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November 2008: Publications

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  • Performance in the Garden: A Collection of Talks on Biodynamic French-Intensive Horticulture by Alan Chadwick (Logosophia Press, Philosophy Farm, 537 Wilson Branch Road, Mars Hill NC 28754; 2007; $19). Alan Chadwick's goal, an exciting one, was to 'grow' world peace through all of us working individually, and together, with the life forces of the garden, its soil and plants, to become participants in life's wonderful, rhythmic, and quietly alive Cosmic Dance. Alan Chadwick's Performance in the Garden is a rare opportunity to receive insight into the experiences Alan shared during his life!
  • Simple Prosperity: Finding Real Wealth in a Sustainable Lifestyle by David Wann (St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Ave; New York NY 10010; 2007; $14.95). For much of mainstream America there are definitely some growing pains associated with the shift back to a sustainable lifestyle. Author David Wann provides a mix of socially and environmentally sound suggestions to guide and encourage readers to change what they perceive as success and redefine the “American Dream” with respect to the global reality. Wann clearly practices what he preaches. The author lives in Harmony Village, a co-housing community he helped design, in Golden, Colorado. His neighborhood is a collection of 27 homes, all oriented to collect solar energy, with large community gardens and a unique sense of common values and community. An avid gardener and advocate of edibles, as opposed to lawns, his entire front yard is strawberry plants! Yes, there is a photo. This book is wonderful encouragement to take in the simple self-created joys of every day and leave excess consumption behind.“Creating one's life can be far more of an adventure than just buying it.”
  • 157 Perfect Plants for Shady Spots: Your Guide to Growing a Successful Shade Garden by Organic Gardening Magazine (Rodale, Emmaus PA 18098; 1995). This short but informative guide focuses on the lighter side of garden shade. It is very helpful in divining what degree of shade one might have and identifies a multitude of plants that thrive in many areas of shade. The booklet is organized into three sections. The first highlights flowers and foliage plants, the second has wonderful suggestions for delectable shade-tolerant edibles, and the third section includes many useful tips for fighting off slugs and properly preparing garden beds, including a very basic overview of double-digging.
  • A Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection and Care by Orin Martin (UCSC Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems, University of California, Santa Cruz CA 95064; 2005; The author uses his “plant positive” approach to outline all the essentials to pesticide-free rose gardening. This approach sets both the plant and gardener up for success with tips for selecting healthy plants, suitable varieties, proper locations and organic nutrients, then provides step-by-step instruction towards general care.  Included is a helpful well-illustrated section on pruning and a section on organic disease control complete with a trouble-shooting chart to aid in diagnosis and solutions for common rose ailments.
  • The Greenbelt Movement by Wangari Maathai (Lantern Books, One Union Square West, Suite 201, New York NY 10003; revised 2006; $16). This book is part memoir, part blueprint for ecological revolution. Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize recipient and advocate for international environmental awareness, shares her inspiration and experiences during her lifetime of work toward reforesting Kenya and empowering women. To read Maathai's story as she herself writes it is truly an insightful treat. Her telling is humble, yet always hopeful, and gives true recollection of how there were many difficult challenges in fostering a grassroots movement as ambitious as the Greenbelt Movement. To date the Greenbelt Movement has over 600 community networks across Kenya that care for 6,000 tree nurseries. Over the years these networks, along with individuals, have participated in planting more than 30 million trees!  A new video documentary, 'Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai', has just been released about her work in Kenya. For more information visit
  • The Veggie Gardener's Answer Book by Barbara W. Ellis (Storey Publishing, 210 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams MA 01247; 2008; $14.95). This is an excellent tool for troubleshooting essentially any garden issue. The book contains an extensive collection of questions and answers organized in two primary sections. Part One answers questions pertaining to the creation and maintenance of a “great vegetable garden” outlining the planning steps, care of the soil, composting, planting, and many solutions to pests and common problems. Part Two describes the “secrets of success” crop-by-crop alphabetically. The advice is “100 % Organic”, and the book has helpful illustrations throughout.





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