Ecology Action's ePublications

(for print publications including How to Grow More Vegetables
and The Sustainable Vegetable Garden, click here)


  • Featured Download
  • eBooklets
  • eInformation Sheets/Articles
  • Other ePublications/Downloads

Featured Download:
The Farmer's Handbook - Enhanced with Full-Color Teaching Posters

8 GB Essential Elements Posters in a group

The Farmer's Mini-Handbook: GROW BIOINTENSIVE Sustainable Mini-Farming by Margo Royer-Miller was first published in 2011. Since then, due to popular demand, we've translated it into 7 other languages (French, Spanish, German, Turkish, Hindi, Russian, and Portuguese).
You can download all of them here, for free.

New in 2018: to celebrate our eBooklets coming online this September, we're releasing an enhanced version of The Farmer's Handbook: one that includes 8 full-color teaching posters that beautifully illustrate the guiding principles of the GROW BIOINTENSIVE method.

We are offering this handbook to you at no charge,
but we ask you to make a donation help keep our work growing.

Donations help us teach people around the world to grow healthy food and fertile soil, and allow us to create beautiful and useful publications like this one for the whole world to use.

The Farmer's Mini-Handbook, Enhanced Edition
34 pages, including 8 full-color posters
Price: $0.00. Suggested Donation: $5.00
Click Add to Cart, below.
When you check out, enter the amount you would like to donate in the price box
(enter 0 if you do not wish to donate at this time).

Add to Cart





The following booklets were written by John Jeavons, Ecology Action staff and apprentices, and contain basic information for learning GROW BIOINTENSIVE method and other techniques.

All English language eBooklets will be online by the end of October 2018. Information sheets to follow soon!

Print versions of our booklets are available for in-person purchase by workshop, class, and internship participants only.We apologize for this inconvenience - since our online store Bountiful Gardens closed in 2017, we no longer have the ability to fulfill print orders for the general public.


Booklet 0

Biointensive Mini-Farming: A Rational Use of Natural Resources
EA Staff, 1985, 13 pp. Price: $1.00

Explains what Ecology Action is doing and why. Well footnoted.

Booklet 1

Cucumber Bonanza
J Mogador Griffin, 1979, 18 pp. Price: $2.00

Takes cucumbers as an example of a crop history and goes through 7 years of work, from 1973 to 1979, during which yields in our research gardens increased from 140 to 400 pounds per bed. An excellent introduction to mini-farming and the variables which can be examined for greater yields.




Booklet 2

One Crop Test Booklet: Soybeans
By: Griffin & Jeavons, 1980, 24 pp. Price: $2.00

Contains step-by-step instructions for conducting comparative tests for spacing and yield (with optional water monitoring) for soybeans, an important protein crop.




Booklet 9: A Perspective

A Perspective
By: John Jeavons
1981, 17 pp , Price: $2.00

A paper given at The Second International Conference on Small Scale Intensive Food Production, reporting on the worldwide efforts of Ecology Action and others.




Booklet 11: Examining the Tropics

Examining the Tropics: A Small Scale Approach to Sustainable Agriculture
Jeavons & Griffin, 1982, 40 pp. Price: $4.00

A “working paper” designed to present basic information on the tropics. Contains a large bibliography.




Booklet 12

Growing and Gathering Your Own Fertilizer
EA staff, 1984, 140 pp.

We’ve had increasing requests for a book on how to grow your own fertilizer from common materials. Over 90 of tables on the fertilizer potential of common home, garden and farm materials. Many places in the world (US also) simply cannot easily get commercial or prepared fertilizers. Get independence in your garden.


Not currently available in electronic format.


Booklet 13

Growing to Seed
Peter Donelan, revised 1999, 45 pp. Price: $4.00

How to grow all your own seed in the smallest possible area in your own backyard. Maintain optimum health and genetic diversity in your seed stock! Includes information on vegetables, grains, cover crops, seed exchanges, and seed co-operatives, plus a bibliography. Essential tables on crops and their seed-saving characteristics.





The Spanish language version of Booklet #13
Cultivo de Semillas
is available as a PDF.
To download a free copy, click here. (1.33 MB file)

Booklet 14

The Complete 21-Bed Biointensive Mini-Farm
John Jeavons, 1987, 32 pp. Price: $3.00

Currently it takes a minimum of 10,000 square feet to feed one person in the U.S., and often 16,000 square feet to feed one person in the Third World. This booklet gives a step-by-step approach on how to start sustainably growing all your food, a small income, and compost crops in as little as 2,100 square feet. Assumes you've read How to Grow More Vegetables, One Circle, Backyard Homestead.




Booklet 15

One Basic Mexican Diet
J Mogador Griffin, 1987, 32 pp. Price: $3.00

This booklet grew out of Gary Stoner’s work with the Menos y Mejores project in Tula, Tamaulipas, Mexico. It includes an exploration and complete nutritional analysis of a typical family diet. We can learn much about providing for ourselves from our friends in Tula. Available in both English and Spanish - please specify when ordering.




Booklet 16

Foliar Feeding
Peter Donelan, 1988, 9 pp. Price: $1.50

A consideration of how to get the most from your crops through foliar feeding, with several easy-to-make-at-home recipes for sprays.




Booklet 17

Backyard Garden Research
John Jeavons & Bill Bruneau, 1988, 32 pp. Price: $3.00

Techniques for improving your garden and gardening. What to look at when setting up your garden, ways to improve your garden’s performance, and how to listen to what your garden is telling you.




Booklet 18

Dried, Cut, and Edible Flowers for Pleasure, Food and Income
Louisa Lenz, 1990, 60 pp. Price: $6.00

Flowers enrich our lives, are often quite useful for vegetable growing by serving as food sources for pollinating insects, can be part of a good business, and many are even good to eat! Cultivation of dried and cut flowers, information on edible flowers, and economic data on mini-farming flowers commercially. Illustrated.




Booklet 19

Biointensive Micro-Farming; A Seventeen Year Perspective
John Jeavons, 1989, 20 pp. Price: $3.00

This booklet answers many of the most commonly asked questions about our work and the purpose and direction of our research.




Booklet 20

An Ecology Action Reading Guide
John Jeavons, 1988, 12 pp. Price: $4.50

Our Ecology Action publications contain a wealth of information - here is John’s plan for the best way to use them to make your learning easier. What to read when, plus suggested supplemental readings. Create your own curriculum.




Booklet 21

Micro-farmers as a Key to The Revitalization of the World’s Agriculture and Environment
John Jeavons, 1989, 13 pp.

Micro-farming in a global and a national context--shows the contribution it can make to solving many of our current environmental and agricultural problems.


Not currently available in electronic format.


Booklet 22

Grow Your Manure For Free
John Jeavons & Bill Bruneau, 1990, 12 pp. Price: $1.25

An excellent and concise summary on growing compost crops to improve your soil’s fertility. Highlights ten exceptional crops and their respective advantages, with tips on how to plant and compost them.




Booklet 24

Ecology Action’s Comprehensive Definition of Sustainability
John Jeavons & Steve Rioch, 2005, 4 pp. Price: $1.00

What specifically sustainability is, with notes.




Booklet 25

One Basic Kenyan Diet: Diet, Income and Compost Crop Designs in a Three Bed Learning Model
Patrick Wasike, 1991, 23 pp. Price: $2.50

A thorough analysis of a vegetarian Kenyan diet. A fully sustainable three bed model, based on our Booklet 14. Profusely illustrated with charts and references.




Booklet 26

Learning To Grow All Your Own Food: One Bed Model For Compost, Diet and Income Crops
Carol Cox & Staff, 1991, 25 pp. Price: $2.50

Based on Booklet 14, this complete course was developed through our workshops on the one-bed learning & teaching model. Gives detailed cultural instructions for many crops that we have found successful in our research garden. Good materials for planning and record keeping.




Booklet 27

Growing Medicinal Herbs in as Little as Fifty Square Feet - Uses and Recipes
Louisa Lenz-Porter, 1995, 40 pp.

How to grow most of one person’s medicinal herbs in as little as 50 square feet. An herbal “medicine cabinet.” of 24 common, easily grown herbs is described in depth. Instructions, recipes, and bibliography take an easy approach to an enjoyable activity. Sample 50-sq-foot bed with ideas for personal modifications.


Not currently available in electronic format.


Booklet 28

The Smallest Possible Area to Grow Food and Feed
Emmanuel Chiwo Omondi, 1997, 45 pp. Price: $4.50

Sustainable diet and dairy production, for a family with one cow.




Test Your Soil With Plants: Second Edition
(formerly Booklet 29 - now revised and expanded!)

John Beeby, Booklet 29, 2nd ed. 2013, 168 pp.

For thousands of years, farmers were able to predict the agricultural value of land by observing the plants that grow on it. This book shows you how to optimize your garden's health and productivity, simply by observing the plants growing in your garden. Learn what natural fertilizers lead to best garden health. Fully revised and updated edition. Includes color photos.

"Notice the number of different kinds of plants growing in that soil, perhaps some so small and inconspicuous you have to get down on your hands and knees to see, perhaps others that tower above you. Realize that each one of those plants, and every plant, speaks of the conditions in which it grows. The language it speaks can only be seen, not heard. Through its presence, form, color and vigor, each plant describes - in general or very specific terms - the moisture, acidity, nutrient content, and other conditions of the soil. The simple fact that a particular plant is growing there is telling you something about that soil. The fact that the plant is stunted and its growing tips are withered is telling you something. The fact that its color is a deep green, but it seems not to be vigorous, is telling you somethings. Now, take a look at that little patch of ground and plants again, and imagine the hundred, maybe thousands, of pieces if information that are being communicated to you! " - From the Introduction

Not currently available in electronic format.


Booklet 30

GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Sustainable Mini-Farming Teacher Certification Program
EA Staff, 2009, 38 pp. FREE

Details for those who are interested in the requirements and process for becoming Certified Teachers of Biointensive techniques.

Booklet 31

Designing a GROW BIOINTENSIVE(R) Sustainable Mini-Farm – A Working Paper
Ecology Action Staff, Revised 2013, 45 pp. Price: $4.50

Introduces in detail the concepts behind the design of a sustainable mini-farm that provides compost material for soil fertility, food for a balanced diet, and crops to market for a small income, all in the smallest possible area. Includes 10 forms to be filled out with data from your own garden site and nutritional needs and takes you through the process that will end in a sustainable design for your own specific situation. The process is one used in our workshops that has evolved over many years... a practical tool for your home garden!





The Spanish language version of
Booklet #31: Diseno de un Mini-Huerto Sustentable CULTIVE BIOINTENSIVAMENTEMR
is available as a PDF.

To download a free copy, click here.
(~879KB file)

Booklet 32

GROW BIOINTENSIVE(R) Composting and Growing Compost Materials
Ecology Action Staff, 2004, 35 pp. Price: $3.75

Revised version of discontinued booklets 10 and 23. This book details our research into producing the highest quality compost from crops grown in your own garden. All that we have learned in the past 14 years has been included.




Booklet 33

Grow Your Own Grains
Carol Cox, 2008, 28 pp Price: $2.25

At last! Basic grain raising and harvesting on a small scale, appropriate for a home garden. How to grow and use barley, oats, cereal rye, triticale, wheat, amaranth, corn, millet, quinoa, rice, sorghum and teff. Carol Cox is the Garden Manager at our Ecology Action Research Mini-Farm in Willits, and has been growing all kinds of grains for many years. A working paper.




The Spanish language version of Booklet #33
Cultiva Tus Propios Granos y Cereales: Cultivo, Cosechas y Usos
is available as a PDF.
To download a free copy, click here. (1.43 MB file)

Booklet 34

Food for the Future, Now! A Survival Garden Plan.
Damon P Miller II, MD, CNP, Carol Cox, Robin Mankey, 2010, 48 pp Price: $5.00

There is a difference between responding to panic and planning for the future! This booklet provides carefully constructed garden plans to provde a basic, nutritionally complete diet for one person, increasingly healthy soil, and even seed for replanting. Based on the GROW BIOINTENSIVE method to insure sustainability.




Booklet 35

Growing More Food With Less Water
Ecology Action Staff, 2011, 35 pp Price: $2.25

This booklet is for gardeners who have limited water for the growing of their food, either those in naturally dry areas or in areas of extended drought. If you want to find new ways to maximize the efficiency of the water you use in your garden, this book will help. It briefly explains how water acts in the soil, quantifies the water savings of growing food biointensively and describes ways to minimize the water you need. It then covers a number of ingenious ways to harvest rainfall, add water effectiveness to your soil and notes methods to use for storing water.




Booklet 36

Experimental 33-Bed GROW BIOINTENSIVE Mini-Farm - Growing Complete Fertility, Nutrition and Income
John Jeavons, 2011, 34 pp Price: $3.75

This booklet is our newest plan, based upon 40 years of solid research, for growing all your food, compost and a modest income on a little as 3,300 sq ft of growing beds. This is based on conservative intermediate-level GROW BIOINTENSIVE yields. It has been designed for longer growing season areas with warmer nights, as opposed to Booklet 14, and similarly uses a 3-bed plan as its basis, which can then be scaled up to a full mini-farm. Contains delicious recipes based on the crops grown.




Booklet 37

Energy Use in Biointensive Food Production
Steve Moore, 2013, 29 pp Price: $3.00

Among the benefits potential for the Biointensive Sustainable Mini-Farming method are higher yields, lower water consumption, less fertilizer. It is fairly straightforward to weigh produce, measure water use, and keep track of fertilizers. It is not so easy to evaluate the total input of energy in farming systems.

Steve Moore, director of the Agroecology Program at Elon University in North Carolina, has been investigating this particular aspect of the Biointensive system. His new booklet in the EA Self-Teaching Mini-Series, Energy Use in Biointensive Food Production, evaluates the different forms of energy that contribute to food production. They include the calories of labor, the calories embedded in the tools we use, and the calories used in getting the food to our plates—processing and preserving. Two crops, onions and flour corn, serve to illustrate how the use of energy is calculated with as little as 6% the energy being used in biologically intensive practices compared with conventional ones.

Be sure to check out the energy efficiencies of fermentation food preservation, including Sauerkraut!




Booklet 39

GROW BIOINTENSIVE®: A Global Pattern for Feeding the World
A 46-Year Perspective and A Plan for the Next Decade

Mary Zellachild, 2019, 11 pp Price: $1.00

This is the first "Perspective" booklet EA has written since 1989. Looking back at the earlier perspectives,
it's rewarding to see the progress made. The fact that the GB system is being used successfully in 152 countries worldwide in diverse climates and soils, and that the demand for the training is still so high, leads us to believe that our 46 years of work are being very beneficial. More importantly, it gives us hope that GB can be an integral solution everyone can use to have the healthy food, and the healthy lifestyle they deserve—while living in balance with the Earth! By remaining flexible, while giving our best efforts towards strengthening our programs and advocating for the GB system globally and locally, we believe we are helping the most people catalyze an improved life for themselves!

Mary Zellachild, former Communications Director for Ecology Action provides us with this excellent summary of work to date and plans for the future.




Technical Booklet 1

Solar Water Heater
Jeff Smith and John Warner, 2000, 12 pp.

Sweaty gardeners at our research garden have been grateful for the solar-heated shower in the garden, and we have had requests for the plans…so here they are. Written by the two master builders who installed ours, these are detailed plans with drawings, a materials list, and complete instructions on building and siting.

Not currently available in electronic format.

Personal Booklet 1

Another Way to Wealth
Sondra Blomberg, 1991, 16 pp.

A journey of one person from a good job in industry towards an organic Biointensive community-supported economic mini-farm and an integrated, simple, spiritual way-of-life. Included are questionnaires to assist others in their journeys.

Not currently available in electronic format.

Booklets in Other Languages

Many of these booklets are also available in other languages. We will be converting them into electronic format and placing them online in 2018.



The following information sheets were written by John Jeavons, Ecology Action staff and apprentices, and contain basic information for learning GROW BIOINTENSIVE method and other techniques.

All of Ecology Action's English language information sheets will be added as they are converted to electronic format.

Print versions of our information sheets are available for in-person purchase by workshop, class, and internship participants only.We apologize for this inconvenience - since our online store Bountiful Gardens closed in 2017, we no longer have the ability to fulfill print orders for the general public.



EA Staff, 1985, 11 pp. Price: $2.00

Coppiced and pollarded trees are managed so that they regrow after cutting, taking less time to grow more wood than if you planted new trees. This paper discusses suitable species for coppicing, and how much land is required to sustainably harvest enough wood to provide fuel for a year. Includes a bibliography and resources for learning about coppicing.




Tree Collards

John Jeavons, ©1995, 1999, 2002, 2006, 10 pp. Price: $1.00

You may have heard of it, or seen it at the farmers markets, but if you haven't we are sure that you
soon will came across this amazing plant! Different strains are known as Tree Kale or Walking Stick
Kale, Tree Collards (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) are the "tall cousins" in the cabbage family.
They grow upwards like a tree, and some plants can reach up to 12 feet tall!
Find out how to grow and use these amazing plants.




You can now download PDF versions of some of our other publications!

Click a link below to get started.

El Huerto Sustentable


El Huerto Sustentable (4.29MB PDF File)
(The Spanish Language Version of The Sustainable Vegetable Garden)
by John Jeavons and Carol Cox, 2007 107 pp.

Based on the best-selling How To Grow More Vegetables..., El Huerto Sustentable is a simpler book for those just beginning to garden or those who need less information for the gardening they are doing. Take advantage of two decades of GROW BIOINTENSIVE food-raising experiences from people everywhere as you create a highly productive, resource-conserving mini-farm at home, with its own thriving ecosystem—an environmental solution for the nineties … and beyond.





Booklet 30




Booklet #30: GROW BIOINTENSIVESM Sustainable Mini-Farming
Certification Program for Teachers and Soil Test Stations
(259KB PDF File)

The newly revised 2009 edition of Ecology Action's self-teaching mini-series is now available -- for free! -- as a downloadable PDF.






Booklet 33: Cultiva Tus Propios Granos...




The Spanish language version of Booklet #33
(Growing Your Own Grains.../Cultiva Tus Propios Granos y Cereales: Cultivo, Cosechas y Usos)

is available as a PDF (1.33MB file).








Booklet 13: Cultivo de Semillas




The Spanish language version of Booklet #13
(Growing to Seed/Cultivo de Semillas)

is available as a PDF.








Climate Change and GROW BIOINTENSIVE
a perspective paper from Ecology Action,
is available as a PDF in both:

SPANISH                    and                    ENGLISH  

Climate Change and GROW BIOINTENSIVE

To download a free copy click here for English and click here for Spanish (~690KB file)


Biointensive Agriculture: A Greener Revolution
a perspective paper from Ecology Action,
is available as a PDF in both:

SPANISH                    and                    ENGLISH  

Agricultura Biointensiva: Una Revolucion Mas Verde           Biointensive Agriculture: A Greener Revolution

To download a free copy click here for Spanish and click here for English
(2.61MB file)