsS
leaf lettuce
—
6+ seedlingsS
4 weeks before last frost________________________
(date)
Sprout:
potatoes
(65 days to maturity)—
10.9 lbs tubers
Start seedlings in flat:
carrots
—
100 seeds
Transplant:
cucumbers
potatoes**
—
—
sweet basil
zinnias
—
—
6 seedlings
87 sprouted
pieces
1 seedling
3 seedlings
4.0 sq ft
35.0 sq ft
1.0 sq ft
3.0 sq ft
1 week after last frost __________________________
(date)
Transplant:
broccoli
cabbage
3 weeks before last frost________________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flat:
bush peas
—
2 seeds
2 seeds
215 seedlings
Prick out seedlings into flats:
broccoli
—
2+ seedlings
cabbage
—
4+ seedlings
—
—
2 seedlings
4 seedlings
3.2 sq ft
6.7 sq ft
Approx. 4 weeks after last frost ________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
cosmos
—
2 seeds
Transplant:
green peppers
—
pumpkins
—
regular tomatoes (24)—
zucchini
—
4 seedlings
2 seedlings
4 seedlings
1 seedling
4.0 sq ft
6.0 sq ft
15.0 sq ft
2.0 sq ft
2 weeks before last frost________________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
cucumbers
—
green peppers
—
regular tomatoes
—
sweet basil
—
zinnias
—
Transplant:
bush peas
carrots
cylindra beets
head lettuce
leaf lettuce (9)
Plant:
onions (purchased)
radishes
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
Approx. 6 weeks after last frost ________________
(date)
12 seeds
12 seeds
10 seeds
2 seeds
6 seeds
172 seedlings
55 seedlings
10 seedlings
2 seedlingsS
6 seedlingsS
95 sets
10 seeds
Start seedlings in flat:
bush lima beans
—
Approx. 7 weeks after last frost ________________
(date)
9.0 sq ft
3.0 sq ft
1.0 sq ft
2.0 sq ft
3.0 sq ft
3.8 sq ft
.25 sq ft
Note
Numbers given are for the approximate number of seeds and
seedlings that should be required for each crop for the area
involved.
126
MAKING THE GARDEN PLAN
59 seeds
Start seedlings in flat:
early corn
(65 days to maturity)—
20 seeds
Approx. 8 weeks after last frost ________________
(date)
Transplant:
bush lima beans
cosmos
early corn
—
—
—
41 seedlings
1 seedlingT
15 seedlings
9.0 sq ft
1.0 sq ft
20.0 sq ft
S
= Stagger planting for a more continuous harvest.
T
= Transplant seedlings on edge of bed; see plan
* = Spot additional seeds later where seeds do not germinate.
** = See potato planting instructions on page 15.
12 weeks after last frost ________________________
11 weeks before first frost ______________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flat:
bush green beans
—
(date)
55 seeds
13 weeks after last frost ________________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flat:
corn
—
24 seeds
14 weeks after last frost ________________________
Start seedlings in flats:
calendulas
—
chard
—
stocks
—
8 seeds
2 seeds
8 seeds
Prick out seedlings in flats:
broccoli
—
1 seedling
head lettuce
—
3+ seedlingsS
leaf lettuce
— 14+ seedlingsS
(date)
After potatoes come out, transplant:
corn
—
18 seedlings
bush green beans
—
46 seedlings
9 weeks before first frost ______________________
25.0 sq ft
10.0 sq ft
13 weeks before first fall frost __________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flat:
broccoli
—
156 seeds
8 weeks before first frost ______________________
(date)
2 seeds
12 weeks before first frost ______________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
carrots
—
head lettuce
—
leaf lettuce
—
(date)
Start seedlings in flat:
bush peas
—
112 seeds
4 seedsS
17 seedsS
As early corn and bush lima beans come out, transplant:
broccoli
—
1 seedling
1.6 sq ft
calendulas
—
6 seedlings
5.0 sq ft
carrots
—
62 seedlings
2.7 sq ft
chard
—
1 seedling
.25 sq ft
2.7 sq ft
head lettuce
—
3 seedlingsS
5.3 sq ft
leaf lettuce
—
14 seedlingsS
bush peas
— 125 seedlings
6.8 sq ft
stocks
—
6 seedlings
5.0 sq ft
Plant:
radishes
—
10 seeds
.25 sq ft
See page 128 for plan of One-Person Mini-Garden,
First Year.
Notes
• Numbers given are for the approximate number of seeds
and seedlings that should be required for each crop for
the area involved.
• To improve the soil fertility and increase the sustainability
of your garden/mini-farm, additionally grow 200 to 300
square feet of carbon-and-calorie crops, described on pages
31 and 32.
S
= Stagger planting for a more continuous harvest.
T
= Transplant seedlings on edge of bed; see plan, page 128.
* = Spot additional seeds later where seeds do not germinate.
** = See potato planting instructions on page 15.
MAKING THE GARDEN PLAN
127
basil
carrots
cabbage
radishes
lettuce
potatoes
peas
broccoli
pumpkin
onions
regular
tomatoes
zucchini
cucumber
peppers
Spring
(Bed 1)
zinnias
ONE-PERSON MINI-GARDEN, FIRST YEAR
beets
Summer
(Bed 1)
bush
beans
corn
bush
beans
early corn—
first planting
cosmos
Fall
(Bed 1)
peas
lettuce
radishes
stocks
carrots
broccoli
and chard
calendulas
Scale: 5 ⁄ 16 inch = 1 foot. Growing bed is 100 square feet (5 by 20 feet).
128
MAKING THE GARDEN PLAN
ONE-PERSON MINI-GARDEN, SECOND YEAR, 6-MONTH GROWING SEASON
240 SQUARE FEET (including path)
6 weeks before last spring frost ________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
broccoli
—
brussels sprouts
—
cabbage
—
cauliflower
—
celery
—
head lettuce
—
leaf lettuce
—
parsley
—
regular tomatoes
—
3 seeds
2 seeds
5 seeds
2 seeds
20 seeds
3 seedsS
15 seedsS
2 seeds
10 seeds
5 weeks before last frost________________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
carrots
—
cylindra beets
—
90 seeds
16 seeds
Transplant:
broccoli
brussels sprouts
bush peas
cabbage
carrots
cauliflower
cylindra beets
head lettuce
leaf lettuce (9)
spinach
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
Plant:
garlic
onions (purchased)
radishes
—
—
—
2 seedlings
1 seedling
125 seedlings
4 seedlings
50 seedlings
1 seedling
10 seedlings
2 seedlingsS
12 seedlingsS
10 seedlings
2.6 sq ft
2.3 sq ft
6.8 sq ft
5.2 sq ft
2.7 sq ft
1.3 sq ft
1.0 sq ft
2.0 sq ft
6.0 sq ft
2.2 sq ft
3 cloves
39 sets
25 seeds
.3 sq ft
3.8 sq ft
.8 sq ft
On last frost __________________________________
(date)
Prick out seedlings into flats:
head lettuce
—
2+ seedlings
leaf lettuce
— 12+ seedlings
4 weeks before last frost________________________
(date)
Sprout:
potatoes
(65 days to maturity)—
12.5 lbs tubers
Prick out seedlings into flat:
parsley
—
1+ seedlings
3 weeks before last frost________________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
bush peas
—
spinach
—
2+ seedlings
1+ seedlings
4+ seedlings
1+ seedlings
2 weeks before last frost________________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
dill
—
eggplant
—
green peppers
—
2 seeds
2 seeds
10 seeds
Prick out seedlings into flat:
celery
—
12 seedlings
.5 lb tubers
7 seeds
4 seeds
6 seeds
7 seeds
26 seeds
2 seeds
Prick out seedlings into flats:
celery
— 11+ seedlings
regular tomatoes
—
7+ seedlings
—
—
1 seedling
100 sprouted
pieces
.2 sq ft
40.2 sq ft
2 weeks after last frost ________________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
bush green beans
—
bush lima beans
—
early corn
(65 days to maturity)—
86 seeds
59 seeds
24 seeds
Prick out seedlings into flat:
celery
—
12 seedlings
3 weeks after last frost ________________________
(date)
Transplant:
early corn
Note
Numbers given are for the approximate number of seeds and
seedlings that should be required for each crop for the area
involved.
—
Start seedlings in flats:
cantaloupes
—
cosmos
—
cucumbers
—
honeydew melons
—
New Hampshire
midget watermelons —
sweet basil
—
Transplant:
parsley
potatoes**
156 seeds
17 seeds
Prick out seedlings into flats:
broccoli
—
brussels sprouts
—
cabbage
—
cauliflower
—
Sprout:
sweet potatoes
—
18 seedlings
25.0 sq ft
S
= Stagger planting for a more continuous harvest.
T
= Transplant seedlings on edge of bed; see plan, page 128.
* = Spot additional seeds later where seeds do not germinate.
** = See potato planting instructions on page 15.
MAKING THE GARDEN PLAN
129
4 weeks after last frost ________________________
14 weeks before first fall frost __________________
(date)
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
broccoli
—
cabbage
—
calendulas
—
stocks
—
Sprout:
potatoes
(65 days to maturity)— 12.5 lbs tubers
Start seedlings in flats:
pumpkins
—
zucchini
—
Transplant:
bush green beans
—
bush lima beans
—
cantaloupes
—
celery
—
cosmos
—
cucumbers
—
dill
—
honeydew melons
—
regular tomatoes (21)—
New Hampshire
midget watermelons —
sweet basil
—
sweet potatoes
—
zinnias
—
2 seeds
2 seeds
2 seeds
5 seeds
6 seeds
6 seeds
13 weeks before first frost ______________________
(date)
64 seedlings
41 seedlings
5 seedlings
11 seedlings
3 seedlingsT
5 seedlings
1 seedlingT
5 seedlings
7 seedlings
14.0 sq ft
9.0 sq ft
7.0 sq ft
2.5 sq ft
3.0 sq ft
4.0 sq ft
.4 sq ft
7.0 sq ft
20.0 sq ft
18 seedlings
1 seedling
20 sprouted
pieces
3 seedlingsT
16.0 sq ft
1.0 sq ft
Start seedlings in flats:
corn
(65 days to maturity)—
head lettuce
—
leaf lettuce
—
Transplant:
chard
—
25 seeds
5 seedsS
25 seedsS
3 seedlings
1.0 sq ft
12 weeks before first frost ______________________
(date)
4.5 sq ft
3.0 sq ft
Prick out seedlings into flats:
head lettuce
— 5+ seedlingsS
leaf lettuce
— 20+ seedlingsS
As first potatoes come out, transplant:
corn
— 18 seedlings
25.0 sq ft
5 weeks after last frost ________________________
(date)
11 weeks before first frost ______________________
Prick out seedlings into flats:
eggplant
— 1+ seedlings
green peppers
— 5+ seedlings
(date)
6 weeks after last frost ________________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flat:
chard
—
Transplant:
celery
pumpkin
zucchini
—
—
—
Start seedlings in flats:
carrots
— 90 seeds
bush peas
— 156 seeds
spinach
— 17 seeds
Prick out seedlings into flats:
broccoli
— 1+ seedlings
cabbage
— 4+ seedlings
5 seeds
12 seedlings
1 seedling
1 seedling
2.5 sq ft
6.3 sq ft
2.3 sq ft
8 weeks after last frost ________________________
9 weeks before first frost ______________________
(date)
Transplant:
bush peas
chard
— 125 seedlings
—
3 seedlings
6.8 sq ft
1.0 sq ft
(date)
As first planting comes out, transplant:
potatoes**
— 100 sprouted
pieces
40.2 sq ft
9 weeks after last frost ________________________
(date)
Transplant:
eggplant
green peppers
—
—
1 seedling
5 seedlings
2.3 sq ft
4.0 sq ft
Notes
• Numbers given are for the approximate number of seeds
and seedlings that should be required for each crop for
the area involved.
• To improve the soil fertility and increase the sustainability
of your garden/mini-farm, additionally grow 475 square feet
of carbon-and-calorie crops, described on pages 31 and 32.
130
MAKING THE GARDEN PLAN
8 weeks before first frost ______________________
(date)
Transplant:
broccoli
cabbage
calendulas
carrots
head lettuce
leaf lettuce (8)
spinach
stocks
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
1 seedling
4 seedlings
4 seedlings
50 seedlings
3 seedlingsS
20 seedlingsS
10 seedlings
4 seedlings
1.3 sq ft
5.2 sq ft
4.0 sq ft
2.7 sq ft
2.7 sq ft
7.8 sq ft
2.2 sq ft
4.0 sq ft
Plant:
radishes
—
10 seeds
.25 sq ft
S
= Stagger planting for a more continuous harvest.
T
= Transplant seedlings on edge of bed; see plan, page 128.
* = Spot additional seeds later where seeds do not germinate.
** = See potato planting instructions on page 15.
ONE-PERSON MINI-GARDEN, SECOND YEAR
lettuce
cucumbers
celery
zucchini
beans
brassicas: broccoli,
brussels sprouts, cabbage,
and cauliflower
beets
parsley
radishes
basil
carrots
regular
tomatoes
peas
spinach
peppers
eggplant
sweet potatoes
Early
Spring–
Early
Summer
(Bed 1)
onions and garlic
cosmos
(Bed 2)
potatoes
pumpkins
cosmos
cantaloupes,
honeydew melons,
and watermelons
early corn
cosmos
dill
zinnias
Summer–
Late
Summer
(Bed 1)
unchanged from
late spring to early summer
potatoes
(Bed 2)
calendulas
peas
lettuce
corn
stocks
cantaloupes, honeydew melons,
and watermelons (continued)
chard
radishes spinach cabbage
carrots
broccoli
Scale: 5 ⁄ 16 inch = 1 foot. Growing bed is 100 square feet (5 by 20 feet).
Note
By the second year, the curved bed surface gives you up to 120
square feet of planting area in each 100 square feet of bed.
MAKING THE GARDEN PLAN
131
ONE-PERSON MINI-GARDEN, THIRD YEAR, 6-MONTH GROWING SEASON
380 SQUARE FEET (including path)
As early as possible in spring, plant:
bare root
dwarf fruit trees
—
1 tree
asparagus
— 13 roots
strawberries
— 32 seedlings
2 weeks before last frost________________________
(date)
64.0 sq ft
8.0 sq ft
20.0 sq ft
6 weeks before last spring frost ________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
broccoli
—
brussels sprouts
—
cabbage
—
cauliflower
—
celery
—
head lettuce
—
leaf lettuce
—
parsley
—
regular tomatoes
—
3 seeds
2 seeds
6 seeds
2 seeds
18 seeds
3 seedsS
5 seedsS
2 seeds
10 seeds
5 weeks before last frost________________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
carrots
—
cylindra beets
—
90 seeds
16 seeds
Start seedlings in flats:
dill
—
eggplant
—
green peppers
—
tomatoes
—
2 seeds
2 seeds
10 seeds
14 seeds
Transplant:
broccoli
brussels sprouts
bush peas
cabbage
carrots
cauliflower
cylindra beets
head lettuce
leaf lettuce (9)
spinach
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
2 seedlings
1 seedling
70 seedlings*
4 seedlings
50 seedlings
1 seedling
10 seedlings
2 seedlingsS
4 seedlingsS
10 seedlings
2.6 sq ft
2.3 sq ft
6.8 sq ft
5.2 sq ft
2.7 sq ft
1.3 sq ft
1.0 sq ft
2.0 sq ft
2.0 sq ft
2.2 sq ft
Plant:
garlic
onions (purchased)
radishes
—
—
—
3 cloves
39 sets
10 seeds
.3 sq ft
3.8 sq ft
.25 sq ft
Prick out seedlings into flats:
head lettuce
— 2+ seedlingsS
leaf lettuce
— 4+ seedlingsS
On last frost __________________________________
4 weeks before last frost________________________
Start seedlings in flats:
cantaloupes
—
cosmos
—
cucumbers
—
honeydew melons
—
New Hampshire
midget watermelons —
sweet basil
—
zinnias
—
(date)
Sprout:
potatoes
(65 days to maturity)— 15.5 lbs tubers
Prick out seedlings into flat:
parsley
— 1+ seedlings
3 weeks before last frost________________________
(date)
(date)
Sprout:
sweet potatoes
—
.5 lb tubers
6 seeds
7 seeds
6 seeds
7 seeds
26 seeds
2 seeds
7 seeds
Start seedlings in flats:
bush peas
— 100 seeds
spinach
— 16 seeds
Prick out seedlings into flats:
celery
— 10+ seedlings
tomatoes
—
7+ seedlings
Prick out seedlings into flats:
broccoli
— 2+ seedlings
brussels sprouts
— 1+ seedlings
cabbage
— 4+ seedlings
cauliflower
— 1+ seedlings
Transplant:
parsley
potatoes
—
—
1 seedling
124 sprouted
pieces
.2 sq ft
50.0 sq ft
2 weeks after last frost ________________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
early corn
—
Transplant:
dill
Note
Numbers given are for the approximate number of seeds and
seedlings that should be required for each crop for the area
involved.
132
MAKING THE GARDEN PLAN
—
49 seeds
1 seed
.2 sq ft
S
= Stagger planting for a more continuous harvest.
* = Spot additional seeds later where seeds do not germinate.
** = See potato planting instructions on page 15.
3 weeks after last frost ________________________
9 weeks after last frost ________________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
bush green beans
—
bush lima beans
—
(date)
Transplant:
eggplant
green peppers
96 seeds
62 seeds
4 weeks after last frost ________________________
—
—
1 seedling
5 seedlings
13 weeks before first fall frost __________________
(date)
Sprout:
potatoes
—
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
broccoli
—
cabbage
—
9.3 lbs tubers
Prick out seedlings into flats:
bush green beans
— 96 seeds
bush lima beans
— 62 seeds
celery
— 10+ seedlings
Transplant:
bush green beans
—
bush lima beans
—
cantaloupes
—
celery
—
cosmos
—
cucumbers
—
honeydew melons
—
New Hampshire
midget watermelons —
regular tomatoes (21)—
sweet basil
—
sweet potatoes
—
zinnias (12)
—
Start seedlings in flats:
pumpkins
—
zucchini
—
(date)
68 seedlings*
43 seedlings*
4 seedlings
9 seedlings
5 seedlings
5 seedlings
5 seedlings
14.0 sq ft
9.0 sq ft
5.0 sq ft
2.0 sq ft
5.0 sq ft
4.0 sq ft
7.5 sq ft
18 seedlings
7 seedlings
1 seedling
20 seedlings
5 seedlings
16.0 sq ft
20.0 sq ft
1.0 sq ft
4.5 sq ft
5.0 sq ft
Start seedlings in flats:
calendulas
—
carrots
—
chard
—
head lettuce
—
leaf lettuce
—
spinach
—
stocks
—
6 seeds
90 seeds
11 seeds
4 seedsS
25 seedsS
17 seeds
6 seeds
Prick out seedlings into flats:
broccoli
—
1+ seedlings
cabbage
—
4+ seedlings
head lettuce
—
3+ seedlingsS
leaf lettuce
— 20+ seedlingsS
9 weeks before first frost ______________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flat:
bush peas
—
2 seeds
2 seeds
(date)
Prick out seedlings into flats:
eggplant
— 1+ seedlings
green peppers
— 5+ seedlings
6 weeks after last frost ________________________
(date)
—
—
2 seeds
8 seeds
11 weeks before first frost ______________________
5 weeks after last frost ________________________
Transplant:
pumpkin
zucchini
2.3 sq ft
4.0 sq ft
1 seedling
1 seedling
6.3 sq ft
2.3 sq ft
8 weeks after last frost ________________________
(date)
As first planting comes out, transplant:
potatoes**
— 75 sprouted
pieces
celery
—
9 seedlings
30.0 sq ft
2.0 sq ft
Notes
• Numbers given are for the approximate number of seeds
and seedlings that should be required for each crop for
the area involved.
• To improve the soil fertility and increase the sustainability
of your garden/mini-farm, additionally grow 665 square feet
of carbon-and-calorie crops, described on pages 31 and 32.
156 seeds
8 weeks before first frost ______________________
(date)
As first potatoes come
broccoli
bush peas
cabbage
calendulas
carrots
chard
head lettuce
leaf lettuce (8)
spinach
stocks
out, transplant:
—
1 seedling
— 125 seedlings*
—
4 seedlings
—
4 seedlings
—
49 seedlings
—
7 seedlings
—
3 seedlingsS
—
20 seedlingsS
—
10 seedlings
—
4 seedlings
1.3 sq ft
6.8 sq ft
5.2 sq ft
4.0 sq ft
2.7 sq ft
2.7 sq ft
2.7 sq ft
7.8 sq ft
2.2 sq ft
4.0 sq ft
Plant:
radishes
—
.25 sq ft
10 seeds
See page 134 for plan of One-Person Mini-Garden,
Third Year.
S
= Stagger planting for a more continuous harvest.
* = Spot additional seeds later where seeds do not germinate.
** = See potato planting instructions on page 15.
MAKING THE GARDEN PLAN
133
ONE-PERSON MINI-GARDEN, THIRD YEAR
cantaloupes,
honeydew melons,
and watermelons
celery
regular tomatoes
Spring
(Bed 2)
lettuce
beets
cabbage and broccoli
peas
calendulas
stocks
lettuce
chard
carrots
radishes
Scale: 5 ⁄ 16 inch = 1 foot. Growing beds are 100 square feet (5 by 20 feet).
134
MAKING THE GARDEN PLAN
asparagus
zucchini
potatoes
broccoli
spinach
brussels
sprouts
cabbage
followed by potatoes in early summer
Early Fall
(Bed 2)
cucumbers
beans
peas
carrots
onions
cauliflower
radishes
parsley
dill
basil
garlic
pumpkin
eggplant
sweet potatoes
peppers
early corn
Spring
(Bed 3)
dwarf
fruit tree
strawberries
strawberries
cosmos
zinnias
Spring
(Bed 1)
ONE-PERSON MINI-GARDEN, FOURTH YEAR, 6-MONTH GROWING SEASON
380 SQUARE FEET (including paths)
As soon as possible in spring, plant:
chives (purchased) —
3 seedlings
lavender (purchased) —
1 seedling
marjoram (purchased)—
1 seedling
sage (purchased)
—
1 seedling
strawberries
(relocated; see plan) —
32 seedlings
bare root
dwarf fruit tree
—
1 tree
or whatever herbs are desired
2 weeks before last frost________________________
.5 sq ft
4.0 sq ft
1.0 sq ft
2.3 sq ft
20.0 sq ft
64.0 sq ft
6 weeks before last spring frost ________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
broccoli
—
brussels sprouts
—
cabbage
—
cauliflower
—
celery
—
head lettuce
—
leaf lettuce
—
parsley
—
regular tomatoes
—
3 seeds
2 seeds
5 seeds
2 seeds
18 seeds
3 seedsS
13 seedsS
2 seeds
9 seeds
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
dill
—
eggplant
—
green peppers
—
2 seeds
2 seeds
8 seeds
Prick out seedlings into flat:
celery
—
9+ seedlings
Transplant:
broccoli
brussels sprouts
bush peas
cabbage
carrots
cauliflower
cylindra beets
head lettuce
leaf lettuce (9)
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
Plant:
garlic
onions (purchased)
radishes
—
—
—
2 seedlings
1 seedling
125 seedlings
4 seedlings
50 seedlings
1 seedling
10 seedlings
2 seedlingsS
10 seedlingsS
3 cloves
39 sets
15 seeds
2.6 sq ft
2.3 sq ft
6.8 sq ft
5.2 sq ft
2.7 sq ft
1.3 sq ft
1.0 sq ft
2.0 sq ft
6.0 sq ft
.3 sq ft
3.8 sq ft
.25 sq ft
5 weeks before last frost________________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
cylindra beets
—
carrots
—
(date)
16 seeds
90 seeds
Prick out seedlings into flats:
head lettuce
—
2+ seedlingsS
leaf lettuce
— 10+ seedlingsS
4 weeks before last frost________________________
(date)
Sprout:
potatoes
—
12.5 lbs tubers
Prick out seedlings into flat:
parsley
—
1+ seedlings
3 weeks before last frost________________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flat:
bush peas
—
On last frost __________________________________
156 seeds
Prick out seedlings into flats:
broccoli
—
brussels sprouts
—
cabbage
—
cauliflower
—
Start seedlings in flats:
cantaloupes
—
cucumbers
—
honeydew melons
—
New Hampshire
midget watermelons —
pumpkins
—
sweet basil
—
4 seeds
6 seeds
4 seeds
41 seeds
3 seeds
2 seeds
Prick out seedlings into flats:
celery
—
9+ seedlings
tomatoes
—
7+ seedlings
Transplant:
parsley
potatoes
—
—
1 seedling
99 sprouted
pieces
.15 sq ft
40.0 sq ft
2 weeks after last frost ________________________
(date)
2+ seedlings
1+ seedlings
4+ seedlings
1+ seedlings
Start seedlings in flats:
bush green beans
—
bush lima beans
—
early corn
(65 days to maturity)—
86 seeds*
59 seeds*
25 seeds
Prick out seedlings into flat:
celery
—
9+ seedlings
Note
Numbers given are for the approximate number of seeds and
seedlings that should be required for each crop for the area
involved.
S
= Stagger planting for a more continuous harvest.
* = Spot additional seeds later where seeds do not germinate.
** = See potato planting instructions on page 15.
MAKING THE GARDEN PLAN
135
3 weeks after last frost ________________________
14 weeks before first frost ______________________
(date)
Transplant:
early corn
tomatoes (21)
—
—
18 seedlings
7 seedlings
(date)
25.0 sq ft
20.0 sq ft
4 weeks after last frost ________________________
(date)
Transplant:
bush green beans
—
bush lima beans
—
cantaloupes
—
cucumbers
—
honeydew melons
—
New Hampshire
midget watermelons—
pumpkins
—
sweet basil
—
64 seedlings*
41 seedlings*
3 seedlings
5 seedlings
3 seedlings
14.0 sq ft
9.0 sq ft
5.0 sq ft
4.0 sq ft
5.0 sq ft
23 seedlings
2 seedlings
1 seedling
20.0 sq ft
6.3 sq ft
.25 sq ft
5 weeks after last frost ________________________
(date)
6 weeks after last frost ________________________
(date)
—
9 seedlings
2.0 sq ft
7 weeks after last frost ________________________
(date)
Sprout:
potatoes
— 12.5 lbs tubers
Transplant:
eggplant
green peppers
—
—
1 seedling
5 seedlings
8 weeks after last frost ________________________
(date)
As first planting comes out, transplant:
potatoes**
— 99 sprouted
pieces
40.0 sq ft
16 weeks before first fall frost __________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flat:
chard
—
3 seeds
Notes
• Numbers given are for the approximate number of seeds
and seedlings that should be required for each crop for
the area involved.
• To improve the soil fertility and increase the sustainability
of your garden/mini-farm, additionally grow 570 square feet
of carbon-and-calorie crops, described on pages 31 and 32.
136
MAKING THE GARDEN PLAN
(date)
Prick out seedlings into flats:
head lettuce
—
3+ seedlingsS
leaf lettuce
— 20+ seedlingsS
Transplant:
chard
—
2 seedlings
1.0 sq ft
11 weeks before first frost ______________________
(date)
Prick out seedlings in flats:
broccoli
—
cabbage
—
90 seeds
156 seeds
17 seeds
1+ seedlings
3+ seedlings
10 weeks before first frost ______________________
(date)
Transplant:
bush peas
head lettuce
leaf lettuce (8)
2.3 sq ft
4.0 sq ft
2 seeds
4 seeds
7 seeds
4 seedsS
25 seedsS
7 seeds
13 weeks before first frost ______________________
Start seedlings in flats:
carrots
—
bush peas
—
spinach
—
Prick out seedlings into flats:
eggplant
— 1+ seedlings
green peppers
— 5+ seedlings
Transplant:
celery
Start seedlings in flats:
broccoli
—
cabbage
—
calendulas
—
head lettuce
—
leaf lettuce
—
stocks
—
—
—
—
125 seedlings
3 seedlingsS
20 seedlingsS
6.8 sq ft
2.7 sq ft
7.8 sq ft
9 weeks before first frost ______________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
bush peas
—
corn
(65 days to maturity)—
156 seeds
24 seeds
8 weeks before first frost ______________________
(date)
As first potatoes comes out, transplant:
broccoli
—
1 seedling
bush peas
— 125 seedlings
cabbage
—
3 seedlings
calendulas
—
5 seedlings
carrots
—
50 seedlings
corn
—
18 seedlings
spinach
—
10 seedlings
stocks
—
5 seedlings
1.3 sq ft
6.8 sq ft
5.2 sq ft
5.0 sq ft
2.7 sq ft
25.0 sq ft
2.2 sq ft
5.0 sq ft
S
= Stagger planting for a more continuous harvest.
* = Spot additional seeds later where seeds do not germinate.
** = See potato planting instructions on page 15.
lavender
lettuce
cabbage
carrots
celery
onions
broccoli
brussels
sprouts
regular
tomatoes
corn
sage
chives
marjoram
beans
dwarf
fruit tree
pumpkin
asparagus
cauliflower
optional
peas
basil
beets
dill
garlic
parsley
radishes
Spring
(Bed 3)
dwarf
fruit tree
melons
strawberries
(relocated)
Spring
(Bed 2)
strawberries
sweet
potatoes
strawberries
potatoes
cucumbers
eggplant
Spring
(Bed 1)
green peppers
ONE-PERSON MINI-GARDEN, FOURTH YEAR
spinach
Summer–
Early Fall
(Bed 1)
corn
broccoli
cabbage
Summer–
Early Fall
(Bed 2)
calendulas
Scale: 5 ⁄ 16 inch 1 foot. Most growing beds are 100 square feet (5 by 20 feet).
peas
carrots
chard
radishes
potatoes
stocks
lettuce
MAKING THE GARDEN PLAN
137
FOUR-PERSON FAMILY FOOD GARDEN, 6-MONTH GROWING SEASON
1,302 SQUARE FEET (including paths)
As soon as possible in spring, plant:
bare root
dwarf fruit trees
—
7 trees
448.0 sq ft
Prick out seedlings into flats:
celery
— 53+ seedlings
regular tomatoes
— 26+ seedlings
6 weeks before last spring frost ________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
broccoli
—
brussels sprouts
—
cabbage
—
cauliflower
—
celery
—
head lettuce
—
leaf lettuce
—
parsley
—
regular tomatoes
—
16 seeds
8 seeds
32 seeds
8 seeds
96 seeds
56 seedsS
96 seedsS
16 seeds
35 seeds
5 weeks before last frost________________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
carrots
—
cylindra beets
—
spinach
—
86 seeds
36 seeds
61 seeds
Transplant:
broccoli
brussels sprouts
bush peas
cabbage
carrots
cauliflower
cylindra beets
head lettuce
leaf lettuce (9)
—
8 seedlings
—
4 seedlings
— 1,500 seedlings
—
16 seedlings
—
43 seedlings
—
4 seedlings
—
36 seedlings
—
28 seedlingsS
—
48 seedlingsS
Plant:
garlic
onions (purchased)
radishes
—
—
—
45.6 sq ft
45.6 sq ft
68.0 sq ft
45.6 sq ft
2.7 sq ft
45.6 sq ft
4.0 sq ft
31.2 sq ft
31.2 sq ft
3 cloves
39 sets
10 seeds
.3 sq ft
3.8 sq ft
.25 sq ft
On last frost __________________________________
(date)
Prick out seedlings into flats:
head lettuce
— 28+ seedlingsS
leaf lettuce
— 48+ seedlingsS
4 weeks before last frost________________________
(date)
Prick out seedlings into flat:
parsley
—
4+ seedlings
3 weeks before last frost________________________
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
bush peas
— 1,880 seeds
Start seedlings in flats:
cantaloupes
—
cosmos
—
cucumbers
—
honeydew melons
—
New Hampshire
midget watermelons —
pumpkins
—
sweet basil
—
zinnias
—
zucchini
—
17 seeds
17 seeds
23 seeds
17 seeds
17 seeds
6 seeds
8 seeds
14 seeds
10 seeds
Prick out seedlings into flat:
parsley
—
9+ seedlingsS
Prick out seedlings into flats:
broccoli
—
8+ seedlings
brussels sprouts
—
4+ seedlings
cabbage
— 16+ seedlings
cauliflower
—
4+ seedlings
Transplant:
potatoes**
—
546 sprouted
pieces
1.5 sq ft
220.0 sq ft
2 weeks after last frost ________________________
2 weeks before last frost________________________
(date)
Sprout:
sweet potatoes
—
Start seedlings in flats:
chard
—
dill
—
eggplant
—
green peppers
—
spinach
—
1.5 lbs tubers
16 seeds
8 seeds
8 seeds
36 seeds
61 seeds
Note
Numbers given are for the approximate number of seeds and
seedlings that should be required for each crop for the area
involved.
138
MAKING THE GARDEN PLAN
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
bush green beans
—
bush lima beans
—
early corn
(65 days to maturity)—
sunflowers
—
299 seeds
206 seeds
98 seeds
8 seedlings
Prick out seedlings into flat:
celery
—
53+ seedlings
Transplant:
chard
spinach
—
—
16 seedlings
36 seedlings
4.0 sq ft
9.0 sq ft
S
= Stagger planting for a more continuous harvest.
* = Spot additional seeds later where seeds do not germinate.
** = See potato planting instructions on page 15.
3 weeks after last frost ________________________
8 weeks after last frost ________________________
(date)
Transplant:
early corn
—
regular tomatoes (21)—
73 seedlings
28 seedlings
(date)
100.0 sq ft
80.0 sq ft
Transplant:
parsley
—
3 seedlings
10 weeks after last frost ________________________
4 weeks after last frost ________________________
(date)
As early brassicas, onions, and lettuce come out,
transplant:
bush green beans
—
224 seedlings
56.0 sq ft
bush lima beans
—
144 seedlings
36.0 sq ft
sweet potatoes
—
27 seedlings
6.0 sq ft
Transplant:
cosmos (after potatoes
are harvested)
—
cucumbers
—
dill
—
pumpkins
—
sunflowers (24)
—
sweet basil
—
zinnias (after potatoes
are harvested)
—
zucchini
—
12 seedlings
18 seedlings
4 seedlings
4 seedlings
4 seedlings
4 seedlings
10 seedlings
7 seedlings
10.0 sq ft
16.0 sq ft
1.6 sq ft
25.2 sq ft
15.0 sq ft
4.0 sq ft
10.0 sq ft
9.2 sq ft
5 weeks after last frost ________________________
(date)
(date)
31 lbs tubers
Prick out seedlings into flat:
parsley
—
3+ seedlings
—
50 seedlings
15.0 sq ft
(date)
—
—
4 seedlings
18 seedlings
12 weeks before first frost ______________________
(date)
Prick out seedlings in flats:
head lettuce
— 11+ seedlingsS
leaf lettuce
— 55+ seedlingsS
11 weeks before first frost ______________________
15 seeds
61 seeds
Prick out seedlings into flats:
broccoli
—
1+ seedlings
cabbage
—
15+ seedlings
(date)
7 weeks after last frost ________________________
Transplant:
eggplant
green peppers
5 seeds
20 seeds
14 seeds
14 seedsS
69 seedsS
14 seeds
10 weeks before first frost ______________________
As peas and carrots come out, replant bed with:
cantaloupes
—
12 seedlings
honeydew melons
—
12 seedlings
50.0 sq ft
New Hampshire midget
watermelons (12) —
12 seedlings
Transplant:
celery
(date)
Start seedlings in flats:
broccoli
—
cabbage
—
calendulas
—
head lettuce
—
leaf lettuce (8)
—
stocks
—
Start seedlings into flats:
chard
—
spinach
—
6 weeks after last frost ________________________
—
13 weeks before first frost ______________________
(date)
Prick out seedlings into flats:
eggplant
—
4+ seedlings
green peppers
— 18+ seedlings
Sprout:
potatoes
(date)
As first corn planting comes out, transplant:
potatoes**
— 248 sprouted
pieces
100.0 sq ft
9.2 sq ft
16.0 sq ft
Notes
• Numbers given are for the approximate number of seeds
and seedlings that should be required for each crop for
the area involved.
• To improve the soil fertility and increase the sustainability of
your garden/mini-farm, additionally grow 1,562 square feet
of carbon-and-calorie crops, described on pages 31 and 32.
Transplant:
head lettuce
leaf lettuce
—
—
11 seedlingsS
55 seedlingsS
10.0 sq ft
21.2 sq ft
8 weeks before first frost ______________________
(date)
As last potatoes comes out, transplant:
broccoli
—
1 seedling
cabbage
—
15 seedlings
calendulas
—
10 seedlings
chard
—
10 seedlings
spinach
—
37 seedlings
stocks
—
10 seedlings
Plant:
radishes
—
41 seeds
1.3 sq ft
20.8 sq ft
10.0 sq ft
4.0 sq ft
8.0 sq ft
10.0 sq ft
1.0 sq ft
See pages 140 and 141 for plan of Four-Person Family
Food Garden.
S
= Stagger planting for a more continuous harvest.
* = Spot additional seeds later where seeds do not germinate.
** = See potato planting instructions on page 15.
MAKING THE GARDEN PLAN
139
FOUR-PERSON
FAMILY FOOD
GARDEN
Spring–Summer
dwarf cherry
dwarf plum
potatoes
early corn
dwarf pear
dwarf apple
dwarf cherry
compost
compost
dwarf peach
dill
basil
parsley garlic
onions
beets
chard
optional
carrots and radishes
celery
lettuce
pumpkins
dwarf apricot
spinach
sunflowers
eggplant
potatoes
regular
tomatoes
sweet potatoes
bush peas
brassicas
cucumbers
zucchini
green peppers
140
MAKING THE GARDEN PLAN
Scale: 1⁄ 4 inch 1 foot. Most growing beds are 100 square feet (5 by 20 feet).
FOUR-PERSON
FAMILY FOOD
GARDEN
Summer–Fall
stocks
spinach
broccoli
calendulas
dwarf cherry
chard
dwarf plum
potatoes
cabbage
dwarf pear
dwarf apple
dwarf cherry
lettuce
compost
compost
dwarf peach
dwarf apricot
optional,
including
radishes
cosmos
zinnias
unchanged
from spring
beans
unchanged
from spring
corn
cantaloupes,
honeydew
melons, and
watermelons
MAKING THE GARDEN PLAN
141
8
Companion
Planting
Goal: Grow a garden with thriving
symbiotic genetic diversity
L
ike people in relationships, certain plants like and
dislike each other, depending on the specific natures
involved. Seedlings of transplanting size begin to relate
more and more with the plants around them. These relationships become especially important as adult plants develop
distinct personalities, essences, and aromas. Green beans and
strawberries, for example, thrive better when they are grown
together than when they are grown separately. To get really
good-tasting Bibb lettuce, one spinach plant should be grown
for every four Bibb lettuce plants.
In contrast, no plants grow well near wormwood due to its
toxic leaf and root excretions. However, wormwood tea repels
black fleas, discourages slugs, keeps beetles and weevils out
of grain, and combats aphids. So wormwood is not a totally
noxious herb. Few plants are. Instead, they have their place in
the natural order of things.
Weeds are often specialists and doctors in the plant community. They take very well to sick soil that needs to be built up
and almost seem to seek it out. Where cultivated garden plants
can not manage, weeds are able to draw phosphorus, potash,
calcium, trace minerals, and other nutrients out of the soil and
subsoil and concentrate them in their bodies. Plants seem to
have uncanny instincts.
Weeds can be used to concentrate nutrients for future fertilization or to withdraw noxious elements, such as unwanted
salts, from the growing area. A deficient soil is often enriched
by adding weeds to man-made compost or by returning their
dead bodies to the soil as nature does.
Companion planting is the constructive use of plant relationships by gardeners, horticulturists, and farmers. A scientific definition of companion planting is: “The placing together
of plants having complementary physical demands.” A more
accurate, living, and spiritual description is “the growing
142
COMPANION PLANTING
together of all those elements and beings that encourage life
and growth: the creation of a microcosm that includes vegetables, fruits, trees, bushes, wheat, flowers, weeds, birds, soil,
microorganisms, water, nutrients, insects, toads, spiders,
and chickens.”
Companion planting is still an experimental field in which
much more research needs to be performed. The age of the
plants involved and the percentage of each of the types of
plants grown together can be critical, as can be their relative
proximity to one another. Companion planting should, therefore, be used with some caution and much observation. You
may want to study the causes of some of these beneficial
relationships. Are they due to root excretions, plant aroma,
or the pollen of composite flowers that attracts certain
beneficial insects? Companion planting is a fascinating field.
Some of the companion planting techniques you might try
and experience are for: health; nutrition; physical complementarity; and weed, insect, and animal relationships.
Health
Better Growth—Growing green beans and strawberries
together, and Bibb lettuce and spinach, has already been
mentioned. On the other end of the spectrum, onions, garlic,
chives, and shallots seriously inhibit the growth of peas and
beans. In between the extremes, bush beans and beets may
be grown together with no particular advantage or disadvantage to either plant. Pole beans and beets, however, do not
get along well. The nuances are amazing. What is the difference between bush and pole beans? No one appears to know
the scientific reason yet for this difference in behavior, but it
can be observed.
Ehrenfreid Pfeiffer developed a method known as crystallization, from which one can predict whether or not plants will
be good companions. In this technique, part of a plant is
ground up and mixed with a chemical solution. After the solution dries, a crystalline pattern remains. Different plants have
distinct, representative patterns. When two plant solutions are
mixed, the patterns increase, decrease, or stay the same in
strength and regularity. Sometimes both patterns improve,
indicating a reciprocal, beneficial influence. Or both patterns
may deteriorate in a reciprocal negative reaction. One pattern
may improve while another deteriorates, indicating a one-sided
advantage. Both patterns may remain the same, indicating no
particular companion advantage or disadvantage. And one plant
pattern may increase or decrease in quality while the other
undergoes no change. Two plants that suffer a decrease in
quality on a one-to-one basis may show an increase in strength
in a one-to-ten ratio.
COMPANION PLANTING
143
Spacing for Better Companions—Using GROW BIOINTENSIVE
spacing with the plant leaves barely touching allows good
companions to be better friends.
Stinging nettle and tomatoes are
good garden companions.
Note
Lemon balm, marjoram, oregano,
dandelion, chamomile, stinging nettle,
and valerian are perennials. They are
traditionally planted in a section along
one end of the bed so they need not
be disturbed when the bed is
replanted.
All-Around Beneficial Influence—Certain herbs and one tree
have a beneficial influence on all of the plant community. These
plants and their characteristics are:1
• Lemon balm creates a beneficial atmosphere around itself
and attracts bees. Part of the mint family.
• Marjoram has a “beneficial effect on surrounding plants.”
• Oregano has a “beneficial effect on surrounding plants.”
• Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica): “Helps neighboring plants
to grow more resistant to spoiling.” Increases the essential
oil content in many herbs. “Stimulates humus formation.”
Helps stimulate fermentation in compost piles. As a tea, it
promotes plant growth and helps strengthen plants. Concentrates sulfur, potassium, calcium, and iron in its body.
• Valerian (Valeriana officinalis): “Helps most vegetables.”
Stimulates phosphorus activity in its vicinity. Encourages
health and disease resistance in plants.
• Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile): A lime specialist.
“Contains a growth hormone which . . . stimulates the
growth of yeast.” In a 1:100 ratio, it helps the growth of
wheat. As a tea, it combats diseases such as damping off in
young plants. Concentrates calcium, sulfur, and potash
in its body.
• Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale): Increases the “aromatic
quality of all herbs.” “In small amounts” it helps most vegetables. Concentrates potash in its body.
• Oak tree: Concentrates calcium in its bark (bark ash is
77% calcium). In a special tea, it helps plants resist harmful
diseases. The oak tree provides a beneficial influence around
it that helps create excellent soil underneath its branches.
This is a great place to build a compost pile for the same
reason, but keep the pile at least 6 feet from the tree trunk
so the environment near the tree will not be conducive to
disease or attractive to harmful insects.
Soil Life Stimulation—Stinging nettle helps stimulate the microbial life, and this helps plant growth.
Soil Improvement—Sow thistle (Sonchus oleraceus) brings up
nutrients from the subsoil to enrich a depleted topsoil. After
years of dead sow thistle bodies have enriched the topsoil,
heavier-feeding grasses return. This is part of nature’s recycling
program, in which leached-out nutrients are returned to the
topsoil, and it is a natural method for raising new nutrients to
1. Helen Philbrick and Richard B. Gregg, Companion Plants and How to Use Them
(Old Greenwich, CT: Devin-Adair Company, 1966), pp. 16, 57, 58, 60, 65, 84, 85, 86, 92; and
Rudolf Steiner, Agriculture—A Course of Eight Lectures (London: Biodynamic Agricultural Association, 1958), pp. 93–95, 97, 99, 100.
144
COMPANION PLANTING
the upper layers of the soil. It has been estimated that one rye
plant grown in good soil produces an average of 3 miles of roots
per day; that is 387 miles of roots and 6,603 miles of root hairs
during a season. Plants are continuously providing their own
composting program underground. In one year, plants put 800
to 1,500 pounds of roots per acre into the soil in a small garden,
and red clover puts 1,200 to 3,850 pounds of roots into the soil
in the same period of time.2
Nutrition
Over Time—Companion planting “over time” has been known
for years as “crop rotation.” After properly preparing the soil,
heavy feeders are planted. These are followed by heavy givers
and then by light feeders. This is a kind of agricultural recycling
in which man and plants participate to return as much to the
soil as has been taken out.
Heavy feeders—most of the vegetables we like and eat
(including corn, tomatoes, squash, lettuce, and cabbage)—take
large amounts of nutrients, especially nitrogen, from the soil.
In the GROW BIOINTENSIVE method, after harvesting heavy
feeders, you can return phosphorus and potassium to the soil in
the form of compost. To return nitrogen to the soil, grow heavy
givers. Heavy givers are nitrogen-fixing plants or legumes, such
as peas, beans, alfalfa, clover, and vetch. Fava beans are also
good for this purpose. Not only do they bring large amounts of
nitrogen into the soil, they also excrete substances that help
eradicate tomato wilt–causing organisms. (Caution: Some
people of Mediterranean descent are fatally allergic to fava
beans, even though the beans are very popular and widely
eaten in that area. People on certain medications experience
the same reaction. Check with your physician first.) After heavy
givers, plant light feeders (all root crops) to give the soil a rest
before the next heavy feeder onslaught. Three vegetables are
low nitrogen lovers: turnips (a light feeder), sweet potatoes
(a light feeder), and green peppers (a heavy feeder of nutrients
other than nitrogen). The two light feeders would normally be
planted after heavy givers, which put a lot of nitrogen into the
soil. You may find it useful to have them follow a heavy feeder
instead. It would also be good to have green peppers follow a
heavy feeder. (They normally come after a heavy giver and
a light feeder.)3 You should experiment with these out-ofsequence plantings.
Plant root systems improve the topsoil
by bringing up nutrients from the
subsoil.
LF
HF
HG
Agricultural recycling:
To preserve the soil’s nutrients,
plant heavy feeders, then heavy
givers, then light feeders.
2. Helen Philbrick and Richard B. Gregg, Companion Plants and How to Use Them
(Old Greenwich, CT: Devin-Adair Company, 1966), pp. 75–76.
3. This way of looking at crops was developed many years ago. It is based on how much
nitrogen crops generally consume or produce. Actually, it is not always accurate. For example,
potatoes, a root crop and, therefore, a light feeder, consume one of the largest amounts of
nitrogen. As a result, they are functionally a heavy feeder. Nonetheless, this system can be a
good way to organize crop rotation.
COMPANION PLANTING
145
In Space—Companion planting of heavy feeders, heavy givers,
and light feeders can be done in the same growing area, or
space, at the same time. For example, corn, beans, and beets
can be intermingled in the same bed. Just as with companion
planting over time, you should proceed with care. In this combination, the beans must be bush beans, since pole beans and
beets do not grow well together. Also, pole beans have been
reported to pull the ears off corn stalks. Sometimes pole beans
have been grown successfully with corn, however, and a
vegetable such as carrots may be substituted for the beets so
you can use the tall beans. When different plants are grown
together, you sacrifice some of the living mulch advantage to
companion planting “in space” because of the different plant
heights. One way to determine the spacing for different plants
grown together is to add their spacing together and divide by 2.
If you grow corn and beets together, add 15 inches and 4 inches
for a total of 19 inches. Divide by 2 and you get a per-plant spacing of 9.5 inches. The beets, then, would be 9.5 inches from
each corn plant and vice versa. Each corn plant will be 19 inches
from each corn plant and most beet plants will be 9.5 inches
from the other beet plants nearest to them. In the drawing
below, note that each corn plant gets the 7 1 ⁄ 2 inches in each
direction that it requires for a total growing area with a diameter of 15 inches. Each beet plant, at the same time, gets the 2
inches it requires in each direction for a growing space with a
4-inch diameter.
TWO-CROP COMPANION PLANTING
Circles show average root growth diameters.
C
B
C = Corn (15 C)
B = Beets (4 C)
B
B
C
B
B
C
C
B
B
C
B
B
B
C
COMPANION PLANTING
7 1/2 B
B
C
B
C
B
C
B
B
B
B
B
C
C
C
C
B
B
B
B
C
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
C
C
C
C
2
146
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
C
C
C
C
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
C
C
C
C
B
B
B
B
C
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
C
B
B
B
C
B
B
B
B
C
19 B
C
19 B
19
B
C
B
B
B
C
An easier, and probably just as effective, method of
companion planting in space is to divide your planting bed into
separate sections (or beds within a bed) for each vegetable. In
this method, a grouping of corn plants would be next to a
group of bush beans and a group of beets. In reality, this is a
kind of companion planting over time, since there are heavy
feeder, heavy giver, and light feeder sections within a bed.
Roots extend 1 to 4 feet around each plant, so it is also
companion planting in space. We recommend you use this
approach. Additional spacing patterns no doubt exist and will
be developed for companion planting “in space.”
MULTI-CROP COMPANION PLANTING “IN SPACE”
corn
bush beans
beets
corn
bush beans
beets
A spacing example for 3 crops grown together—corn
(a heavy feeder), bush beans (a heavy giver), and beets (a light
feeder)—is given on page 148. You should note that this
approach to companion planting in space uses more bush bean
and beet plants than corn plants.
Compromise and Planning—You can see by now that companion
planting involves selecting the combination of factors that works
best in your soil and climate. Fortunately, the myriad of details
fall into a pattern of simple guidelines. Within the guidelines,
however, there are so many possible combinations that the planning process can become quite complex. Be easy on yourself.
Do only as much companion planting as is reasonable for you
and comes naturally. What you learn this year and become
comfortable with can be applied next year, and so on. An easy
place to start is with salad vegetables, since these are generally
companions. Also, it is easier to companion plant over time
rather than in space. Since you probably will not have enough
area to use an entire bed for each crop, you might create several
heavy feeder, heavy giver, and light feeder sections within each
bed. You may want to grow a preponderance of crops from one
group, such as the heavy feeders. (It is unlikely that you will
want to grow 1 ⁄ 3 of each crop type.) Therefore, you will need to
make adjustments, such as adding extra fertilizer and compost,
when you follow one heavy feeder with another. Because of lack
of space, you may have to grow some plants together that are
not companions. If so, you may need to be satisfied with lower
COMPANION PLANTING
147
THREE-CROP COMPANION PLANTING
Circles show average root growth diameters.
25
C
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
C
Lettuce plants can be nestled among
other larger plants for the partial
shade they need.
B
B
B
B
B
C
C
B
B
B
C
15
B
B
C
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
C
B
B
B
B
B B
B
B
B
C
B
B
B
B
C
B
B
B
B
B
B
C
B
B
B
B
B
B
Using the sun/shade technique is
one way to make the most of your
plants’ physically complementary
characteristics.
B
B
B
B
B B 1
C 1
B
9 /2 5 10 /2 B
B
C
B
B
C
C
B
B
B
B
25
B
C = Corn (15 C)
B = Beets (4 C)
B = Bush beans (6 C)
B
C
B
B
B
C
yields, lower-quality vegetables, and less healthy plants. Or you
might try to alter your diet to one that is still balanced but more
in line with the balances of nature. At any rate, you can see it is
useful to plan your garden in advance. You will need to know
how many pounds of each vegetable you want during the year,
how many plants are needed to grow the weight of vegetables
you require, when to plant seeds in flats and in the ground,
when and how to rotate your crops, and when to raise and transplant herbs so they will be at the peak of their own special influence. Use the Master Charts at the end of “Seed Propagation” to
assist in this work. Herb plants should be reasonably mature
when transplanted into a bed for insect control or general beneficial influence to have their optimum effect as companions. Try
to plan your garden 12 months at a time, and always at least 3
months in advance.
Physical Complementarity
Corn can provide the shade that
cucumbers enjoy.
148
COMPANION PLANTING
Sun/Shade—Many plants have special needs for sunlight or
a lack of it. Cucumbers, for example, are very hard to please.
They like heat, moisture, a well-drained soil, and some shade.
One way to provide these conditions is to grow cucumbers with
corn. The corn plants, which like heat and sun, can provide
partial shade for the cucumber plants. Having lettuce or carrot
plants nestle among other plants for partial shade is another
example. Sunflowers, which are tall and like lots of sun,
should be planted at the north side of the garden. There they
will receive enough sun for themselves but will not shade
other plants.
Shallow/Deep Rooting—One example is shallower-rooting beans
interplanted with deeper-rooting corn. A dynamic process of
improved soil structure occurs over time as plants with root
systems of differing depths and breadths work different areas
of soil in the planting bed.4
Fast/Slow Maturing—The French intensive gardeners were
able to grow as many as 4 crops in a growing bed at one time
due to the staggered growth and maturation rates of different
vegetables. The fact that the edible portions of the plants
appeared in different vertical locations also helped. Radishes,
carrots, lettuce, and cauliflower were grown together in one
combination used by the French to take advantage of these
differences.
Vertical Location of the Plant’s Edible Portion—See Fast/Slow
Maturing.
Weed, Insect, and Animal Relationships
“Weed” Control—The growth of beets, members of the cabbage
family, and alfalfa is slowed down significantly by the presence of
weeds. To minimize the weed problem for sensitive plants, you
can grow other plants during the previous season that discourage
‘weed” growth in the soil in the current season. Two such plants
are kale and rape. Another example is the Tagetes minuta, Mexican marigold.5 “In many instances it has killed even couch grass,
convolvulus (wild morning glory), ground ivy, ground elder,
horsetail, and other persistent weeds that defy most poisons. Its
lethal action works only on starch roots and has no effect on
woody ones like roses, fruit bushes, and shrubs. Where it had
grown, the soil was enriched as well as cleansed, its texture was
refined and lumps of clay were broken up.”6 Some care should
be taken when using this marigold, however, since it might also
kill vegetable crops and it does give off toxic excretions. Tests
need to be performed to determine how long the influence of
these excretions stays with the soil. But to cleanse a soil of pernicious weeds and thereby get it ready for vegetables, Tagetes
minuta appears to be a useful plant.
Sow thistle grows with lettuce in one
example of shallow/deep rooting
symbiosis. Their roots do not compete
with each other.
An example of using fast/slow
maturing to advantage is to interplant
carrots with radishes.
Insect and Pest Control—At least two elements are important
in companion planting for insect control. One is the use of older
plants with well-developed aroma and essential oil accumula4. Also see Emanuel Epstein, “Roots,” Scientific American, May 1973, pp. 48–58.
5. Illegal in California, where it is considered a noxious weed that aggressively takes
over cattle lands and prevents fodder from growing. It is probably also toxic to cattle.
6. Audrey Wynne Hatfield, How to Enjoy Your Weeds (New York: Sterling Publishing, 1971).
Copyright © 1969 by Audrey Wynne Hatfield.
COMPANION PLANTING
149
tions. You want the insects to know the plant is there. Second,
it is important to use a large variety of herbs. Five different
herbs help discourage the cabbageworm butterfly, although one
herb may work better than another in your area. Testing
several herbs will help you determine the ones that work best
for you. The more “unpleasant” plants there are in the garden,
the sooner harmful insects will get the idea that your garden is
not a pleasant place to eat and propagate. Using a large number
of herbs also fits in with the diversity of plant life favored by
nature. Much more research needs to be performed to determine the optimum ages for control plants and the number of
control plants per bed. Too few plants will not control an insect
problem, and too many may reduce your yields. Some insect
controls are:
• Whiteflies: Marigolds—but not pot marigolds (calendula)—
and flowering tobacco. The first are supposed to excrete
substances from their roots that the other plants absorb.
When the whiteflies suck on the other plants, they think
they are on a strong-tasting marigold and leave. The flowering tobacco plant has a sticky substance on the underside
of its leaves to which whiteflies stick and die when they
come for a meal.
• Ants: Spearmint, tansy, and pennyroyal. Mint often attracts
whiteflies so you may want to grow a few marigolds for control, but not so many as to possibly impair the taste of the
mint and certainly not one of the more poisonous marigolds.
This is another area for compromise. A few insects are probably less of a problem than mint with a strange taste.
• Nematodes and root pests: Mexican marigold (Tagetes
minuta) “eliminates all kinds of destructive eelworms . . .
wireworms, millipedes and various root-eating pests from
its vicinity.” The French marigold, Tagetes patula, eliminates
some “plant-destroying nematodes . . . at up to a range of
three feet . . . The beneficial . . . eelworms which do not
feed on healthy roots were not affected.”7
• Aphids: Yellow nasturtiums are a decoy for black aphids.
They may be planted at the base of tomatoes for this
purpose. Remove the plants and aphids before the insects
begin to produce young with wings. Spearmint, stinging
nettle, southernwood, and garlic help repel aphids.
• Tomato worms: Borage reportedly helps repel tomato worms
and/or serves as a decoy. Its blue flowers also attract bees.
Gophers—Elderberry cuttings placed in gopher holes and runs
reportedly repel these animals. Daffodils, castor beans, and
gopher plant (Euphorbia lathyrus) are all poisonous to gophers.
Be careful with the latter two, however, as they are also very
toxic to children, especially infants.
7. Ibid., p. 17.
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COMPANION PLANTING
Birds, Bees, and Other Animals—Sow thistle attracts birds.
Some birds are vegetarian, and some are omnivorous. The
omnivorous birds may stay for a main course of insects after a
seed snack. If you are having trouble with birds eating the
berries in your berry patch, you could erect a wren house in
the middle of it. Wrens are insectivores, and they will not
bother the berries. But they will attack any bird, however large,
that comes near their nest.
Hummingbirds are attracted to red flowers. They especially
like the tiny, red, torchlike flowers of the pineapple sage in our
garden. Bees may be attracted by hyssop, thyme, catnip, lemon
balm, pot marjoram, sweet basil, summer savory, borage, mint,
and blue flowers. Once in the garden they help pollinate.
Animals are good for the garden, too. Their manures can
be used as fertilizers. Chickens are one of the few reliable controllers of earwigs, sowbugs, pill bugs, snails, grasshoppers,
and maggots, though you may have to protect young seedlings
from chickens pecking tasty plant morsels.
Companion planting in all its aspects can be a complex and
often mind-boggling exercise—if you worry too much about the
details. Nature is complex. We can only assist and approximate
her in our creations. If we are gentle in relation to her forces
and balances, she will correct our errors and fill in for our lack
of understanding. As you gain more experience and develop a
sensitivity and feeling for gardening, more companion planting
details will become clear naturally. Do not let too much planning spoil the fun and excitement of working with nature!
Birds and plants can work together. The
Sonchus plant seeds attract the finch, which
afterwards eats aphids from the cabbage.
COMPANION PLANTING
151
A LIST OF COMMON GARDEN VEGETABLES, THEIR COMPANIONS,
AND THEIR ANTAGONISTS8
Companions
Antagonists
Asparagus
Tomatoes, parsley, basil
Beans
Potatoes, carrots, cucumbers,
cauliflower, cabbage, summer
savory, most other vegetables
and herbs
Onions, garlic, gladiolus,
chives
Beans, bush
Potatoes, cucumbers, corn,
strawberries, celery, summer
savory
Onions
Beans, pole
Corn, summer savory,
sunflowers
Onions, beets, kohlrabi,
cabbage
Beets
Onions, kohlrabi
Pole beans
Cabbage family
(cabbage, cauliflower,
kale, kohlrabi, broccoli)
Aromatic plants, potatoes,
celery, dill, chamomile, sage,
peppermint, rosemary, beets,
onions
Strawberries, tomatoes,
pole beans
Carrots
Peas, leaf lettuce, chives,
onions, leeks, rosemary,
sage, tomatoes
Dill
Celery
Leeks, tomatoes, bush beans,
cauliflower, cabbage
Chives
Carrots, tomatoes
Corn
Potatoes, peas, beans,
cucumbers, pumpkins, squash
Cucumbers
Beans, corn, peas, radishes,
sunflowers, lettuce
Eggplant
Beans, potatoes
Leeks
Onions, celery, carrots
Lettuce
Carrots and radishes (lettuce,
carrots, and radishes make a
strong team grown together),
strawberries, cucumbers, onions
Onions
(and garlic)
Beets, strawberries, tomatoes,
lettuce, summer savory, leeks,
chamomile (sparsely)
8. From Organic Gardening and Farming, February 1972, p. 54.
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COMPANION PLANTING
Peas, beans
Potatoes, aromatic herbs
Peas, beans
Companions
Antagonists
Parsley
Tomatoes, asparagus
Peas
Carrots, turnips, radishes,
cucumbers, corn, beans, most
vegetables and herbs
Potatoes
Beans, corn, cabbage, horsePumpkins, squash,
radish (should be planted at the
cucumbers, sunflowers,
corners of the patch), marigolds,
tomatoes, raspberries
eggplant (as a lure for the Colorado
potato beetle)
Pumpkins
Corn
Radishes
Peas, nasturtiums, lettuce,
cucumbers
Soybeans
Grows with anything, helps
everything
Spinach
Strawberries
Squash
Nasturtiums, corn
Potatoes
Strawberries
Bush beans, spinach, borage,
lettuce (as a border), onions
Cabbage
Sunflowers
Cucumbers
Potatoes
Tomatoes
Chives, onions, parsley,
asparagus, marigolds,
nasturtiums, carrots
Kohlrabi, potatoes, fennel,
cabbage
Turnips
Peas
Onions, garlic, gladiolus,
potatoes, chives
Potatoes
A COMPANIONATE HERBAL FOR THE ORGANIC GARDEN9
A list of herbs, their companions, and their uses, including some beneficial weeds and flowers.
Basil
Companion to tomatoes; dislikes rue intensely; improves growth
and flavor; repels flies and mosquitoes.
Bee balm
Companion to tomatoes; improves growth and flavor.
Borage
Companion to tomatoes, squash, and strawberries; deters tomato
worms; improves growth and flavor.
Caraway
Plant here and there; loosens soil.
Catnip
Plant in borders; deters flea beetles.
9. From Organic Gardening and Farming, February 1972, pp. 52–53.
COMPANION PLANTING
153
Chamomile
Companion to cabbage and onions; improves growth and flavor.
Chervil
Companion to radishes; improves growth and flavor.
Chives
Companion to carrots; improves growth and flavor.
“Dead” nettle
Companion to potatoes; deters potato bugs; improves growth
and flavor.
Dill
Companion to cabbage; dislikes carrots; improves the growth
and health of cabbage.
Fennel
Plant away from gardens; most plants dislike it.
Flax
Companion to carrots and potatoes; deters potato bugs;
improves growth and flavor.
Garlic
Plant near roses and raspberries; deters Japanese beetles;
improves growth and health.
Henbit
General insect repellent.
Horseradish
Plant at the corners of a potato patch to deter potato bugs.
Hyssop
Deters cabbage moths; companion to cabbage and grapes.
Keep away from radishes.
Lamb’s quarters
This edible weed should be allowed to grow in moderate amounts
in the garden, especially in corn.
Lemon balm
Sprinkle throughout the garden.
Lovage
Improves flavor and health of plants if planted here and there.
Marigolds
The workhorse of the pest deterrents. Plant throughout the
garden; discourages Mexican bean beetles, nematodes, and
other insects.
Marjoram
Here and there in the garden; improves flavor.
Mint
Companion to cabbage and tomatoes; improves health and flavor;
deters white cabbage moths.
Mole plant
Deters moles and mice if planted here and there.
Nasturtium
Companion to radishes, cabbage, and cucurbits*; plant under fruit
trees; deters aphids, squash bugs, and striped pumpkin beetles;
improves growth and flavor.
* Plants in the gourd family.
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COMPANION PLANTING
Peppermint
Planted among cabbages, it repels white cabbage butterflies.
Petunia
Protects beans.
Pigweed
One of the best weeds for pumping nutrients from the subsoil;
it is good for potatoes, onions, and corn; keep weeds thinned.
Pot marigold
(Calendula)
Companion to tomatoes, but plant elsewhere in the garden, too;
deters asparagus beetles, tomato worms, and general garden pests.
Purslane
This edible weed makes good ground cover in the corn.
Rosemary
Companion to cabbage, beans, carrots, and sage; deters cabbage
moths, bean beetles, and carrot flies.
Rue
Keep it far away from sweet basil; plant near roses and
raspberries; deters Japanese beetles.
Sage
Plant with rosemary, cabbage, and carrots; keep away from
cucumbers; deters cabbage moth, carrot fly.
Southernwood
Plant here and there in garden; companion to cabbage; improves
growth and flavor; deters cabbage moths.
Sow thistle
This weed in moderate amounts can help tomatoes, onions,
and corn.
Summer savory
Plant with beans and onions; improves growth and flavor;
deters bean beetles.
Tansy
Plant under fruit trees; companion to roses and raspberries;
deters flying insects, Japanese beetles, striped cucumber beetles,
squash bugs, and ants.
Tarragon
Good throughout the garden.
Thyme
Here and there in the garden; deters cabbage worms.
Valerian
Good anywhere in the garden.
Wild morning glory**
Allow it to grow in the corn.
Wormwood
As a border, it keeps animals from the garden.
Yarrow
Plant along borders, paths, and near aromatic herbs; enhances
essential oil production.
** We discourage growing wild morning glory anywhere in your garden since it is a pernicious weed. Cultured morning glory is fine, however.
This information was collected from many sources, most notably the Bio-Dynamic Association and the Herb Society of America.
COMPANION PLANTING
155
9
A Balanced
Natural
Backyard
Ecosystem and
Its Insect Life
Goal: Grow a mini-ecosystem
thriving with life
I
nsects and people are only part of the complex, interrelated
world of life. Both are important, integral parts of its living
dynamism. Insects are an important part of the diet for
many birds, toads, frogs, and for some insects in nature’s complex food chain. The GROW BIOINTENSIVE method reminds you
that every time you relate to an insect you are relating to the
whole system of life, and that if you choose to dominate the
insect population, rather than work in harmony with it, part of
the system dies. For example, we depend on insects to pollinate
many of our vegetables, fruits, flowers, herbs, fibers, and cover
crops. When we choose dominating, death-oriented control,
then the scope and depth of our lives become narrower and
smaller. We are actually detracting from our lives rather than
adding to them. In trying to isolate an insect and deal with it
separately out of relation to the ecosystem in which it lives, we
work against nature, which in turn works against us in counterproductive results.
When an excess of insects appears in a garden, nature is
indicating that a problem exists in the life of that garden. In
each case, we need to become sensitive to the source of the
imbalance. Observation and gentle action will produce the best
results. In contrast, when a heavy-handed approach is taken
and poisons are used, beneficial predators are killed as well as
the targeted harmful insects. Spraying trees to eliminate worms
or beetles often results in a secondary outbreak of spider mites
or aphids because ladybugs and other predators cannot reestablish themselves as quickly as the destructive species.
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A BALANCED NATURAL BACKYARD ECOSYSTEM AND ITS INSECT LIFE
Paying attention to the soil and to plant health, planning
a varied environment, and leaving a few wild spaces for unexpected benefactors minimize pest losses more effectively than
the use of poison. Also, in order to have beneficial insects in
your food-producing area, you must provide food for them—
which may be some of the harmful insects! If there are no
harmful insects to feed them, then there will be few, if any,
beneficial insects around to act as friendly guardians for your
garden. This seeming paradox—the need for both kinds of
insects for the most healthy garden—is symbolic of nature’s
balances. Not too much moisture, but enough. Not too much
aeration, but enough. Not too many harmful insects, but
enough. You find the need for these balances everywhere—
in the compost pile, in the soil, in the miniclimate, and in the
backyard microcosm as a whole.
In a small backyard garden ecosystem or mini-farm, it is
especially important to welcome all life-forms as much as possible. Ants destroy fruitfly and housefly larvae and keep the
garden cleared of rotting debris. Have you ever squashed a
snail and watched how the ants come to whisk the remains
away almost within a day? Earwigs are carnivorous and prey
on other insects. Tachinid flies parasitize caterpillars, earwigs,
tomato worms, and grasshoppers by laying their eggs in them.
We’ve found cabbage worms immobilized and bristling with
cottony white torpedoes the size of a pinhead—larvae of the
braconid wasp, which will hatch and go in search of more
cabbage worms. Toads eat earwigs, slugs, and other pests.
Chickens control earwigs, sowbugs, and flies. Even the ancient
and fascinating snails have a natural predator: humans!
The first step in insect control is to cultivate strong, vigorous
plants by cultivating a healthy place where they can grow.
Normally (about 90% of the time), insects only attack unhealthy
plants. Just as a healthy person who eats good food is less
susceptible to disease, so are healthy plants on a good diet less
susceptible to plant disease and insect attack. The insect is not
the source of the problem, but rather an unhealthy soil is. The
soil needs your energy, not the insect. The uninterrupted growth
that the GROW BIOINTENSIVE method stresses is also important to
maintaining plant health. We are shepherds providing the conditions our plants need for healthy, vigorous growth.
Here are some elements to consider when caring for your
garden’s health:
• Did you dig the soil properly?
• Are the proper plant nutrients available in the soil?
• Did you use enough compost?
• Is the soil pH within reasonable limits for the plant
being grown?
• Did you transplant the seedlings properly?
• Are you watering the plants properly?
A BALANCED NATURAL BACKYARD ECOSYSTEM AND ITS INSECT LIFE
157
• Are you weeding effectively?
• Are you maintaining the soil in a way that will enable it to
retain moisture and nutrients?
• Are the plants receiving enough sun?
• Are you growing the plants in season?
Another factor that aids plant health and minimizes insect and
disease problems is keeping a correct balance of phosphorus and
potash in the soil in relation to the amount of nitrogen present.
The optimal ratio among these elements is still to be determined.
Research also needs to be completed to determine the minimum
amounts of these elements (in pounds per 100 square feet) that
should be in the soil. (Smaller amounts of organic fertilizer
elements are required in comparison with soluble synthetic
chemical fertilizers, since they break down more slowly and
remain available to the plants for a longer period of time.)
Properly planning the garden can eliminate many insect and
disease problems!
• Use seeds that grow well in your climate and soil.
• Use plant varieties that are weather hardy, insect resistant,
and disease resistant. New strains, especially hybrids
(whether developed for higher yields, disease resistance, or
other reasons), should usually be avoided. Some hybrids
produce foods of lower nutritive value in comparison with
older strains, and often use up nutrients from the soil at a
more rapid rate than a living soil can sustain over time.
Hybrids also tend to be very susceptible to a few diseases
even when they are greatly resistant to many prevalent ones.
• Companion plant. Grow vegetables and flowers together that
grow well with each other.
• Avoid putting the same vegetable in the same growing bed
each year. This practice invites disease.
• Rotate your crops; follow heavy feeders with heavy givers
and then light feeders.
Natural Predators
Encourage natural insect control by enlisting the aid of nature.
Birds—Some are vegetarians. Others are omnivorous. A bird
that stops for a seed snack may remain for an insect dinner.
A house wren feeds 500 spiders and caterpillars to her young in
one afternoon; a brown thrasher consumes 6,000 insects a day;
a chickadee eats 138,000 canker worm eggs in 25 days; and a
pair of flickers eats 5,000 ants as a snack. A Baltimore oriole
can consume 17 hairy caterpillars in a minute. You can
encourage the presence of birds with moving water, by planting
bushes for their protection, by planting sour berry bushes for
food, and by growing plants that have seeds they like to eat.
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A BALANCED NATURAL BACKYARD ECOSYSTEM AND ITS INSECT LIFE
Toads, Snakes, and Spiders—They also eat insects and other
garden pests. Toads eat as many as 10,000 insects in 3
months, including cutworms, slugs, crickets, ants, caterpillars,
and squash bugs.
Ladybugs—These beetles are good predators in your garden
since they eat one particular pest, aphids, and do not eat beneficial insects. Ladybugs eat 40 to 50 insects per day, and their
larvae eat even more.
Praying Mantids—These predators should only be used in
infestation emergencies, since they eat beneficial as well as
harmful insects. They are not selective and even eat each other.
Trichogramma Wasps—They lay their eggs in hosts, such as
moth and butterfly larvae, that eat leaves. When they hatch,
the wasp larvae parasitize the host larvae, which fail to
reach maturity. Up to 98% of the hosts are rendered useless
in this way.
Tachinid Flies—These parasites help control caterpillars,
Japanese beetles, earwigs, gypsy moths, brown tail moths,
tomato worms, and grasshoppers.
Syrphid Flies—These parasites prey upon aphids and help
pollinate crops.1
After you have done everything possible to provide a healthy,
balanced garden for your plants, you may still have insect problems. If so, you should approach the unwanted insects with the
idea of living control rather than elimination. If there is a problem, identify the pest and try to determine whether an environmental change can solve the problem. In our research garden,
we have minimized (not eliminated, though) gophers by introducing gopher snakes.
The pocket Golden Guides on Insects and Insect Pests are
invaluable guides for getting to know the creatures that inhabit
your garden. Out of the 86,000 species of insects in the United
States, 76,000 are considered beneficial or friendly.2 So, be
careful! An insect that looks ugly or malicious may be a friend.
If you can’t seem to find an obvious culprit for your problem,
try exploring at night with a flashlight. Many predators are
active then.
Ask yourself whether the damage is extensive enough to
warrant a “policing” effort. During 1972, we grew bush beans in
one of our test beds. The primary leaves were almost entirely
destroyed by the 12-spotted cucumber beetle. But in most cases
the damage was not so rapid as to prevent the development of
1. Beatrice Trum Hunter, Gardening Without Poisons (New York: Berkeley Publishing Corp.,
1971), pp. 31, 37, 42, 43,48. The Berkeley Edition was published by arrangement with Houghton
Mifflin, who are the origional publishers of Gardening Without Poisons.
2. Ibid., p. 28.
A BALANCED NATURAL BACKYARD ECOSYSTEM AND ITS INSECT LIFE
159
healthy secondary leaves. The less tender secondary leaves
were ultimately attacked and quite heavily eaten. About 80% of
the secondary leaf area remained, however, and we harvested
very tasty, unblemished beans. The yield in pounds was still
3.9 times the United States average! Recent tests have shown
that leaf damage of up to 30% by insects can actually increase
the yield in some crops. You may decide to sacrifice some yield
for beauty; many destructive caterpillars become beautiful
butterflies. To get the yield you want and/or to encourage the
presence of butterflies, you can plant extra plants of the crops
they like.
We often underestimate the ability of plants to take care of
themselves. The damage done by insects often affects only a
very small percentage of the edible crop. Because of this, many
GROW BIOINTENSIVE gardeners plant a little extra for the insect
world to eat. This practice is beautiful, mellow, and in keeping
with life-giving forms of insect control. Furthermore, extensive
research has shown that beneficial organisms found in soil and
ocean environments can withstand stress, in the form of temperature, pressure, pH, and nutrient fluctuations, to a much
greater degree in an organically fertilized medium than in a
synthetically fertilized medium. I suspect researchers will come
to a similar conclusion about plant resistance to insect attack.
Any time an insect or other pest invades your garden, there
is an opportunity to learn more about nature’s cycles and balances. Learn why they are there and find a living control. Look
for controls that will affect only the one harmful insect. Protect
new seedlings from birds and squirrels with netting or chicken
wire, trap earwigs in dry dark places, wash aphids off with
a strong spray of water, or block ants with a sticky barrier of
Vaseline, Tanglefoot, or a tack trap. While you are doing this,
continue to strive for a long-term natural balance in your
growing area.
At our Common Ground Research Garden, only 3 pest problems have taken a lot of our energy: snails, slugs, and gophers.
The first few years we primarily trapped gophers. A lot of time
was spent checking and resetting traps and worrying about
them, yet the gophers probably only damaged about 5% of our
crop. We later found that, in addition to gopher snakes, they
really do not like certain things placed in their holes (sardines,
garlic juice, fish heads, male urine, and dead gophers). The
gophers may also be blocked with strips of daffodils. Daffodils
contain arsenic in their bulbs and can discourage them. Gopher
snakes, of course, prevent a population explosion. A combination of approaches and gentle persistence paid off.
We have a simple routine for snails and slugs. At the end of
the spring rains we go out at night with flashlights and collect
gallons of them. We drop the snails in buckets of soapy water,
which kills them. If you use soap that is quick to degrade, you
can dump them on the compost pile the next day. We catch
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A BALANCED NATURAL BACKYARD ECOSYSTEM AND ITS INSECT LIFE
most of them in the first 3 nights. Going out occasionally over
the next 2 weeks, you can catch new ones that were too small
to get in the first sweep or that have just hatched from eggs
laid in the soil. Such a concentrated cleanup can be effective for
several months. The red-bellied snake (Storeria occipitomaculata) in Canada eats large numbers of slugs. A sorghum mulch
is reported to repel slugs as well.
Another kind of problem has been solved through observation. For example, one year a cherry tomato bed was wilting.
Several people, including a graduate student studying insects,
told us it was caused by nematodes. When we dug down into
the soil to look for the damage, we discovered the real source.
The soil was bone dry below the upper 8 inches. A good soaking took care of the problem, and we learned not to take gardening advice on faith, but to always check it out for ourselves—
as we hope you will.
Other Initiatives
Some other living control approaches to try are:
Hand-picking—You can pick the insects from plants once you
are certain the insect involved is harmful and is the source of
the problem. Consult a book such as Insect Pests (see page 194
of the bibliography), which has color drawings of insects in their
several stages (nymph, larva, and adult). Some insects are only
harmful in one stage and can even be beneficial in other stages.
Spraying—In general, insects may be divided into two categories—those that chew and bite plants and those that suck
juices from them. Chewing or biting insects include caterpillars,
flea beetles, potato bugs, cankerworms, cutworms, and grasshoppers. Aromatic and distasteful substances such as garlic,
onion, and pepper sprays can discourage them. Sucking insects
include aphids, thrips, squash bug nymphs, flies, and scale
insects. Soap solutions (not detergents, which would damage
the plant and soil as well as the insects), clear miscible oil solutions, and other solutions that asphyxiate the insects by coating
their tender bodies and preventing respiration through body
spiracles or breathing holes help control these insects.
Traps—Some traps, such as shredded newspaper in clay pots
turned upside down on sticks in the garden, will attract earwigs
during daylight hours. Snails and slugs can be trapped under
damp boards. They retreat to these places in the heat and light
of the day.
Barriers—The sticky commercial Tanglefoot substance will
catch some insects crawling along tree trunks during part of
their life cycle. Catching insects in this manner often prevents
infestation of the tree in a later season. (Tanglefoot barriers
must be applied to apple tree trunks in July to catch codling
A BALANCED NATURAL BACKYARD ECOSYSTEM AND ITS INSECT LIFE
161
moth larvae leaving the tree. This will minimize codling moth
infestation the following spring. Plan ahead!) You can also use
plant barriers and decoys. Grow a vegetable or flower preferred
by a particular insect away from the garden to attract it to
another location. Place repellent plants near a vegetable or
flower that needs protection.
Companion Plants—You may also wish to plant some herbs in
your bed for insect control. The age and number of plants used
per 100 square feet determine the herb’s effectiveness. A young
plant does not have an aroma or root exudate strong enough
to discourage harmful insects or to attract beneficial ones. Similarly, too few herbs will not control a pest or attract a needed
predator. But too many herbs may retard vegetable growth and
yield. Composite flowers, such as pot marigolds (calendulas)
and sunflowers, are excellent attractants for predatory insects
because their large supplies of pollen serve as predator food
sources. A few (2 to 4) plants per 100-square-foot bed will probably suffice. We have not done many experiments with them
yet, since accurate testing can take 2 to 3 years for one herb
grown with one food plant to control one insect. You may wish
to try some of these biodynamic observations, though. It’s a lot
of fun to try and see for yourself!
Probably the most important form of insect control with
plants is just diverse cropping. The GROW BIOINTENSIVE method
we use utilizes diverse cropping, and we have only experienced
5% to 10% crop loss due to pests. Biodynamic gardeners and
farmers also use diverse cropping and have suggested planting
10% more area to make up for crop losses. In contrast, the
monocropped acreage of today’s commercial agriculture provides an ideal uniform habitat for widespread attack by pests
that favor a single crop. Pesticides have been used to counteract the problem inherent in monocropping. Yet the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that in 1940, “American
farmers used 50 million pounds of pesticides and lost 7 percent
of their crop before harvest,” and that by 1970, 12 times more
pesticides were used, “yet the percentage of crops lost before
harvest has almost doubled.”3 Today, about 30 times more pesticides are used than in 1940, and the percentage of crops lost to
insects has been estimated to be as high as 37 percent. In fact,
many pesticides targeted for one-pest species actually cause
increases in numbers of nontargeted pests. By their action on
the physiology of the plant, pesticides can make a plant more
nutritionally favorable to insects, thereby increasing the fertility
and longevity of feeding pests.4
3. James S. Turner, A Chemical Feast: Report on the Food and Drug Administration (Ralph
Nader Study Group Reports) (New York: Grossman, 1970). Cited in Frances Moore Lappe and
Joseph Collins, Food First (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1977), p. 49.
4. Francis Chaboussou, “The Role of Potassium and of Cation Equilibrium in the Resistance
of the Plant.” Chaboussou is the Director of Research at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research, Agricultural Zoology Station of the South-West, 22 Pont de la Maye, France.
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A BALANCED NATURAL BACKYARD ECOSYSTEM AND ITS INSECT LIFE
INSECT PESTS AND PLANT CONTROLS5
Insect Pest
Ants
Aphids
Black flea beetle
Black fly
Cabbageworm butterfly
Colorado potato beetle
Cutworm
Flies
Japanese beetle
June bug grub
Malaria mosquito
Mexican bean beetle
Mosquito
Moths
Plant lice
Potato bugs
Slugs
Squash bugs
Striped cucumber beetle
Weevils
Woolly aphids
Worms in goats
Worms in horses
Plant Control
Spearmint, tansy, pennyroyal
Nasturtium, spearmint, stinging
nettle, southernwood, garlic
Wormwood, mint
Intercropping, stinging nettle
Sage, rosemary, hyssop, thyme,
mint, wormwood, southernwood
Eggplant, flax, green beans
Oak leaf mulch, tanbark
Nut trees, rue, tansy, spray of
wormwood and/or tomato
White geranium, datura
Oak leaf mulch, tanbark
Wormwood, southernwood,
rosemary
Potatoes
Legumes
Sage, santolina, lavender, mint,
stinging nettle, herbs
Castor bean, sassafras, pennyroyal
Flax, eggplant
Oak leaf mulch, tanbark
Nasturtium
Radish
Garlic
Nasturtium
Carrots
Tansy leaves, mulberry leaves
It is evident that pesticides are not an effective solution for
crop losses due to pests. Diverse cropping without pesticides may
be able to reduce total pest losses more than monocropping with
pesticides, even in large-scale agriculture. Using standard agricultural practices, Cornell University researchers, in a 5-year study
5. Helen Philbrick and Richard B. Gregg, Companion Plants and How to Use Them (Old
Greenwich, CT: Devon-Adair Company, 1966), pp. 52–53. This book and others should be
consulted for the proper use and application rates of these plant remedies. Improper use or
application can cause problems and could be harmful to you, your plants, and animals.
A BALANCED NATURAL BACKYARD ECOSYSTEM AND ITS INSECT LIFE
163
completed in 1970, found that without pesticides the insect
population could be cut in half when only 2 crops were grown
together.6 You can do this when you grow a diversity of plants
in your backyard with life-giving techniques!
This introduction to insect control has emphasized philosophy and general approaches. Companion Plants and How to
Use Them, Gardening Without Poisons, and The Bug Book(see
pages 172, 194, and 195 of the bibliography) have already vigorously explored the spectrum of organic insect control in detail.
These books provide companion planting combinations, recipes
for insect control solutions, and addresses for buying predatory
insects.
I hope each person who reads this book will plant at least
one small, 3-foot-by-3-foot GROW BIOINTENSIVE bed. You will
find the experience fun and exciting beyond your wildest
expectations!
6. See Jeff Cox, “The Technique That Halves Your Insect Population,” Organic Gardening
and Farming, May 1973, pp. 103–104.
164
A BALANCED NATURAL BACKYARD ECOSYSTEM AND ITS INSECT LIFE
Bibliography
Ecology Action’s Bountiful Gardens Mail Order Service offers numerous books. You can write
to them at 18001 Shafer Ranch Rd., Willits, CA 95490 for a free catalog for current prices, and to
inquire about other titles. Ecology Action has numerous publications on the GROW BIOINTENSIVE ®
method as well as books, booklets, and information on gardening, mini-farming, and related topics. You can use the books listed here to develop your own mini-course(s) for study of those areas
that interest you most. Publications followed by “BL,” “IL,” or “AL” are particularly recommended
for, respectively, a Basic-Level, Intermediate-Level, or Advanced-Level Library. Publications preceded with an asterisk (*) are particularly recommended for a given topic. See the table of contents for a list of the bibliography topics.
Alan Chadwick
*Bronson, William. “The Lesson of
a Garden.” Cry California, Winter
1970–71, 4–17.
Cuthbertson, Tom. Alan Chadwick’s
Enchanted Garden. New York:
Dutton, 1978. 199 pp. Captures
the flavor of working with Alan
Chadwick.
Mulligan, Jim, and John de Graaf.
Gardensong. Oley, PA: Bullfrog
Films (Box 149, Oley PA 19547).
Video.
National Video Portrait Library
(1869 Kirby Rd., McLean, VA
22101). 55-minute, black-andwhite, 3 ⁄ 4-inch videocassette of a
spontaneous philosophical interview with the late Alan Chadwick.
Send 2 stamps for a response
when inquiring.
Singh, Tara. Awakening a Child from
Within. Los Angeles: Life Action
Press (P.O. Box 48932, Los
Angeles, CA 90048), 1991,
333–334.
Animals
Bement, C. U. The American
Poulterer’s Companion. New York:
Harper, 1871. 304 pp.
Booth, Barbara. “Birds in the Farm.”
Biodynamics, Fall 1992, 6–33.
Bull and Carroll, Principles of
Feeding Farm Animals. New York:
Macmillan, 1937. 395 pp.
Calf Rearing. Zero Grazing Series.
Vol. 3. Nairobi, Kenya: Ministry of
Livestock Development, National
Dairy Development Project
(P.O. Box 34188, Nairobi, Kenya).
16 pp.
Craig, John A., and F. R. Marshall.
Sheep Farming. New York:
Macmillan, 1913. 302 pp.
Cuthbertson, Sir David (Chairman).
The Nutrient Requirements of
Farm Livestock—No. 2 Ruminants. London: Agricultural
Research Council, 1965. 264 pp.
de Baïracle Levi, Juliette. Herbal
Handbook for Farm and Stable.
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, 1976.
320 pp. BL
Devendra, C., and Marcia Burns.
Goat Production in the Tropics.
Farnham, Royal, Bucks, England:
Commonwealth Agricultural
Bureaux, 1970. 177 pp.
*The Feeding of the Dairy Cow.
Zero Grazing Series. Vol. 5.
Nairobi, Kenya: Ministry of
Livestock Development, National
Dairy Development Project
(P.O. Box 34188, Nairobi, Kenya).
15 pp.
The Fertility of the Dairy Cow. Zero
Grazing Series. Vol. 4. Nairobi,
Kenya: Ministry of Livestock
Development, National Dairy
Development Project (P.O. Box
34188, Nairobi, Kenya). 12 pp.
Jordan, Whitman H. The Feeding of
Animals. New York: Macmillan,
1903. 450 pp.
Juhre, Robert G. Preventing Deer
Damage. Kettle Falls, WA: Robert
G. Juhre, 1996. 54 pp.
Laurie, Duncan Forbes. Poultry
Foods and Feeding. New York:
Cassell and Co., 1912. 188 pp.
Luttmann, Rick and Gail.
Chickens in Your Backyard.
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, 1976.
157 pp.
Mackenzie, David. Goat Husbandry.
London: Faber and Faber, 1970.
336 pp. BL
Oxen Culture Demonstration Farm
(Tillers International, 5239 S. 24th
St., Kalamazoo, MI 49002).
Rollin, Bernard E. The Frankenstein
Syndrome—Ethical and Social
Issues in the Genetic Engineering
of Animals. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
241 pp.
Savory, Allan. The Complete Holistic
Management™ Planning and
Monitoring Guide. Albuquerque,
NM: The Allan Savory Center
for Holistic Management (1010
Tijeras NW), 2000. Looseleaf
binder. 158 pp.
———. Holistic Management in Practice. The Allan Savory Center for
Holistic Management. Bimonthly
publication.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
165
ANIMALS • APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGIES • ARID REGIONS/DR YLAND FARMING
———. Grazing Plan & Control
Chart. (Livestock/Wildlife/Crops/
Other Uses). The Allan Savory
Center for Holistic Management,
1997.
———. Holistic Management: A New
Framework for Decision Making.
Covelo, CA: Island Press, 1999.
616 pp.
Sibley, David Allen. National Audubon
Society: The Sibley Guide to Birds.
New York: Knopf, 2000. 544 pp.
Sunset Editors. Attracting Birds to
Your Garden. Menlo Park, CA:
Sunset Books, 1974. 96 pp.
Watson, George C. Farm Poultry.
New York: Macmillan. 1901.
*Wolf, Tom. “Bucking Tradition:
Moving toward Sustainable
Ranching—The Gospel According
to Pete Tatschl—An Environmentalist Questions Whether Cows
Belong in the Southwest, and
Gets in Response a Healthy Dose
of Holistic Range Management.”
High Country News (P.O. Box
1090, Paonia, CO 81428), March
1990, 25–27.
Woll, F. W. Lippincott’s Farm
Manuals: Productive Feeding of
Farm Animals. Philadelphia, PA:
J. B. Lippincott, The Washington
Square Press, 1916. 385 pp.
Appropriate Technologies
101 Technologies from the South
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Ottawa, ON K1G 3H9, Canada),
1992. 231 pp.
Allen, Hugh. The Kenya Ceramic
Jiko: A Manual for Stovemakers.
Croton-on-Hudson, NY: International Technology Development
Group of North America (The
Bootstrap Press, P.O. Box 337,
Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520),
1991. 99 pp.
Appropriate Technology Project.
Volunteers in Asia. P.O. Box 4543,
Stanford, CA 94309. A nonprofit
research organization that makes
information about key appropriate
technology publications available
to others.
166
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Gandhi Bhawan, Lucknow-226001,
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on topics telated to appropriate
technology.
Bielenberg, Carl, and Allen, Hugh.
How to Make and Use the Treadle
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Brace Research Institute, Faculty
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Appropriate technology publications focusing on small communities in rural areas.
“Building the Outdoor Oven.” Countryside and Small Stock Journal.
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*Darrow, Ken. Appropriate Technology
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*Evans, Ianto. Lorena Stoves. Stanford, CA: Volunteers in Asia (Box
4543, Stanford, CA 94305), 1981.
144 pp.
The Hay Box—The Energy Saving
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*Rohde, Eleanour S. Haybox Cookery.
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Arid Land Newsletter. Center for
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Bromfield, Louis. Malabar Farm.
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Brookbank, George. Desert Gardening: The Complete Guide. Tucson,
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*Cleveland, David A., and Daniela
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———. “The End of Reductionism:
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Carpenter-Boggs, Lynne A. Effects of
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Gregg, Evelyn S. Herb Chart.
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Groh, Trauger, M., and Steven S. H.
McFadden. Farms of Tomorrow—
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*Koepf, Herbert H. Compost.
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———. The Biodynamic Farm. Hudson, NY: Anthroposophic Press,
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BDFGA.
———. Ehrenfried Pfeiffer: Pioneer
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———. Research in Biodynamic
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BDFGA.
*Koepf, Herbert H., B. D. Peterson,
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429 pp. IL
Lovel, Hugh. A Biodynamic Farm for
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pp. Available from BDFGA.
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204 pp.
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———. Biodynamic Farming and
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240 pp.
———. Biodynamic Farming—
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———. Chromatography Applied to
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Biointensive
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Calorie / Diet Crops
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CALORIE/DIET CROPS • CHILDREN’S BOOKS • CLIMATE • COMMUNITIES
Eames-Sheavly, Marcia. The Great
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Eames-Sheavly, Marcia and Tracy
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*Ichikawa, Satomi and Elizabeth
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Excellent.
Katzen, Mollie, and Ann Henderson.
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Communities
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———. Farmers’ Bulletin No. 1770,
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———. Farmers’ Bulletin No. 1126,
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Willis, Dr. Harold. How to Grow
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173
COMPOSTING • CONTAINER GARDENING • COOKBOOKS
Composting
Alther, Richard, and Richard O.
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Martin, Deborah L., and Grace
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Container Gardening
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BL
Stevens, Elaine. The Creative Container Gardener. Berkeley, CA:
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Cookbooks
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Anderson, E. B., et al. The Oxford
Book of Garden Flowers. New
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Armitage, Allan M. Specialty Cut
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Arnosky, Pamela and Frank.
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96 pp.
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Ball, Jeff. Rodale’s Flower Garden
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Black, Penny. The Book of Pressed
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Excellent ideas, plants, and
colors. Good information on
tools, equipment, and how to
press flowers.
Blamey, Marjorie. Flowers of the
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Morrow, 1980. 224 pp.
Brennan Georgeanne, and Kathryn
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National Gardening, August 1988,
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328 pp.
Easton, Valerie. “A Cutting Garden
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May/June 1998,
*Foster, Catharine O. Organic
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Excellent!
Gips, Kathleen M. Flora’s Dictionary:
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199 pp.
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*Huxley, Anthony, ed. Garden
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*———. Garden Perennials and
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Jacobs, Betty E. M. Flowers That
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BIBLIOGRAPHY
179
FLOWERS • FOOD AND NUTRITION
*Kasperski, Victoria R. How to Make
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Kramer, Jack. The Old-Fashioned
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262 pp.
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more than 1,000 plants.
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Sanchez, Janet H. Perennials. Menlo
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128 pp.
*Schneider, Alfred F. Parks Success
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180
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*Agricultural Research Service, U.S.
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———. Acid and Alkaline.
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BL /IL /AL
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*Heritage, Ford. Composition and
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The Hunger Project. Ending Hunger:
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FOOD AND NUTRITION • FOOD PRESER VATION AND STORAGE
Hur, Robin. Food Reform: Our Desperate Need. Austin, TX: Heidelberg Publishers (3707 Kerbey Ln.,
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*Kirschmann, John D. Nutrition
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*National Academy of Sciences.
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*Pennington, Jean A. T. Bowes and
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Postharvest Food Losses in Developing
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———. How to Double Your Vital
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Food Preservation
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*Bubel, Mike and Nancy. Root
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———. Preserving Fruits and
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160 pp.
Gardeners and Farmers of Terre Vivante. Keeping Food Fresh. White
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*Hupping, Carol, and staff of the
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Kline, Jeff. How to Sun Dry Your
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Macmaniman, Gen. Dry It. Fall City,
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Root Cellars. Mt. Vernon, KY:
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FOOD PRESER VATION AND STORAGE • FRUITS, NUTS, AND BERRIES
Shaffer, Marcella. “Build a StackedTimber Root Cellar.” BackHome,
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canning, freezing, smoking, drying, cheese, cider, soap, and
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Fruits, Berries, and Nuts
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Bailey, L. H., Jr. Field Notes on Apple
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———. The Principles of FruitGrowing. New York: Macmillan,
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———. The Apple Tree. New York:
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*James, Theodore, Jr. How to Select,
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———. Grow Your Own Dwarf Fruit
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Best and simplest book on pruning for West Coast gardeners.
McEachern, George, and Larry
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FRUITS, NUTS, AND BERRIES • FUKUOKA CULTURE • GARDENING
Service, Texas A&M University
System, n.d.
Micke, Warren C., ed. Almond
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North American Fruit Explorer’s
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Phillips, Michael. The Apple Grower.
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———. “Growing Apples . . .
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Ramos, David E., ed. Walnut
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*Ray, Richard, and Lance Walheim.
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Sunset Books Editorial Staff. Citrus.
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Definitive work on the subject.
University of California Extension
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Waldo, George F., and Cecil O. Rawlings. Black Raspberry Growing.
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*Walheim, Lance, and Robert L.
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AZ 85703), 1981. 192 pp. Excellent. Worth several lifetimes of
experience. Good for all tree
raisers—not just Western ones.
Waugh, F. A. Plums and Plum Culture. New York: Orange Judd,
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*Whealy, Kent, ed. Fruit, Berry and
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2001. 560 pp.
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126 pp.
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Yepsen, Roger. Apples. New York:
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Fukuoka Culture
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Rodale Press, 1978. 181 pp.
Natural farming from a Japanese
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few to address a sustainable
grain culture.
———. The Natural Way of Farming: The Theory and Practice of
Green Philosophy. Tokyo and New
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280 pp.
———. The Road Back to Nature.
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Gardening
(see also Container Gardening)
Abraham, Doc and Katy. Green
Thumb Wisdom, Garden Myths
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1996. 152 pp.
Agate, Elizabeth. Footpaths. The
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154 pp.
———. The Horticulturist’s RuleBook. New York: Macmillan, 1909.
312 pp.
———. Manual of Gardening. New
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Beard, Henry, et al. Gardening, A
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Bradley, Fern Marshall, and Barbara
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690 pp.
Brenzel, Kathleen Norris, ed.
Sunset Western Garden Book.
Menlo Park, CA: Sunset Books,
2001. 768 pp. Indispensable
descriptions and cultural
directions for flowering plants,
trees, and landscaping. For West
Coast gardeners. Not organic.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
183
GARDENING
Brown, Marc. Your First Garden
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Campbell, Stu. Mulch It! A Practical
Guide to Using Mulch in the Garden and Landscape. Pownal, VT:
Storey, 2001. 123 pp.
Carr, Anna, et al. Rodale’s ChemicalFree Yard and Lawn. Emmaus,
PA: Rodale Press, 1991. 456 pp.
Creasy, Rosalind. The Edible French
Garden. Boston, MA: Periplus
Editions (HK), 1999. 106 pp.
———. The Edible Asian Garden.
Boston, MA: Periplus Editions
(HK), 2000. 106 pp.
———. The Complete Book of Edible
Landscaping. San Francisco:
Sierra Club Books, 1982. 379 pp.
Denckla, Tanya. Gardening at a
Glance. Franklin, WV: Wooden
Angel Publishing (Wooden Angel
Farm, Bldg. 1-A, P.O. Box 869,
Franklin, WV 26807), 1991. 272 pp.
———. The Organic Gardener’s
Home Reference: A Plant-by-Plant
Guide to Growing Fresh, Healthy
Food. Pownal, VT: Garden Way,
1994. 273 pp.
DiSabato-Aust, Tracy. The WellTended Perennial Garden: Planting
and Pruning Techniques. Portland,
OR: Timber Press, 1998. 269 pp.
Faust, Joan Lee. The New York Times
Book of Vegetable Gardening. New
York: Quadrangle/The New York
Times Book Co., 1975. 282 pp.
Fine Gardening. Rodale Press (33
E. Minor St., Emmaus, PA 18049).
Magazine.
Fisher, Joe and Dennis. The Homebrewer’s Garden. Pownal, VT:
Storey, 1998. 187 pp.
Foster, Catharine Osgood. Building
Healthy Gardens. Pownal, VT:
Storey, 1989. 279 pp.
*———. The Organic Gardener. New
York: Random House, 1972. 234
pp. Excellent, chatty, experienced.
New England area especially.
Gibson, Eric. The Grower’s Green
Book. Carmichael, CA: New
World, 1992. 224 pp.
184
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Greenprints. (P.O. Box 1355,
Fairview, NC 28730.) Quarterly
publication about gardening
experiences.
Growth Point Magazine.
(Horticultural Therapy, Goulds
Ground, Vallis Way, Frome, Somerset BA11 3DW, England.) Gardening magazine for the
physically handicapped.
Hale, Gill. The Feng Shui Garden.
Pownal, VT: Storey, 1998. 128 pp.
Hill, Lewis. Successful Cold-Climate
Gardening. Pownal, VT: Storey,
1987. 308 pp.
*HortIdeas. (750 Black Lick Rd.,
Gravel Switch, KY 40328.) A
monthly report on the latest gardening research, methods, tools,
plants, books, and so on. Excellent.
Horticulture. (Horticulture Association, 755 Boyleston St., Boston,
MA 02116.) Magazine.
Jobb, Jamie. My Garden Companion.
San Francisco: Sierra Club
Books, 1977. 35 pp. Especially
for beginners.
Kraft, Ken, and P. Kraft. Growing
Food the Natural Way. New
York: Doubleday, 1973. 292 pp.
California-area orientation.
Langer, Richard W. Grow It! New
York: Saturday Review Press,
1972. 395 pp.
Loewer, Peter. Tough Plants for
Tough Places. Emmaus, PA:
Rodale Press, 1992. 247 pp.
Marshall, Fern, et al. The Experts’
Book of Garden Hints. Emmaus,
PA: Rodale Press, 1993. 346 pp.
Merrill, Richard, and Joe Ortiz. The
Gardeners’ Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed
Press, 2000. 468 pp.
Neal, Bill. Gardener’s Latin. Chapel
Hill, NC: Algonquin Books (P.O.
Box 2225, Chapel Hill, NC 27515).
Nuñez, Vera K. Household Gardens:
Theoretical Considerations on an
Old Survival Strategy. Report 1.
Potatoes in Food Systems
Research Series. Lima, Peru:
International Potato Center, Training and Communications Department), 1985. 41 pp.
Olwell, Carol. Gardening from the
Heart—Why Gardeners Garden.
Berkeley, CA: Antelope Island
Press, 1990, 144–152.
Organic Gardening. (Rodale Press,
33 E. Minor St., Emmaus, PA
18049.) Magazine.
OG. (Wiveliscombe, Taunton, U.K.)
Magazine.
Patent, Dorothy Hinshaw, and Diane
Bilderback. The Harrowsmith
Country Life Book of Garden
Secrets. Charlotte, VT: Camden
House, 1991. 349 pp.
Peplow, Elizabeth and Reginald. In a
Monastery Garden. North Pomfret, VT: David & Charles, 1988.
182 pp.
Perry, Robert L. Basic Gardening in
Florida Sand. Largo, FL: Florida
Gardening Companion (P.O. Box
896, Largo, FL 33540), 1977. 72 pp.
Pleasant, Barbara. Warm-Climate
Gardening. Pownal, VT: Storey,
1993. 204 pp.
Rahn, James J. Making the Weather
Work for You—A Practical Guide
for Gardener and Farmer. Charlotte, VT: Garden Way, 1979.
205 pp.
Rateaver, Bargyla, and Gylver
Rateaver. The Organic Method
Primer Update, special edition.
Published by the authors (P.O.
Box 26567, San Diego, CA 921960567), 1993. 257 pp. Packed with
detailed information, much of it
very good.
Reader’s Digest. Ideas for Your
Garden. Pleasantville, NY: The
Reader’s Digest Association, 1995.
335 pp.
Rickett, Harold W. Botany for Gardeners. New York: Macmillan Co.,
1957. 236 pp.
Rodale, Robert, ed. The Basic Book
of Organic Gardening. New York:
Ballantine Books, 1971. 377 pp.
Condensed information includes
14-day compost and nationwide
planting dates.
*———, ed. The Encyclopedia of
Organic Gardening. Emmaus, PA:
Rodale Press, 1959. 1,145 pp.
*———. How to Grow Fruits and
Vegetables by the Organic Method.
GARDENING • GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press. 1961.
926 pp. Two excellent references.
Many prefer the encyclopedia
format, but we find the second to
be more complete.
*Salisbury, E. J. The Living Garden
(or The How and Why of Garden
Life). London: G. Bell & Sons,
1946. 232 pp. An excellent book.
*Seymour, John. The Self-Sufficient
Gardener. London: Faber and
Faber, 1978. 256 pp. Coffee-table
size. Seymour has long been a
popular back-to-the-land advocate
in England, both doing it and
writing about it in his own humorous style. His new “productions”
are gorgeously illustrated, accurate, and uncluttered.
Smith, Edward C. The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible. Pownal, VT: Storey,
2000. 309 pp.
Smith and Hawken Books. The Book
of Outdoor Gardening. New York:
Workman, 1996. 513 pp.
Smith, Marney. Gardening with Conscience. New York: Seabury Press,
1981. 86 pp.
Solomon, Steve. Growing Vegetables
West of the Cascades: The Complete
Guide to Natural Gardening. Seattle, WA: Sasquatch Books, 2000.
356 pp.
Sperry, Neil. Neil Sperry’s Complete
Guide to Texas Gardening. Dallas,
TX: Taylor, 1991. 388 pp.
Sunset Editors. Vegetable Gardening.
Menlo Park, CA: Sunset Books,
1998. 128 pp.
Tenenbaum, Frances, ed. Taylor’s
Guide to Shade Gardening. Boston:
Houghton Mifflin, 1994. 501 pp.
Tiedjens, Victor A. The Vegetable
Encyclopedia and Gardener’s
Guide. New York: New Home
Library, 1943. 215 pp. Important
cultural detailings.
Vasil’yev, I. M. Wintering of Plants.
Washington, DC: Royer and
Royer, 1961. 300 pp.
Vickery, Deborah and James. Intensive Vegetable Gardening for Profit
and Self-Sufficiency. Washington,
DC: U.S. Peace Corps, Information
Collection and Exchange, 1981.
158 pp. In English and Spanish.
Wasowski, Sally and Andy. Native
Gardens for Dry Climates. New
York: Clarkson Potter, 1995.
176 pp.
Watkins, Norma. How to Grow More
Vegetables Organically in South
Florida. Miami, FL: Environmental Demonstration Center, Life
Lab Division (Miami Dade Community College, 300 NE 2nd Ave.,
Miami, FL 33131), 1979. 8 pp.
Visit www.mdcc.edu/wolfson/
departments/environethics/
eehomepage.html and click
on Resources.
Year-Round Gardening. Mt. Vernon,
KY: ASPI Publications (50 Lair St.,
Mt. Vernon, KY 40456). Video.
Young, Carol L. What Grows Where?
Carol Young (229 Peninsula Dr.,
Lake Almanor, CA 96137), 1987.
187 pp.
Global Perspective
Akin, Wallace E. Global Patterns—
Climate, Vegetation and Soils.
Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991. 370 pp.
Anderson, Sarah, ed. Views from the
South: The Effects of Globalization
and the WTO on Third World
Countries. Chicago: Food First
Books, 2000. 195 pp.
Bennett, Charles F., Jr. Man and
Earth’s Ecosystems. New York:
John Wiley & Sons, 1975. 331 pp.
*Brown, Lester R. State of the
World—1990. New York: W. W.
Norton, 1990. 253 pp. Excellent
resource tool. Also see this
publication for other years.
Excellent. AL
———. The Twenty-Ninth Day. New
York: W. W. Norton, 1978. 363 pp.
Carley, Michael, and Philippe Spapens. Sharing the World, Sustainable Living and Global Equity in
the 21st Century. New York:
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Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring.
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Cox, George W., and Michael D.
Atkins. Agricultural Ecology—
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W. H. Freeman, 1964. 72 pp.
Dahlberg, Kenneth A. Beyond the
Green Revolution—The Ecology
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Development. New York: Plenum
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“Farming a Shrinking Planet.” Christian Science Monitor, October 28,
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*Food and Agriculture Organization
of the United Nations. FAO
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Gelbspan, Ross. The Heat Is On—
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The Prescription. Cambridge, MA:
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pp.
Johnson, D. Gale. World Agriculture
in Disarray. London: Fontana,
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Kendall, Henry, and David Pimentel.
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Knickerbocker, Brad. “Living with
the Planet in Mind.” The Christian
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Meadows, Donella H. “Population,
Poverty, and Planet Earth.” In
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32–35.
*Meadows, Donella H., Dennis L.
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———. Food and the Energy Crisis.
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———. Food, Energy, and Climate
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———. Food, Energy and the Environment. Vol. 31, 1981, 85–100.
———. World Food, Energy, Man
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———. “Perspectives on Ecological
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BIBLIOGRAPHY
185
GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE • GOURDS • GRAINS
Rodale, Robert, and Mike McGrath.
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———. “Soil Water and Nutrient
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GRAINS • GRASSES • GREENHOUSE CULTURE • GROW BIOINTENSIVE
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Grasses
California Native Grass Association.
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*U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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Greenhouse Culture
Abraham, George and Katy. Organic
Gardening Under Glass. Emmaus,
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*Antill, David. Gardening Under
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———. The Nursery Manual. New
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Chase, J. L. H. Cloche Gardening.
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195 pp. A classic.
Colebrook, Binda. Winter Gardening
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Coleman, Eliot. Four-Season
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———. The New Organic Grower’s
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Fisher, Rick, and Bill Yanda. The
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Detailed.
Frazier, Jack. Green Winters—The
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———. Science and the Glasshouse.
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GROW BIOINTENSIVE
(see also Biointensive)
Belsie, Laurent, “Future Farms: Bigger, and possibly better, food suppliers. Intensive ‘micro-farming’
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BIBLIOGRAPHY
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Health
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———. Un libro para parteras: Una
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Canada: International Biogenic
Society (P.O. Box 849, Nelson, BC
ViL 6A5, Canada), 1977. 211 pp.
———. The Essene Way: Biogenic
Living. Matsqui, Canada: I.B.S.
Internacional, 1989. 184 pp.
Tourles, Stephanie. Natural Foot
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187 pp.
Voisin, André. Soil, Grass and
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370 pp.
Walker, N. W. Fresh Vegetable and
Fruit Juices. Prescott, AZ: Norwalk Press (P.O. Box 12260,
Prescott, AZ 86304-2260), 1970.
118 pp.
*Werner, David. Where There Is
No Doctor: A village health care
handbook. Berkeley, CA: The
Hesperian Foundation, 1992.
446 pp. BL
———. Donde no hay doctor: Una
guia para los campesinos que
viven lejos do los centros médicos.
Berkeley, CA: The Hesperian
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*———. Helping Health Workers
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Hesperian Foundation (Box 1692,
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573 pp. BL
Hedges
*Brooks, Alan. Hedging: A Practical
Handbook, 3rd edition. Wallingford, U.K.: British Trust for
Conservation Volunteers, 1988.
120 pp. Excellent book on the
practical techniques needed to
establish living fences.
HEDGES • HERBS
Dowdeswell, W. H. Hedgerows and
Verges. London: Allen and Unwin,
1987. 190 pp.
Elliott, Charles. “The Age of
Hedges.” Horticulture, August/
September 1993.
Hart, Edward. Hedge Laying and
Fencing—The Countryman’s Art
Explained. Wellingborough,
Northamptonshire, England:
Thorsons, 1981. 128 pp.
Kuchelmeister, Guido. Hedges for
Resource-Poor Land Users in
Developing Countries. Deutsche
Gesellschaft für Technische
Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH
(Postfach 5180, D-65726
Eschborn), 1989. 256 pp.
*White, John T. Hedgerow.
New York: William Morrow, 1980.
46 pp.
Herbs
Barclay, Gwen, and Madalene Hill.
“Hold That Flavor.” The Herb
Companion, October/November
2000, 34–37.
Bass, Ruth. Herbal Breads. Pownal,
VT: Storey, 1996. 63 pp.
———. Herbal Salads. Pownal,
VT: Storey, 1996. 63 pp.
———. Herbal Soups. Pownal,
VT: Storey, 1996. 63 pp.
———. Herbal Sweets. Pownal,
VT: Storey, 1996. 63 pp.
———. Mushrooms Love Herbs.
Pownal, VT: Storey, 1996. 63 pp.
———. Onions Love Herbs. Pownal,
VT: Storey, 1996. 63 pp.
———. Peppers Love Herbs. Pownal,
VT: Storey, 1996. 63 pp.
———. Tomatoes Love Herbs.
Pownal, VT: Storey, 1996. 63 pp.
Bender, Richard W. Herbal Bonsai—
Practicing the Art with FastGrowing Herbs. Mechanicsburg,
PA: Stackpole Books, 1996.
100 pp.
Blose, Nora, and Dawn Cusick.
Herb Drying Handbook. New
York: Sterling, 1993. 96 pp.
Bremness, Lesley. Herbs: The Visual
Guide to More Than 700 Herb
Species from around the World.
New York: DK Publishing, 1994.
304 pp.
Byers, Dorie. Herbal Remedy Gardens. Pownal, VT: Storey, 1999.
219 pp.
Castleman, Michael. The Healing
Herbs: The Ultimate Guide to the
Curative Power of Nature’s Medicines. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press,
1991. 436 pp.
Davies, Jill Rosemary. Milk Thistle.
Boston, MA: Element Books,
2000. 57 pp.
DeBaggio, Thomas. “Growing
Herbs from Seed.” The Herb
Companion, October/November
1988, 9–13.
*Foster, Gertrude B., et al. Park’s
Success with Herbs. Greenwood,
SC: George W. Park Seed Co.,
1980. 192 pp.
Foster, Steven. Echinacea—Nature’s
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VT: Healing Arts Press (1 Park
St., Rochester, VT 05767), 1991.
150 pp.
———. Herbs for Your Health.
Loveland, CO: Interweave Press,
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Foster, Steven, and Varro E. Tyler.
Tyler’s Honest Herbal. New York:
Haworth Press, 1999. 442 pp.
Grieve, M. A Modern Herbal. London: Tiger, 1994. 912 pp.
Hartung, Tammi. Growing 101 Herbs
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The Herb Companion. (243 E. 4th
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Herzberger, Heidi. “Liquid Herbs.”
The Herb Companion, April/May
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Hobbs, Christopher. Ginkgo: Elixir
of Youth. Santa Cruz, CA:
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———. Valerian: The Relaxing and
Sleep Herb. Capitola, CA: Botanica
Press, 1993. 71 pp.
———. St. John’s Wort: The Mood
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———. Milk Thistle: The Liver Herb.
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Hoffmann, David L. The Herb User’s
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———. The New Holistic Herbal.
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284 pp.
Hollis, Joe. “Chinese Medicinal
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Hylton, William H., ed. The Rodale
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Keville, Kathy. The Illustrated Herb
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224 pp.
———. “A Guide to Harvesting.”
Part 2 in The Herbal Craftsman.
Herb Farm (14648 Pear Tree Ln.,
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———. “Herbal Tinctures, Everything You Wanted to Know . . .”
Vegetarian Times—Well Being,
No. 49.
———. “Salves—Making and
Keeping Your Own.” Vegetarian
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write to Herb Farm, 14684 Pear
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———. “Make Your Herbal First
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———. “Herbal Help for the Respiratory Tract.” Vegetarian Times
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———. “Say Goodbye to Colds and
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———. “Herbs for the Immune
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Kowalchick, Claire, et al. Rodale’s
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Lima, Patrick. Harrowsmith’s Illustrated Book of Herbs. Ontario, Canada: Camden House, 1986. 175 pp.
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Mackin, Jeanne. The Cornell Book of
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Maine, Sandy. Creating an Herbal
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Marcin, Marietta Marshall. Herbal
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BIBLIOGRAPHY
189
HERBS • HIGH-ALTITUDE FOOD RAISING • HISTOR Y
McClure, Susan. The Herb Gardener.
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Nuzzi, Debra. Pocket Herbal Reference Guide. Santa Cruz, CA: The
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Ody, Penelope. Healing with Herbs,
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Oppenheimer, Betty. Gifts for Herb
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Phillips, Harriet Flannery. “Herbal
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Phillips, Roger, and Nicky Foy. The
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Pilarski, Michael. Resource Guide
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190
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Tierra, Lesley. The Herbs of Life:
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High-Altitude
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National Gardening, September
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Quarterly.
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History
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Acres.” Income Opportunities,
July/August 1988, 54–56.
———. Sell What You Sow!
Carmichael, CA: New World,
1994. 302 pp.
Harlan, Michael and Linda. Growing
Profits: How to Start and Operate
a Backyard Nursery. Citrus
Heights, CA: Moneta, 1997. 205 pp.
Henderson, Peter. Gardening for
Profit. Chillicothe, IL: American
Botanist, Booksellers (P.O. Box
532, Chillicothe, IL 61523). 243 pp.
Lee, Andrew. Backyard Market
Gardening: The Entrepreneur’s
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Burlington, VT: Good Earth Publications (P.O. Box 4352, Burlington, VT 05406-4352), 1993. 351 pp.
Olson, Michael. MetroFarm: The
Guide to Growing for Big Profit
on a Small Parcel of Land. Santa
Cruz, CA: TS Books (P.O. Box
1244, Santa Cruz, CA 95061),
1994. 498 pp.
Platt, Ellen Spector. How to Profit
from Flower and Herb Crafts.
Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole
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Profitable Farming Now! Emmaus,
PA: Regenerative Agriculture
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“Salad: Fresh from 4th Street.”
Berkeley Ecology Center Newsletter,
March 1986, 2.
Specialty and Minor Crops Handbook,
2nd edition. Oakland, CA: University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources,
1998. 184 pp. Useful for economic
mini-farming.
Spring Newsletter. Kona Kai Farms
(1824 5th St., Berkeley, CA
94710), March 1988. 4 pp.
Sturdivant, Lee. Profits from Your
Backyard Herb Garden. Friday
Harbor, WA: San Juan Naturals
(P.O. Box 642, Friday Harbor, WA
98250), 1988. 118 pp.
Taylor, T. M. Secrets to a Successful
Greenhouse and Business. Melbourne, FL: Green Earth, 1998.
279 pp.
Van En, Robyn. Basic Formula to
Create Community-Supported
Agriculture. Great Barrington,
MA: CSA Indian Line Farm (R.R.
3, Box 85, Great Barrington, MA
02130), 1988. 80 pp.
Whatley, Booker. How to Make
$100,000 Farming 25 Acres. Chillicothe, IL: The American Botanist,
1987. 180 pp.
Yepsen, Roger B., Jr. Growing for
Market. Emmaus, PA: Rodale
Press, 1978. 301 pp. New ideas for
market gardeners.
Insect Life and Balance/
Plant Health
Attracting Butterflies to Your Garden.
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, 1992.
32 pp.
Ball, Jeff. Rodale’s Garden Problem
Solver. Emmaus, PA: Rodale
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Barclay, Leslie W., et al. Insect and
Disease Management in the Home
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Cooperative Extension Service,
1981. 39 pp.
Brinton, William F. “The Control of
Plant Pathogenic Fungi by Use
of Compost Teas.” Biodynamics,
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Buchmann, Stephen L., and Gary
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Carr, Anna. Rodale’s Color Handbook
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Christie, Jesse R. Plant Nematodes,
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Jacksonville, FL: H. & W. B.
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Dean, Molly. “Butterflies: Invite Them
into Your Garden with These EasyCare Shrubs.” National Gardening,
July/August 1994, 38–41.
*Ellis, Barbara W., and Fern Bradley,
eds. The Organic Gardener’s
Handbook of Natural Insect and
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color insect photos.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
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INSECT LIFE AND BALANCE/PLANT HEALTH
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160 pp.
Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S.
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Griffin, Brian L. The Orchard Mason
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———. Bugs, Slugs and Other Thugs.
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194
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*Hunter, Beatrice Trum. Gardening
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insect control methods.
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*Mitchell, Robert T. Butterflies and
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———. The Bug Book. Charlotte, VT:
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INSECT LIFE AND BALANCE/PLANT HEALTH • INTENSIVE GARDENING
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Rincon-Vitova Insectories (P.O. Box
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———. Deer Resistant Plant Books.
Brochure.
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Thurston, H. David, and Jeanne M.
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Tompkins, Peter, and Christopher
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Intensive Gardening
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———. “Raised Field Agriculture in
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mini-farmers. Veganic approach.
BL /IL
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Language and Travel
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Learning/Teaching
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“Living Farm” Museums
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Mushrooms
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Native Americans
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Calendula Horticultural Books.
160 SW Alfred St., Chehalis, WA
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[email protected]
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PERMACULTURE • PHILOSOPHY
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(Box 1322, Mendocino, CA
95460.)
Whitefield, Patrick. Permaculture
in a Nutshell. Hampshire, England: Permanent Publications,
2000. Distributed in the United
States by Chelsea Green. 84 pp.
Philosophy
Adams, George, and Olive Whicher.
The Plant Between Sun and Earth.
Boulder, CO: Shambhala, 1980.
224 pp.
Agriculture, Food and Human Values.
100 E. Normal St., Kirksville, MO
63501-4211. Quarterly journal.
All-Consuming Passion: Waking Up
from the American Dream. Seattle,
WA: New Road Map Foundation
(P.O. Box 15981, Seattle, WA
98115), 1993. 23 pp.
Amidon, Elias, and Elizabeth
Roberts, eds. Earth Prayers from
around the World: 365 Prayers,
Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth. New York: Harper
Collins, 1991. 451 pp.
Bailey, L. H. The Harvest of the Year
to the Tiller of the Soil. New York:
Macmillan, 1927.
———. The Holy Earth. New York:
New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, 1980.
112 pp.
Berry, Thomas. The Dream of the
Earth. San Francisco: Sierra Club
Books, 1988. 247 pp.
*Berry, Wendell. The Unsettling of
America: Culture and Agriculture.
San Francisco: Sierra Club Books,
1977. 226 pp. Eloquent and passionate view of the sociological
aspects of farming.
Blix, Jacqueline, and David Heitmiller. Getting a Life. New York:
Viking, 1997. 363 pp.
Boice, Judith L. At One with All Life.
Moray, Scotland: Findhorn Press,
1989. 273 pp.
Boldt, Laurence G. Zen and the
Art of Making a Living. New
York: Penguin, 1999. 640 pp.
Bortoft, Henri. The Wholeness of
Nature. Hudson, NY: Lindisfarne
Press, 1996. 407 pp.
198
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Bullfrog Films. Sowing for Need or
Sowing for Greed? Oley, PA: Bullfrog Films (Oley, PA 19547).
58-minute video.
Burch, Mark A. Simplicity. Philadelphia, PA: New Society Publishers,
1995. 130 pp.
Calder, Ritchie. After the Seventh
Day. New York: Simon &
Schuster, 1961. 448 pp.
Capra, Fritjof. The Turning Point—
Science, Society, and the Rising
Culture. New York: Bantam
Books, 1982. 464 pp.
*Christensen, Carl. The Green Bible.
Ben Lomond, CA: Johnny Publishing (P.O. Box 624, Ben Lomond,
CA 95005), 1990. 81 pp. Excellent.
deGraaf, John, David Wann, and
Thomas H. Naylor. Affluenza: The
All-Consuming Epidemic. San
Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2001. 268 pp.
DeVault, George, ed. Return to
Pleasant Valley: Louis Bromfield’s
Best from Malabar Farm and His
Other Country Classics. Chillicothe, IL: The American Botanist,
1996. 318 pp.
*Dominguez, Joe, and Vicki Robin.
Your Money or Your Life—Transforming Your Relationship with
Money and Achieving Financial
Independence. New York: Penguin,
1992. 350 pp.
Duesing, Bill and Suzanne. Living
on the Earth: Eclectic Essays for a
Sustainable and Joyful Future.
East Haven, CT: Long River
Books (140 Commerce St., East
Haven, CT 06512), 1993. 222 pp.
Dull, Christine and Ralph.
Soviet Laughter, Soviet Tears.
Englewood, OH: Stillmore Press
(7000 Stillmore Dr., Englewood,
OH 45322), 1992. 370 pp.
Durning, Alan. How Much Is Enough?
New York: W. W. Norton, 1992.
200 pp.
The Earth Summit. San Francisco:
U.S. Citizens Network on UNCED
(300 Broadway, Ste. 39, San Francisco, CA 94133), 1991. 44 pp. An
introductory guide to the Earth
Summit (June 1–12, 1992; Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil).
Ehrlich, Gretel. John Muir: Nature’s
Visionary. Washington, DC:
National Geographic Society,
2000. 240 pp.
*Faulkner, Edward H. Plowman’s
Folly. Norman, OK: University of
Oklahoma Press, 1943. 155 pp.
*Goering, Peter, Helena Norberg
Hodge, and John Page. From the
Ground Up: Rethinking Industrial
Agriculture. Atlantic Highlands,
NJ: Zed Books/International Society for Ecology and Culture, 1993.
130 pp.
Gowdy, John, ed. Limited Wants,
Unlimited Means: A Reader on
Hunter-Gatherer Economics and
the Environment. Washington,
DC: Island Press, 1998. 342 pp.
*Gray, Charles. Toward a Nonviolent
Economics. Eugene, OR: Charles
Gray (888 Almaden, Eugene, OR
97402), 1989. 143 pp.
Gussow, Joan Dye. Chicken Little,
Tomato Sauce and Agriculture.
New York: Bookstrap Press, 1991.
150 pp.
Harlan, Jack R. Crops and Man.
Madison, WI: American Society of
Agronomy, Crop Science Society
of America (677 S. Segoe Rd.,
Madison, WI 53711), 1992. 284 pp.
Hillel, Daniel. Out of the Earth.
Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1992. 321 pp.
Howard, Louise E. The Earth’s Green
Carpet. Emmaus, PA: Rodale
Press, 1947. 258 pp.
Hudson, Lois Phillips. The Bones of
Plenty. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota
Historical Press, 1984. 439 pp.
Kotke, Wm. H. The Final Empire:
The Collapse of Civilization. Portland, OR: Arrow Point Press,
1993. 401 pp.
Luhrs, Janet. The Simple Living
Guide. New York: Broadway
Books, 1997. 444 pp.
*Mander, Jerry. In the Absence of the
Sacred. San Francisco: Sierra
Club (730 Polk St., San Francisco,
CA 94109), 1992. 446 pp.
Maté, Ferenc. A Reasonable Life:
Toward a Simpler, Secure, More
Humane Existence. New York:
W. W. Norton, 1993. 259 pp.
PHILOSOPHY • PLANT NAMES • PLANT NUTRIENT INDICATORS • PRUNING
McRobie, George. Small Is Possible.
New York: Harper & Row, 1980.
331 pp.
Merrill, Richard, ed. Radical Agriculture. New York: Harper &
Row, 1976. 459 pp. Philosophical
and political aspects of food
production.
*Millnam, Don. Way of the Peaceful
Warrior—A Book That Changes
Lives. Tiburon, CA: H. J. Kramer
(P.O. Box 1082, Tiburon, CA
94920), 1984. 210 pp.
Quinn, Daniel. Ishmael. New York:
Bantam, 1992. 262 pp.
Return to the Earth. Penang,
Malaysia: The Third World
Network (87 Cantonment Rd.,
10250 Penang, Malaysia), 1990.
570 pp.
Rifkin, Jeremy. Entropy. New York:
Bantam Books, 1981. 302 pp.
Rodale, Robert. Sane Living in a
Mad World: A Guide to the
Organic Way of Life. Emmaus, PA:
Rodale Press, 1972. 270 pp.
Rosset, Peter, and Medea Benjamin,
et al. Two Steps Backward, One
Step Forward. San Francisco:
Global Exchange (2017 Mission
St., Rm. 303, San Francisco, CA
94110), 1993. 67 pp.
Sahlins, Marshall. Stone Age Economics. New York: Aldine de
Gruyter, 1972. 348 pp.
Sampson, R. Niel. Farmland or
Wasteland. Emmaus, PA:
Rodale Press, 1981. 422 pp.
Savage, Scott. The Plain Reader.
New York: Ballantine, 1998.
241 pp.
Schumacher, E. F., et al. The
Collected Writings of Hazel
Henderson—Creating Alternative
Futures. New York: Berkeley
Publishing (200 Madison Ave.,
New York, NY 10016), 1978. 403
pp.
*———. Small Is Beautiful. New
York: Harper & Row, 1973. 305 pp.
*———. Good Work. New York:
Harper & Row, 1979. 223 pp.
Seymour, John. I’m a Stranger Here
Myself. London: Faber and Faber,
1978. 140 pp. Absorbing personal
account.
Teale, Edward Way, ed. The Wilderness World of John Muir. Boston:
Houghton Mifflin, 1964. 332 pp.
Thomas, William L., Jr. Man’s Role
in Changing the Face of the Earth.
Vols. 1 and 2. Chicago: University
of Chicago Press, 1956. 1,193 pp.
Thompson, Paul B. The Spirit of the
Soil: Agriculture and Environmental Ethics. New York: Routledge,
1995. 196 pp.
Vandenbroeck, Goldian. Less Is
More. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions (One Park St., Rochester,
VT 05767), 1991. 316 pp.
Willers, Bill. Learning to Listen to
the Land. Washington, DC: Island
Press, 1991. 283 pp.
Plant Names
Bailey, L. H. How Plants Got Their
Names. New York: Dover, 1963.
181 pp.
Healey, B. J. A Gardener’s Guide to
Plant Names. New York: Scribner’s, 1972. 284 pp.
Johnson, A. F., and H. A. Smith.
Plant Names Simplified. Bromyard, England: Landsman Bookshop (Buckenhill, Bromyard,
Herefordshire, England), 1972.
120 pp.
Plant Nutrient
Indicators
Bear, Firman E. Hunger Signs in
Crops. Washington, DC: The
American Society of Agronomy
and the National Fertilizer Assoc.,
1949. 390 pp.
Clement, Frederic. Plant Indicators:
The Relation of Plant Communities
to Process and Practice. Stanford,
CA: Carnegie Institute of Washington, 1920. 388 pp.
Dale, Hugh M. “Weed Complexes
on Abandoned Pastures as Indicators of Site Characteristics.”
Canadian Journal of Botany,
Vol. 44, 11–17.
Dale, Hugh M., P. J. Harrison, and
G. W. Thomson. “Weeds as Indicators of Physical Site Characteristics in Abandoned Pastures.”
Canadian Journal of Botany,
Vol. 43, 1,319–1,327.
Gershuny, Grace, and Joseph Smillie. The Soul of Soil. St. Johnsbury, VT: Gaia Services, 1986.
174 pp.
Hill, Stuart, and Jennifer Ramsey.
“Weeds as Indicators of Soil
Conditions.” Macdonald Journal,
Vol. 38, No. 3, March 1939.
Pfeiffer, Ehrenfried. Weeds and What
They Tell. Stroudsburg, PA: Biodynamic Farming and Gardening
Assn., 1970. 96 pp. Reading soil
conditions by weeds.
Sampson, Arthur W. “Plant Indicators—Concept and Status.”
Botanical Review, Vol. 5, No. 3,
March 1939.
Shantz, Homer Leroy. Natural Vegetation as an Indicator of the Capabilities of Land for Crop Production
in the Great Plains Area. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of
Agriculture, 1911. 100 pp.
Pruning
Bailey, L. H. The Pruning Manual.
New York: Macmillan, 1954.
320 pp. Constantly revised for
50 years and now out of print.
Brickell, Christopher. Fruit. New
York: Simon & Schuster, 1980.
96 pp.
*———. Pruning. New York: Simon
& Schuster, 1980. 96 pp.
Brickell, Christopher, and David
Joyce. Pruning and Training.
New York: DK, 1996. 336 pp.
DiSabato-Aust, Tracy. “Pruning
Perennials in Midseason.” Fine
Gardening, May/June 1998,
55–59.
Hill, Lewis. Pruning Simplified.
Pownal, VT: Storey, 1986. 208 pp.
Lorette, Louis. The Lorette System of
Pruning. London: Martin Hopkinson, 1925. 164 pp. Practiced by
Alan Chadwick. Fruit trees are
gently pinched and trained during
summer.
Stebbins, Robert L., and Michael
MacCaskey. Pruning: How-To
Guide for Gardeners. Los Angeles:
HP Books, 1983. 160 pp.
Sunset Editors. Pruning Handbook.
Menlo Park, CA: Sunset Books,
1976. 96 pp.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
199
REFERENCE • ROOTS • SEED CATALOGS
Reference
*Bailey, L. H. Cyclopedia of American
Agriculture in Four Volumes. New
York: Macmillan, 1907. 2,675 pp.,
including many illustrations. Excellent. See Vol. II, Crops, especially.
———. The Farm and Garden RuleBook. New York: Macmillan, 1915.
586 pp.
———. The Standard Cyclopedia of
Horticulture in Three Volumes.
New York: Macmillan, 1944. 4,056
pp., including 4,000+ engravings
and other illustrations.
Bailey, Liberty Hyde, and Ethel Zoe.
Hortus Third, A Concise Dictionary of Plants Cultivated in the
United States and Canada. New
York: Macmillan, 1976. 1,290 pp.
Bullfrog Films. (Department F.,
Oley, PA 19547.) Good selection
of films on food, farming, land
use, and the environment, including Gardensong, a PBS special on
Alan Chadwick and the Biointensive method, and Circle of Plenty,
a PBS-TV special on Ecology
Action’s work and a key Biointensive mini-farming project in Mexico. Send 2 stamps for catalog.
Chittenden, Fred J., ed. Dictionary of
Gardening in Three Volumes, 2nd
edition. Oxford, England: Royal
Horticulture Society, Clarendon
Press, 1977. 2,316 pp.
Creasy, Rosalind. Van Patten’s
Organic Gardener’s Edible Plants.
Chicago, IL: Login Publishers
Consortium (1436 W. Randolph
St., Chicago, IL 60607), 1993.
222 pp.
DeMuth, Suzanne. Vegetables and
Fruits: A Guide to Heirloom
Varieties and Community-Based
Stewardship. 3 vols.: Annotated
Bibliography, Resource Organizations, Historical Supplement.
Beltsville, MD: U.S. Department
of Agriculture, Special Reference
Briefs Series 98–05, 1998. 135 pp.,
72 pp., 78 pp.
Department of Agronomy and Range
Science, University of California,
Davis, CA. Bulletins, Crop Production, 80 B. Various bulletins
from 1890s through early 1900s.
200
BIBLIOGRAPHY
*Erichsen-Brown, Charlotte.
Medicinal and Other Uses of North
American Plants. New York:
Dover, 1989. 512 pp. Originally
called The Use of Plants for the
Past 500 Years.
Fern, Ken. Plants for a Future: Edible and Useful Plants for a Healthier World. East Meon, Hampshire,
England: Permanent Publications,
Hyden House, The Sustainability
Centre (distributed in the United
States by Chelsea Green, White
River Junction, VT), 2000. 300 pp.
Hickman, James C. ed., The Jepson
Manual: Higher Plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of
California Press, 1993. 1,400 pp.
Montgomery, E. G. Lippincott’s
Farm Manuals: Productive Farm
Crops. Philadelphia, PA: J. B. Lippincott, 1916. 501 pp.
*Past Worlds: The Times Atlas of
Archeology. Maplewood, NJ:
Hammond, 1988. 319 pp.
Pratt, Anne. Flowering Plants,
Grasses, Sedges and Ferns of Great
Britain. 4 vols. London: Frederick
Warne, 1905. 215 pp., 279 pp.,
269 pp., 258 pp.
Raven, Peter H., Ray F. Evert, and
Susan E. Eichhorn. Biology of
Plants. New York: Worth, 1992.
791 pp.
*Seagfer, Joni, ed. The State of the
Earth Atlas. New York: Simon &
Schuster, 1990. 127 pp.
Source Book of Sustainable
Agriculture. Burlington, VT:
University of Vermont, Sustainable Agriculture Publications,
1997. 136 pp. A guide to books,
newsletters, conference proceedings, bulletins, videos, and more.
Sustainable Agriculture Directory of
Expertise—1993. Burlington, VA:
Sustainable Agriculture Publications (Hills Bldg., Rm. 12, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
05405-0082), 1993.
Synge, Patrick M., ed. Dictionary of
Gardening, 2nd edition supplement. Oxford, England: Royal
Horticultural Society, Clarendon
Press, 1979. 554 pp.
Roots
Epstein, Emanuel. “Roots.” Scientific
American, May 1973, 48–58.
*Weaver, John E. Prairie Plants and
Their Environment. Lincoln, NE:
University of Nebraska Press,
1968. 276 pp. IL
*———. Root Development of Field
Crops. New York: McGraw-Hill,
1926. 291 pp. IL
*———. Root Development of Vegetable Crops. New York: McGrawHill, 1927. 351 pp. Excellent
diagrams of root systems. IL
*Wilson, Charles M. Roots: Miracles
Below. New York: Doubleday,
1968. 234 pp.
Seed Catalogs
Abundant Life Catalog. P.O. Box 772,
Port Townsend, WA 98368.
Open-pollinated and heirloom
seeds; books.
AgroForester Tropical Seeds. P.O. Box
428, Holualoa, HI 96725.
A High Country Garden. 2909 Rufina
St., Santa Fe, NM 87505-2929.
Drought hardy, perennial plants
for Western gardens.
American Bamboo Co. 345 W. 2nd
St., Dayton, OH 45402.
American Willow Growers Network.
RFD Box 124-A, S. New Berlin,
NY 13843.
Anderson Valley Nursery. P.O. Box
504, Boonville, CA 95415. Perennials, shrubs, and trees.
*The Antique Rose Emporium. Rte. 5,
Box 143, Brenham, TX 77833.
Excellent. $5 for catalog.
Applesource. Rte. 1, Chapin, IL
62628. Apple trees.
Archia’s Seed. 106-108 E. Main St.,
Sedalia, MO 65301. Seeds; garden
and greenhouse supplies.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, 2278
Baker Creek Rd., Mansfield, MO
65704.
Bakker of Holland. U.S. Bulb Reservation Center, Louisiana, MO
63350. Bulbs and perennials.
The Banana Tree. 715 Northampton
St., Easton, PA 18042. Rare seeds.
Bear Creek Nursery. P.O. Box 411,
Northport, WA 99157. Trees,
tools, and books.
SEED CATALOGS
Biologische Tuinzaden. 83 De Bolster, 9605 PL, Kielwindeweer,
Germany. Vegetable seeds.
Books, Seeds and Plants—1996/7.
Agroforestry Research Trust,
Dartington, Totnes, Devon, U.K.,
1996. 26 pp.
*Bountiful Gardens. 18001 Shafer
Ranch Rd., Willits, CA 95490.
Ecology Action’s international
mail order service for vegetable,
grain, compost crop, flower, and
herb seeds in growing area–sized
packets; key gardening books
and supplies; and all Ecology
Action publications.
Breck’s. 6523 N. Galena Rd., Peoria,
IL 61632. Bulbs, wildflowers,
and lilies.
Brittingham’s Plant Farms. P.O. Box
2538, Salisbury, MD 21801.
Berries, grapes, and asparagus.
Burgess Seed and Plant Co. 905 Four
Seasons Rd., Bloomington, IL
61701. Seeds, bulbs, plants, and
supplies.
Burpee Seed Co. Warminster, PA
18974 . Large, well-known company with wide selection of vegetables and flowers. Separate
catalog of heirloom seeds.
California Conservation Corps.
P.O. Box 329, Yountville Center,
Yountville, CA 94599. Trees.
California Gardener’s Seed Co.
904 Silver Spur Rd., Ste. 414,
Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274.
Seeds and garden supplies.
Caprilands Herb Farm. 534 Silver St.,
Coventry, CT 06238.
Carroll Gardens. P.O. Box 310,
Westminster, MD 21158. Seeds.
Catnip Acres Farm. Christian St.,
Oxford, CT 06483. Herbs and
flowers.
Charles H. Mueller. River Rd., New
Hope, PA 18938. Flowers, lilies,
and bulbs.
Cherfas, Jeremy. The Fruit and Veg
Finder. Coventry, England: Henry
Doubleday Research Association,
1995. 367 pp.
Chestnut Hill Nursery. 15105
NW 94 Ave., Alachua, FL 32615.
Chestnuts, persimmons, and figs.
Clyde Robin Seed Co. P.O. Box 2366,
Castro Valley, CA 94546. Wildflower seeds.
Companion Plants. 7247 N. Coolville
Ridge Rd., Athens, OH 45701.
Herbs.
Comstock. 263 Main St., Wethersfield, CT 06109. Seeds and
supplies.
Cook’s Garden. P.O. Box 535, Londonderry, VT 05148. Seeds and
supplies.
Country Heritage Nursery. P.O. Box
5, Hartford, MI 49057. Berries,
grapes, roots, and hedges; fruit,
nut, ornamental shade, and evergreen trees.
Country Hills Greenhouse. Rte. 2,
Corning, OH 43710. Plants.
Crocket Seed Co. P.O. Box 327, Metamora, OH 43540. Seeds.
Cruikshank’s. 1015 Mount Pleasant
Rd., Toronto, ON M4P 2M1,
Canada. Seeds, bulbs, books, and
supplies.
Dave Wilson Nursery. 19701 Lake
Rd., Hickman, CA 95323. Good
fruit trees. Wholesale only.
Davidson-Wilson Greenhouses. R.R. 2,
Crawfordsville, IN 47933. Familiar, flowering, and exotic tropical
house plants, and mini and standard violets.
De Giorgi Co. 6011 N St., Omaha,
NE 68117-1634.
De Grandchamp’s Nursery. 15575
77th St., South Haven, MI 49090.
Blueberries.
Dean Swift Seed Co. P.O. Box B,
Jaroso, CO 81138. Bulk tree seeds.
*Deep Diversity. P.O. Box 15700,
Santa Fe, NM 87506-5700. Wide
variety of organically grown,
open-pollinated seeds and related
publications. Excellent.
Di Giorgi Co. 1411 3rd St., Council
Bluffs, IA 51501. Forage crops,
old-fashioned lettuce and other
vegetables, and open-pollinated
corn.
Dr. Yoo Farm. P.O. Box 90, College
Park, MD 20740. Oriental vegetable seeds.
Earl May Seed and Nursery.
Shenandoah, IA 51603. Fertilizers,
berries, grapes, vines, hedges,
shrubs, roses, and seeds;
fruit and nut trees.
Early Seed and Garden Center.
2615 Lorne Ave., Saskatoon,
Saskatchewan S7J 0S5, Canada.
Grain, fodder, and cover crops.
Ed Hume Seeds. P.O. Box 1450,
Kent, WA 98035. Seeds and tools.
Edible Landscapes. P.O. Box 77,
Afton, VA 22920. Trees, berries,
grapes, and vines.
Elixir Farm Botanicals. Brixey, MO
65618. Chinese and indigenous
medicinal plants, seeds, and
garlic.
Environmental Seed. P.O. Box 5904,
El Monte, CA 91734. Wildflower
seeds.
Epicure Seeds. Avon, NY 14414.
Choice varieties from gourmet
seed houses of Europe.
Essence of Old Gardeners. P.O. Box
407, Redkey, IN 47373. Seeds.
Evergreen Y. H. Enterprises. P.O. Box
17538, Anaheim CA 92817. An
extensive selection of oriental
vegetable seeds.
Exotica Seed Company and Rare
Fruit Nursery. P.O. Box 160, Vista,
CA 92083. Rare fruits, vegetables,
and vines; nuts, palms, and flowering trees.
Facciola, Stephen. Cornucopia II—
A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Vista, CA: Kampong Publications
(1870 Sunrise Dr., Vista, CA
92084), 1998. 713 pp. A listing of
seeds carried by many catalogs
and sources in the United States
and other countries.
Farmer’s Seed and Nursery. 1706
Morrissey Dr., Bloomington, IL
61704. Seeds, cover crops, potatoes, berries, vines, grapes,
hedges, shrubs, and roses; fruit
and nut trees; and supplies.
Fedco Seeds. P.O. Box 520, Waterville, ME 04903-0520. A growers’
cooperative with an extensive
listing, including Japanese millet
(not food quality).
Filaree Farm. 182 Conconully Hwy.,
Okanogan, WA 98840. Lots of
garlic varieties organically grown.
Forest Farm. 990 Tethrow Rd.,
Williams, OR 97544-9599. Plants,
trees, and books.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
201
SEED CATALOGS
Fox Hill Farm. 440 W. Michigan
Ave., Box 9, Parma, MI 49269.
Flowers and herbs.
Fox Hollow Herb and Heirloom Seed
Co. P.O. Box 148, McGrann, PA
16236.
Frey Nurseries. 14000 Tomki Rd.,
Redwood Valley, CA 95470. Plants.
*Friends of the Trees Society. P.O.
Box 1064, Tonasket, WA 98855.
Books. Excellent.
Fungi Perfecti. P.O. Box 7634,
Olympia, WA 98507. Mushroomgrowing supplies and books.
Future Forests Nursery and Design.
P.O. Box 428, Holualoa, HI 96725.
Sustainable reforestation and
agroforestry.
Garlic King Farms. Dean and Mary
Sue Sedinger, 833 Baxter Rd.,
Vineland, CO 81006.
The Gourmet Gardener. 8650 College
Blvd., Oakland Park, KS 66210.
Imported and domestic herb,
vegetable, and flower seed.
Great Northern Botanicals Association. P.O. Box 362, Helena, MT
59624. Northern Rockies specialty
crops and plant information.
G. S. Grimes Seeds. 201 W. Main St.,
Smethport, PA 16749. Seeds,
bulbs, and perennials.
Gurney’s Seed and Nursery. 110 Capital St., Yankton, SD 57079. Seeds,
vines, berries, ground covers,
hedges, shrubs, bulbs, perennials,
roses, and house plants; fruit, nut,
shade, and flowering trees; and
supplies.
Harmony Farm Supply. P.O. Box 460,
Graton, CA 95444. Plants, berries,
fruit and nut trees.
Harris Seeds. P.O. Box 22960,
Rochester, NY 14692-2960. Seeds,
tools, and supplies.
Hart Seed Co. P.O. Box 9169,
Wethersfield, CT 06109. Largest
selection of old-fashioned and
non-hybrid vegetables. Many
hard-to-find varieties available on
request.
Hartmann’s Nursery. P.O. Box 100,
Lacota, MI 49063-0100.
Heirloom Seed Project. 2451 Kissel
Hill Rd., Lancaster, PA 17601.
Seeds.
202
BIBLIOGRAPHY
*Henry Doubleday Research Association—Ryton Gardens—The
National Centre for Organic Gardening. Ryton-on-Dunsmore,
Coventry CV8 3LG, England.
Vegetable, flower, herb, and green
manure seeds, organic fertilizer,
safe pesticides, comfrey products,
educational materials, books, and
attractant plants. Excellent group.
Henry Field’s Seed and Nursery.
415 N. Burnett, Shenandoah, IA
51602. Seeds, ground cover, vines,
berries, roses, lilies, perennials,
and oriental grasses; fruit, nut,
and flowering trees; and supplies.
Herbst Brothers. 1000 N. Main St.,
Brewster, NY 10509. Seeds,
annuals, perennials, trees, and
bulbs; greenhouse and nursery
supplies.
Heritage Roses. 40340 Wilderness
Rd., Branscomb, CA 95417. Roses.
Hidden Springs Nursery. Rte. 14, Box
159, Cookeville, TN 38501. Edible
landscaping plants, herbs, and
tree crops.
High Altitude Gardens. P.O. Box
4619, Ketchum, ID 83340. Vegetable, wildflower, and herb seeds;
native grasses and supplies.
High Mowing Seeds. 813 Brook Rd.,
Wolcott, VT 05680. Openpollinated and heirloom varieties
for the Northeast.
Hillier Nurseries, Ltd. Ampfield,
Ramsey, Hants S05 9PA, England.
Excellent tree and plant supplier.
Hilltop Herb Farm. Box 866, Cleveland, TX 77327. Herb plants.
Holland Bulb Farms. P.O. Box 220,
Tatamy, PA 18085-0220. Bulbs.
Horizon Herbs. P.O. Box 69,
Williams, OR 97544-0069. 62 pp.
Horus Botanicals. 341 Mulberry,
Salem, AR 72576. Heirloom grains
and other seeds from all over
the world.
Hurov’s Tropical Seeds. P.O. Box
1596, Chula Vista, CA 92012.
Tropical seeds and indoor exotics.
Indiana Berry and Plant Company.
5218 West 500 South, Huntingburg, IN 47542.
Irish Eyes. P.O. Box 307, Ellensburg,
WA 98926. Potatoes and garlic.
Johnny’s Selected Seeds. Foss Hill Rd.,
R.R. 1, Box 2580, Albion, ME
04910-9731. Small seed company
with integrity. Carries native
American crops, select oriental
vegetables, grains, short-maturing
soybeans, and supplies.
J. H. Judkins and Sons Tree Nursery.
Rte. 4, Smithville, TN 37166.
Hedges, shrubs, ground cover,
vines, and fruit trees.
*J. L. Hudson, Seedsman. Star Rte. 2,
Box 337, LaHonda, CA 94020.
Vegetable, flower, and herb seeds;
books. Excellent selection.
Kester’s Wild Game Nurseries.
Box 516, Omro, WI 54963. Grain,
vegetable, and grass seeds;
publications.
*KUSA Seed Foundation. Box 761,
Ojai, CA 93023. Key seed crop
seeds and literature. Excellent.
Larner Seeds. P.O. Box 60143, 445
Monroe Dr., Palo Alto, CA 94306.
Vegetable, flower, grass, shrub,
vine, and tree seeds. Specializes
in California and New England
native seeds.
Legume Seed Source Directory.
Kutztown, PA: Rodale Institute
Research Center (611 Siegfriedale
Rd., Kutztown, PA 19530), 1992.
23 pp.
Henry Leuthardt. Montauk Hwy.,
East Moriches, Long Island, NY
11940. Specializes in old-fashioned
varieties of apple trees, pear trees,
and grapes.
Henry Morton—Old Fashioned
Apples. Rte. 1, Box 203, Gatlinburg, TN 37738. Old Appalachian
Mountain varieties.
Living Tree Center. P.O. Box 797,
Bolinas, CA 94924. Seeds and
trees.
Lockhart Seeds. P.O. Box 1361, Stockton, CA 95205. Vegetable seeds.
Lost Prairie Herb Farm. 805 Kienas
Rd., Kalispell, MT 59901. Plants,
supplies, and books.
Machado Farms. P.O. Box 655, Sun
City, CA 92586. Comfrey roots.
Send a self-addressed, stamped
envelope for more information.
Maine Seed Saving Network. P.O.
Box 126, Penobscot, ME 04476.
SEED CATALOGS
McClure and Zimmerman. P.O. Box
368, 108 W. Winnebago, Friesland,
WI 53935. Bulbs and books.
Mellinger’s. 2310 W. South Range Rd.,
North Lima, OH 44452-9731.
Unusual imported vegetable, herb,
flower, and grass seeds; berries
and vines. Wide variety of familiar
and unusual trees, plants, and
roses. Mushrooms, tools, supplies,
books, and greenhouse equipment.
Messelaar Bulb Co. P.O. Box 269,
Ipswich, MA 01938. Bulbs.
Michigan Bulb Co. 1950 Waldorf,
Grand Rapids, MI 49550. Grapes,
berries, roses, plants, flowers,
and fruit trees.
Mongold, Susan and Rex. HCR 15,
Dyer, NV 89010. Seed potatoes.
Moon Mountain. P.O. Box 34, Morro
Bay, CA 93442. Wildflower seeds.
Moose Grower’s Supply. P.O. Box 520,
Waterville, ME 04903. Seed potatoes, onion sets, Jerusalem artichokes, cover crop seeds, organic
fertilizers, and books.
Mountain Maples. 5901 Spy Rock
Rd., Laytonville, CA 95454-1329.
Variety of maples, bonsai, and
dwarf conifers.
Native Seeds and Plants. Ankeny, IA:
Soil and Water Conservation Society (7515 NE Ankeny Rd.,
Ankeny, IA 50021). 36 pp.
*Native Seeds/SEARCH. 526 N. 4th
Ave., Tucson, AZ 85705. Herbs,
books, dyes, and baskets. Excellent cotton and tobacco seeds,
drought-tolerant corn, beans,
and vegetables.
New England Strawberry Nursery.
S. Deerfield, MA 01373.
Strawberries.
Nichols Garden Nursery. 1190 Old
Salem Rd. NE, Albany, OR 973214580. Unusual specialties: elephant
garlic, luffa sponge, winemaking
supplies, and herbs.
North Central Comfrey Products. P.O.
Box 195, Glidden, WI 54527. Comfrey and comfrey products.
North Star Gardens. 19060 Manning
Trail N., Marine-on-St. Croix,
MN 55047-9723. Raspberries—
northern, western, and southern
stock.
Nourse Farms, Inc. 41 River Rd.,
South Deerfield, MA 01373.
Strawberry, raspberry, asparagus,
and rhubarb starts.
One Green World. 28696 S. Cramer
Rd., Molalla, OR 97038-8576. Fruit
trees and ornamentals.
Oregon Exotics Nursery. 1065 Messinger Rd., Grants Pass, OR 97527.
P. de Jager and Sons. P.O. Box 100,
Brewster, NY 10509. Bulbs and
lilies.
George W. Park Seed Co. 1 Parkton
Ave., Greenwood, SC 29647-0001.
The best selection of flowers.
Gorgeous full-color catalog available free.
Peace Seeds. 2385 SE Thompson St.,
Corvallis OR 97333.
Perennial Vegetable Seed Co. P.O.
Box 608, Belchertown, MA 01007.
Phoenix Seeds. P.O. Box 9, Stanley,
Tasmania 7331. Organic seed
varieties.
Plants of the Southwest. Agua
Fria, Rte. 6, Box 11A, Santa Fe,
NM 87501. Products for a
healthy planet.
Raintree Nursery. 391 Butts Rd.,
Morton, WA 98356. Berries,
plants, fruit and nut trees, books,
and supplies.
Ramsey Seed. P.O. Box 351, 205
Stockton St., Manteca, CA 95336.
Wide variety of seeds, including
those for compost crops.
Redwood City Seed Co. P.O. Box 361,
Redwood City, CA 94064. Basic
selection of non-hybrid, untreated
vegetable and herb seeds. Expert
at locating various tree seeds,
including redwoods.
Reliable Seeds. 3862 Carlsbad Blvd.,
Carlsbad, CA 92008. Seeds.
R. H. Shumway Seed Company.
P.O. Box 1, Graniteville, SC
29829-0001. Vegetable, flower,
herb, grass, grain, fodder, and
cover crop seeds; roses, berries,
and fruit trees; and supplies.
Richters—Canada’s Herb Specialist.
357 Hwy. 47, Goodwood, ON L0C
1A0, Canada. Herb, vegetable,
and flower seeds. Plants, supplies,
potpourri, natural medicines,
and books.
Rocky Mountain Seed Services. Box
215, Golden, BC V0A 1H0,
Canada. British Columbia native
seeds, including hard-to-find
varieties.
Rohrer Seeds. P.O. Box 250, Smoketown, PA 17576. Vegetable and
flower seeds plus some cover
crops and grains.
Roses of Yesterday and Today. 802
Brown’s Valley Rd., Watsonville,
CA 95076-0398. Old, rare,
unusual, and modern roses.
Russell Graham. 4030 Eagle Crest
Rd. NW, Salem, OR 97304. Bulbs,
flowers, perennials, ferns, and
oriental grasses.
Salt Spring Seeds. P.O. Box 444,
Ganges, Salt Spring Island, BC
V8K 2W1, Canada. Organic openpollinated grains, beans, and
vegetables.
Sanctuary Seeds. 1913 Yew St.,
Vancouver, BC V6K 3G3, Canada.
Seeds, companion plants, and
medicinals.
Sand Hill Preservation Center.
1878 230th St., Calamus, IA
52729. Heirloom seeds and
poultry.
Sandy Mush Herb Nursery.
316 Surrett Cove Rd., Leicester,
NC 28748-9622. Seeds, plants,
herbs, and books.
Sassafras Farms. P.O. Box 1007,
Topanga, CA 90290. Two dozen
organically grown vegetable varieties and miscellaneous roots.
*Seed Saver’s Exchange, 3076 North
Winn Rd., Decorah, IA 52101.
Exchange listings published
yearly for $2. Good source of
heirloom varieties. Listing
includes seed saving guide.
Excellent.
*———. Garden Seed Inventory, 5th
edition. Seed Saver’s Exchange,
3076 North Winn Rd., Decorah,
IA 52101, 2001. 560 pp. Excellent
listing of all open-pollinated vegetable seed varieties sold in the
United States.
*———. Fruit, Berry and Nut Inventory, 3rd edition. Seed Saver’s
Exchange, 3076 North Winn Rd.,
Decorah, IA 52101, 2001. 560 pp.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
203
SEED CATALOGS
*Seeds of Change. P.O. Box 15700,
Santa Fe, NM 87506-5700.
Organic seeds.
Self-Reliance Seed Co. P.O. Box
96, Stanley, Tasmania 7331.
Vegetable, annual, herb, and
tree seeds.
Setropa. A. E. Bussum, P.O. Box 203,
1400, Holland. Seeds for forestry
and environmental conservation.
Shepherd’s Garden Seeds. 30 Irene
St., Torrington, CT 06790-6658.
Special vegetable, flower, and
herb seeds; supplies and books.
Sonoma Antique Apple Nursery.
4395 Westside Rd., Healdsburg,
CA 95448. Fruit trees.
Sourcepoint Organic Seeds. 1349
2900 Rd., Hotchkiss, CO 81419.
Organic cereal grains, vegetables,
and other seeds from many parts
of the world.
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.
P.O. Box 460, Mineral, VA 23117.
Apple, vegetable, and flower
seeds; supplies and books. Mostly
open-pollinated seeds.
Southmeadow Fruit Gardens. Lakeside, MI 49116. Large selection of
fruit trees.
Spring Hill Nurseries. 110 W. Elm
St., Tipp City, OH 45371. Perennial plants and flowers.
St. Lawrence Nurseries. 325 State Hwy
345, Potsdam, NY 13676. Berries
and vines; fruit and nut trees.
Stark Brothers Nurseries and
Orchards Co. P.O. Box 510,
Louisiana, MO 63353-0510. Fruit
tree and landscaping catalog.
Hedges, shrubs, vines, berries,
ground cover, and roses; fruit, nut,
shade, and ornamental trees; supplies and books. Specializes in fruit
trees, especially dwarf and semidwarf varieties, including many
developed by Luther Burbank.
Steele Plant Co. Gleason, TN 38229.
Sweet potato starts; onion, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts,
and broccoli seeds.
*Stokes Seeds. P.O. Box 548, Buffalo,
NY 14240-0548. Carries excellent
varieties of many vegetables,
especially carrots. Be sure to
specify “untreated” seeds.
204
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Suffolk Herbs. Sawyer’s Farm, Little
Cornard, Sudbury, Suffolk C010
0NY, England. Wide variety of
seeds and herbs.
Sunnyboy Gardens. 3314 Earlysville
Rd., Earlysville, VA 22936. Herb
catalog.
Sunnybrook Farms Nursery. 9448
Mayfield Rd., Chesterland, OH
44026. Scented geranium source.
Suttons Seeds. Hele Rd., Torquay,
Devon TQ2 7QJ, England. Catalogue available only in England.
Use catalogue for information
only. Order seeds through Garden
Import, P.O. Box 760, Thornhil,
ON L3T 4A5, Canada.
Synergy Seeds. P.O. Box 787, Somes
Bar, CA 95556. Open-pollinated,
some wildcrafted. Unusual grains.
Taylor Herb Gardens. 1535 Lone Oak
Rd., Vista, CA 92084. Herb seeds
and plants by mail.
Territorial Seed Co. P.O. Box 157,
Cottage Grove, OR 97424-0061.
Seeds, tools, and supplies.
Thompson and Morgan. P.O. Box
1308, Jackson, NJ 08527-0308.
Wide variety of seeds.
Thunderfoot Earthworks—Sunnyland
Seeds. John Munk, P.O. Box 385,
Paradox, CO 81429.
Tillinghast Seed Co. P.O. Box 738,
LaConner, WA 98257.
Tolowa Nursery. P.O. Box 509, Talent,
OR 97540. Berries, grapes, fruit,
nut, woodlot, and ornamental trees.
Tomato Growers Supply. P.O. Box
2237, Fort Myers, FL 33902.
Tomato and pepper seeds;
supplies, books, and cooking
equipment.
Tradewinds Bamboo Nursery. 28446
Hunter Creek Loop, Gold Beach,
OR 97444. Plants, books, hardgoods, and bamboo products.
True Seed Exchange. R.R. 1, Princeton, MO 64673. Exchange for
home-grown seed. To join (i.e., to
list your seeds for exchange and to
receive listings in return), send $2.
Turtle Tree Seeds. Camphill Village,
Copake, NY 12516. Biodynamic,
open-pollinated seeds.
Underwood Gardens. Grandma’s
Garden, 1414 Zimmerman Rd.,
Woodstock, IL 60098. Openpollinated and heirloom seeds.
Valley Seed Service. P.O. Box 9335,
Fresno, CA 93791. Specialty seeds
for research.
Van Bourgondien. P.O. Box A, 245
Farmingdale Rd., Babylon, NY
11702. Bulbs, ground cover seeds,
and rare perennials.
Vandenberg. Black Meadow Rd.,
Chester, NY 10918. Bulbs, indoor
plants, lilies, perennials, and
wildflowers.
Van Engelen. 23 Tulip Dr., Bantam,
CT 06750. Bulbs and lilies.
Vermont Bean Seed Co. Computer
Operation Center, Vaucluse, SC
29850-0150. All kinds of beans for
those who want to start growing
more protein crops.
Vesey’s Seeds for Short Seasons. P.O.
Box 9000, Calais, ME 04619-6102.
Vegetable and flower seeds, supplies, tools, books, and natural
pest control.
Victory Garden Plants. P.O. Box 867,
Mendocino, CA 95460. Landscaping plants.
Vilmorin. 6104 Yorkshire Terr.,
Bethesda, MD 20814. Vegetable
seeds.
Vilmorin Andrieux. 4, quai de la
Megisserie, 75001 Paris, France.
Old, respected seed house specializing in high-quality gourmet
vegetables. Catalog in French.
Expensive minimum order.
Volkman/North Coast Seed Co. P.O.
Box 5875, Portland, OR 97228.
Grass, pasture, and bird seed.
Wayside Gardens. 1 Garden Ln.,
Hodges, SC 29695-0001. Trees,
vines, shrubs, plants, supplies,
and books.
Well-Sweep Herb Farm. 317 Mount
Bethel Rd., Port Murray, NJ 07865.
Herbs, supplies, and books.
White Flower Farm. Litchfield, CT
06759-0050. Plants, flowers, tools,
supplies, and books.
Willhite Seed Co. P.O. Box 23,
Poolville, TX 76076. Vegetable
seeds.
Wilson Brothers Floral Co. Roachdale, IN 46172. Scented geranium
source.
SEED CATALOGS • SEED SAVING • SEEDS/DIVERSITY • SEEDS/GMOs
Winterthur. Winterthur, DE 19735.
Rare plants.
Wolf River Nurseries. Rte. 67,
Buskirk, NY 12028. Vines,
berries, and trees.
Wood Prairie Farm. 49 Kinney Rd.,
Bridgewater, ME 04735. Organic
seed potatoes.
Yates Vegetable Seed Catalog for
Commercial Growers. P.O. Box
616, Toowoomba, Queensland,
Australia 4350. Specializes in
tropical varieties suitable for the
southern hemisphere. Free
international seed catalog.
*Yerba Buena Nursery. 19500 Skyline
Blvd., Woodside, CA 94062. Native
California plants. Excellent.
Seed Saving
Almekinders, Conny, and Niels
Louwaars. Farmers’ Seed
Production: New Approaches and
Practices. London: Intermediate
Technology Publications, 1999.
291 pp.
*Ashworth, Suzanne. Seed to Seed.
Decorah, IA: Seed Savers
Publications (3076 North Winn
Rd., Decorah, IA 52101), 1991.
222 pp.
Bubel, Nancy. “Saving Seeds.”
Mother Earth News,
September/October 1987, 58–63.
Department of Agronomy, Seed Saving Project News, U.C. Davis,
Winter/Spring 1991. 13 pp.
Deppe, Carol. Breed Your Own
Vegetable Varieties. White River
Junction, VT: Chelsea Green,
2000. 367 pp.
Dremann, Craig. Vegetable Seed
Production. Redwood City, CA:
Redwood City Seed Co. (P.O. Box
360, Redwood City, CA 94064),
1974. 6 pp.
Gately, Barbara. Plant Pollination
Instructional Manual. Berkeley,
CA: U.C. Instructional Laboratory,
Graduate School of Education.
George, Raymond A. T. Vegetable
Seed Production. New York:
Longman, 1985. 318 pp.
———. Vegetable Seed Production,
2nd edition. New York: CABI
Publishing, 1999. 328 pp.
Jason, Dan. Save Our Seeds, Save
Ourselves. Salt Spring Island,
Canada: Salt Spring Seeds (P.O.
Box 444, Ganges, Salt Spring
Island, BC V8K 2W1, Canada).
23 pp.
Johnston, Robert, Jr. Growing Garden Seeds. Albion, ME: Johnny’s
Selected Seeds (Albion, ME
04910), 1976. 32 pp. Culture of
plants for saving seed.
Justice, Oren L., and Louis N. Bass.
Principles and Practices of Seed
Storage: Agriculture Handbook No.
506. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1978.
289 pp.
Manual Seed Cleaning Screens
Abundant Life Seed Co. (P.O. Box
772, Port Townsend, MA 98368.)
Available in the following mesh
sizes (in fractions of inches): 1 ⁄ 4,
1 ⁄ , 1 ⁄ , 1 ⁄ , and 1 ⁄ . Made of stain8
2
16
30
less steel for long use. Screen
mesh and framed screens available at a per-square-foot price.
Miller, Douglas C. Vegetable and
Herb Seed Growing for the Gardener and Small Farmer. Hersey,
MI: Bullkill Creek Publishing,
1977. 46 pp. A good book to start
with.
Nabham, Gary Paul. Enduring
Seeds—Native American Agriculture and Wild Plant Conservation. Berkeley, CA: North Point
Press (850 Talbon Ave., Berkeley,
CA 94706), 1989. 225 pp.
“New Isn’t Necessarily Better.”
Harrowsmith Country Life,
January/February 1994.
Roberts, E. H., ed. Viability of Seeds.
Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1972. 448 pp.
*Rogers, Marc. Saving Seeds: The
Gardener’s Guide to Growing and
Storing Vegetable and Flower
Seeds. Pownal, VT: Storey, 1990.
185 pp.
“Seeds for Life.” ILEIA Newsletter,
March 1994.
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Seeds—The Yearbook of
Agriculture, 1961. Washington,
DC: U.S. Government Printing
Office, 1961. 591 pp.
Seeds/Diversity
Benefits of Diversity—An Incentive
toward Sustainable Agriculture.
New York: United Nations Development Program, 1992. 209 pp.
Cromwell, Elizabeth, and Steve
Wiggins. Sowing beyond the
State: NGOs and Seed Supply in
Developing Countries. London:
Overseas Development Institute
(Regent’s College, Inner Circle,
Regent’s Park, London NWI 4NS,
England), 1993. 143 pp.
*“Crop Genetic Erosion in the
Field.” The Seed Map (RAFI, P.O.
Box 655, Pittsboro, NC 27312).
Large chart.
Fowler, Cary, and Pat Mooney. Shattering—Food, Politics, and the Loss
of Genetic Diversity. Tucson, AZ:
University of Arizona Press, 1990.
278 pp.
“Grain—Genetic Resources Action
International.” Grain Publications
List, Summer 1992.
“Plants and Seeds as Intellectual
Property.” The Seedhead News,
Winter 1994.
Seeds/GMOs
“A Storm Is Breaking Down on the
Farm,” Science and Technology,
December 14, 1992, 98–101.
“Are Gene-Altered Plants an Ecological Threat? Test Is Devised.”
New York Times–Science,
June 22, 1993.
Biotechnology—An Activists’ Handbook. Montpelier, VT: The Vermont Biotechnology Working
Group (Rural Vermont, 15 Barre
St., Montpelier, VT 05602), 1991.
47 pp.
“The Conflict Between Farmers’
Rights and Breeders’ Rights.”
RAFI Action, Spring 1993, 4–5.
“Flaws in the Tailoring.” Christian
Science Monitor, March 21, 1994.
Gendel, Steven M., et al. Agricultural
Bioethics—Implications of Agricultural Biotechnology. Ames, IA:
Iowa State University Press, 1990.
357 pp.
Goldberg, Rebecca, et al. Biotechnology’s Bitter Harvest. Biotechnology Working Group, 1990. 73 pp.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
205
SEEDS/GMOs • SEEDS/GREEN REVOLUTION • SEEDS/PLANT PROPAGATION • SOIL
“High-Tech Farming Sows Misery
in the Philippines.” Utne Reader,
October/November 1986,
104–105.
Kneen, Brewster. Farmageddon—
Food and the Culture of Biotechnology. Gabriola Island, Canada:
New Society Publishers, 1999.
231 pp.
Rissler, Jane, and Margaret Mellon.
The Ecological Risks of Engineered
Crops. Cambridge, MA: MIT
Press, 1996. 168 pp.
Seeds/Green Revolution
“Green Revolution.” The Elements
(1901 Q St. NW, Washington, DC
20009), June 1975, 1, 14–16.
“Green Revolution Hits Double
Trouble.” U.S. News & World
Report, July 28, 1980, 37, 40.
“Green Revolution Is Not Enough,
Study Finds.” New York Times–
Science, September 6, 1994.
“Green Revolution #2.” Dollars and
Sense Magazine, December 1985.
“How Green Is the Green
Revolution?” Enfo (Box 761,
Berkeley, CA 94701), September
1973, 1–2.
Lipton, Michael, and Richard
Longhurst. New Seeds and Poor
People. Baltimore, MD: Johns
Hopkins University Press, 1989.
464 pp.
Merrill, Richard. Ecology of the Green
Counter-Revolution. Santa Barbara,
CA: Community Environmental
Council, 1973.
Mullen, William. “The Green
Revolution: Can the World Salvage It?” San Francisco Examiner
and Chronicle, December 14,
1975, A-13.
Shiva, Vandana. The Violence of
the Green Revolution: Third
World Agriculture, Ecology and
Politics. London: Zed Books,
1991. 264 pp.
“Tanzania Corn Taller, Greener but
Costlier.” The Oregonian,
February 24, 1993.
“The U.S. Won’t Be Shielded in the
Event of a Bio-Crisis.” Christian
Science Monitor, November 23,
1994.
206
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Wallace, James N. “Is the Green
Revolution Over?” San Francisco
Examiner and Chronicle, August
17, 1980.
Wilkes, H. Garrison, and Susan
Wilkes. “The Green Revolution.”
Environment, October 1972,
32–39.
“The Withering Green Revolution.”
Natural History, March 1973,
20–21.
Seeds/Plant Propagation
Brickell, Christopher, ed. Plant
Propagation. New York: Simon &
Schuster, 1979. 96 pp.
Food and Agricultural Organization
of the United Nations. The
Plant—The Flower. Rome: FAO,
1976. 29 pp. In the United States:
UNIPUB, 1180 Ave. of the Americas, New York, NY 10036.
———. The Plant—The Living Plant
and the Root. 1976. 29 pp.
———. The Plant—The Stem, the
Buds, and the Leaves. 1976. 30 pp.
Fyfe, Agnes. Moon and Planet.
Arlesheim, Switzerland: Society
for Cancer Research, 1975. 94 pp.
Hartmann, Hudson T., et al. Plant
Propagation—Principles and Practices, 5th edition. Englewood
Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1990.
647 pp.
Hawthorn, Leslie, and Leonard H.
Pollard. Seed Production. New
York: Blakiston, 1954. 626 pp.
A classic.
Heiser, Charles B., Jr. Seed to Civilization. San Francisco: W. H.
Freeman, 1973. 243 pp.
Hofstetter, Robert. Overseeding
Research Results, 1982–1984.
Kutztown, PA: Agronomy Department, Rodale Institute Research
Center, 1984. 30 pp.
Lawrence, William J. C., and J.
Newell. Seed and Potting Composts. London: Allen & Unwin,
1941. 136 pp.
Lorenz, Oscar A., and Donald N.
Maynard. Knott’s Handbook for
Vegetable Growers, 3rd edition.
New York: John Wiley & Sons,
1988. Useful charts for small farmers. Strong chemical orientation.
Powell, Eileen. From Seed to Bloom.
Pownal, VT: Storey, 1995. 312 pp.
*Reilly, Ann. Park’s Success with
Seeds. Greenwood, SC: George W.
Park Seed Co. (Greenwood, SC
29647), 1978. 364 pp.
Robinson, Raoul A. Return to Resistance—Breeding Crops to Reduce
Pesticide Dependence. Davis, CA:
agAccess, 1996. 480 pp.
*Sutton and Sons. The Culture of
Vegetables and Flowers from Seeds
and Roots. London: Simpkin, Marshall. Hamilton, Kent, 1898. 427
pp. Excellent. Out of print.
Soil
Albrecht, William A. The Albrecht
Papers—Vol. III. Austin TX: Acres
U.S.A., 1989. 401 pp.
———. The Albrecht Papers—Enter
Without Knocking. Austin, TX:
Acres U.S.A., 1992. 315 pp.
———. The Other Side of the Fence.
Austin, TX: Acres U.S.A., 1996.
25-minute video.
American Society of Agronomy, Crop
Science Society of America, Soil
Science Society of America. “The
Role of Phosphorus in
Agriculture.” Proceedings of a
symposium held June 1976. Madison, WI: American Society of
Agronomy, Crop Science Society
of America, Soil Science Society
of America, 1980. 910 pp.
———. “Crop Tolerance to Suboptimal Land Conditions.” Proceedings of a symposium, November–
December 1976. Madison, WI:
American Society of Agronomy,
Crop Science Society of America,
Soil Science Society of America,
1978. 343 pp.
Balfour, Lady E. B. The Living Soil
and The Haughley Experiment.
London: Faber and Faber, 1975.
383 pp.
Bear, Firman E. Soils and Fertilizers,
4th edition. New York: John Wiley
& Sons, 1959. 420 pp.
Beatty, Marvin T. Soil Science at the
University of Wisconsin Madison—
A History of the Department,
1889–1989. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin, 1991. 141 pp.
SOIL
Berkelaar, Edward, Ph.D. “The
Effect of Aluminum in Acidic Soils
on Plant Growth.” ECHO Development Notes (17391 Durrance Rd.,
North Myers, FL 33917), April
2001, 1–3.
Biofuels, Development and Soil Productivity. Sacramento, CA: Office
of Appropriate Technology (1600
9th St., Sacramento, CA 95814),
1982. 109 pp.
*Brady, Nyle. The Nature and Properties of Soils, 10th edition. New
York: Macmillan, 1990. 621 pp.
Brown, Kirk W., et al. Sustaining
Our Soils and Society. Alexandria,
VA: American Geological Institute,
1999. 64 pp.
Buol, S. W., et al. Soil Genesis and
Classification. Ames, IA: Iowa
State University Press, 1997.
527 pp.
Carter, Martin R., ed. Soil Sampling
and Methods of Analysis. Boca
Raton, FL: Lewis, 1993. 823 pp.
*Carter, Vernon G., and Tom Dale.
Topsoil and Civilization. Norman,
OK: University of Oklahoma
Press, 1955. 292 pp. Describes
how flourishing civilizations have
fallen into decay by not maintaining their agricultural health
and soil.
Coleman, David C., and D. A. Crossley, Jr. Fundamentals of Soil Ecology. San Diego, CA: Academic
Press, 1996. 205 pp.
Crozier, Carl. Soil Conservation
Techniques for Hillside Farms: A
Guide for Peace Corps Volunteers.
Springfield, VA: National Technical Information Service (Peace
Corps Information Collection &
Exchange, Office of Training and
Program Support, 806 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC
20526), 1986. 97 pp.
Dalla Rosa, Karl R. “Building Soils
on Pacific Atolls.” Nitrogen Fixing
Tree News (Nitrogen Fixing Tree
Assoc., Morrilton, AR), January–
March 1993. 2 pp.
Doran, John W., and Alice J. Jones.
Methods for Assessing Soil Quality.
Madison, WI: Soil Science Society
of America, 1996. 410 pp.
Farb, Peter. Living Earth. New York:
Harper Colophon, 1959. 175 pp.
Easy-to-read peek at the life under
the soil.
Faulkner, Edward H. Plowman’s
Folly. Norman, OK: University of
Oklahoma Press, 1943. 155 pp.
Classic.
———. Soil Development. Norman,
OK: University of Oklahoma
Press, 1952. 232 pp.
Fenzau, C. J. An Acres U.S.A.
Primer. Austin, TX: Acres U.S.A.,
1979. 435 pp.
Ford, Brian J. Microbe Power. New
York: Stein and Day, 1976. 181 pp.
Gardner, Gary. Shrinking Fields:
Cropland Loss in a World of Eight
Billion. Worldwatch Paper 131.
Washington DC: Worldwatch
Institute, 1996. 56 pp.
Glanz, James. Saving Our Soil: Solutions for Sustaining Earth’s Vital
Resource. Boulder, CO: Johnson
Books, 1995. 182 pp.
Godderham, P. T. “The Effect on Soil
Conditions of Mechanized Cultivation at High Moisture Content
and of Loosening by Hand Digging.” Journal of Agricultural Science, No. 976, 567–571.
Grimshaw, Richard G., and Larisa
Helfer, eds. Vetiver Grass for Soil
and Water Conservation, Land
Rehabilitation and Embankment
Stabilization (World Bank Technical Paper No. 273). Washington
DC: World Bank, 1995. 281 pp.
Hall, Sir A. D. The Soil—An Introduction to the Scientific Study of
the Growth of Crops. New York:
E. P. Dutton, 1920. 252 pp.
*Handbook on Soils. Brooklyn, NY:
Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1956.
81 pp. Some photos of root systems in the soil.
Hans Jenny: Soil Scientist, Teacher,
and Scholar. Berkeley, CA:
Regional Oral History Office (386
Library, University of California,
Berkeley, CA 94720), 1989. 372 pp.
Harpstead, Milo I., Thomas J. Sauer,
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State University Press, 1997.
210 pp.
Havlin, John L., et al. Soil Fertility
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Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall,
1999. 499 pp.
*Hensel, Julius. Bread from Stones.
Austin, TX: Acres U.S.A., 1991.
102 pp.
Hillel, Daniel. Out of the Earth: Civilization and the Life of the Soil.
Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1992.
321 pp.
Hopkins, Cyril. Agricultural Experiment Station, How Not to Treat
Illinois Soils. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois, 1915. 31 pp.
Hopkins, Donald P. Chemicals,
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Faber and Faber Limited, 1945.
278 pp.
*Howard, Sir Albert. The Soil and
Health. New York: Devin-Adair,
1956. 307 pp. A cornerstone of the
organic movement.
*Hyams, Edward. Soil and Civilization. New York: Harper & Row,
1976. 312 pp. Reprint from 1952.
Ingham, Elaine. “Life in the Soil—
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Acres, U.S.A., January 1997,
18–23.
Ingham, Elaine R., Andrew R. Moldenke, and Clive A. Edwards. Soil
Biology Primer. Ankeny, IA: Soil
and Water Conservation Society
(7515 NE Ankeny Rd., Ankeny, IA
50021), 2000. 48 pp.
Introduction to Soil and Water Conservation Practices. Oklahoma
City, OK: World Neighbors (International Headquarters, 5116 N.
Portland, Oklahoma City, OK
73112), 1985. 33 pp.
Jenny, Hans. The Soil Resource:
Origin and Behavior. New York:
Springer-Verlag, 1980. 377 pp.
———. Factors of Soil Formation:
A System of Quantitative Pedology.
New York: Dover, 1994. 281 pp.
King, F. H. The Soil. New York:
Macmillan, 1895. 303 pp.
Kohnke, Helmut. Soil Science Simplified, 3rd edition. Prospect Heights,
IL: Waveland Press, 1966. 78 pp.
Kruckeberg, Arthur R. California
Serpentines: Flora, Vegetation,
BIBLIOGRAPHY
207
SOIL
Geology, Soils, and Management
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180 pp.
Krupenikov, I. A. History of Soil Science: From Its Inception to the
Present. New Delhi, India: Oxonian Press Pvt., 1992. 352 pp.
Translated from Russian.
Larkcom, Joy. “Deep Cultivation.”
Subsection of “Soil and Soil
Pests.” Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society 104, Part 6, June
1979, 252–256.
Lewandowski, Ann. Minnesota Soil
Management Series: Soil Management (21 pp.), Compaction (17
pp.), Manure Management (17
pp.), Organic Matter Management
(17 pp.), and Soil Biology and Soil
Management (17 pp.). St. Paul,
MN: Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, University of
Minnesota Extension Service (405
Coffey Hall, 1420 Eckles Ave., St.
Paul, MN 55108-6068), 2000. For
large-scale agriculture; very good
information also applicable on
smaller scales.
Lindert, Peter H. Shifting Ground—
The Changing Agricultural Soils of
China and Indonesia. Cambridge,
MA: MIT Press, 2000. 351 pp.
Logsdon, Gene. The Gardener’s
Guide to Better Soil. Emmaus, PA:
Rodale Press, 1975. 246 pp.
Lord, Russell. The Care of the Earth:
A History of Husbandry. New
York: The New American Library,
1962. 384 pp.
Lowdermilk, W. C. “Conquest of the
Land through Seven Thousand
Years.” Agricultural Information
Bulletin, No. 99. (Washington,
DC: U.S. Government Printing
Office), 1975. 30 pp.
Lyon, T. Lyttleton, et al. The Nature
and Properties of Soils, 5th edition.
New York: Macmillan, 1952.
591 pp.
———. The Nature and Properties
of Soils, 4th edition. New York:
Macmillan, 1943. 499 pp.
———. Soils: Their Properties and
Management. New York: Macmillan, 1915. 764 pp.
208
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Lyon, T. Lyttleton, et al., and Harry
O. Buckman. The Nature and
Properties of Soils. New York:
Macmillan, 1929. 428 pp.
1st edition only for more organic
treatment.
Magdoff, Fred, and Harold van Es.
Building Soils for Better Crops.
Burlington, VT: Sustainable Agriculture Network, Sustainable
Agriculture Publications (Hills
Bldg., Rm. 10), University of
Vermont, 2000. 230 pp.
Morgan, Sampson. Clean Culture—
The New Soil Science: An Original
and Scientific Treatise on Clean
Culture, the Mineralized-Humus
Method of Soil Fertilization
Without the Use of Animal
Manure. 1908.
Nierenberg, Danielle. “Toxic Fertility.” World Watch, March/April
2001, 30–38.
No-Digging Report No. 1. Essex,
England: Henry Doubleday
Research Association, reprint
1972. 40 pp.
Ortloff, Stuart H., and Henry B.
Raymore. A Book about Soils for
the Home Gardener. New York:
M. Barrows, 1962. 189 pp.
*Parnes, Robert. Fertile Soil—
A Grower’s Guide to Organic and
Inorganic Fertilizers. Davis, CA:
agAccess, 1990. 194 pp.
Paul, E. A., et al., eds. Soil Organic
Matter in Temperate Agroecosystems. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press,
1997. 414 pp.
Pellant, Chris. Rocks and Minerals—
The Most Accessible Recognition
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Kindersley Handbooks, 1992.
256 pp.
Pfeiffer, Ehrenfried. “Organic Matter Rebuilt in Pure Sand.” Biodynamics, Spring 1951, 2–8. AL
———. Soil Fertility: Renewal and
Preservation. East Grinstead, Sussex, England: Lanthorn Press,
1983. 199 pp.
Pimental, David, ed. World Soil
Erosion and Conservation.
Cambridge, Great Britain:
Cambridge University Press,
1993. 349 pp.
Ridzon, Leonard, and Charles Walters. The Carbon Cycle. Kansas
City, MO: Acres U.S.A., 1994.
150 pp.
*Robert Parnes Speaks on the Science
and Necessity of Organic Residues
in the Soil. Gates Mills, OH:
Griesinger Films, 1991. 60 mins.
Video. IL
Russell, E. J. The Fertility of the Soil.
London: Cambridge University
Press, 1913. 128 pp.
Russell, E. John, rewritten by E.
Walter Russell. Soil Conditions
and Plant Growth. New York:
Longmans, Green, 1950. 635 pp.
*Sachs, Paul D. Edaphos: Dynamics
of a Natural Soil System, 2nd edition. Newbury, VT: Edaphic
Press, 1999. 201 pp. Excellent for
understanding the soil ecosystem.
Shaxson, T. F. Land Husbandry:
A Framework for Soil and Water
Conservation. Ankeny, IA: Soil and
Water Conservation Society (7515
NE Ankeny Rd., Ankeny, IA
50021), 1989. 64 pp.
Singer, Michael J., and Donald N.
Munns. Soils, An Introduction.
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice
Hall, 1996. 480 pp.
Smith, William C. How to Grow 100
Bushels of Corn per Acre on Worn
Soil. Delphi, IN: Smith, 1910.
111 pp.
*Soil Quality Test Kit Guide. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of
Agriculture, Agriculture Research
Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Soil Quality
Institute, 1999. 82 pp. IL /AL
Soil Science Society of America,
American Society of Agronomy.
“Field Soil Water Regime.” Proceedings of a symposium held on
August 16, 1971. Madison, WI:
Soil Science Society of America,
American Society of Agronomy,
1973. 212 pp.
———. “Soils for Management of
Organic Wastes and Waste
Waters.” Proceedings of a symposium held March 1975. Madison,
WI: Soil Science Society of America, 1977. 650 pp.
———. “Soil Fertility and Organic
SOIL • SOLAR COOKING • SUPPLY CATALOGS
Matter as Critical Components of
Production Systems.” Proceedings
of a symposium sponsored by
Division S-4, S-2, S-3, and S-8 of
the Soil Science Society of America in Chicago, December 3, 1985.
Madison, WI: Soil Science Society
of America, American Society of
Agronomy, 1987. 166 pp.
Soils and the Greenhouse Effect.
Sussex, England: John Wiley
& Sons, 1990. 575 pp.
Sylvia, David M., et al., eds. Principles and Applications of Soil
Microbiology. Upper Saddle River,
NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999. 550 pp.
*U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Soils and Men—The Yearbook of
Agriculture, 1938. Washington,
DC: U.S. Government Printing
Office, 1938. 1,232 pp.
*The Vanishing Soil. Kimberton, PA:
Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association (P.O. Box 550,
Kimberton, PA 19442). Video.
Veldkamp, Tom. AGRODOK 2, Soil
Fertility. Wagenigen, The Netherlands: Agromisa (P.O. Box 41,
6700 AA Wagenigen, The Netherlands), 1992. 25 pp. Chemical
orientation; can be modified
for GROW BIOINTENSIVE and
organic use.
“The Vetiver System: A Proven Solution.” Arlington, VA: The Vetiver
Network(3601 N. 14th St.,
Arlington, VA 22201). Pamphlet.
Waksman, Selam A. Humus. Baltimore, MD: Williams and Wilkins,
1938. 526 pp.
———. Soil Microbiology. New York:
John Wiley & Sons, 1952. 356 pp.
Westerman, R. L., ed. Soil Testing
and Plant Analysis. Madison, WI:
Soil Science Society of America,
1990. 784 pp.
Wildman, William E., et al. Soil:
Physical Environment and How It
Affects Plant Growth. Leaflet No.
2280. Davis, CA: University of
California, Division of Agricultural
Sciences, June 1975. 10 pp.
Solar Cooking
Como Hacer y Usar Una Caja Solar
para Cocinar. Sacramento, CA:
Solar Cookers International (1919
21st St., #101, Sacramento, CA
95814), n.d. 27 pp.
Kerr, Barbara Prosser. The Expanding World of Solar Box Cookers.
Taylor, AZ: Kerr-Cole Solar Box
Cookers (P.O. Box 576, Taylor, AZ
85939), 1991. 79 pp.
Kerr Enterprises. (P.O. Box 27417,
Tempe, AZ 85281.) A very good
solar box cooker. Send $4 for
plans and other material.
The Solar Box Cooker Manual: How
to Make, Use and Teach Others
about Them. Sacramento, CA:
Solar Cookers International (1919
21st St., #101, Sacramento, CA
95814), May 1990. 66 pp. $10.
*Solar Cookers International. (1919
21st St., #101, Sacramento, CA
95814.) A nonprofit organization
with excellent solar oven plans,
recipes, and cooking information.
Write for publications list.
Still, Dean, and Jim Kness. Capturing Heat—Five Earth-Friendly
Cooking Technologies and How to
Build Them. Cottage Grove, OR:
Aprovecho Research Center
(80574 Hazelton Rd., Cottage
Grove, OR 97424), 1996. 35 pp.
Still, Dean, Mike Hatfield, and Peter
Scott. Capturing Heat Two—
Fuel-Efficient Cooking Stoves with
Chimneys, A Pizza Oven, and Simple Water Heaters: How to Design
and Build Them. Cottage Grove,
OR: Aprovecho Research Center
(80574 Hazelton Rd., Cottage
Grove, OR 97424), 2000. 48 pp.
Supply Catalogs
Bozeman Bio-Tech. P.O. Box 3146,
1612 Gold Ave., Bozeman, MT
59772. Long-term insect pest
control.
Catalog for Cooks, Williams-Sonoma.
P.O. Box 7456, San Francisco, CA
94120. Cooking utensils.
Coast Dry Flowers and Baskets. Box
10, San Francisco, CA 94101. Dry
flowers, bouquets, baskets, and
floral supplies.
Cotton Clouds. Rte. 2, Desert Hills
#16, Safford, AZ 85546. Cotton
yarn.
Countryside General Store. 103 N.
Monroe St., Waterloo, WI 53595.
Cumberland General Store. Rte. 3,
P.O. Box 81, Crossville, TN 38555.
Old time general merchandise.
De Van Koek Dutch Trader. 3100
Industrial Terr., Austin, TX 78759.
Garden tools.
Down to Earth Dist. Garden Products
Catalog, P.O. Box 1419, Eugene,
OR 97440. Wholesale fertilizers,
tools, etc. Minimum order $100.
Dramm. P.O. Box 528, Manitowoc, WI
54220. Professional watering tools.
Duluth Trading Company. 8300 Highland Dr., Wausau, WI 54401, (877)
DTC-2345. Sells gel knee pads.
The Earth Store. P.O. Box 2286,
Bellaire, TX 77402. Organic
products.
Environmental Concerns. 9051-E Mill
Station Rd., Sebastopol, CA 95472.
Products for a safer, cleaner
world, including biodegradable
soaps and recycled paper.
*Fertile Ground Books. P.O. Box
2008, Davis, CA 95617-2008,
[email protected]
Excellent books.
Florist Products Horticultural
Supplies. 2242 N. Palmer Dr.,
Schaumburg, IL 60195. Supplies
and tools.
*Gardener’s Supply, 128 Intervale
Rd., Burlington, VT 05401.
Garden tools, greenhouses,
and supplies.
*Gardens for Growing People. P.O.
Box 630, Pt. Reyes Sta., CA 94956.
Children’s gardening supplies.
Good Books Catalog. P.O. Box 419,
Intercourse, PA 17534.
Great Lakes IPM Catalog of Insect
Monitoring Systems for the Professional Grower. 10220 Church Rd.
NE, Vestaburg, MI 48891.
Jacobs Brothers Co. 8928 Sepulveda
Blvd., Sepulveda, CA 91343.
Fifteen-year shade and pest
netting in various percentages
of shading capacity.
Magic Garden Supply. P.O. Box 68,
Redway, CA 95560. Supplies.
Mountain Rose Herbs—A Catalogue
of Herbal Delights. P.O. Box 2000,
Redway, CA 95560.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
209
SUPPLY CATALOGS • SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
Nasco Farm and Ranch. P.O. Box
901, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538.
Farm and ranch supplies.
New England Cheesemaking Supply
Company. P.O. Box 85, Ashfield,
MA 01330. Supplies and books.
Nitragen, Inc. 3101 W. Custer Ave.,
Milwaukee, WI 53209. Source of
many kinds of inocula for seeds,
so you can maximize the fixing of
nitrogen in the soil by legumes
and obtain higher yields and
higher protein contents.
Northeast Carry Trading Company.
110 Water St., Hallowell, ME
04347.
Ohio Earth Food. 13737 Duquette
Ave. NE, Hartville, OH 44632.
Mail-order organic fertilizers.
*Peaceful Valley Farm Supply. P.O.
Box 2209, Grass Valley, CA 95945.
Fertilizers, supplies, seeds, and
books. Excellent source.
Pratt, Doug, ed. Real Goods Solar
Living Source Book: The Complete
Guide to Renewable Energy
Technologies and Sustainable
Living, 10th edition. White River
Junction, VT: Chelsea Green,
1999. 561 pp. A directory of
equipment.
Real Goods. 13771 S. Hwy. 101,
Hopland, CA 95449. Renewable
energy.
Real Goods Renewables: Utility Intertie Systems: How to sell power to
your electric utility company (and
get yours for free!). 1031 N. State
St., Ukiah, CA 95482-3413.
Rocket Chef. P.O. Box 4525, Pacoima,
CA 91331, (800) 544-4099. Nonelectric food processor.
SelfCare Catalog. 349 Healdsburg
Ave., Healdsburg, CA 95448.
Products for self-help health care,
including key books.
Seventh Generation. Colchester, VT
54460.
Smith and Hawken. Box 6900,
Florence, KY 41022-6900. Tools,
clothes, bulbs, and books.
Snow Pond Farm Supply. P.O. Box
70, Salem, MA 01970. Soilbuilding seed, soil amendments,
and fertilizers; natural pest controls; and tools.
210
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Timber Press. 9999 SW Wilshire,
Portland, OR 97225. Books.
VJ Growers Supply. 500 W. Orange
Blossom Trail, Apopka, FL 32703.
Six-year clear vinyl 6-ml plastic
film for constructing mini-greenhouses. Available in 54-inch-wide,
100-foot-long rolls only.
*Walt Nicke’s Garden Talk. P.O. Box
433, Topsfield, MA 01983. Supplies and tools. Good catalog.
Wild Weeds. P.O. Box 88, Redway, CA
95560. Herbal solutions for all
purposes, seeds, and books.
Sustainable Agriculture
Appropriate Technology Transfer for
Rural Areas (ATTRA). Sustainable
Agriculture Directory of Expertise.
Burlington, VT: Sustainable Agriculture Network, Sustainable
Agriculture Publications, University of Vermont, 1996.
Clark, Robert, ed. Our Sustainable
Table. San Francisco: North Point
Press, 1990. 176 pp.
Enriquez, Laura J. Cuba’s New Agricultural Revolution: The Transformation of Food Crop Production in
Contemporary Cuba. Oakland, CA:
Food First—Institute for Food and
Development Policy (398 60th St.,
Oakland, CA 94618), 2000. 29 pp.
Gates, Jane Potter. Tracing the Evolution of Organic/Sustainable
Agriculture. Beltsville, MD:
National Agricultural Library,
1988. 20 pp.
Gliessman, Stephen R. Agroecology:
Ecological Processes in Sustainable
Agriculture. Boca Raton, FL:
Lewis, 2000. 357 pp.
Jackson, Wes. New Roots for Agriculture. San Francisco: Friends
of the Earth, 1980. 155 pp.
Addresses the importance of
developing sustainable agricultural systems including perennial
seed-producing plants.
Jason, Dan. Greening the Garden:
A Guide to Sustainable Growing.
Philadelphia, PA: New Society
Publishers, 1991. 196 pp.
Kirschenmann, Frederick. Switching
to a Sustainable System. Windsor,
ND: Northern Plants Sustainable
Agriculture Society (R.R. 1, Box
73, Windsor, ND 58424), 1988.
18 pp.
Kolisko, E., and L. Kolisko. Agriculture of Tomorrow. Bournemouth, England: Kolisko Archive
Publications, 1975. 322 pp.
Looking after Our Land. Oxford, UK:
Oxfam Publications (274 Banbury
Rd., Oxford 0X2 7DZ, U.K.).
20-minute video.
Lowrance, Richard, Benjamin R.
Stinner, and Garfield J. House,
eds. Agricultural Ecosystems—
Unifying Concepts. New York:
John Wiley & Sons, 1984. 233 pp.
National Research Council. Alternative Agriculture. Washington, DC:
National Academy Press, 1989.
448 pp.
———. Sustainable Agriculture and
the Environment in the Humid
Tropics. Washington, DC: National
Academy Press, 1993. 702 pp.
Peet, Mary. Sustainable Practices for
Vegetable Production in the South.
Newburyport, MA: Focus Publishing (P.O. Box 369, Newburyport,
MA 01950), 1996. 174 pp.
Pereira, Winin. Tending the Earth:
Traditional, Sustainable
Agriculture in India. Bombay,
India: Earthcare Books (2 Anand,
17 Carmichael Rd., Bombay 400
026 India), 1993. 315 pp.
Petersen, Cass, Laurie E. Drinkwater, and Peggy Wagoner. The
Rodale Institute Farming Systems
Trial—The First 15 Years. Kutztown, PA: The Rodale Institute,
1999. 40 pp.
Pretty, Jules. The Living Land.
London: Earthscan Publications,
1998. 324 pp.
Sustainable Agriculture for California. Pub. 3349. Oakland, CA: Division of Agriculture and Natural
Resources, University of California (6701 San Pablo Ave., Oakland, CA 94608-1239), 1991.
197 pp.
Sustainable Farming. Quebec,
Canada: REAP (Box 125, Glenaladale House, Ste.-Anne-deBellevue, Quebec H9X 1C0,
Canada). Quarterly magazine.
SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE • TERRACING • TESTING • TOOLS
Sustainability of California Agriculture
—A Symposium. Davis, CA: U.C.
Cooperative Extension, U.C. Davis
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, U.C. Santa
Cruz Agroecology Program, U.C.
Agricultural Experiment Station,
American Society of Agronomy
California Chapter, n.d. 317 pp.
Towards Sustainable Agriculture.
Langenbruck, Switzerland:
Agroecol Development (c/o
Oekozentrum Langenbruck, CH4438 Langenbruck, Switzerland).
Information of Low-External Input
Agriculture (P.O. Box 64, 3830 AB
Leusden, The Netherlands), 1988.
Two-part series.
The Transition Document—Toward
an Environmentally Sound Agriculture. Portland, OR: Oregon
Tilth Research and Education
Committee, 1989. 77 pp.
What Is Sustainable Agriculture?
Davis, CA: University of California, Sustainable Agriculture
Research and Education Program,
1991. 5 pp.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Urban Agriculture—Food, Jobs and
Sustainable Cities. New York:
UNDP, 1996. 302 pp.
Terracing
Copijn, A. N. A-Frames and Other
Levelling Instruments. Leusden,
The Netherlands: ETC Foundation, AME Programme (P.O.
Box 64, 3830 AB Leusden,
The Netherlands), 1986. 13 pp.
———. Soil Protection. Leusden, The
Netherlands: ETC Foundation,
AME Programme, 1987. 16 pp.
How to Farm Hilly Lands. Forestry
for People Series. The Philippines:
Bureau of Forest Development.
15 pp.
“Kenyans Shore Up Hopes and Topsoil with Terraces.” Christian
Science Monitor, May 9, 1988.
Vetiver Grass—A Thin Green Line
Against Erosion. Washington, DC:
National Research Council,
National Academy Press, 1993.
171 pp. “Living terracing” crop.
Wenner, Carl G. Trees in Erosion and
Soil Conservation. Nairobi, Kenya:
Nairobi Ministry of Agriculture,
Farm Management Branch Project and Evaluation Division, 1980.
26 pp.
———. An Outline of Soil Conservation in Kenya. Nairobi, Kenya:
Kenya Ministry of Agriculture,
Soil Conservation Extension Unit.
57 pp.
World Bank. Vetiver Grass—The
Hedge Against Erosion. Washington, DC: World Bank, 1990. 78 pp.
Testing
National Testing Laboratory. 6555
Wilson Mills Rd., Ste. 102, Cleveland, OH 44143. Water testing.
*Timberleaf Soil Testing Service.
39648 Old Spring Rd., Murrieta,
CA 92563-5566, (909) 677-7510.
Excellent. Send for information on
services and prices. The basic
and trace mineral tests are highly
recommended.
Wallace, T. M. C. The Diagnosis of
Mineral Deficiencies in Plants.
Long Ashton, Bristol: University
of Bristol Agricultural and Horticultural Research Station, 1944.
164 pp.
*Watercheck. 6555 Wilson Mills Rd.,
Cleveland, OH 44123, (800) 4583330. Excellent water testing laboratory. Write for information.
Tools
Arts Machine Shop. Harrison at
Oregon Trail, American Falls, ID
83211. Good-quality soil corers.
Blackburn, Graham. Woodworking
Handtools. New York: Simon &
Schuster, 1974. 238 pp.
Branch, Diana S. Tools for Homesteaders, Gardeners, and SmallScale Farmers. Emmaus, PA:
Rodale Press, 1978. 512 pp.
Carruthers, Ian, and Marc
Rodriquez. Tools for Agriculture: A
guide to appropriate equipment for
smallholder farmers. Nottingham,
U.K.: Russell Press, 1992. 238 pp.
The C. S. Bell Co. 170 W. Davis St.,
Tiffin, OH 44883. Grain mills and
shellers.
J. A. Cissell Co. Aqunkum-Yellowbrook Rd., Farmingdale, NJ 07727.
Five- to ten-year bird netting.
Happy Valley Ranch. P.O. Box 9153,
Yakima, WA 98909. Cider, fruit,
and wine presses.
Jackson, Albert, and David Day.
Tools and How to Use Them.
New York: Knopf, 1979. 252 pp.
Jones, Bernard E., ed. The Complete
Woodworker. Berkeley, CA: Ten
Speed Press, 1980. 408 pp.
Logan, William Bryant. The Tool
Book: A compendium of over 500
tools for the well-tended garden.
New York: Workman, 1997.
302 pp.
*McCullagh, James C. Pedal
Power—In Work, Leisure and
Transportation. Emmaus, PA:
Rodale Press, 1977. 133 pp.
McRobie, George, ed. Tools for
Organic Farming. London: Intermediate Technology Publications,
1990. 77 pp.
R. Hunt & Co. Ltd. Atlas Works.
Earles Colne Colchester, Essex,
England CO6 2EP. Manufacturers
of mechanical power transmission
equipment agricultural machinery, e.g., chaff cutters, winnowers,
groundnut decorticators, and
grinding mills.
Seymour Hardware Catalog. Seymour Manufacturing Co., 500 N.
Broadway, Seymour, IN 47274.
Stratoflex, Inc. 220 Roberts Cut-Off,
P.O. Box 10398, Fort Worth, TX
76114. Excellent heavy-duty water
hoses. We like the #230-12.
*Tresemer, David. The Scythe Book—
Mowing Hay, Cutting Weeds, and
Harvesting Small Grains with
Hand Tools. Brattleboro, VT:
Hand and Foot, 1981. 120 pp.
Volunteers in Technical Assistance.
Appropriate Technology Materials
Information Sheets. Volunteers in
Technical Assistance (3206 Rhode
Island Ave., Mt. Rainier, MD
20822).
Wells, Malcolm. Recovering America
—A More Gentle Way to Build.
Brewster, MA: Malcolm Wells
(673 Satucket Rd., Brewster, Cape
Cod, MA), 1999. 143 pp.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
211
TRADITIONAL AGRICULTURE • TREES
Traditional Agriculture
Gliessman, Stephen R., et al. Un
Enfoque Agro-ecologico en el
Estudio de la Agricultura
Tradicional. Santa Cruz, CA:
Agroecology Program,
University of California at Santa
Cruz, 1984. 10 pp.
———. “The Ecology and Management of Traditional Farming
Systems,” from Altieri, M., and
S. Hecht, eds., Agroecology and
Small Farm Development, 1990,
13–17.
*Information for Low External Input
Agriculture. Understanding Traditional Agriculture. Bibliography.
The Netherlands: ILEIA (P.O. Box
64, 3840 AB Leusen, The Netherlands), 1987. 144 pp.
Mountjoy, Daniel C., and Stephen R.
Gliessman. “Traditional Management of a Hillside Agroecosystem
in Tlaxcala, Mexico: An Ecologically Based Maintenance System.”
American Journal of Alternative
Agriculture, Winter 1988, 3–10.
Sattaur, Omar. “The Lost Art of
the Waru Waru.” New Scientist,
May 12, 1988, 50–51.
Stevens, William K. “An Eden in
Ancient America? Not Really.”
New York Times, March 30, 1993.
Trees
Agroforestry in the United States—
Research and Technology Transfer
Needs for the Next Millennium.
Columbia, MO: Association for
Temperate Agroforestry (203
ABNR Bldg., University of
Missouri, Columbia, MO), 2000.
23 pp.
Ayensu, Edward S., et al. Firewood
Crops. Washington, DC: National
Academy of Sciences, 1980.
237 pp.
Bailey, L. H. The Cultivated Conifers
in North America. New York:
Macmillan, 1933. 404 pp.
Baker, Richard St. Barbe. Among the
Trees. London: Man of the Trees,
1935. 96 pp.
———. The Brotherhood of the Trees.
London: Adelphi, n.d. 64 pp.
———. Caravan Story and Country
212
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Notebook. Wolverton, Bucks, England: McCorquodale, 1979. 71 pp.
———. Dance of the Trees. London:
Oldbourne Press (121/128 Fleet
St., London EC4, England), 1956.
192 pp.
———. Famous Trees of New
Zealand. Wellington, New Zealand:
A. H. and A. W. Reed, 1965. 150 pp.
———. Green Glory. New York: A.
A. Wyn, 1949. 253 pp.
———. I Planted Trees. London:
Lutterworth Press, 1952. 262 pp.
———. Kabongo—The Story of a
Kikuyu Chief. New York: A. S.
Barnes, 1955. 127 pp.
———. Kamiti. New York: Duell,
Sloan and Pearce, 1958. 117 pp.
———. Men of the Trees. New York:
Dial Press, 1931. 283 pp.
———. My Life, My Trees. Forres,
Scotland: Findhorn Publications,
1970. 167 pp.
———. The Redwoods. London:
Lindsay Drummond (2 Guilford
Place, London WC1, England),
1945. 95 pp.
———. Sahara Challenge. London:
Lutterworth Press, 1954. 152 pp.
Important book.
———. Trees—A Book of the
Seasons. London: Lindsay
Drummond, 1940. 113 pp.
———. Trees in the Environment—
Selected Writings of Richard St.
Barbe Baker. Saskatchewan, Canada: University of Saskatchewan
Archives. 153 pp. Unpublished
manuscript.
Balancing Ecology and Economics:
A Start-Up Guide for Forest Owner
Cooperation. Madison, WI:
Cooperative Development
Services (30 W. Mifflin St., Ste.
401, Madison, WI), University of
Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives (230 Taylor Hall, 427 Lorch
St., Madison, WI), Community
Forestry Resource Center, Institute for Agriculture & Trade
Policy (2105 First Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN), 2000. 107 pp. plus
appendices.
Board on Science and Technology
for International Development.
Firewood Crops: Shrubs and Tree
Species for Energy Production,
Vol. 2. Washington DC: National
Research Council, 1984. 92 pp.
Brinkman, Willemine, ed. Why
Natural Forests Are Linked with
Nutrition: Health and Self
Reliance of Villagers in Northeast
Thailand—A Collection of Papers.
Phu Wiang, Khon Kaen Province:
Royal Forest Department,
Ministry of Agriculture and
Cooperatives (United National
Development Programme, Food
and Agriculture Organization
of the United Nations. Phu
Wiang, Khon Kaen Province),
1989. 86 pp.
Broad, Ken. Caring for Small Woods.
London: Earthscan, 1999. 233 pp.
Brooks, Alan. Woodlands: A Practical
Handbook, revised edition.
Wallingford, U.K.: British Trust
for Conservation Volunteers,
1988. 173 pp.
Burkhardt, Hans J. Maximizing
Forest Productivity. Willits, CA:
Burkhardt Books (P.O. Box 117,
Willits, CA 95490), 1994. 140 pp.
Camp, Orville. The Forest Farmer’s
Handbook: A Guide to Natural
Selection Forest Management.
Ashland, OR: Sky River Press,
1990. 72 pp.
Carter, Jane. “Alley Farming: Have
Resource-Poor Farmers Benefited?” Agroforestry Today,
April–June 1996, 5–7.
Cheyney, E. G. Farm Forestry.
New York: Macmillan.
Cheyney, E. G., and J. P. Wentling.
The Farm Woodlot. New York:
Macmillan, 1919. 343 pp.
Clark, F. B. Planting Black Walnut
for Timber. Washington, DC: U.S.
Department of Agriculture Forest
Service, 1976. 10 pp.
Coe, Richard. “Through the Looking
Glass: 10 Common Problems in
Alley-Cropping Research.” Agroforestry Today, January–March
1994, 9–11.
Collingwood, G. H., and Warren D.
Brush. Knowing Your Trees.
Washington, DC: American
Forestry Association, 1978.
389 pp.
TREES
Crawford, Martin. Chestnuts. Dartington, Totnes, Devon, U.K.:
Agroforestry Research Trust,
1995. 52 pp.
———. Hazelnuts. Dartington,
Totnes, Devon, U.K.: Agroforestry
Research Trust, 1995. 28 pp.
———. Walnuts. Dartington, Totnes,
Devon, U.K.: Agroforestry
Research Trust, 1995. 28 pp.
Evans, D. O., and L. T. Szott.
Nitrogen-Fixing Trees for Acid
Soils. Morrilton, AR: Winrock
International Nitrogen Fixing
Tree Association, 1995. 328 pp.
Farris, Cecil W. The Hazel Tree. East
Lansing, MI: Northern Nut
Growers Association, Department
of Botany and Plant Pathology,
Michigan State University, 2000.
74 pp.
Food and Agriculture Organization
of the United Nations. “Proceedings of the International Workshop on Community Forestry in
Africa.” Rome, Italy: FAO (Viale
Delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100
Rome, Italy), 2000. 423 pp.
———. Forest Tree Seed Directory.
New York: United Nations, 1975.
283 pp.
Forest, Farm, and Community Tree
Network (FACT Net). NitrogenFixing Trees for Fodder
Production. Morrilton, AR: Winrock International, 1996. 125 pp.
Forestry and Nutrition—A Reference
Manual. Bangkok, Thailand:
Regional Forestry Officer (FAO
Regional Office for Asia and the
Pacific, Maliwan Mansion, Phra
Atit Rd., Bangkok, Thailand),
1989. 114 pp.
Forests, Trees and Food. Rome, Italy:
Community Forestry Unit
(Forestry Department, Forestry
Policy and Planning Division,
FAO, Via delle Terme di Carcalla
00100 Rome, Italy), 1992. 26 pp.
Foster, Ruth. Landscaping That
Saves Energy Dollars. New York:
David McKay, 1978.
Friends of the Trees. 1988 International Green Front Report. Chelan,
WA: Friends of the Trees, 1988.
97 pp.
Friends of the Trees Society. Star
Rte., Box 74, Oroville, WA 98844.
Good tree information.
Garrett, H. E., W. J. Rietveld, and
R. F. Fisher, eds. North American
Agroforestry: An Integrated Science
and Practice. Madison, WI: American Society of Agronomy, 2000.
402 pp.
*Giono, Jean. The Man Who Planted
Hope and Grew Happiness. Brooksville, ME: Friends of Nature, 1967.
17 pp. Account of a one-man tree
planting program. Inspirational.
The Greenwood Trust—Woodland
Courses, Station Rd., Coalbrookdale, Telford, Shropshire TF8
7DR, England. Courses include
coppicing. A rare opportunity.
*Gridley, Karen, ed. Man of the
Trees—Selected Writings of
Richard St. Barbe Baker. Willits,
CA: Ecology Action, 1989. 144 pp.
Hammond, Herb. Seeing the Forest
Among the Trees: The Case for
Wholistic Forest Use. Vancouver,
Canada: Polestar Press, 1991.
309 pp.
Hart, Robert A. de J. Forest Gardening. Bideford, England: Green
Books (Ford House, Hartland,
Bideford, Devon EX39 6EE, England), 1991. 212 pp.
Hartmann, Hudson T., and Karl W.
Opitiz. Olive Production in California. Berkeley, CA: University of
California Agricultural Publications (207 University Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720), 1966. 63 pp.
The Harvard Forest Models. Cambridge, MA: Harvard College,
1941. 48 pp.
Hilliers and Sons. Hilliers’ Manual
of Trees and Shrubs, 4th edition.
Newton Abbot, England: David
and Charles, 1977. 575 pp. A key
publication.
Hilts, Stewart, and Peter Mitchell.
The Woodlot Management Handbook. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books,
1999. 282 pp.
How to Grow Your Own Firewood.
Cooperative Extension (University
of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources),
Publication 21484. 6 pp.
Hutchinson, F. A Guide to the
Richard St. Barbe Baker Papers.
Saskatchewan, Canada: University
of Saskatchewan Archives, 1988.
26 pp.
Huxley, Anthony, ed. Deciduous Garden Trees and Shrubs. New York:
Macmillan, 1973. 216 pp.
———. Evergreen Garden Trees and
Shrubs. New York: Macmillan,
1973. 216 pp.
Institute for Sustainable Forestry.
Landowner Resource Guide. Redway, CA: Institute for Sustainable
Forestry (P.O. Box 1580, Redway,
CA 95560), June 2000.
International Institute of Rural
Reconstruction (IIRR).
Agroforestry Technology Information Kit. Silang, Philippines: IIRR,
1998, 650 pp. 6 booklets.
Johnson, Dave. The Good Woodcutter’s Guide: Chain Saws,
Portable Mills, and Woodlots.
White River Junction, VT: Chelsea
Green, 1998. 215 pp.
Johnson, Hugh. The International
Book of Trees. New York: Bonanza
Books, 1980. 288 pp. Good background.
Josiah, Scott, et al. Agroforestry in
Minnesota: A Guide to Resources
and Demonstration Sites. St. Paul,
MN: Center for Integrated Natural Resource and Agricultural
Management, University of Minnesota, 1999. 132 pp.
Kang, B. T., A. N. Atta-krah, and
L. Reynolds. Alley Farming.
London: Macmillan, 1999. 110 pp.
Kang, B. T., et al. Alley Cropping:
A Stable Alternative to Shifting
Cultivation. Ibadan, Nigeria: IITA,
1984. 22 pp.
Koppell, Carla R. R., et al. Guidelines
for Integrating Nutrition Concerns
into Forestry Projects. Rome, Italy:
Community Forestry Unit
(Forestry Department, Food &
Agriculture Organization, Via
delle Germe di Caracalla, 00100
Rome, Italy), 1991. 41 pp.
*Kyle, H. R., et al. CCC Forestry.
Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of
Education, 1937. 334 pp.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
213
TREES • TROPICS
Lambert, F. Tools and Devices for
Coppice Crafts. Chatham, U.K.:
Mackay, 1957. (Available from the
Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth, Powys SY209AZ, Wales, U.K.) 48 pp.
Leucaena: Forage Production and Use.
Waimanalo, HI: Nitrogen-Fixing
Tree Association, 1985. 39 pp.
Leucaena: Promising Forage and
Tree Crop for the Tropics. Washington, DC: National Academy of
Science, 1977. 102 pp.
Leucaena: Wood Production and Use.
Waimanalo, HI: Nitrogen-Fixing
Tree Association, 1985. 50 pp.
Leucaena-Based Farming. Oklahoma
City, OK: World Neighbors, 1986.
29 pp.
Lindstrom, Jan, and Kingamkono,
Rose. Foods from Forests, Fields
and Fallows. Uppsala, Sweden:
Swedish University of Agricultural
Sciences (International Rural
Development Centre, Box 7005,
S-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden), 1991.
133 pp.
Longhurst, Richard. Dependency on
Forestry and Tree Foods for Food
Security. Upsala, Sweden: Swedish
University of Agricultural Sciences, 1991.
MacDicken, K., and N. Vergara.
Agroforestry: Classification and
Management. New York: John
Wiley & Sons, 1990. 382 pp.
*Man of the Trees. Redway, CA:
Music for Little People (P.O. Box
1460, Redway, CA 95560).
Video. BL
*The Man Who Planted Trees. (Academy Award, 1987.) Los Angeles:
Direct Cinema (P.O. Box 69799,
Los Angeles, CA 90069). Excellent animated adaptation of Jean
Giono’s classic story. In English
and French. Video. BL
Mann, Rink. Backyard Sugarin’.
Woodstock, VT: Countryman
Press, 1978. 78 pp.
Martz, Jeff. “Multi-Story Cropping
System for the Dominican Republic.” The Permaculture Activist,
November 1988, 14–15.
Men of the Trees. Richard St. Barbe
Baker, 1889–1972: A Keepsake
214
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Book for All Ages and Generations.
Perth, Australia: Men of the
Trees, 1989. 72 pp.
Mitchell, Alan. The Trees of North
America. New York: Facts on File,
1979. 280 pp.
Nearing, Helen and Scott. The Maple
Sugar Book. White River Junction,
VT: Chelsea Green, 2000. 305 pp.
Neem: A Tree for Solving Global
Problems. Washington, DC:
National Academy Press, 1992.
141 pp.
Nitrogen-Fixing Tree Association.
Nitrogen-Fixing Tree Research
Report, Vol. 11, 1993. Morrilton,
AR: NFTA, 1993. 140 pp.
*On the Edge of the Forest. Olney,
PA: Bullfrog Films. Excellent
video of Dr. E. F. Schumacher,
author of Small Is Beautiful.
A key perception about agroforestry and trees, 1977. BL
Pavlik, Bruce, et al. Oaks of California. Los Olivos: Cachuma Press
(P.O. Box 560, Los Olivos, CA
93441), 1991. 184 pp.
Perry, David A. Forest Ecosystems.
Baltimore, MD: The Johns
Hopkins University Press, 1994.
649 pp.
Pilarski, Michael, ed. Restoration
Forestry: An International Guide
to Sustainable Forestry Practices.
Durango, CO: Klvaki Press (585
E. 31st St., Durango, CO 81301),
1994. 525 pp.
Sheat, W. G. Propagation of Trees,
Shrubs, and Conifers. New York:
Macmillan, 1957.
*Sholto Douglas, J., and Roberta A.
de J. Hart. Forest Farming. London: Intermediate Technology Publications, 1984. 207 pp. Excellent.
Short Rotation Forestry. Oley, PA:
Bullfrog Films (P.O. Box 149,
Oley, PA 19547), 1982. 29-minute
video.
*Smith, J. Russell. Tree Crops: Key
to a Permanent Agriculture. Old
Greenwich, CT: Devin-Adair,
1953. 408 pp. Classic work on an
important concept.
Smith, Michael, and Michael Pilarski.
Friends of the Trees: Third World
Resource Guide. Tonasket, WA:
Friends of the Trees Society (P.O.
Box 1064, Tonasket, WA 98855),
May 1993.
Sudworth, George B. Forest Trees
of the Pacific Slope. New York:
Dover, 1967. 455 pp.
Sunset Editors. Garden Trees. Menlo
Park, CA: Sunset Books, 1975.
96 pp.
Titmuss, F. H. A Concise Encyclopedia of World Timbers. New York:
Philosophical Library, 1949.
156 pp.
Tree People. The Simplest Act of
Planting a Tree—Healing Your
Neighborhood, Your City, and Your
World. Los Angeles: Jeremy P.
Tarcher, 1990. 236 pp.
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Trees—The Yearbook of
Agriculture, 1949. Washington,
DC: U.S. Government Printing
Office, 1949. 944 pp.
Utah Community Forest Council.
Shigo on Trees: The Video. Spotlight Visual Communications.
Video.
*Weiner, M. A. Plant a Tree. New
York: Macmillan, 1975. 277 pp.
Excellent.
Whitefield, Patrick. How to Make a
Forest Garden. East Meon, Hampshire, England: Hyden House,
The Sustainability Centre, 1998.
168 pp.
Wijewardene, Ray, et al. Conservation Farming. Sri Lanka: Marga
Publications (61, Isipathana
Mawatha, Colombo 5, Sri Lanka).
Yepsen, Roger B., Jr. Trees for the
Yard, Orchard, and Woodlot.
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, 1976.
305 pp.
Tropics
*Ackland, J. D. East African Crops.
London: Longman Group, 1980.
252 pp. Very good.
Appert, Jean. The Storage of Food
Grains and Seeds. London:
Macmillan, 1987. 146 pp.
Asian Vegetable Research and
Development Center. P.O. Box 42,
Shanhua, Tainan 741, Taiwan
ROC. A nonprofit research organization for vegetables.
TROPICS
Atkins, George. “Growing Crops on
Mounds in Low Wetlands.” The
Developing Countries Farm Radio
Network (595 Bay St., Toronto,
ON M5G 2C3, Canada). 8 pp.
Beets, Willem C. Raising and Sustaining Productivity of Smallholder
Farming Systems in the Tropics.
Alkmaar, Holland: AgBé Publishing (P.O. Box 9125, 1800 GC
Alkmaar, Holland), 1990. 738 pp.
Bernhardt, Ed. Home Gardening in
Costa Rica. San Jose, CA: The
Tico Times (P.O. Box 4632, San
Jose, Costa Rica), 1985. 88 pp.
Brandjes, Pieter, Peter van Dongen,
and Anneke van der Veer. Green
Manuring and Other Forms of
Soil Improvement in the Tropics.
Wageningen, The Netherlands:
CTA (P.O. Box 380, 6700 AJ
Wageningen, The Netherlands),
1989. 49 pp.
CIDICCO. Technical Report No. 1.
The Use of Velvetbean by Village
Farmers of Honduras to Produce
Corn. Tegucigalpa, Honduras,
August 1993. 4 pp.
———. Technical Report No. 2. The
Use of Lablab Bean by Traditional
Farmers in Honduras. Tegucigalpa, Honduras, August 1993.
4 pp.
———. Technical Report No. 7. The
Use of Velvetbean as Cover Crop
in Citrus Plantations. Tegucigalpa,
Honduras, March 1992. 4 pp.
———. Technical Report No. 8.
The Utilization of Velvetbean as
a Source of Food. Tegucigalpa,
Honduras, February 1993. 4 pp.
Composting for the Tropics. Bocking,
England: Henry Doubleday Research Association, 1963. 288 pp.
Useful pamphlet for humid areas.
Dupriez, Hugues, and Philippe De
Leneer. African Gardens and
Orchards. Wageningen, The
Netherlands: CTA (P.O. Box 380,
6700 AJ Wageningen, The Netherlands), 1988. 294 pp.
———. Agriculture in African Rural
Communities. Wageningen, The
Netherlands: CTA (P.O. Box 380,
6700 AJ Wageningen, The Netherlands), 1988. 294 pp.
Dynamics of Soil Organic Matter
in Tropical Ecosystems. Honolulu,
Hawaii: NifTAL Project, University of Hawaii, 1989. 249 pp.
ECHO (Educational Concerns for
Hunger Organization), 17391
Durrance Rd., North Fort Myers,
FL 33917. A nonprofit organization that provides key seeds to
development projects.
Ecology Action Staff. A Preliminary
Guide to Tropical Biointensive
Food Raising. Palo Alto, CA: Ecology Action, 1982. 31 pp. Includes
large bibliography.
Enoch, Ivan, and R. E. Holttum. Gardening in the Tropics. Singapore:
Times Editions, 1991. 384 pp.
Gardening Nutritious Vegetables.
Shanhua, Taiwan: The Asian
Vegetable Research and
Development Center (Shanhua,
Taiwan, R.O.C.), 1988. 136 pp.
Gibson, D., and A. Pain. Crops of
the Drier Regions of the Tropics.
Singapore: Longman Singapore,
1985. 157 pp.
Gliessman, Stephen R., et al.
“The Ecological Basis for the
Application of Traditional
Agricultural Technology in the
Management of Tropical AgroEcosystems.” Agro-Ecosystems 7,
1981, 173–185.
———. “Local Resource Use Systems in the Tropics: Taking Pressure Off the Forests,” in Tropical
Rainforests, California Academy of
Sciences, 1988, 53–70.
———. “Ecological Basis of Traditional Management of Wetlands in
Tropical Mexico: Learning from
Agroecosystem Models,” in Biodiversity—Culture, Conservation and
Ecodevelopment, Margery Oldfield
and Janis B. Alcorn, eds. Boulder,
CO: Westview Press, 1991.
211–229.
———. “Understanding the Basis of
Sustainability for Agriculture in
the Tropics: Experiences in Latin
America.” Sustainable Agricultural
Systems. Ankeny, IA: Soil and
Water Conservation Society (7515
NE Ankeny Rd., Ankeny, IA
50021), n.d., 378–390.
Goeltenboth, Friedholm, ed. Subsistence Agriculture Improvement:
Manual for the Humid Tropics.
Lanham, MD: Unipub, 1990.
228 pp.
Hill, D. S., and J. M. Waller. Pests
and Diseases of Tropical Crops:
Vol. I, Principles and Methods of
Control. Harlow, Essex. England:
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Hodges, R. D., ed. Composting in
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Honey Bee—A Voice of Creative
Farmers, Artisans, Pastoralists
and Other Grassroots Innovators.
Ahnedbad, India: Society for
Research and Initiatives for
Sustainable Technologies and
Institutions, Indian Institute of
Management. Periodical.
*ILEIA Newsletter. (Information for
Low External Input Agriculture,
P.O. Box 64, 3830 AB Leusden,
The Netherlands.) An excellent
magazine.
Institute for Tropical Agriculture.
University of Florida, Box 13533,
Gainesville, FL 32604.
International Institute of Rural
Reconstruction. 1775 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019. Also: Silang,
Cavite, Philippines. Has specialized in Biointensive mini-farming.
Information packet (Agricultural
Technologies).
International Institute of Tropical
Agriculture. 133 Dharmapala
Mawatha, Columbo 7, Sri Lanka.
Irvine, F. R. West African Crops.
Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1969. 272 pp.
Janzen, Daniel. “Tropical
Agroecosystems.” Science, Vol.
182, 1973, 1,212–1,219.
*MacKay, Susan E. “Alley Farming
in the Humid and Subhumid
Tropics. Proceedings of an International Workshop held at Ibadan,
Nigeria.” Ottwawa, Canada: IDRC
(P.O. Box 8500, Ottawa, ON K1G
3H9, Canada), March 1986.
251 pp.
Manor House Agricultural Centre.
Private Bag, Kitale, Kenya, East
BIBLIOGRAPHY
215
TROPICS • VEGETABLES
Africa. A nonprofit organization
that specializes in Biointensive
mini-farming training.
Martin, Franklin W. Forages for
the Small Farm. Ft. Myers, FL:
ECHO (17430 Durrance Rd., N.
Ft. Myers, FL 33917-2200), n.d.
24 pp.
———. Handbook of Tropical Food
Crops. Boca Raton, FL: CRC
Press, 1984. 296 pp.
———. Primer on Plants and Techniques for Agriculture in Dry
Regions of the Tropics. N. Ft.
Myers, FL: ECHO (17391 Durrance Rd., N. Ft. Myers, FL
33917), n.d.
16 pp.
Organic Matter Management and
Tillage in Humid and Subhumid
Africa. IBSRAM Proceedings, No.
10. Bangkok, Thailand: International Board for Soil Research and
Management, 1990. 459 pp.
*Sanchez, Pedro A. Properties and
Management of Soil in the Tropics.
New York: John Wiley & Sons,
1987. 618 pp.
Schwartz, H., and Marcial A. PastorCorrales, eds. Bean Production
Problems in the Tropics, 2nd edition. Cali, Columbia: Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical
(Apartado Aeréo 6713, Cali,
Colombia), 1989. 725 pp.
Soil Management, Compost
Production and Use in Tropical
and Subtropical Environments.
Rome, Italy: FAO of the United
Nations (Via delle Terme di Caracalle, 00100 Rome, Italy), 1987.
177 pp.
Sommers, Paul. Low-Cost Farming in
the Humid Tropics: An Illustrated
Handbook. Metro Manila, Phillipines: Island Publishing House
(STA Mesa P.O. Box 406, Metro
Manila, Philippines), 1984. 38 pp.
Srivastava, Jitendre, et al. Conserving
Soil Moisture and Fertility in
the Warm Seasonally Dry Tropics.
Washington, DC: The International Bank for Reconstruction
and Development (1818 H St.,
NW, Washington, DC 20433),
1993. 75 pp.
216
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Steiner, Kurt G. Intercropping in
Tropical Smallholders Agriculture
with Special Reference to West
Africa. Eschborn, Germany:
Deutsche Gesellschaft für
Technische Zusammenarbeith
(Postfach 5180, D-6236 Eschborn/
Ts. 1, Germany), 1984. 304 pp.
Stoll, Gabriele. Natural Crop Protection in the Tropics. Weikersheim, Germany: Margraf Verlag
(P.O. Box 1205, 97985 Weikersheim, Germany), 2000. 376 pp.
Thurston, H. David. Slash/Mulch
Systems: Sustainable Methods for
Tropical Agriculture. Boulder, CO:
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UNICEF. The UNICEF Home Gardens Handbook. New York:
UNICEF, 1982.
USDA, ARS Tropical Agriculture
Research Station. 2200 Pedro
Albizu Campos Ave., Ste. 201
Mayaguez, Peurto Rico 0068005470 (formerly, Mayaquez Institute of Tropical Agriculture, SEA,
Box 70, Mayaquez, Puerto Rico
00681).
Wicherley, W. The Whole Art of
Rubber Growing. Philadelphia:
J. B. Lippincott, 1911. 151 pp.
Vegetables
Aaron, Chester. The Great Garlic
Book: A Guide with Recipes.
Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press,
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Allan, Ken. Sweet Potatoes for the
Home Garden. Kingston, Canada:
Green Spade Books, 1998. 204 pp.
Allen, C. L. Cabbage, Cauliflower
and Allied Vegetables. New York:
Orange Judd, 1918.
125 pp.
Bailey, L. H. Principles of Vegetable
Gardening. New York: Macmillan,
1901. 450 pp.
Barnes, James, and William Robinson. Asparagus Culture: The Best
Methods Employed. New York:
George Routledge & Sons,
n.d. 84 pp.
Basse, H., et al. Variétés de Laitues.
Wageningen, Holland: Instituut
Voor De Veredeling Van Tuinbourwgewassen, 1960. 228 pp.
Blasdale, Walter C. “Some Chinese
Vegetable Food Materials and
Their Nutritive and Economic
Value.” Bulletin No. 68. Washington, DC: USDA Office of
Experiment Stations, July 15,
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Brewster, J. L. Onions and Other
Vegetable Alliums. Wallingford,
Oxon, U.K.: CAB International,
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Brickell, Christopher, ed. Vegetables.
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Burrage, Albert C. Burrage on
Vegetables. Boston: Houghton
Mifflin, 1975. 224 pp. Good notes
on scheduling for continuous
harvest.
Burton, W. G. The Potato, 3rd edition. New York: Halsted Press,
1989. 724 pp.
Decoteau, Dennis R. Vegetable Crops.
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice
Hall, 2000. 464 pp.
DeWitt, Dave and Paul W. Bosland.
How to Grow Peppers—The Pepper
Garden. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed
Press, 1993. 240 pp.
———. Peppers of the World: An
Identification Guide. Berkeley, CA:
Ten Speed Press, 1996. 219 pp.
Engeland, Ron L. Growing Great
Garlic. Okanogan, WA: Filaree
Productions (Rte. 2, P.O. Box 162,
Okanogan, WA 98840), 1991.
213 pp.
Garnham, Peter. “Cut-And-ComeAgain Lettuce Sampler.” Kitchen
Gardener, February/March 1999,
10–14.
Gregory, James J. H. Cabbages:
How to Grow Them. Salem, MA:
Observer Steam Printing Rooms,
1870. 73 pp.
———. Onion Raising: What Kinds
to Raise and the Way to Raise
Them. Marblehead, MA: Messenger Steam Printing House, 1878.
42 pp.
Greiner, T. Celery for Profit. Philadelphia, PA: W. Atlee Burpee, 1893.
85 pp.
Hand, F. E., and K. L. Cockerham.
The Sweet Potato. New York:
Macmillan, 1921. 261 pp.
VEGETABLES • WATER
Harrison, S. G., et al. The Oxford
Book of Food Plants. New York:
Oxford University Press, 1969.
207 pp.
Herklots, G. A. C. Vegetable Cultivation in Hong Kong. Hong Kong:
The South China Morning Pos,
1947. 208 pp.
Ivins, J. D., and F. L. Milthorpe, eds.
The Growth of the Potato—Proceedings of the Tenth Easter School in
Agricultural Science, University of
Nottingham, 1963. London: Butterworths, 1963. 328 pp.
Jeavons, John. How to Grow More
Vegetables, 2nd edition. Los Altos,
CA: Sixth District PTA Braille
Group (P.O. Box 326, Los Altos,
CA 94023-0326).
Kains, Maurice G. Chicory Growing
as an Addition to the Resources of
the American Farmer. Washington, DC: Government Printing
Office, 1898. 52 pp.
Langsner, Louise. “The Many Faces
of Asian Greens.” Kitchen Garden,
June/July 1998, 20–25.
Larkcom, Joy. Creative Vegetable
Gardening. New York: Abbeville
Press, 1997. 208 pp.
Macself, A. J. The Vegetable Grower’s
Treasury. London: W. H. & L.
Collingridge, n.d. 320 pp.
Maynard, Donald N., and George J.
Hochmuth. Knott’s Handbook for
Vegetable Growers, 4th edition.
New York: John Wiley & Sons,
1997. 582 pp.
Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station. The Relation of Weather to
the Date of Planting Potatoes in
Northern Ohio. Wooster, Ohio:
Ohio Agricultural Experiment
Station, 1926. 43 pp.
Omohundro, John T. “One Potato,
Two Potato.” Natural History
Magazine, June 1985, 22–27.
Robinson, R. W., and D. S. DeckerWalters. Cucurbits. New York:
CAB International, 1996. 226 pp.
Rodale Institute. Legumes for Lasting
Benefits. Information Sheet #2.
Kurtztown, PA: International
Ag-Sieve (Rodale Institute, 611
Siegfriedale Rd., Kutztown PA
19530), n.d. 4 pp.
*Rubatzky, Vincent, and Mas Yamaguchi. World Vegetables, 2nd
edition. New York: Chapman &
Hall, 1997. 842 pp. Very good.
Sanders, T. W. Vegetables and Their
Cultivation. London: Q. H. & L.
Collingridge, 1928. 508 pp.
Sherf, Arden F., and Alan A. MacNab. Vegetable Diseases and Their
Control. New York: John Wiley &
Sons, 1986. 728 pp.
Solomon, Steve. Water-Wise Vegetables. Seattle: Sasquatch Books,
1993. 93 pp.
Staub, Jack. “Faux Spinaches Can
Stand the Heat.” Kitchen Gardener, August/September 1999,
12–15.
Stiles, Shelly. “Hot Potatoes.”
National Gardening, July/August
1994, 29–34.
*Vilmorin-Andrieux, M. M. The
Vegetable Garden. London: John
Murray, 1905. 782 pp. Softcover
edition: Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed
Press, 1981. 620 pp. Hardcover
edition: Willits, CA: The JeavonsLeler Press (5798 Ridgewood Rd.,
Willits, CA 95490). 620 pp.
Reprint of the excellent 1885 English edition by John Murray. This
classic is still one of the most
useful works on cultural directions in existence today.
Weaver, William Woys. Heirloom
Vegetable Gardening. New York:
Henry Holt, 1997. 439 pp.
Wickson, Edward J. The California
Vegetables in Garden and Field.
San Francisco: Pacific Rural
Press, 1917. 319 pp.
Zuckerman, Larry. The Potato: How
the Humble Spud Rescued the Western World. New York: North Point
Press, 1998. 320 pp.
Water
Cocannouer, Joseph A. Water and the
Cycle of Life. Old Greenwich, CT:
Devin-Adair, 1962. 142 pp. All his
books are fascinating and easy
to read.
Cummings, Ronald, et al. Waterworks: Improving Irrigation
Management in Mexican Agriculture. Washington, DC: World
Resources Institute (1709 New
York Ave., NW, Washington, DC
20006), 1989. 51 pp.
Davies, Rodney. Dowsing. London:
The Aquarian Press (77-85 Fulham Palace Rd., Hammersmith,
London W6 8JB, England), 1991.
112 pp.
DripWorks, 190 Sanhedrin Circle,
Willits CA 95490, (800) 616-8322.
Complete line of drip irrigation.
Ingram, Colin. The Drinking Water
Book. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed
Press, 1995. 198 pp.
James, I. C., et al. “How Much Water
in a 12-Ounce Can?” Washington,
DC: U.S. Geological Survey, 1976.
18 pp.
———. Principles of Irrigation Practice. New York: Macmillan, 1920.
496 pp.
King, F. H. Irrigation and Drainage:
Principles and Practice of Their
Cultural Phases. New York:
Macmillan, 1906. 502 pp.
Kourick, Robert. Graywater Use
in the Landscape: How to Make
Your Landscape Prosperous
with Recycled Water. Santa Rosa,
CA: Metamorphic Press, 1988.
28 pp.
Ludwig, Art. Greywater Information:
How to Manage Greywater and
Rainwater in the Landscape. Santa
Barbara, CA: Developer of Oasis
Biocompatible Laundry Detergent, 1991. 17 pp.
Matson, Tim. Earth Ponds Sourcebook: The Pond Owner’s Manual
and Resource Guide. Woodstock,
VT: The Countryman Press, 1997.
171 pp.
Mellin, Bob. Waterhole: A Guide to
Digging Your Own Well. San
Anselmo, CA: Balboa Publishing
(11 Library Place, San Anselmo,
CA 94960), 1991. 71 pp.
Pimental, David, et al., “Water
Resources: Agriculture, the Environment, and Society.” BioScience,
Vol. 47, No. 2, February 1997,
97–106.
Postel, Sandra. Pillar of Sand:
Can the Irrigation Miracle Last?
New York: W. W. Norton, 1999.
313 pp.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
217
WATER • WEEDS
Richardson, Gail, and Peter MuellerBeilschmidt. Winning with Water:
Soil-Moisture Monitoring for
Efficient Irrigation. New York:
Inform, 1988. 173 pp.
Riotte, Louise. Catfish, Ponds and
Lilypads. Pownal, VT: Storey,
1997. 186 pp.
Romanelli, Vince. “How to Drive a
Well.” Countryside and Small
Stock Journal, July/August 1994,
34–35.
Stadelmann, Peter. Water Gardens.
Haupauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series (250 Wireless Blvd.,
Haupauge, NY 11788), 1994.
143 pp.
Swindells, Philip. Container Water
Gardens. Pownal, VT: Storey,
1998. 128 pp.
The Urban Farmer Store. 2833
Vicente St., San Francisco, CA
94116. Drip irrigation products.
Van den Heuvel, Kick. Wood and
Bamboo for Rural Water Supply.
218
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Delft, The Netherlands: Delft
University Press, 1983. 76 pp.
Vogt, Evon, and Ray Hyman. Water
Witching USA. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1918.
248 pp.
Walters, Gregg L., ed. Hach Water
Analysis Handbook. Loveland, CO:
Hach, 1989. 691 pp.
Yeomans, Ken B. Water for Every
Farm. Australia: Griffin Press,
1993. 261 pp.
Weeds
Cocannouer, Joseph A. Weeds:
Guardians of the Soil. New York:
Devin-Adair, 1948. 179 pp. How
weeds help your garden. BL
Cramer, Craig and Staff of The New
Farm, eds. Controlling Weeds with
Fewer Chemicals. Emmaus, PA:
Rodale Institute, 1991. 138 pp.
Hatfield, Audry W. How to Enjoy
Your Weeds. New York: Sterling ,
1971. 192 pp. Delightful. Includes
an herbal lawn, flower salads, and
other charming ideas.
Kummer, Anna P. Weed Seedlings.
Chicago: The University of
Chicago Press, 1951. 435 pp.
Martin, Alexander C. Weeds. New
York: Golden Press, 1972. 160 pp.
Inexpensive identification guide.
Muenscher, Walter C., and Peter
A. Hyypio. Weeds. Ithaca, NY:
Cornell University Press, 1980.
586 pp.
Pleasant, Barbara. The Gardener’s
Weed Book: Earth-Safe Controls.
Pownal, VT: Storey, 1996. 201 pp.
Robbins, W. W., et al. Weeds of California. Sacramento, CA: Department of Agriculture, 1951. 547 pp.
Walters, Charles, Jr. Weeds—Control
Without Poison. Austin, TX: Acres
U.S.A. (P.O. Box 91299, Austin,
TX 78709), 1991. 320 pp.
Whitson, Tom D., et al. Weeds of
the West. Jackson, WY: Pioneer
of Jackson Hole, 1991. 630 pp.
Who Is Ecology Action?
Ecology Action is a nonprofit, tax-exempt, environmental
research and education organization located at 5798 Ridgewood
Road, Willits, California 95490-9730, U.S.A. Formed in the early
1970s, the organization acted as a catalyst in recycling glass and
metal wastes in the city of Palo Alto. This project, for which
Ecology Action won 3 awards, was taken over by the city to be
run as an ongoing service.
Currently, Ecology Action consists of 4 self-supporting projects: (1) An organic garden supply store and educational center,
Common Ground (see caption below for address), offering inexpensive seeds, tools, books, fertilizers, and gardening advice.
Store sales pay for 2 full-time staff persons and support periodic
classes on the GROW BIOINTENSIVE method and other gardening
topics. (2) A repository of urban and rural homesteading information and supplies. Adjoining the store is a library on topics
such as cheesemaking, blacksmithing, raising chickens and
bees, tending goats, and other farming skills. (3) A minifarming demonstration and research garden area. Currently the
mini-farming staff includes 5 paid staff positions and 4 interns.
Salaries and stipends are paid out of sales of this book and
other publications, supporting memberships, and contributions
from foundations, corporations, and individuals. (4) A mail-order
service, Bountiful Gardens (18001 Shafer Ranch Road, Willits,
California 95490-9626), which offers GROW BIOINTENSIVE and
key food-raising publications, open-pollinated seeds, and
supplies to gardeners around the world.
Ecology Action maintains files of experienced people,
publishes a newsletter of GROW BIOINTENSIVE information
(about 4 issues a year), and offers periodic workshops and
classes. Membership fees ($30 per year, tax-deductible) support
its ongoing work, library, newsletter, and mini-farming work.
One Ecology Action project is a nonprofit store and educational center,
where seeds are sold by the piece, like
penny candy. Start a bulk seed-buying
group in your community. The savings
are tremendous when you package
your own. Our store, Common Ground,
is located at 559 College Avenue,
Palo Alto, California 94306. It is open
10 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. on Tuesday through
Saturday, and 10 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. on
Sunday. We can be reached at
(650) 493-6072.
WHO IS ECOLOGY ACTION?
219
Ecology Action Offerings
Ecology Action offers:
1. Periodic class series on the GROW BIOINTENSIVE method
and urban homesteading topics, on Saturday mornings in
Palo Alto, California.
2. Periodic tours of the research site in Willits, California.
3. Short mini-farming workshops, plus a few long-term apprenticeships to people who are sincere, committed, and responsible. The 2 key questions asked of interested workers are:
“Can you make a 3- to 5-year commitment?” and “How do you
expect to use the skills and knowledge when you leave?”
4. We will answer short questions by mail if a stamped selfaddressed envelope is enclosed. We continue to develop information sheets covering the most commonly asked questions.
Our main work is the continued testing of GROW BIO INTENSIVE method yields, spacings, timing, varieties, resource
consumption, economic viability, and sustainability.
Perhaps it is unfair to compare the
yields we obtained in our hard clay
subsoil in Palo Alto with commercial
agricultural yields. The stunted broccoli plant on the left was grown using
normal backyard techniques, loosening the soil and adding chemical
fertilizer. The broccoli shown in the
middle was obtained by loosening
the soil 12 inches deep and incorporating a 3-inch layer of aged manure
with some compost. The broccoli on
the right demonstrates the superiority
of the GROW BIOINTENSIVE method,
with soil loosened 24 inches deep and
compost incorporated.
GROW BIOINTENSIVE
Applications
The GROW BIOINTENSIVE method, with its high yields, low
water and fertilizer consumption, and soil-building techniques,
is eminently practical for serious small-scale food production.
Some possible applications are:
• One mini-farmer may be able to net $5,000 to $20,000 a year
on a 1 ⁄ 8 -acre mini-farm. He or she might work a 40-hour
week and take a 4-month vacation each year. (For more
details, see Ecology Action’s Backyard Homestead, MiniFarm and Garden Log Book and Cucumber Bonanza, a SelfTeaching Mini-Series Booklet.)
• A backyard gardener in the United States could grow a
year’s supply of vegetables and soft fruits (322 pounds) on
220
WHO IS ECOLOGY ACTION?
Biointensive techniques are being used
to improve people’s diets in over 110
countries around the world. Here a
raised bed garden is planted in India.
200 square feet in a 6-month growing season, assuming
GROW BIOINTENSIVE intermediate yields. This food would be
worth more than $200 and could eventually be grown in
about 30 minutes (for 2 beds) a day, making the gardener’s
time worth $6.50 to $13.00+ per hour.
• An entire balanced diet could be grown on as little as 1,000
square feet per person in an 8-month growing season with
another 1,000 square feet needed to make it sustainable.
(See David Duhon and Cindy Gebhard’s One Circle, published by Ecology Action.) Using commercial agricultural
techniques, it takes approximately 22,000 square feet per
person in India, 7,000 square feet in the United States, and
3,400 square feet in Japan to grow similar diets.
• Eventually we hope to produce as much food per hour by
hand as commercial agriculture produces with machines.
Key points such as the low start-up cost, low water usage,
and diversity of crops make the GROW BIOINTENSIVE approach
especially viable for small farmers in the developing world.
This decentralized, self-sufficient approach is consistent with
the current emphasis on enabling countries and communities to
provide their own food.
Sustainability
The most important element in assessing agricultural systems is whether or not the yields are sustainable in an environmentally balanced way. For thousands of years the Chinese
practiced a manual, organic form of intensive farming using
only fertilizers grown or produced on the farmstead. They
were able to feed 1.5 to 2 times more people per acre than the
United States presently does with mechanized chemical or
WHO IS ECOLOGY ACTION?
221
di-
ea
mechanized organic techniques (assuming similar non-meat
diets). In addition, chemical techniques deplete the soil’s
capacity to produce. Wilson Clark, in the January 1975 issue of
Smithsonian, noted: “Even though more corn was produced per
acre in 1968 than in the 1940s, the efficiency with which crops
used available [nitrogen] fertilizer actually declined fivefold.”
Chemical agriculture requires ever-increasing amounts of
fertilizer at an increasing cost as petroleum supplies dwindle.
The use of chemical fertilizers depletes beneficial microbial life,
breaks down soil structure, and adds to soil salinity. Impoverished soil makes crops more vulnerable to disease and insect
attack and requires increasing amounts of pesticides to sustain
production. “A modern agriculture, racing one step ahead of the
POTENTIAL OF SMALL-SCALE GROW BIOINTENSIVE FOOD-RAISING
AS INDICATED BY ECOLOGY ACTION’S RESEARCH TO DATE
Production as compared to U.S. commercial averages, per unit area
31
31
6
3
3+
2
1
2
1
Income*#
Vegetable
yields #
= U.S. Commercial
Agricultural Average
2
1
Grain
yields
=
GROW BIOINTENSIVE
Low
=
GROW BIOINTENSIVE
High
1
Nutrition
per unit
area
*More if food is marketed
directly to store or consumer.
# Full range does not apply
to all crops.
222
WHO IS ECOLOGY ACTION?
Pounds of food produced per hour
Potentially can reach the same as
with machines as soil and practitioner’s
skills improve and yields increase,
and through the use of new, simple,
labor-saving hand devices—when all
labor inputs for both approaches are
evaluated.
= U.S. Commercial
Agricultural Average
=
GROW BIOINTENSIVE
High
Resource use as compared with U.S. commercial average, per pound of food produced
1
1
1
/2
1
1
/2
1
/2
1
= U.S. Commercial
Agricultural Average
/4
1
=
=
GROW BIOINTENSIVE Low
(varies by crop, climate, and soil)
GROW BIOINTENSIVE High
(varies by crop, climate, and soil)
/8
1
/8
1
/31
1
Water . . .
vegetables
/62
1
Water . . .
grains
Purchased
nitrogen
fertilizer
(organic) . . .
vegetables
Purchased
nitrogen
fertilizer
(organic) . . .
grains
apocalypse, is not ecologically sane, no matter how productive,
efficient, or economically sound it may seem” (John Todd, in
The New Alchemy Institute Bulletin, No. 2). Biological agriculture can sustain yields because it puts back into the soil those
elements needed to sustain fertility. A small-scale personal agriculture recycles the nutrients and humus so important to the
microbial life-forms that fix atmospheric nitrogen and produce
disease-preventing antibiotics.
WHO IS ECOLOGY ACTION?
223
Preliminary studies by soil scientists at the University of
California, Berkeley, indicate that in as little as a 6-month period
(and in as many as 8 years), the soil involved in our tests (which
was only a “C-horizon” subsoil material at the beginning) was
built up to a humified carbon level equal to hundreds of years of
natural soil development! If maintained, this improvement may
make possible not only the maintenance of sustainable soil
fertility, but also the reclamation of deteriorated and marginal
lands. (See the following graph.) The GROW BIOINTENSIVE method
also nurtures the soil life and structure, utilizes renewable
resources, can be productive economically on a small manual
scale, and provides higher yields.
SOIL BUILD-UP RATE WITH GROW BIOINTENSIVE PRACTICES
AT PALO ALTO SITE COMPARED WITH NORMAL BUILD-UP RATE
Question: What would the fate of the carbon curve (or nitrogen curve)
be if the bed were now left fallow after the normal “intense” organic
mater input?
A. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■
Observed increase
(build-up) in carbon
soil (which was
subsoil to begin with)
at Ecology Action
Research Site (tentative figures). The
program began in
June 1972.
1. Remains at “natural”
steady state level?
—Unlikely.
2. • • • • • • • • •
Substantial drop, but
leveling off, then rising
again under “natural development”?
—Most likely. Accelerated
gain of hundreds of years of
soil development (in as little
as 6 months’ or as much as
8 years’ time with Ecology
Action–type cultivation).
B.
Normal build-up of soil
by natural processes.
3.
Drastic drop back
down to zero?
—Unlikely.
3
B
A
Normal Soil Genesis
1
∞
2
“Steady State”
2
3
% C*
Curve shows what
happens in good soil
if organic matter is
artificially added in
excess: if left alone the
carbon content of the
soil will return to the
“steady state” level.
1
0
0
100
250
500
*% C Times1.7 % Organic Matter
224
WHO IS ECOLOGY ACTION?
1,000
TIME (in years)
1,500
2,000
∞
Ecology Action Publications
Beeby, John. Future Fertility: Transforming Human Waste into
Human Wealth. Willits, CA: Ecology Action of the Midpeninsula, 1995. 168 pp.
Duhon, David, and Cindy Gebhard. One Circle: How to Grow a
Complete Diet in Less Than 1,000 Square Feet. Willits, CA:
Ecology Action of the Midpeninsula, 1984. 200 pp. This book
helps you to explore your nutritional needs and to design
and produce a smallest-scale complete diet.
Gridley, Karen, ed. Man of the Trees: Selected Writings of
Richard St. Barbe Baker. Willits, CA: Ecology Action of the
Midpeninsula, 1989. 120 pp. This collection of excerpts from
Richard St. Barbe Baker’s most important writings provides
a fascinating glimpse of one of this century’s most farsighted
individuals. Beyond mere human interest, however, the
book carries an urgent message about the vital role of trees
in planetary survival. (Also in Spanish.)
Jeavons, John. How to Grow More Vegetables Than You Ever
Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine.
Revised 6th Edition. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 2002.
272 pp. Ecology Action’s popular primer gives the most
complete instructions and information for the GROW
BIOINTENSIVE method.
———. Cultivo Biointensivo de Alimentos. Willits, CA: Ecology
Action of the Midpeninsula, 1991. Spanish translation of the
fourth edition of How to Grow More Vegetables.
———. Comment faire pousser. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press,
1982. 192 pp. French translation of the second edition of How
to Grow More Vegetables with updated data in metric units.
———. Mehr Gemuse Im Eigenen Garten. Willits, CA: Ecology
Action of the Midpeninsula, 1981. 82 pp. German translation
of the first edition of How to Grow More Vegetables.
———. Kak Vyraschivat’ Bol’she Ovoschei. Moscow: BVL
Publishers, 1997. 220 pp. Russian translation of the fifth
edition of How to Grow More Vegetables.
———. Arabic translation of the fifth edition of How to Grow
More Vegetables. Willits, CA: Ecology Action of the
Midpeninsula, 1997. 300 pp.
Mini-greenhouses fit right over
the growing beds. Plans for this one
are available in Ecology Action’s
Backyard Homestead, Mini-Farm and
Garden Log Book. Send for a current
publications list.
WHO IS ECOLOGY ACTION?
225
———. Braille version of the third edition of How to Grow More
Vegetables. Willits, CA: Ecology Action of the Midpeninsula,
1981. For details on how to obtain a copy, write: Monterey
County Braille Transcribers, P.O. Box DF, Pacific Grove,
CA 93950.
———. Hindi translation of the first edition of How to Grow
More Vegetables. Willits, CA: Ecology Action of the
Midpeninsula, 1987. 70 pp.
———. 1972 Preliminary Research Report. Palo Alto, CA:
Ecology Action of the Midpeninsula, 1973. 22 pp. Ecology
Action’s first data report on the Biointensive method and
implications for small farmers.
———. 1972–1975 Research Report Summary. Palo Alto, CA:
Ecology Action of the Midpeninsula, 1976. 19 pp. Summary
of data and projections of Ecology Action’s first 4 years of
research with Biointensive techniques.
———. “Quantitative Research on the Biodynamic/French
Intensive Method.” In Small Scale Intensive Food Production—Improving the Nutrition of the Most Economically
Disadvantaged Families, pp. 32–38. Workshop proceedings
prepared on behalf of the Office of Nutrition, Bureau for
Technical Assistance, U.S. Agency of International Development. Published by the League for International Food
Education, Washington, D.C., 1977.
Jeavons, John, and Carol Cox. The Sustainable Vegetable
Garden. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 1999. 118 pp. The
basic GROW BIOINTENSIVE book for those just starting. Also
gives specific recommendations on the best crops to grow
and how much to grow for an entire family.
Jeavons, John, J. Mogador Griffin, and Robin Leler. Backyard
Homestead, Mini-Farm, and Garden Log Book. Berkeley,
CA: Ten Speed Press, 1983. 224 pp. A handbook for
everyday use in developing greater self-sufficiency in a
backyard homestead or in actually earning an income
from a small farm. There is material covering tools and
crop testing, as well as calendars, graphs, charts, and
plenty of space for record keeping. It also includes
updated information on creating your own self-fertilizing
herbal lawns.
Roberts, Hugh, ed. Intensive Food Production on a Human
Scale—Proceedings of the Third International Conference
on Small Scale and Intensive Food Production. Willits, CA:
Ecology Action of the Midpeninsula, 1982. 224 pp. The
result of a gathering of 100 people representing projects
in 16 countries.
———. Proceedings of the Soil, Food, and People Conference.
Willits, CA: Ecology Action of the Midpeninsula, 2001,
180 pp. The result of a gathering of 276 people from 26
countries focusing on the role of Biointensive food raising
in the new century.
226
WHO IS ECOLOGY ACTION?
Shepard, Michael, and John Jeavons. Appropriate Agriculture.
Menlo Park, CA: Intermediate Technology, 1977. 14 pp.
Paper given by Peter N. Gillingham at a “Small Is Beautiful”
conference featuring Dr. E. F. Schumacher at the University
of California at Davis.
Self-Teaching Mini-Series Booklets
An Ecology Action Reading Guide. 36 pp. Design your own
curriculum.
Annual Report. 1993. 30 pp.
Another Way to Wealth. 16 pp.
A Perspective. Speech given by John Jeavons at the Second
International Conference on Small-Scale Intensive Food
Production, October 1981.
Backyard Garden Research. 32 pp. Improving your garden’s
performance through observation. (Also in Spanish.)
Biointensive Apprentice Possibilities. 21 pp.
Biointensive Composting. 12 pp. (Also in Spanish.)
Biointensive Mini-Farming: A Rational Use of Natural Resources.
15 pp. Explains what Ecology Action is doing and why. (Also
in Spanish, French, German, Russian, Portuguese, and
Chinese.)
Biointensive Mini-Farming: A Seventeen-Year Perspective.
20 pp. (Also in Spanish.)
The Complete 21-Bed Biointensive Mini-Farm: Fertility, Nutrition
and Income. 39 pp. Explores sustainably growing all your
own food, making a small income, and composting crops, in
as little as 2,100 square feet. (Also in Spanish and Russian.)
Cucumber Bonanza. 24 pp. Takes cucumbers as an example
of a crop history and goes through 7 years of work, bringing
the 1973 yield of 140 pounds of marketable cucumbers per
100 square feet to over 400 pounds in 1979. An excellent
introduction to mini-farming and the variables that can be
examined in obtaining improved yields. (Also in Spanish.)
“Cultivating Our Garden.” A detailed article on GROW
BIOINTENSIVE methods. 4 pp. (Also in Spanish, Russian,
Arabic and Japanese.)
Dried, Cut, and Edible Flowers for Pleasure, Food and Income.
61 pp. (Also in Spanish.)
Ecology Action’s Comprehensive Definition of Sustainability. 4 pp.
(Also in Spanish.)
Examining the Tropics: A Small-Scale Approach to Sustainable
Agriculture. 31 pp. (Also in Spanish.)
Foliar Feeding. 9 pp. (Also in Spanish.)
GROW BIOINTENSIVE Sustainable Mini-Farming Teacher
Training and Certification Program—Revised. 33 pp.
Grow Your Compost Materials at Home. 17 pp. An approach to
sustainable organic matter production and soil fertility on a
“closed system” basis. (Also in Spanish.)
Using a U-bar digging tool cuts digging
time and helps make GROW
BIOINTENSIVE mini-farming competitive
with mechanized techniques.
WHO IS ECOLOGY ACTION?
227
Grow Your Manure for Free. 32 pp. Summary of compost crops
to grow for improving your soil’s fertility. (Also in Spanish.)
Growing and Gathering Your Own Fertilizers. 125 pp. (Also in
Russian.)
Growing Medicinal Herbs in as Little as Fifty Square Feet—
Uses and Recipes. 40 pp.
Growing to Seed. Revised. 45 pp. How to grow your own seed in
the smallest possible area while preserving genetic diversity.
(Also in Spanish.)
Learning to Grow All Your Own Food: One-Bed Model for
Compost, Diet and Income Crops. 25 pp.
Micro-Farming as a Key to the Revitalization of the World’s
Agriculture and Environment. 13 pp.
One Basic Kenyan Diet: With Diet, Income and Compost Designs
in a Three-Growing-Bed Learning Model. 28 pp.
One Basic Mexican Diet. 32 pp. Explores complete nutritional
self-sufficiency in a small area with one Mexican diet as a
focal point. (Also in Spanish.)
One Crop Test Booklet: Soybeans. 24 pp., plus Data Sheet & Log
Form. Contains step-by-step instructions for conducting
comparative tests for spacing and yield (with optional water
monitoring) for soybeans—an important protein crop
throughout the world. This booklet lets you participate in
Ecology Action’s research or simply grow better soybeans
for yourself.
The Smallest Possible Area to Grow Food and Feed. 45 pp.
Test Your Soil with Plants. 86 pp.
Information Packets
Topical treatments on the latest information from our garden research, and our work around the world. Topics range
from “Data for Common Compost Crops” (in the Sustainable
Soil Fertility packet) to “Double-Digging vs. the U-Bar” (in the
Gardening Techniques packet) to “About Amaranth and Quinoa”
(in the Crops packet). The information is presented as short
complete articles on a given subject area, and the information
tends to be interrelated.
Children’s Gardening Resources. 3 pp.
Cooking with Sunshine. 2 pp.
Crops. 9 topics, 15 pp. Information on specific crops and things
to look for in certain useful crops.
Data Report for One Crop. 2 pp., free. The form to use to send
data from your garden to Ecology Action.
Gardening Techniques. 12 topics, 31 pp. Some greening-edge
techniques and observations on the art of gardening.
GROW BIOINTENSIVE Projects. 5 topics, 14 pp. Profiles of some of
the major Biointensive projects around the world.
Insect and Animal Life. 5 topics, 10 pp. Useful hints and tips for
dealing with our wilder neighbors.
228
WHO IS ECOLOGY ACTION?
Inspiration. 6 topics, 13 pp. The bigger picture. Articles that are
Ecology Action’s key position papers and put our work in
perspective.
Limited Water Growing. 4 topics, 6 pp. Articles on water-saving
techniques.
Small Cabin/Land Trust Information. 2 pp.
Sustainable Soil Fertility. 16 topics, 41 pp. The heart of our
work—finding out how to have a really sustainable garden
or mini-farm.
A Slide Show: 65 slides and the written script describing
Ecology Action’s many years of research with GROW BIOINTENSIVE food-raising techniques. Briefly covers: basics of
the methods; impact upon backyard food production; potential
for truck farming; water, fertilizer and resource use; new tools
such as mini-greenhouses and the U-bar; the herbal lawn;
and more.
Reprints:
Composting for the Tropics. 28 pp.
Living Quarters for Plant Roots. 6 pp.
Plant Species Index for the Pacific Northwest and General
Reference. 20 pp.
Related Publications by Other Organizations
A Preliminary Assessment of the Applicability of French
Intensive/Biodynamic Gardening Techniques in Tropical
Settings. Santa Barbara, CA: Direct International
Development/Direct Relief Foundation, 1978. 47 pp. Report
from on-site visits to 4 intensive demonstration gardens in
Central America.
Intensive Small Farms and the Urban Fringe. Sausalito, CA:
Landal Institute for Small Farm Research, 1976. 93 pp.
Based in part on Ecology Action’s research.
Martinez, Juan Manuel. Huertos Familiares. ECOPOL, c.o. Edif.
H10-1-2. Col. Lomas de Plateros, Mexico, D.F. CP 01480,
Mexico. 1992. Booklet used by the nationwide program in
Mexico to teach Biointensive mini-farming at the introductory level.
———. Rotofolio Huertos Familiares. ECOPOL, c.o. Edif.
H10-1-2. Col. Lomas de Plateros, Mexico, D.F. CP 01480,
Mexico. 1992. Flipchart used for teaching Biointensive minifarming in villages in Mexico.
Seshadri, C. V., et al. Bio-Dynamic Gardening. Vol. 4. Shri A. M.,
M. Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre, Tharamani,
Madras, 600 113, India, 1980. 38 pp.
———. Bio-Dynamic Horticulture—Improvements & Extension.
Vol. 15. Shri A. M., M. Murugappa Chettiar Research
Centre, Tharamani, Madras, 600 113, India, 1983. 43 pp.
WHO IS ECOLOGY ACTION?
229
Yang, Y. K. “Home Gardens as a Nutrition Intervention.” Small
Scale Intensive Food Production—Improving the Nutrition of
the Most Economically Disadvantaged Families, pp. 60–80,
Washington, D.C.: League for International Food Education,
1977.
Accredited Classes in Biointensive Mini-Farming
Dr. Ed Glenn and Dr. Mary Olsen of the Environmental
Research Laboratory (the University of Arizona) give a
Biointensive course for arid areas each semester based on their
10 years’ experience. Contact them at 2601 E. Airport Drive,
Tucson International Airport, Tucson, AZ 85706-6985 or fax
(602) 573-0852.
Videotapes of Our Work
(Available from Bountiful Gardens)
Two award-winning PBS specials documenting our work
have been televised nationally.
Gardensong (1983) is a beautiful film about Alan Chadwick’s
work, our own work, and that of others.
Circle of Plenty (1987) is about our Willits garden and the
Menos y Mejores project in northern Mexico. Circle of Plenty
addresses some serious problems in world agriculture and
shows that the Biointensive method is a viable solution even
under Third World conditions with poor soil.
A Journey in Kenya—Biointensive Farmers (1993). Sandra
Mardigian and Doug Burck revisit graduates from Manor
House Agricultural Centre whom they sponsored, and document the amazing, positive changes that have resulted from
Biointensive gardens—both for individuals and for whole
villages! Wonderful, hope-filled scenes of African gardens
and gardeners. About 20 minutes.
El Huerto Ecologico (1992). This video is used to introduce
Biointensive practices in Mexico.
The Living Land (1999). This PBS-TV special is available from
the Foundation for Global Community, 222 High Street, Palo
Alto, CA, 94301, phone (800) 707-7932. The program focuses
on the bases of our lives: the soil, farming, and food. Beautifully done. Interviews with John Jeavons of Ecology Action,
Wes Jackson of the Land Institute, Alice Waters of Chez
Panisse, and Mas Masumoto, author of Epitaph for a Peach
and Harvest Son are woven into a beautiful fabric.
230
WHO IS ECOLOGY ACTION?
Help in Kenya
You can help support a Kenyan villager’s training at a
5-day Basic Biointensive Skills Workshop at Manor House
Agricultural Centre. To make this happen, send an $85 taxdeductible donation to the Kilili Self-Help Project, 490 Yale
Road, Menlo Park, California 94025. Help the world grow!
Help in Russia
To assist Biointensive work in Russia, contact: Biointensive
for Russia, 831 Marshall Drive, Palo Alto, California 94303-3614,
fax (650) 424-8767, e-mail [email protected], or visit
www.igc.org/biointensiveforrussia.
Bountiful Gardens
International gardening and mini-farming mail order
catalog. An Ecology Action project. For a free catalog of
gardening publications, fertilizers, tools, and seeds, write
to Bountiful Gardens, 18001 Shafer Ranch Road, Willits,
California 95490-9626, or call (707) 459-6410, or fax
(707) 459-1925. Visit us at www.bountifulgardens.org.
Also, visit www.growbiointensive.org.
WHO IS ECOLOGY ACTION?
231
Membership donations provide a reliable financial base that secures continued
education and research programs for sustainable GROW BIOINTENSIVE food-raising
worldwide. Our thanks to all of our friends who are investing in the future by
making this work possible.
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membership donation for one year, which includes Ecology Action’s
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Index
African daisy, 118
Agricultural recycling, 145
Alfalfa
books on, 172, 173
companions, 149
Master Charts, 100–103
meal, 53
sprouts, 104–7
Almonds, 108–11, 183
Alyssum, 118
Amaranth, 96–99, 186
Angelica, 119
Animals, books on, 165–66
Anise, 119
Ants, 150, 163
Aphids, 150, 163
Apples, 108–11, 182, 183
Apricots, 108–11
Area-efficient crops, 29
Arid regions, 166–69
Artichokes, 82, 88–91
Asparagus
books on, 216
companions, 152
Master Charts, 88–91
soil temperature for
germination of, 83
temperature range for, 82
Aster, 118
Aubrieta, 118
Avocados, 108–11, 182, 183
Baby’s breath, 118
Bachelor buttons, 118
Bamboo, 104–7, 169
Bananas, 108–11, 183
Barley, 96–99, 186
Barriers, 161–62
Basil, 88–91, 119, 153
Basket-making, 175, 176
Bean beetle, Mexican, 163
Beans
books on, 172, 174, 217
companions and antagonists, 152
Master Charts, 88–91, 96–99
soil temperature for
germination of, 83
temperature range for, 82
as weight-efficient crop, 29
Bee balm, 119, 153
Beeby, John, 52
Bees, 151, 194, 195
Beets
companions and antagonists, 149,
152
Master Charts, 88–91, 104–7
root system of, 19
soil temperature for
germination of, 83
temperature range for, 82
Biodynamic techniques, 2–3, 5, 44,
169–70, 229
Biogeologic cycle, 23
Biointensive gardening, ix, x, xvii,
170. See also GROW BIOINTENSIVE
techniques
Biosphere II, 30–31
Birds, 77–78, 151, 158, 165, 166, 194
Blackberries, 108–11, 182
Black fly, 163
Blueberries, 108–11, 182
Borage, 119, 150, 153
Bountiful Gardens, 231
Boysenberries, 108–11
Broccoli, 82, 88–91, 152
Bruneau, Betsy Jeavons, xx
Brussels sprouts, 82, 88–91
Buckwheat, 100–103
Burdock, 29, 88–91
Burnet, 119
Butterflies, 160, 193, 194, 195
Cabbage
books on, 216
companions and antagonists,
149, 152
Master Charts, 88–91
soil temperature for
germination of, 83
temperature range for, 82
watering, 74
Cabbage worm butterfly, 163
Calcite, 54
Calcium, 54, 55
Calcium sulfate, 54
Calendula, 118
California poppy, 118
Calorie crops
books on, 170–71
Master Charts, 96–99
Cane crops, 108–15
Caraway, 119, 153
Carbon-and-calorie crops
area for, 27, 28, 29
books on, 170–71
farming-efficient vs. kitchenefficient, xv–xvi
Carbonic acid, 23
Cardoon, 100–103
Carnation, 118
Carrots
companions and antagonists, 152
Master Charts, 88–91
root system of, 19
soil temperature for
germination of, 83
temperature range for, 82
Cassava, 29, 96–99
Castor beans, 150
Catalogs
seed, 200–205
supply, 209–10
Catnip, 119, 153
Cauliflower
books on, 216
companions and antagonists, 152
Master Charts, 88–91
root system of, 19
soil temperature for
germination of, 83
temperature range for, 82
Celeriac, 82
Celery
books on, 216
companions, 152
Master Charts, 88–91
soil temperature for
germination of, 83
temperature range for, 82
Chadwick, Alan, xii, xvii, xviii,
xx, xxii, xxiii, 4, 5, 38, 49,
71, 165, 230
Chamomile, 119, 144, 154
Chard, 82, 83, 88–91
Cheese, 104–7
Cherries, 108–11
INDEX
235
Chervil, 119, 154
Chestnuts, 108–11, 213
Chickens, 151, 165
Chickpeas, 96–99
Chicory, 82, 217
Children’s books, 171
China, 25, 30, 221
Chinese cabbage, 82, 88–91
Chives, 82, 119, 152, 154
Chrysanthemum, 118
Cilantro, 119
Classes, xxiii, 230
Climate, 171
Clover, 100–103, 172, 173
Coconut, 108–11
Collards, 82, 88–91
Columbine, 118
Comfrey, 100–103, 119, 172, 173, 202
Common Ground Garden/
Mini-Farm, xvii, xix, 5, 25–26
Communities, 171–72
Companion planting, 142–55
books on, 172
definition of, 142–43
for health, 143–45
for herbs, 153–55
multi-crop, 147
for nutrition, 145–48
for physical complementarity,
148–49
three-crop, 148
two-crop, 146
for vegetables, 152–53
for weed, insect, and animal
relationships, 149–51, 162–63
Compost
adding to soil, 59–60
application rate for, 44
books on, 172–74
functions of, 35–36, 55–56
importance of, 56
maximum amount to add, 8, 56
methods for, compared, 44–45
in nature, 34–35
process, 36
sustainable soil fertility goals and,
27
Compost crops
area for, 23
books on, 172–73
Master Charts, 100–103
Compost pile
building, 38–40, 48
containers for, 41–42
cross section of, 41
locating, 41
materials not to add to, 46
size of, 43
236
INDEX
soil in, 37–38, 40
speeding up decomposition
rate of, 45
temperature of, 36, 39, 43
timing, 43
turning, 43
watering, 40–41
Container gardening, 174
Cookbooks, 174–75
Coral bells, 118
Coreopsis, 118
Coriander, 119
Corn
books on, 186, 187
companions, 148, 152
Master Char ts, 88–91, 96–99
pollination of, 122
root system of, 18
soil temperature for
germination of, 83
temperature range for, 82
Cosmos, 118
Costmary, 119
Cotton, 104–7, 179
Cover crops, 100–103, 172–73
Cowpeas, 82, 96–99
Crafts, 175–76
Crop rotation, 145
Cucumber beetle, striped, 163
Cucumbers
booklet on, 227
companions and antagonists,
148, 152
Master Charts, 88–91
soil temperature for
germination of, 83
temperature range for, 82
turning stems back, 71
Cultivation, surface, 20
Cumin, 119
Currants, black, 108–11
Cutworm, 163
Daffodil, 150, 160
Dandelion, 144
Dates, 108–11
Deer, 195
Delphinium, 118
Development, 176–77
Diet, planning, 29
Dill, 119, 154
Diverse cropping, 162–64
Dolomitic lime, 54
Double-digging
complete texturing, 14–15, 16–17
initial, 10–13, 14
ongoing, 15
Drooping, 77
Dryland farming, 166–69
Dry pan, 77, 78
Duhon, David, 29
Dyes, 175, 176
Earthworms, 34, 194
Echinacea, 118, 189
Ecology Action
goal of, xvii
history of, 219
information packets, 228–29
mini-series booklets, 227–28
offerings, 220
projects, xxii, 219
publications, 225–27
pursuit of sustainability by, 25–26
use of traditional agricultural
techniques by, 30
workshops, 31–32
Education, 196–97
Eggplant, 82, 83, 88–91, 152
Eggs, chicken, 104–7
Eggshells, crushed, 55
Elderberry, 150
Endive, 82
Energy
books on, 177
crops, 104–7
expenditures, xviii, xxiii
Farming
books on, 177–78
-efficient crops, xv–xvi
mini-, xvii
Fava beans
allergies to, 145
books on, 172
for green manuring, 45
as high-carbon-producing crop, 29
Master Charts, 96–99
Fennel, 82, 119, 154
Fertilizers
adding, 59–60
amounts of, 51
artificial vs. natural, 2–3, 221–22
books on, 178–79
goals of, 49
nutrient analysis of, 53–56, 57–58
organic, from other farms,
22–23, 24, 26, 36
sustainability and, 60
Feverfew, 119
Fiber crops, 104–7, 179
Figs, 108–11, 182
Filberts (hazelnuts), 29, 108–11, 213
Fish meal, 53
Flats, 64, 65, 66–68
Flax, 104–7, 154, 179
Flea beetle, black, 163
Flies, 163
Flowering tobacco, 118, 150
Flowers. See also individual flowers
books on, 179–80, 227
spacing chart, 118
Fodder crops, 100–103, 172–73
Food
nutrition and, 85–86, 180–81
preservation and storage, 181–82
Foxglove, 118
French intensive techniques, 2, 5,
149, 195–96
Fukuoka culture, 183
Gaillardia, 118
Gardening
books on, 183–85
rewards of, xx
Garden plans
making, 121–23
sample, 124–41
Gardens for Humanity, 32
Garden year, 123
Garlic
as area- and weight-efficient
crop, 29
books on, 216
companions and antagonists,
152, 154
Master Charts, 88–91
temperature range for, 82
Gazania, 118
Glenn, Ed, 27, 30
Global perspective, 185–86
GMOs, 205–6
Good King Henry, 119
Gopher plant, 104–7, 150
Gophers, 150, 159, 160
Gourds, 71, 104–7, 186
Grains
books on, 174, 175, 186–87
as high-carbon-producing crops, 29
Master Charts, 96–99
protecting from birds, 77–78
yields of, 86
Granite, crushed, 54
Grapefruit, 108–11
Grapes, 108–11, 182
Grasses, 100–103, 187
Greenhouses, 78, 187, 225
Green manures, 45, 172, 173
Green Revolution, 206
GROW BIOINTENSIVE techniques
applications of, 220–21
Biointensive vs., ix–x
books on, 187–88
features of, ix–x
history of, 2–5
philosophy of, 2
worldwide use of, 31–32, 49
Guava, 108–11
Guayule, 104–7
Gypsum, 54
Hand-picking, 161
Hazelnuts. See Filberts
Health, books on, 188
Hedges, 188–89
Henbit, 154
Herbs. See also individual herbs
books on, 189–90
companion planting for, 153–55
spacing chart, 119
Hickory, 108–11
High-altitude food raising, 190
History, 190–91
Hollyhock, 118
Homesteading, 191–92
Honey locust, 112–15
Horehound, 119
Horseradish, 82, 88–91, 154
Housing, books on, 192
Human Diet Experiment, 30
Human waste, 192–93
Humic acid, 23
Hummingbirds, 151
Humus
amount of, 24
definition of, 36
initially adding, 23–24
loss of, 23
role of, 36–37, 47
Hydroponics, 193
Hyssop, 119, 154
Iceland poppy, 118
Income crops, xix, 28, 193
India, 31, 49
Insects
books on, 193–95
controlling, 149–50, 157–64
importance of, 156–57, 159
Irrigation. See Watering
Jacob’s ladder, 118
Japanese beetle, 163
Jeavons, Robin Leler, xx
Jenny, Hans, 85
Jerusalem artichokes, 29, 88–91
Jojoba, 104–7
June bug, 163
Kafka, Stephen, xxii, xxiii
Kale, 82, 88–91, 149, 152
Kenaf, 104–7
Kenya, 31, 231
Kitchen-efficient crops, xv–xvi
Koch, Frank, xxii
Kohlrabi, 82, 88–91, 152
Kudzu, 100–103, 173
Ladybugs, 159
Lamb’s quarters, 154
La Motte soil test kit, 49, 52
Land
crop area percentages for,
27, 28, 29
lack of, xi, xiii
square footage requirements,
xi, xii–xiii, 30
Language books, 196
Lavender, 119, 190
Learning/teaching, 196–97
Leeks, 29, 82, 88–91, 152
Lemon balm, 119, 144, 154
Lemons, 112–15
Lemon verbena, 119
Lentils, 96–99
Lettuce
books on, 216
companions, 148, 152
leaf vs. head, 122
Master Charts, 88–91
root system of, 18
soil temperature for
germination of, 83
temperature range for, 82
Limes, 112–15
“Living farm” museums, 197
Living mulch, 63, 146
Lovage, 119, 154
Magnesium, 54
Mangels, 92–95
Mangos, 112–15
Manor House Agricultural Centre,
31, 231
Manure, 34, 44, 46, 55
Marguerite, 118
Marigold, 118, 149, 150, 154
Marjoram, 119, 144, 154
Master Charts
calorie, grain, protein source, and
vegetable oil crops, 96–99
compost, carbon, organic matter,
fodder, and cover crops,
100–103
energy, fiber, paper, and other
crops, 104–7
tree and cane crops, 108–15
using, 84–87
vegetables and garden crops,
88–95
INDEX
237
Maturity. See Master Charts
Melons
Master Charts, 92–95
soil temperature for
germination of, 83
temperature range for, 82
turning stems back, 71
watering, 74–75
Mesquite, 112–15
Mexican marigold, 149, 150
Mexico, 31
Microorganisms, x, 36, 37–38, 40
Milk, 104–7
Milk thistle, 189
Millet, 96–99, 186
Mini-farming, xvii
Mini-greenhouses, 78
Mint, 154
Mole plant, 154
Moon, planting by phases of, 71–74
Morning glory, 155
Mosquitoes, 163
Moths, 163
Mushrooms, 197
Muskmelons. See Melons
Mustard, 82, 92–95
Nasturtium, 118, 150, 154
Native Americans, 80, 197
Nectarines, 112–15, 182
Nematodes, 150, 193
Nettle, 154, 190
New Zealand spinach, 82, 92–95
Nitrogen (N)
excess of, 53
green manures and, 45
humus and, 47
importance of, 53
soil amendments, 53
test rating, 51
Nutrients
compost and, 35
indicators of, 199
initially adding, 23–24
loss of, 23
maintaining balance of, 24
meaning of, 4
Nutrition, 85–86, 180–81
Oak tree, 144
Oats, 96–99
Okra, 83, 92–95
Olives, 112–15, 182, 183, 213
Onions
as area-efficient crop, 29
books on, 216
companions and antagonists, 152
Master Charts, 92–95
238
INDEX
soil temperature for
germination of, 83
temperature range for, 82
Oranges, 112–15
Oregano, 119, 144
Organic matter. See also Compost;
Humus
amount of, in soil, 47
definition of, 36
key functions of, 40, 53
Oriental poppy, 118
Out-of-print book sources, 197
Painted daisy, 118
Pansy, 118
Paper, 104–7, 175
Parsley
companions, 152
Master Charts, 92–95
soil temperature for
germination of, 83
spacing, 119
temperature range for, 82
Parsnips, 29, 82, 83, 92–95
Peaches, 112–15, 182, 183
Peanuts, 29, 96–99
Pears, 112–15, 182
Peas
companions and antagonists, 152
Master Charts, 92–95
soil temperature for
germination of, 83
temperature range for, 82
watering, 74–75
Pecans, 112–15, 182
Pennyroyal, 150
Peony, 118
Peppermint, 119, 155
Peppers, 82, 83, 92–95, 216
Permaculture, 197–98
Persimmons, 112–15
Pest control, 149–50, 157–64, 193–95
Pesticides, 6, 156, 162–64, 194, 195
Petunia, 118, 154
Pfeiffer, Ehrenreid, 143
pH, 57
Philippines, 31
Philosophy, 2, 198–99
Phlox, 118
Phosphate, soft, 54
Phosphate rock, 53
Phosphorus (P)
importance of, 53
soil amendments, 53–54
test rating, 51
Pigeon peas, 96–99
Pigweed, 155
Pineapple sage, 119
Pinks, 118
Pistachios, 112–15
Planting, 62–65
by phases of the moon, 71–74
in season, 81–83
Plants
health, 193
lice, 163
names 199
nutrient indicators, 199
propagation, 206
Plums, 112–15, 182, 183
Pomegranates, 112–15
Portulaca, 118
Potassium (K)
importance of, 53
soil amendments, 54
test rating, 51
Potato beetle, Colorado, 163
Potato bugs, 163
Potatoes
as area- and weight-efficient
crop, 29
books on, 217
companions and antagonists, 152
Master Charts, 92–95
planting, 15
temperature range for, 82
Pot marigold, 155
Praying mantids, 159
Pricking out, 68–69
Protein source crops, 96–99
Pruning, 182, 199
Pumpkin
companions and antagonists, 152
Master Charts, 92–95
placing, 122
soil temperature for
germination of, 83
temperature range for, 82
turning stems back, 71
Purslane, 155
Quinoa, 96–99
Radishes, 82, 83, 92–95, 152
Rainfall, 79, 80. See also Watering
Raised beds
height of, 19
initial preparation of, 6, 7–8,
10–13, 14
ongoing preparation of, 7, 9
rows vs., 3–4
shaping, 58–59
square footage of, 7
walking on, 18
Raisins, 29, 108–11, 182
Rape, 96–99, 149, 173
Raspberries, 112–15, 182, 183
Reference books, 200
Renewable resources, using well, 22
Rhubarb, 82, 92–95
Rice, 96–99
Rodale composting method, 44
Root-bound plants, 70
Roots
books on, 200
as compost crop, 100–103
pests, 150
scale of, 18–19
Rosemary, 119, 155
Rue, 119, 155
Russia, 231
Rutabagas, 29, 82, 92–95
Rye, cereal, 34, 96–99
Safflower, 96–99, 173
Sage, 118, 119, 155
Sahara Desert, 25
Sainfoin, 100–103
Salsify, 29, 82, 92–95
Santolina, 119
Scabiosa, 118
Scented geraniums, 119
Schizanthus, 118
Sea pink, 118
Seedlings
in flats, 64, 65, 66–68
pricking out, 68–69
spotting, 71
transplanting, 65–66, 69–74
watering, 76
Seeds. See also Master Charts
books on, 205–6
broadcasting, 64
catalogs, 200–205
depth of, 62
diversity and, 205
GMOs, 205–6
Green Revolution, 206
planting, 62–65, 71–74
poor germination of, 68
saving, 205
soil temperature and
germination of, 83
spacing, 63–64
watering, 76
Sesame, 86, 96–99
Shade
companion planting for sun vs.,
148–49
netting, 77–78
Shallots, 82, 92–95
Shasta daisy, 118
Shaw, George Bernard, 5
Sheet composting, 44–45
Shirley poppy, 118
Shri A.M.M. Muragapa Chettier
Center, 31
Slugs, 160–61, 163, 194
Snails, 160–61
Snakes, 159
Snapdragon, 118
Sodium, 54
Soil. See also Raised beds
air space in, 19
amendments, 53–56
books on, 206–9
build-up rate, 224
compaction of, 12, 18
companion planting and, 144–45
in the compost pile, 37–38, 40
destruction of, by commercial
agriculture, ix
for flats, 67–68
functions of humus in, 47
growing, in a sustainable way,
x–xi, 22–23
healthy, 35
importance of, 85
improvement succession, 85
initial addition of nutrients and
humus to, 23–24
loss of nutrients from, 23
microbe diversity in, 38
organic matter amounts in, 47
pH, 57
preparation of, 6–17
structure of, 6, 35
surface cultivation of, 20
sustainable fertility goals for, 27
testing, 49–53, 56, 211
texture of, 20
usual situation for, 6
watering, 77
Solar cooking, 209
Sorghum, 96–99, 172, 173
Sorrel, 82
Southernwood, 119, 155
Sow thistle, 149, 150, 151, 155
Soybeans, 29, 96–99, 152, 228
Spearmint, 119, 150
Spiders, 159, 194
Spinach, 82, 83, 92–95, 152
Spotting, 71
Spraying, 161
Sprouts, 104–7
Squash
companions, 152
Master Charts, 92–95
temperature range for, 82
turning stems back, 71
watering, 74–75, 76
Squash bugs, 163
St. Johnwort, 119, 189
Steiner, Rudolf, 2–3, 5
Stinging nettle, 119, 144
Stocks, 118
Strawberries, 112–15, 152, 182
Strawflower, 118
Summer savory, 119, 155
Sunflowers, 29, 96–99, 148–49, 152
Sunlight
amount of, 123
companion planting for shade vs.,
148–49
Sunnhemp, giant, 100–103
Supply catalogs, 209–10
Sustainability
books on, 210–11
definition of, 22
fertilization and, 60
goal of 99%, 25, 26
impossibility of 100%, 24
reasons for, 30–33, 222–25
Sweet pea, 118
Sweet potatoes
as area- and weight-efficient
crop, 29
books on, 216
Master Charts, 92–95
temperature range for, 82
Sweet William, 118
Syntex Corporation, xxii
Syrphid flies, 159
Tachnid flies, 159
Tangelos, 112–15
Tangerines, 112–15
Tansy, 119, 150, 155
Tarragon, 119, 155
Technologies, appropriate, 166
Temperature
key, 85
ranges, 82
Teosinte, 100–103
Terracing, 211
Thyme, 119, 155
Timberleaf soil testing service, 52
Timothy, 100–103
Toads, 159
Tomatoes
companions and antagonists,
150, 152
Master Charts, 92–95
root system of, 18
soil temperature for
germination of, 83
staking, 122
temperature range for, 82
watering, 74–75, 76
Tomato worms, 150
INDEX
239
Tools
books on, 211
for seed propagation, 9, 69
for soil preparation, 9, 10–11, 13
for watering, 74
Trace minerals, 52
Traditional agriculture, 212
Transplanting, 65–66, 69–74
Traps, 161
Travel books, 196
Trees
benefits of, 85
books on, 212–14
Master Charts, 108–15
Trichogramma wasps, 159
Tropics, 214–16
Turnips
as area-efficient crop, 29
companions, 152
Master Charts, 92–95
soil temperature for
germination of, 83
temperature range for, 82
U-bar
dig, 15, 17
dimensions of, 13
240
INDEX
University of Arizona, 30
University of California at Santa
Cruz, xxii, 5
Valerian, 119, 144, 155, 189
Vegetable crops. See also individual
vegetables
area for, 27, 28, 29
books on, 216–17
companions and antagonists,
152–53
Master Charts, 88–95
for oil, 96–99
Vetch, 100–103
Videotapes, 230–31
Walnuts, 112–15, 183, 213
Watering, 217–18
compost pile, 40–41
plants, 74–77, 78, 79–80
soil, 77
Watermelon, 82, 83, 92–95
Water testing, 211
Weeds
books on, 173, 199, 218
controlling, 18, 81, 149
Weevils, 163
Weight-efficient crops, 29
Wheat, 86, 96–99, 104–7, 186
White, Larry, xxii
Whiteflies, 150
Willits, California, xix, 25, 231
Wilting, 77
Winter savory, 119
Wood ash, 54
Woodruff, 119
Wooly aphids, 163
Worms
in goats, 163
in horses, 163
Wormwood, 119, 155
Wrens, 151
Yarrow, 119, 155
Yields, xviii, xxiii, 84, 222–23.
See also Master Charts
Zaffaroni, Alejandro, xxii
Zinnia, 118
Zucchini, 92–95, 175
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[continued from inside front cover]
1984
The Peace Corps uses the French translation of How to Grow More Vegetables for
training in Togo, West Africa. Growing and
Gathering Your Own Fertilizers, a booklet,
is published in response to an appeal from
Eastern Europe for more detailed gardening advice. A 3-year apprentice program
begins at the Willits site. The Manor
House Agricultural Centre Biointensive
Program begins in Kenya, East Africa,
with Ecology Action’s assistance. The East
Coast site sponsors a Biointensive conference for agronomists and university professors. A successful Biointensive training
project is reported in Tanzania. Mexico’s
Social Security Program reports 2,000
Biointensive growing beds established in
67 communities in northeastern Mexico
as part of its Menos y Mejores (“Fewer Is
Better”) program. Ecology Action emphasizes complete diet mini-farming.
1985
Ecology Action publishes One Circle: How
to Grow a Complete Diet in Under 1,000
Square Feet, by David Duhon and Cindy
Gebhard. How to Grow More Vegetables
is translated into German. Segments of
Circle of Plenty, a PBS-TV special of Ecology Action’s work, is taped in Willits. Staff
and apprentices at the Willits site begin
terracing mountainside growing beds and
soil upgrading. Ecology Action acts as
advisor to a garden project in Zambia and
to a California restaurant garden. Visitors
to the California site include people from
Tibet, Trinidad, Kenya, Brazil, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic, Canada,
England, Mexico, Australia, Zambia,
Nepal, and Ethiopia. Timberleaf Farm
becomes Ecology Action’s official East
Coast site, emphasizing economic minifarming and soil research. Gary Stoner
completes a 1-year apprenticeship at
Willits and begins the Living Soil Garden
Project with the Menos y Mejores
program in Tula, Mexico.
1986
Growing to Seed is published, and PBS-TV
segments are taped in Tula, Mexico. The
International Institute of Rural Recon-
struction Biointensive Gardening Project
establishes 300 Biointensive beds on the
island of Negros in the Philippines as part
of a UNICEF project for malnourished
children.
1987
Circle of Plenty, the PBS documentary on
Ecology Action’s work in Willits and Gary
Stoner’s work in Tula, Mexico, is broadcast nationwide. A feature article appears
in The Christian Science Monitor on World
Food Day. Ecology Action staff visit and
advise the Menos y Mejores project in
Mexico. The Complete 21-Bed Biointensive
Mini-Farm booklet is published. Steve
Rioch begins a Biointensive mini-farm
demonstration, research, and education
project at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
Work at the Timberleaf Farm site is postponed until the Ohio University project
is completed. John Jeavons is named a
member of the Giraffe Project, honoring
people who stick their necks out for the
common good, and he receives a Santa Fe
Global Village Living Treasure award.
Ecology Action emphasizes sustainable
soil fertility.
1988
The One Basic Mexican Diet, Foliar
Feeding, and Backyard Garden Research
booklets are published. The first 3-week
workshop is offered in the Common
Ground mini-farm in Willits, California.
The workshop is based on hands-on
demonstration and a preliminary
curriculum/workbook, which is the
distillation of 16 years of Ecology Action’s
learning and experience. The Manor
House Agricultural Centre in Kenya, East
Africa, initiates an active 2-year apprentice
program. The Philippines Department of
Education mandates teaching of Biointensive gardening in all primary and
secondary schools. The director of the
Menos y Mejores program in Mexico
visits the Common Ground mini-farm for
advanced training, which results in
upgraded training for 250 key teachers in
Mexico. An article on sustainable soil
fertility, economic mini-farming, and Biointensive approaches is published in California Farmer. John Jeavons is presented
with the 19th Boise Peace Quilt Award.
1989
A 4-year bachelor of science degree
program is approved (subject to funding)
at Ohio University, under the auspices of
the Botany Department. The first accredited class in Biointensive mini-farming is
taught during the summer session.
Feature articles appear in Mother Earth
News, Vegetarian Times, and a United
States Information Agency publication.
There is a second national broadcast of
Circle of Plenty. Thirty-five agronomists
from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras,
and Costa Rica tour the Willits site. The
first 5-day workshop is held at the Willits
site with participants from the United
States and Mexico. Lectures are held at
Stanford University, Clemson University,
and Ohio University at Athens. MicroFarming: A Seventeen Year Perspective, A
Reading Guide, Micro-Farming as a Key to
the Revitalization of the World’s Agriculture
and Environment, and Green Manure
Crops, new booklets, are published. Man
of the Trees: Selected Writings of Richard
St. Barbe Baker, edited by Karen Gridley,
is published. St. Barbe Baker inspired the
planting of trillions of trees worldwide
during his lifetime. Lectures are given in
Mexico to farmers, students, agronomists,
and professors. Talks are sponsored by
Mexico’s Menos y Mejores program.
Over 63,000 Biointensive gardens are
reported in Mexico.
1990
Biointensive Composting, A Comprehensive
Definition of Sustainability, and Dried, Cut
and Edible Flowers for Pleasure, Food and
Income, three booklets, are published.
The first 6-week workshop is given at the
Willits site with advanced participants
from Mexico, Kenya, the Soviet Union,
and the United States. A 5-day workshop
is given at Stanford University for participants from Mexico and the United States.
A 5-day workshop is given at Stanford
University for 9 participants from the
Soviet Union and another another is given
at the Willits site for particpants from
Mexico and the United States. United
States Agricultural Extension agents are
given a class on sustainable soil fertility.
Two classes are given at Ohio University
during the summer session. A Latin
American Biointensive mini-farming
demonstration, research, and educational
site is established at Tizapan, Hildago,
Mexico. Translation of the Mini-Series
booklets into Spanish is begun. Forty-four
agronomists from El Salvador, Nicaragua,
Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Honduras
attend a tour at the Willits site. Representatives from Mexico’s University of Chapingo visit Willits and Ohio University to
prepare for a Biointensive program they
will initiate in Mexico. A project in
Ethiopia reports success in combining
Biointensive practices with aquaculture
ponds. After 13 years of testing, the Shri
A.M. M. Murugappa Chettiar Research
Centre in India reports it is ready to teach
Biointensive mini-farming throughout
India.
1991
The Kenyan Minister of Agriculture
expresses support for Biointensive
training. Fifty-two apprentices are
reported to be enrolled in the Manor
House Agricultural Centre 2-year
Biointensive Training Program. The
Center for Biointensive Mini-Farming is
established in Moscow, Russia. The
Mexican president’s Solidarity Program
funds additional training for Biointensive
promoters. The Huertos Familiares video
on Biointensive practices in Mexico is
produced. The University of Chapingo
creates a Department of Biointensive
Mini-Farming. A 5-day workshop is given
at Mexico’s University of Chapingo, a
class series is held at Mendocino College
in California, an accredited course is
offered at Stanford University, a workshop is held at Mexico’s University of
Oxochimilco, including Bolivian and
Haitian participants, and courses continue
at Ohio University. A 7-day workshop is
offered at Willits, with participants from
Mexico, Togo, Ireland, and the United
States. Presentations are made in Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; and
Vancouver, British Columbia. Classes and
presentations are given throughout the
year. Three new Ecology Action booklets
are written. How to Grow More Vegetables
is expanded and revised, and the 4th
edition is published in English and
Spanish.
1992
IIRR in the Philippines publishes illustrated Biointensive gardening booklets
in the Tagalog and Cebuano languages.
The Mexican Institute of Social Security/
Solidarity Program reports 70,000 new
Biointensive family gardens are initiated
in 1991. The Mexican National Institute
for Adult Education distributes 1,100
copies of the Biointensive video Heurtos
Ecologicos (The Ecological Garden)
throughout Mexico. The Colombian
Ministry of Agriculture uses some
Biointensive techniques for their vegetable garden programs. The Janus Project
in North Carolina begins training single
mothers in Biointensive economic minifarming. The Ford Foundation makes a
$221,000 3-year grant to the Manor House
Agricultural Centre’s Biointensive Training Program in Kenya so the program
can be more effectively expanded nationwide. Presentations on Biointensive minifarming are given at the Congress of
National Academy of Sciences in Cuba.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture
Organization representative in Ethiopia
commends Ecology Action on its work.
Biointensive sustainable mini-farming
classes and workshops are given: a
6-week workshop at Willits; courses at
Ohio University; a 7-day workshop in
Willits; a 3-day workshop in Seattle,
Washington; and a 5-day workshop in
Saltillo, Coahuilla, Mexico, cosponsored
by ECOPOL, Ecology Action, and
Ohio University.
1993
Three-day workshops are given at Stanford
University and in San Diego, with 55
participants from 7 states, Canada, Mexico,
Iran, Argentina, and Nepal. Linda Sickles
of Pennsylvania attends the March 3-day
workshop; begins using her farm for
Biointensive demonstration, research, and
teaching; and gives workshops at the
Philadelphia Community Gardens and at
Graterford State Prison. Helene Huber
turns her enthusiasm for Ecology Action’s
work into a gardening network, Gardeners
in Community, and encourages Habitat for
Humanity to establish Gardens for
Humanity—gardens to accompany the
houses that it helps to build. Gardening
classes are given almost weekly at Ecology
Action’s Common Ground Education
Center in Palo Alto. John Jeavons gives
public presentations for the Sierra Club
Agriculture Committee and delivers a keynote speech at The American Horticultural
Society’s National Symposium, Washington, D.C. Four half-day garden tours are
held at Willits Research Garden, several
series of classes are given for Mendocino
College for Beginning and Intermediate/
Advanced gardeners, and 2 Ohio University 5-day courses are taught. A 7-day
workshop is held in Willits, with participants from the United States and Mexico.
A Russian translation of How to Grow More
Vegetables is completed, and Lazy-Bed
Gardening is published by Ten Speed
Press. Training Centers have now been
established on each of 5 continents—
the fulfillment of a 1983 goal. The new goal
is to catalyze the establishment of training
centers in each country in the world. Biosphere II, using techniques based on
Ecology Action’s work, raises 80% of its
food needs for the last 2 years within a
“closed system.” This experience demonstrates that a complete year’s diet for one
person could be raised on 3,403 square
feet ( 1 ⁄ 6 – 1 ⁄ 13 of what commercial agriculture is using to feed one person). In India,
village women gardening with Biointensive
methods on their own small plots raise
enough food to feed their families and
bring in a whole year’s income. In Mexico
thousands of new people each year are
taught Biointensive methods for nutrition
intervention for themselves and their
families. Publications and videos in Spanish
spread Biointensive techniques in Latin
America. The Manor House Agricultural
Centre in Kenya is directly and indirectly
responsible for training over 30,000 minifarmers during the past 7 years. The
Centre opens its training programs to
international students.
1994
Biointensive research focuses on producing complete nutrition, sustainable soil
fertility, income, resource conservation,
and the preservation of genetic diversity.
Classes, tours, and lectures are given
throughout the year, including presentations at the Social Ventures Network,
Bioneers, the University of California at
Davis, and the New Haven Ecology
Project. Two 3-day workshops are given at
Willits, California, with 72 participants
from 14 states, Mexico, and Siberia. A
workshop is given to staff at the Seeds of
Change in New Mexico. A 6-week workshop is taught in Willits, California, with
key Biointensive practitioners from Kenya
and Mexico. Biointensive courses are
given at Ohio University. Two Kenyans
intern for 6 months at Ecology Action’s
mini-farm in Willits. A 7-day workshop is
taught in Willits for participants from
Kenya, Mexico, Argentina, and the United
States. Willits Research Garden Tour
participants include a representative of
Global 20/20, who is working with projects in South Africa and Mali. The PBSTV program Market to Market nationally
airs a 10-minute segment about Ecology
Action’s sustainable Biointensive minifarming work. Twenty thousand copies
of the Russian translation of How to Grow
More Vegetables are reported sold. Ana
Maria Vasquez helps establish
Biointensive gardens at 17 drug rehabilitation centers in Colombia. Technical
assistance is continually given worldwide,
including projects in: drought-stricken
India, the Caribbean island of Montserrat,
the Stockholm Environmental Institute of
Boston, Massachusetts, Guatemala,
Kenya, Mexico, and Russia.
In Kenya, 35 farmer groups (536
people) are trained in 5-day workshops
at the Manor House Agricultural Centre.
This training improves many aspects of
villagers’ lives. Earnings from vegetable
sales by women’s farmer groups in the
Local Outreach Program (LOP) are used
to construct water tanks, start poultry
projects, and build family shelters. Nineteen 2-year apprentices graduate from
Manor House. In one province, 125
displaced people are reported to be practicing the Biointensive method. Thirty
groups in Kenya’s Cheptobot area request
to be incorporated into LOP’s extension
visits. Most LOP target group participants
and their follower farmers have significantly improved their diet and level of
income over the past 9–17 months.
Kenya’s Minister for Agriculture, Simeon
Nyacae, states that organic farming
methods need to be adopted and developed in Kenya, since food items have
become expensive and hazardous due to
the use of chemicals.
In Mexico, sustainable Biointensive
workshops are given regularly throughout
the country, including classes taught at
Antonio Narro Agricultural University and
the University of Chapingo. The new
tropical demonstration/training center in
Chiapas is further developed. Six more
Ecology Action booklets are translated
into Spanish. A 3rd edition of Huertos
Familiares and 9 videos (in Spanish) on
different environmental topics are completed. UNESCO and the Public Education Department express interest in
including the Biointensive method in a
study program of 197 high schools and as
a subject in 5 research centers. Antonia
Dodero Salinas teaches Biointensive
techniques to 40 forest guards and other
villagers and students in the Lacandon
jungle area of Chiapas.
1995
Future Fertility: Transforming Human
Waste into Human Wealth, by John Beeby,
Growing Medicinal Herbs, by Louisa Lenz,
and the 5th edition of How to Grow More
Vegetables, by John Jeavons, are published.
Bountiful Gardens initiates a Small Seed
Company Conference at the Asilomar EcoFarm Conference. Biointensive presentations are made to: a Smith and Hawkens
class, at Cornell University, Syracuse
University; the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, in Berkeley,
California; the Coyote Point Environmental Center in San Mateo, California;
the National Geographic Research and
Exploration Committee in Santa Fe; and
the Bioneers Conference in San Francisco, California. Ecology Action gives two
3-day workshops in Willits, California, for
a total of 50 people from 15 states and 5
countries. John Jeavons presents 2 workshops in Hawaii to over 200 people, and
teaches an accredited Biointensive class
on Hawaiian television. John Jeavons also
presents a 3-day workshop at Sol y Sombra
in Santa Fe, New Mexico. People from
Mexico, Kenya, Haiti, and the United
States take part in a 6-month internship at
the Willits mini-farm. Three educational
mini-farm tours are held. The first 7-day
teachers workshop is given at the minifarm, with 20 participants from 6 states
and 5 countries. A mini-farm tour is given
for the Director and staff of Fetzer Vineyard Garden. Materials are provided to a
group of Cuban farmers who tour the
mini-farm under the auspices of Food
First. A 1-day workshop is given at the
mini-farm. In Kenya, the Local Outreach
Program (LOP), a project of Manor
House Agricultural Centre, holds 4 separate meetings with the Kenya Ministries
of Health and Agriculture, working out
ways to collaborate to avoid duplication of
effort. Through using Biointensive
methods, maize yields for the Kaisagat
Women’s Group increased from an
average of 4 bags per hectare to 10. After
seeing demonstration gardens, farmers
realize it is better to work a small, wellfertilized piece of land than a larger unfertilized piece. LOP receives requests from
30 farmer groups who want to be incorporated into LOP training programs. A
Peace Corps member videotapes LOP
activities with Kenyan farmer groups to
show key business practices to others.
The Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture joins
LOP for farm research trials that emphasize Biointensive practices. In Mexico,
Padre Julio Cesar de la Garza of La Milpa
group gives week-long workshops
monthly to an average of 30 people per
session. These workshops are given at
Linares and Mier y Noriega, an arid
region where the group maintains demonstration centers. Coordinators from 16
coastal communities in Chiapas state in
Mexico report the establishment of 2
mini-demonstration centers. Under DIF
(an organization in each state comparable
to the US WIC program) in Mexico, 15
1-week theoretical and practical courses
are held in 10 states for 375 participants.
Ing. Moises Cuevas in Texcoco, Mexico,
prepares “A Technical Package for the
Production of Organic Vegetables” for use
among unions of producers and other
interested people. Dr. Jose Francisco
Rodriguez of the University of Antonio
Narro initiates the process to create a
6-semester course in “Technician in the
Biointensive Method.” Ing. Gaspar
Mayagoitia gives 8 1-week courses to
promotores and residents of mestiza and
indigenous communities in Chihuahua
state. The Ecological Groups of Uruapan,
Mexico, start to include Biointensive
methods in their work with indigenous
communities. An intermediate work-shop
is held in 7 states in Mexico, under the
auspices of SEMARNAP. The Instituto
Nacional Indigenista teaches Biointensive
methods to all its interns and charges in
120 shelters. ECOPOL, Ecology Action’s
counterpart for Latin America, gives workshops in San Luis Potosi, Oaxaca, and
Tizapan to a total of 89 promotores from 20
states. ECOPOL also gives a 5-day workshop in Aguascalientes state to 36 agronomists, promotores, biologists and civil
engineers from 8 states, sponsored by the
United Nations Development Program.
1996
Technical advice is given to Ecological
Soil Management in West Bank, Israel.
Information on Ecology Action and the
Biointensive philosophy appears on PBS’s
New Garden program, in Garden Design
magazine, and in Rodale’s Vitamin A+
Sieve newsletter. John Jeavons participates in a panel at the Eco-Farm Conference at Asilomar. The Rodale Book Club
offers the 5th edition of How to Grow
More Vegetables as a main selection.
Ecology Action gives a 3-day workshop in
Willits, California, with 45 participants
and 3 translators from 10 states, Russia,
Mexico, and Uganda. One of the Russians
is the director of the Russian Ministry of
Agriculture’s Teaching and Methodological Center near Moscow, which serves
292 agriculture technology schools and
colleges. John Jeavons presents a 3-day
workshop at Green Gulch Center Farm
near San Francisco, with 64 people
attending from 6 states and 2 countries.
Ecology Action staff teach another 3-day
workshop in Seattle with 29 participants
from 10 states and Kenya. Fairhaven
College in Washington approves a 5-year
plan for a Biointensive program of 25
beds a year. The U.S. Peace Corps orders
One Circle for use in Turkmenistan.
Fernando Pia, director of CIESA in
Argentina, reports that, given their excellent results with Biointensive methods,
they now have farming plans that allow an
individual working only 35 hours a week
to provide between 60% and 80% of a
vegetarian diet for a family of four, plus a
reasonable income, on as little as 8,600
square feet. CIESA is visited by 25 agronomic engineers from the National Institute of Agricultural Technology, who are
surprised and impressed by the Center
and its yields. The Republic of Georgia
establishes its first Biointensive beds in
the Samtredia region and Tbilisi.
ECODOM and Biointensive for Russia
host a 3-day workshop in Siberia, cosponsored by the Novisibirsk State Agrouniversity and its farmers’ extension
service; 68 people participate. It is
reported that the yields of Biointensive
experiments in Siberia average 287% of
U.S. average yields. A rural service center
in Zimbabwe is awarded a grant for the
2nd year of its 5-year Biointensive Development Program. A resource center in
India receives a grant to help local women
in 10 villages start Biointensive gardens
for home consumption and income. In
Chiapas state, Mexico, Enrique Reyna
conducts four Biointensive workshops for
pioneers in new population centers. He
also gives a workshop for 60 rural people
in Tabasco state. Gaspar Mayagoitia gives
7 workshops in Chihuahua state for 110
participants from agricultural high schools
and members of Rural Development who
work in the Tarahumara mountains. John
Jeavons gives Biointensive presentations
and meets with farmers, teachers, and
officials in Chihuahua and Nuevo Leon
states. The Biointensivistas (Mexican
Biointensive teachers who have trained at
the Willits mini-farm) initiate their first
annual meeting in Nuevo Leon state.
1997
Ecology Action gives a 3-day workshop in
Willits with 42 participants from 5 states,
Mexico, and Russia. Nine of the 12 participants from Mexico stay on for 3 days
of advanced training at the mini-farm. A
second 3-day workshop in Willits has
40 participants from 8 states and Puerto
Rico, Togo, Kenya, and Japan. Some of
the participants have strong connections
with the Phillipines, Russia, Ladakh,
Ghana, the Virgin Islands, Colombia,
Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Nigeria,
and the Ivory Coast. John Jeavons
presents a 3-day workshop in Hawaii for
29 participants, including many indigenous people. The second 7-day teachers
workshop is given at the Willits mini-farm.
An advanced-level 10-week course is given
at the mini-farm, with participants from
Mexico, Kenya, and Togo. Ecology Action
gives technical assistance to Katalysis/
Honduras, Watts Growing, The Mass
Education Library Service in Mumias,
Kenya, and the Instituto Rural Valle
Grande in Peru. A 3-day workshop participant, comparing soil samples, is amazed
at the difference that double-digging
makes. Another 3-day workshop participant works with the University of California at Santa Cruz to test the nutritional
value of foods he is growing in
Biointensive field tests. Carol Cox
coteaches at a joint ECODOM/Ecology
Action workshop in Siberia. Carol
Vesecky, director of Biointensive for
Russia, reports that since Biointensive
was introduced to Russia in 1990, 18
Eurasians have trained at 3-day workshops in Willits, 1,568 people have been
taught, 30 articles have been written, and
25 radio/TV programs have been broadcast. Forty-nine thousand copies of the
Russian translation of How to Grow More
Vegetables are distributed throughout
Russia. In Kenya, Manor House gives two
3-month courses for agricultural agents
from Tanzania and Uganda. The Environmental Action Team teaches Biointensive
methods to 17 farmer groups in western
Kenya. Four farmer groups attend 1-week
workshops at Manor House with assistance from the Kilili Self-Help Project.
People from Uganda ask Manor House
trainers about the possiblity of starting a
Biointensive training center in their
country. Manor House reports that as a
result of its 13 years of training, 40 other
NGO’s in Kenya are initiating Biointensive
projects and over 70,000 people have been
trained directly and indirectly. An independently commissioned study asserts
that between 1992 and 1996, as a result of
Biointensive training in Kenya, among the
farmers studied, self-sufficiency in maize
production was boosted from 22% to 48%,
hunger was reduced from 57% to 24%, and
the proportion of farmers needing to buy
vegetables was reduced from 85% to 11%.
In Mexico, the Ministry of the Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries
gives a Biointensive workshop for 25
people, funded by the U.N. The Tizapan
Demonstration/Training Center in
Hidalgo state gives a course for 16 IMSS
promotores who work with 80 communities, another to 40 community leaders,
and a third to 30 IMSS promotores. Gaspar
Mayagoitia reports that he and Maristas
priests are establishing Biointensive
modules in 16 boarding schools in the
Chihuahua mountains for Tarahumara
children. Moises Cuevas of the University
of Chapingo gives a 5-day course to
people from 7 Mexican states and Peru.
1998
Ecology Action gives a 3-day workshop in
Willits for 42 people from 5 states and
Mexico. Two of the Mexican participants
work for the Mexican Ministry of Natural
Resources, the Environment and Fisheries
(SEMARNAP), and 4 other participants
later give workshops in Uzbekistan. John
Jeavons presents 3-day workshops in
Austin, Texas; Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and
Vancouver, British Columbia. Ecology
Action gives a 3-day workshop in Santa
Barbara, California, for 41 people from
California and Italy. Earth Day presentations are made at Humboldt State University and Mendocino College, both in
California. Technical assistance is given to
the Kentucky Department of Health, a
California PBS food and farming show, the
director of a hospital in Tijuana, and
Proyecto Esperanza in Mexico, which
trains people to stay on their land, return
to their land, or learn new skills. The first
5-day basic-level teachers workshop is held
at the Willits mini-farm for 16 participants,
Ecology Action’s first step toward implementing its Certification Program. Two
interns from Kenya and 2 Huichol trainees
from Mexico receive 6 months of training
at the Willits mini-farm. Steve Moore of
Wilson College in Pennsylvania is invited
to the UN’s Commission on Sustainable
Development and acts as Biointensive
representative there. CIESA in Argentina
gives 3 Biointensive workshops for a total
of 72 people, some of whom are very poor
farmers from arid Patagonia. In Kenya,
Manor House staff help produce a Sustainable Agriculture Extension Manual. Oxfam
reports that over 80% of its projects in
Kenya employ Manor House graduates or
students on field attachment. Manor
House gives 2 advanced follow-up workshops, collaborating with the Peace Corps
and the Environmental Action Team.
Manor House gives a 1-week workshop to
8 participants from Rwanda, Holland,
Uganda, and Kenya, and presents many
other 1-week workshops for farmer
groups. A representative from the
Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture visits
Manor House to learn about Biointensive.
Two people from the Zimbabwe Orphans
Trust take 6 weeks of specialized training
at Manor House. Manor House reports
that within one year of receiving training,
one farmer’s income surpassed that of her
husband’s teaching salary. In Mexico,
Patricia Munoz and Salvador Morelos give
a 3-month course at Aguascalientes University plus another course for the children of
university teachers and employees. A
course is given at the Tizapan, Mexico,
demonstration/training site for 35 IMSS
doctors and promotores. The La Milpa
group in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, reports that
it has trained 570 people in basic courses
in 3 1 ⁄ 2 years. Juan Manuel Martinez,
director of ECOPOL, gives bimonthly
courses for politicians and government
employees who can influence agricultural
policy at high levels and trains a group of
25 indigenous women, all community
leaders, in the mountains of Puebla state.
Chihuahua state establishes an Academy of
Biointensive and Sustainable Agriculture to
oversee schools where Biointensive is a
required subject. The 2 employees of
SEMARNAP who attended the Willits
workshop initiate a Biointensive awareness
program for high-level government
employees. Empresas en Solidaridad, a
government social organization in Tabasco,
Mexico, adopts the Biointensive method in
4 communities after Enrique Reyna gives
trainings in the area. A 5-day basic-level
national Biointensive workshop is given at
the University of Chapingo in Mexico.
1999
The terms GROW
and
are registered with the United States and Mexican
trademark offices respectively to denote
the type of Biointensive food-raising practices developed by Ecology Action and to
assure the quality of GROW BIOINTENSIVE
and CULTIVE BIOINTENSIVAMENTE workshops, publications, and produce.
Three apprentices are in residence at
the Willits mini-farm. Ecology Action gives
2 GROW BIOINTENSIVESM 3-day workshops in
Willits for a total of 75 people from 10
states, Russia, and Sri Lanka. John Jeavons
presents GROW BIOINTENSIVESM 3-day workshops in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania;
Fairfield, Iowa; Boulder, Colorado; and
Austin, Texas. A summer course is held
for Ecology Action apprentices and
interns. Ecology Action gives its second
GROW BIOINTENSIVESM basic-level teachers
workshop at the mini-farm. Booklet #13,
Growing to Seed, is revised and updated.
Four new worksheets are created to help
make data and teaching reports easier. A
survey form is developed to gather information for the International GROW BIOINTENSIVETM Directory. A PBS special, The
Living Land, features John Jeavons, Wes
Jackson, Alice Waters, and Mas
Masumoto. The upper knoll section of
Ecology Action’s mini-farm/research
garden is converted to a closed-system
basis in order to monitor soil sustainability. Former 3-day workshop participants start a GROW BIOINTENSIVE
workgroup in Austin. A basic-level
teachers workshop participant gives three
1-day seminars at his ranch for farmers,
academics, and gardeners. A farmer in
Honduras reports that after 52 hours of
rain, when other farmers had crops
washed away, his Biointensive beds stayed
in place. A 3-person team holds a 1-week
follow-up workshop review in Uzbekistan,
then gives a 3-day workshop for 50 people
in Russia. In Argentina, CIESA gives two
3-day workshops for a total of 45 people.
CIESA Director Fernando Pia reports that
he travels monthly to arid Patagonia,
where many indigenous people live, to
advise Biointensive projects developed by
former apprentices; the area has
extremely difficult growing conditions.
BIOINTENSIVE ®
CULTIVE BIOINTENSIVAMENTE MR
Juan Manuel Martinez, director of the
Mexican nonprofit ECOPOL, gives a
workshop in Ecuador to leaders of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs),
peasants, and producers. In Kenya, a
women’s group being trained by the
Environmental Action Team reports they
no longer have to spend time searching
for vegetables to purchase; their husbands are helping them farm because of
the success of Biointensive methods.
Also, most of the group have experienced
an increase in income. Manor House
gives a 3-month course for 5 people from
World Vision Morulem Irrigation Project.
A woman who took the Manor House 6week course establishes a 16-bed demonstration garden and teaches 38 farmers.
Trans-Nzoia province’s District Commissioner, Minister of Health, and District
Agricultural Officer tour Manor House.
It is reported that members of BIDII
women’s group, who have been trained
by Environmental Action Team for 2
years, now have enough vegetables to
feed their families, while neighbors not
practicing Biointensive face serious shortages. A former Ecology Action 3-day
workshop participant sends 12 Baptist
missionaries to Manor House to learn
Biointensive methodology and share it
with their communities. Manor House
carries out a field day in Kenya in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture
and other organizations; 500 people attend. In Mexico, a new Biointensive center is developed in a foggy jungle in
Veracruz state and gives a 1-week workshop each month. Its thrust is to help
people learn to grow their own food so
they don’t have to destroy the forest to
survive. ECOPOL translates its Huertas
Familiares (Family Gardens) booklet into
3 indigenous languages. Biointensive is
also being disseminated by radio in 3
other indigenous languages. The
CEREMI Center for Juvenile Offenders in
Chihuahua, Mexico, has a 105-bed Biointensive garden that produces food for
the inmates as well as for an old people’s
home. Juan Manuel Martinez writes 2
articles on the agricultural crisis and on
Biointensive for Tlatani, the magazine of
the Boy Scouts in Mexico.
2000
The first international Biointensive conference, “Soil, Food and People,” is held at
the University of California, Davis. Over
200 people from 28 states and 16 countries
attend, including the directors of
Biointensive projects in Mexico, Kenya,
and Argentina, members of the academic
community, GROW BIOINTENSIVE and Biointensive practitioners, and the general
public. John Jeavons presents a GROW
BIOINTENSIVESM 3-day workshop in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, for 49 participants.
A 5-day GROW BIOINTENSIVESM basic-level
teachers workshop takes place at the
Willits mini-farm with 7 participants. Ecology Action gives a GROW BIOINTENSIVESM 3day workshop in Willits for 30 people from
5 states, New Zealand, and the Federated
States of Micronesia. A 1-day GROW BIOINTENSIVESM practical workshop is held at
the Willits mini-farm, with emphasis on
hands-on training. Ecology Action staff
teaches a course on “Introduction to Biointensive Mini-Farming” at Mendocino
College. A presentation is made at the EcoFarm Conference at Asilomar. Technical
Booklet #1, Solar Water Heater, by Jeff
Smith and John Warner, and the revised
edition of Booklet #30, GROW BIOINTENSIVE®
Sustainable Mini-Farming Teacher Training and Certification Program, are published. The California Superintendant of
Public Education visits a GROW BIOINTENSIVE
gardening program at a Santa Barbara
school and calls it a model program for
what the state is looking for. Carol Vesecky
and Daniel and Amber Vallotton make a 23day trek to Uzbekistan, which includes
giving a 5-day workshop to 72 scholars,
activists, and gardeners. Aleksandr Avrorin
of Biointensive for Russia gives workshops
in 3 towns in southern Russia and another
3-day workshop in Siberia. In Argentina,
CIESA gives three 3-day basic workshops
to a total of 76 people, one of whom is the
president of the Argentinean Organic
Movement. A 2-day workshop is also given
for 23 people as well as a 3-day workshop
for 13 previously trained people. Six of the
7 farmers who attend this latter workshop
teach Biointensive methods to others.
CIESA Director Fernando Pia coordinates
a workshop at the first Latin American
Congress of Organic Commercialization in
Buenos Aires, Argentina, and presents a
poster of his work at the IFOAM Conference in Basel, Switzerland. In Kenya,
Manor House reports that Biointensive
methods and a new pump help their gardens flourish during “one of the worst
droughts in the country’s history.” Festus
Wakhungu gives a workshop for 65
Catholic teacher-trainees from the Sudan.
The first foreign student enrolls in Manor
House’s 2-year course. Manor House sponsors their first field day at the Centre, with
almost 1,000 attending. As a result, Oxfam
offers to sponsor all Manor House 2-year
students on their field assignments. Fifteen
U.S. pastors take a 1-week workshop at
Manor House. Manor House gives the first
advanced workshop to representatives
from 3 farmer groups. Manor House establishes the first 5 mini-farms in local communities and trains farmers to facilitate
them. In Mexico, Ricardo Romero gives a
1-week workshop each month at the foggy
jungle demonstration/training site in Veracruz state. Juan Manuel Martinez, director of ECOPOL, reports that Enrique
Reyna is working with SOCAMA in Chiapas state and has trained over 11,000 families in Biointensive techniques. The
University of Chapingo, the most prestigious agricultural school in Mexico, announces it is instituting “Methods of
Organic, Biointensive, and Sustainable
Agriculture” as part of its curriculum. The
La Milpa group gives quarterly 1-week
workshops in Nuevo Leon state. Moises
Cuevas teaches a 5-day course at AALTERMEX as well as 3 2-day workshops during
the year. Juan Manuel Martinez reports
that approximately 1.8 million people
throughout all 32 states in Mexico are still
benefiting from Biointensive home gardens
established in the last 11 years. ECOPOL
teacher Enrique Reyna gives a work-shop
for 28 people in El Salvador; participants
include 20 representatives of different
communities. Julio Cesar de la Garza and
Gaspar Mayagoitia, also ECOPOL teachers, give 3 workshops in Ecuador to a total
of 148 people and install demonstration
centers there. Eleven Ecuador-ean organizations sponsor these workshops, including the Ecuador Ministry of Agriculture.

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