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Book suggestion on basics to gardening?

 
Ryan Spaulding
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Hi, I've been learning a lot about Natural Building for the last year and I'm wanting to shift my focus to growing food. Before I started getting involved with natural building, I was a total city boy so I have little to no background in gardening. I'm after some recommendations for a good book that will fill me in on the basics of gardening, ideally with a permaculture approach, and definitely one that is not gonna instruct me to spray round-up and till 4 times a day. Any suggestions?
Thanks so much!
 
Adam Klaus
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Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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Intelligent Gardiner by Steve Solomon

How to Grow More Vegetables by John Jeavons
 
Miles Flansburg
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Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Howdy Ryan welcome to permies!
Remember some books are written with biases, like some for east coast some for west coast etc. As an example , I have many garden books that talk about adding lime to your soil to adjust PH. My soil doesn't need it, naturally thanks.
 
Patrick Mann
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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Carol Deppe - The Resilient Gardener
Michael Phillips - The Holistic Orchard
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Hi Ryan and Welcome:

Miles made an excellent point on garden book bias. I've spent $100s (possibly $1000s) over the years on gardening books that are absolutely inappropriate for my climate. And I've wasted time and experienced extreme frustration because of this. Now that I've finally understood that "climate matters" - things are definitely much better!

So.....where are you at? That will make a huge difference in the resources that are appropriate and applicable to your quest to become a gardener.

All the best,
Jen
 
Amir Salvatore
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Location: North Carolina
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Hello!

I'm actually looking for the same exact thing. I'm located in Charlotte, NC. Around Zone 7b~7a. Anyone have any books they'd recommend?(:
 
Paul Cereghino
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Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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I'd add -- I like Jeavons (he was Bay area) and Solomon (oregon).. don't know who'd speak to that east coast humidity. Perhaps add:

Elliot Coleman, the new organic grower
Then
Masanobu Fukuoka, the one straw revolution

I have not been very satisfied with permaculture authors around annual vege gardening. Learn organic/biodynamic cultivation, then start experimenting. Prepare to be confused.
 
David Good
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Here's my "it's the end of the world... which gardening books will you save" list:

http://theprepperproject.com/survival-gardening-books/

I know, some of you guys might pick on me for adding Square Foot Gardening... but that's been a drop-dead easy gateway book into gardening for plenty of people (including my wife) and just for that, I had to add it.
 
David Good
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@ Patrick

I haven't read "Michael Phillips - The Holistic Orchard" yet. Is it worth getting even if you're already an expert?

Another thing about gardening books: there are so many different climates, it's really hard to find a one-size-fits-all approach. I gleaned wisdom from Jeavons, Mollison, Deppe, Toensmeier, Holzer, Dick Reymond, Mittleider, Hemenway and others, though I don't use exactly their methods. Experiment, experiment, experiment!

If I were to recommend a film that will open up minds to the possibility of perennial agriculture: Establishing a Food Forest the Permaculture Way.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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David - I second "Establishing a Food Forest".

I wish the OP - Ryan - would come back on and let us know his location. If he's west of the Mississippi, he needs to get books geared towards Western gardening (dryer air, more alkaline soils, less organic matter in soils, and on and on). Most of the "pretty" gardening books are produced by people living in temperate, humid climates. Using those same techniques in the West will net you a bunch of headaches and frustrations.

Jeavons - I like his approach but it is, as he says, "intensive" - LOL. Possibly not for the beginning gardener. I tried Jeavon's approach here in the hot desert and found I had to modify it quite a bit just due to climate differentials (and he is in a somewhat dry area there in Willits, CA).

Even "Establishing a Food Forest" is more for subtropical to temperate, humid climates.
 
Patrick Mann
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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David Goodman wrote:I haven't read "Michael Phillips - The Holistic Orchard" yet. Is it worth getting even if you're already an expert?


The book is noteworthy for the detailed discussion of organic pest control and orchard soil fertility management.
 
ben harpo
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Location: Illinois, zone 6b
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I think very highly of Jevon's method for backyard growers, and Elliot Coleman's method for market gardeners.

If you're interested in some really old quality reading:

"Gardening for Profit" by Peter Henderson 1868
"The New Horse Hoeing Husbandry" by Jethro Tull 1751
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
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