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Burra Maluca
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Source:caroldeppe.com

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing Co

Summary

CREATIVE, PRODUCTIVE GARDENING FOR GOOD TIMES AND BAD.

In an age of erratic weather and instability, people's interest in growing their own food is skyrocketing. The Resilient Gardener presents gardening techniques that stand up to challenges ranging from health problems, financial problems, and special dietary needs to serious disasters and climate change.

Scientist and expert gardener Carol Deppe draws from emerging science in many fields to develop the general principles of gardening for resilience. Gardeners will learn through Deppe's detailed instructions on growing, storing, and using the five crops central to self-reliance: potatoes, corn, beans, squash, and eggs.

Learn how to:

Grow food in an era of wild weather and climate change
Garden with little to no irrigation or "store-bought" inputs
Garden efficiently and comfortably (even with a bad back)
Customize your garden to deal with special dietary needs or a need for weight control
Make breads and cakes from home-grown corn using original gluten-free recipes (with no other grains, artificial binders, or dairy products)
Keep a laying flock of ducks or chickens, integrate them with your gardening, and grow most of their feed

And more . . .

The Resilient Gardener is both a conceptual and a hands-on gardening book for all levels of experience. Optimistic as well as realistic, Deppe offers invaluable advice for gardeners (and their communities) to flourish.

Where to get it?

Amazon US

Amazon UK

The publisher, Chelsea Green


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r ranson
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I give this book 10 out of 10 acorns.

So much more than a gardening book, The Resilient Gardener has had a profound influence on my life.

Just as gardening is so much more than planting seeds, this book covers a great swath of topics, from how to cook gluten free sponge cake from your home grown corn, to the best way to use a hoe.

This book focuses on staple foods that provide the most nutrition for the least amount of input: Potatoes, corn, squash, dry beans and eggs. By growing some or all of these five crops when times are good, we develop skills and resources for getting us through the tough times. Be it a job loss, flood, drought, storm, family emergency, broken arm, or an End Of The World As We Know It situation; the time to prepare for an emergency is before it happens. Think of it like soft core prepping that is far more useful than dramatic. Hoarding skills and seeds instead of space packs and ammo.

There is a lot in this book, so I'm going to focus on some of the topics that I found most inspiring.

How to stockpile food in a way that is actually relevant. When an emergency situation arises, it's useless to have a storehouse full of food you don't know how to cook and don't particularly like to eat. What sorts of foods are worth stocking up on, how much to store, how to keep the food from spoiling. Deppe covers all this.

Stockpiling seeds is another important aspect of resistant gardening. More important is stockpiling your own seeds, you grew in your own garden, that are adapted to your own climate and your own growing techniques. It's no use having a freezer full of seeds that don't grow well in your conditions and on top of that, not knowing how to grow them. Deppe discusses the advantages of acquiring the skills to grow and save your own seeds and even how to develop your own variety. She also talks about how to garden now for times when you can't run down to the store and buy pesticides and fertilizer (Deppe is big on organic gardening), or how to garden so that your plants can survive drastic weather conditions that would destroy a most modern gardens. All of this with very limited use of mulch.

Being gluten free, Deppe focuses on gluten free growing and cooking. She mentions wheat and other grains as possible staple crops, but would much rather talk about the benefit of potatoes and the glory of corn. Things like treating blue potatoes the same as yellow, or flint corn the same as flour. It would be like treating buttercup squash like a zucchini - acmi fo foolishness. Deppe provides recipes for each crop, with wonderful tips on how to grow and the best ways to cook.

One of the most useful aspects of this book, other than Deppe's unending wisdom, is that she provides references. It's as if she's saying - here's a bunch of important information in an easy to understand monologue, but don't take my word for it, here's some other books on the topic.


This is a book I recommend to people with dietary restrictions and people with at least a small amount of gardening experience. Deppes high yield, low input approach to growing staple food, is especially useful for those who aren't too set in their gardening ways to see the value of her suggestions.


Another place to buy a signed copy of this book and some of the seeds she mentions is Carol Deppe's own website
 
D. Logan
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9 out of 10 acorns for this work.

While I was absolutely in love with one of the author's other works, this one didn't draw me in quite as deeply. Much as Ben Faulk's book of a similar name espoused the philosophy of resiliency, so to did this book. Given the title, that shouldn't be a shock to anyone. Still, where his book touched on a broad range of topics, Deppe's book was tightly focused on gardening.

She honed it down to a tight list of plants she grew based on nutritional value for the efforts, along with versatility. The chapter on potatoes was especially interesting to me, as it explained the potato famine in a way I had never seen. For most of my life, I kept wondering why anyone would have put all of their food supply as one variety of potato (or just potatoes in general). Reading the book allowed me to understand just how powerful the potato could be in those times, especially in light of the fact that so many cultures thrived mostly on bread or other grains.

I may not have as much to say on this review as I have on others, but that isn't for a lack of value in the book. Instead, it is simply that I don't think I could do the book proper justice in a scant few paragraphs. I think just about anyone who wants to be self-sufficient should consider adding this book to their personal library.
 
Casie Becker
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I'd give this book a 9 out of 10 acorns.

As she explains her own gardening techniques she discusses her reasoning. We learn about things she does, things she used to do, things she would do in other conditions and often things that others do in conditions she'll never see. Even though I have a very different climate than hers, by the end of the book I felt better prepared to evaluate and adapt gardening techniques to my conditions.

Additionally, her tight focus on just four widely adapted staple crops (that at least from a cooking perspective, I thought I already knew well) gave her enough to room to discuss more about the history, culture, growing habits, uses, storing options, nutritional characteristics, varietal differences and recipe possibilities than I would have ever learned on my own.

I'm probably going to end up looking for some of her other books in the future, and I suspect this book will be one of those that stays with me for life. It might become the first nonfiction book that I buy an extra copy of just for loaning out. (Yes, I've done that with several favorite fiction books)


 
Tyler Ludens
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R Ranson wrote: Deppes high yield, low input approach to growing staple food, is especially useful for those who aren't too set in their gardening ways to see the value of her suggestions.


Have you been able to emulate her high yields, and can I ask what percentage of your food needs are you able to grow using her methods?  I guess what I'm asking for is some assurance that her methods and results are replicable.

 
r ranson
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I haven't been dedicated to following her methods, so I can't say with certainty how all of them work.  However, I've been trying to incorporate her ideas into my own style of gardening.  This book, her book about plant breeding and Joseph Lofthouse's work are my main inspiration right now. 

One of the great things for me is that she's gardening/farming in almost exactly the same conditions as me.  She get's more rain, but temperatures, weather patterns, dissatisfaction with mulch, &c are almost identical to my location.  However, her methods can be adapted to just about any location.  She seems a big advocate of doing what works in your conditions, not subscribing to high input fads, and, well resilence.  Growing a garden that will still thrive if the gardener breaks a leg, and making a garden that can provide staple foods if one looses their job. 

Of the 5 crops, so far I've done brilliantly well with her squash! 

Yesterday I harvested this winter squash:



I believe it is a descendant of Deppe's sweet meat squash and a buttercup (probably First Taste).  I planted it at the end of March, direct seeding the squash seeds, as Deppe suggests.  We had a few frosty nights, but overall it was unseasonably warm.  Still, the frost did not phase the young plants one bit.  No irrigation, no attention from me except a bit of abuse when the vines grew the wrong direction. 

To show you how brilliant this is.  On the same day I discovered my squash is ready, I saw a different farmer's squash.  These squash were nurtured, started inside in pots in fancy soil, lots of attention from the grower, lots of fuss, put out in the best soil possible, top dressed with goat manuer, everything done according to the expert's advice, similar kind of squash to mine, &c.  These pampered squash plants were just putting out their second true leaf.  I have my first 4 kilograms of squash for no almost effort at all, two months early, because I took Deppe's suggestions on squash to heart.  Time I spent on squash, 2 minutes, time the other farmer spent on squash, (and I asked her so these are her numbers) 2 to 4 hours. 

Last winter we had squash coming out our ears.  I ate my last fresh squash in May this year and it was just as good as any of the others.  Like Deppe suggests, we dried the young squash that weren't mature by harvest time, but haven't had a chance to try cooking these yet as there was so much fresh squash to eat.  It looks like this year, I'm going to have enough squash to feed my family, the 3 families that I assist with groceries, and a bunch to sell.


Still experimenting with chickpeas, but overwintering fava beans have been awesome for me.  Similar to her method, just a different bean.  I am starting to work with chickpeas, so we'll see what happens.  I'm really excited about it as chickpeas are my favourite pulse. 

 
Tyler Ludens
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That is very encouraging.  I can't decide if I should purchase this book, because of different growing conditions. 
 
D. Logan
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Tyler Ludens wrote:That is very encouraging.  I can't decide if I should purchase this book, because of different growing conditions. 


You might consider borrowing it from a local library and trying some of the ideas out. If you like the book, later buy a copy to help support the author. If not, nothing lost.
 
r ranson
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I think that the book is only about 25% gardening, so at least 75% of the book would be useful to you.  Deppe does something pretty revolutionary - she does not separate growing from cooking or from living.  Of her three books, this is the one that most influences my life.  The other books, I would recommend if you already like her writing, or if you're interested in a specific area.  But THIS book, I would recommend to anyone, no matter where they are living. 

More specifically for you Tyler, I feel that you are interested in many of the topics Deppe covers in this book.  Your thread about staple crops and another one about nutrition from a simple diet match very well with this book.  I don't know if the bit about the nut lady would be relevant to you, but maybe it would.  If we looked at that sub-chapter as a lesson in recovering historical knowledge and not just about nuts, then it becomes more valuable.
 
r ranson
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Oh, and in case I forgot to mention it, her recipe for gluten free, crust free, pumpkin pie transforms it from a sugary dessert, into a nutritious meal.  The sweetness comes from the squash, and since it has eggs and vegetables, &c, it makes a pretty complete meal that one could make on a regular basis, without the diabetes. 

 
Tyler Ludens
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So far I have not been able to nail down a suite of staples that are resilient.  Last year was a great squash year, this year may be a complete bust because of squash bugs.  Does Deppe not have squash bugs, or do the ducks eat them or ?

This year I'm planting loads of sweet potatoes.  Maybe they'll make it, as they don't seem to have a lot of pests except some small grasshoppers (so far).  But my soil has too much clay for sweet potatoes to be really happy.

I planted some southwestern native corn which I grew years ago.  It will be interesting to see if these seeds stayed viable after just being in a paper bag in a cupboard for over five years.  They are Tohono O'odham 60-day corn. 

 
r ranson
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If I remember right, her primary defence against squash bugs is to have a variety that starts early in the year and grows quickly from the start.  That way the plants can be established before the bugs come out. 

Corn is a big staple food for Deppe.  What really interested me wasn't so much how she grows them but how she cooks them.  She talks about flint, dent, sweet and pop corn.  I think it was the flint that she likes best as a staple crop.  She grinds this and makes a nutritious cornbread, with some extra, but easy, step to make the corn easier to digest - like leaving the dough overnight or something I can't quite remember.  I'm thinking of growing some of her corn next year if I can find a way to keep the racoons from getting it all.

By the way, she also has a squash she grows as a bread substitute.  It's pretty neat.  She slices the fresh squash and uses it as bread in a sandwich. 
 
Tyler Ludens
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Does she soak the corn in lye or wood ash water (nixtamalization)?  It might be setting the dough out to ferment a little over night might do essentially the same thing to make nutrients more available.  These sorts of little tricks can make the difference between a healthy food and one which does nothing to prevent deficiencies.  Techniques that would have been passed down through generations, but now may be lost due to a generation (or more) relying on food from the store.

I planted squash early but the hailstorm killed all those in the kitchen garden, and then the replants got the darn bugs.  But I do have some squash plants in my infant food forest which survived the hail (being under tree canopy) so they might be able to fruit if they get sufficient sun.  So far they're just making long vines. No obvious squash bugs.

 
r ranson
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I can double check, but I don't think her method involves nixtamalization.

Sadness about the hailstorm. 
 
Larisa Walk
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I got a lot out of reading this book even though climatically Minnesota is completely different from the NW.  We do a lot with corn and have even switched to Carol's Cascade Ruby Gold (we do use some of it for nixtamilization).  Most of her winter squash varieties didn't do well here, but the Costata Romanesco zucchini is fabulous dehydrated and has become a new staple in the kitchen for winter meals.  Although some of her other crop and storage ideas are completely off the mark for here (ducks and their water needs are too difficult to accommodate with our winters and off-grid home - chickens fit better for us), her systems did prompt me to rethink some of our ways and helped kick start improvements.  I really took to heart her thoughts on resilience about ergonomics and aging.  I think her book is nicely paired with Will Bonsall's Essential Guide to Radical Self Reliant Gardening.  He is out in Maine, again not exactly Minnesota, but chock full of ideas based on his locale.  These 2 books have done more to influence our gardening systems than anything we've read in the past few decades.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Tyler Ludens wrote:So far I have not been able to nail down a suite of staples that are resilient.  Last year was a great squash year, this year may be a complete bust because of squash bugs.  Does Deppe not have squash bugs, or do the ducks eat them or ?


Carol is  replanting seeds that she has grown herself for many generations? Are you?

I invite guest gardeners to use space in my fields. They plant squash seeds from The Corporation. They get devoured by squash bugs. I've forgotten that squash bugs even exist in this area.

As far as I can tell, the way to get reliable crops is to plant a widely genetically diverse population, let it be as promiscuously pollinated as possible, and then replant seeds from those that were well-enough adapted to conditions to reproduce and make seeds.





 
Tyler Ludens
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I haven't been growing them long enough to have many generations.  I've had relatively few successful gardening years, and some years with no garden at all. 
 
Hal Hurst
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As a newcomer to Oregon, I am finding Carol Deppe's book Resilient Gardener very helpful in finding strategies to deal local climate conditions and natural cycles.  From selecting varieties of garden vegetables to finding ergonomic techniques for gardening, to recipes for making the best of homegrown food, to recommendations for tools, this is the complete package. It's not too polyanish either.  If there are drawbacks to a certain practice or cultivar, she has no problem saying so.  I give it a 10.
 
Angelika Maier
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I liked the book very much, not that I follow her gardening style. Really I have more of a Jackie French approach and do not rund around with notebooks, but it is about inspiration isn't it?
 
Rebecca Norman
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I give this book 10 out of 10 acorns. I read it through once (except for most recipes) and then kept it on my bedside table and browsed in it many times again over the following year. Inspiring, detailed, informative and practical.
 
Katy Rose
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I loved this book, but I ordered nearly $100 worth of seeds from her this past spring and never received them. Sent several emails and have heard nothing--just wanted to warn others, because I was very disappointed. The book is a wonderful resource, though.
 
r ranson
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Katy Rose wrote:I loved this book, but I ordered nearly $100 worth of seeds from her this past spring and never received them. Sent several emails and have heard nothing--just wanted to warn others, because I was very disappointed. The book is a wonderful resource, though.


I've never tried to get in touch via email as she says she prefers the orders to be via post.  I've always received my seeds from her.  But she isn't open year 'round so one needs to get their orders in long before the deadline each spring.  From her catalogue for 2017...

HOW TO ORDER, ORDERING DEADLINE, & PAYMENT: Browse the catalog on
my website (http://www.caroldeppe.com/)or on this pdf (downloadable from my website). Download
and print out the order form, fill it out, and send it (by ordinary mail) with your payment to Carol
Deppe, Fertile Valley Seeds, 7263 NW Valley View Dr., Corvallis, Oregon 97330. The ordering form
is the last few pages of this pdf; it can also be downloaded as a separate pdf.) The order deadline for
the 2017 season is April 31, 2017.Orders will be filled in the order received. I am still processing
seeds in January; I start shipping in February. Fertile Valley Seeds is a seasonal seed company.
After April 31 I return to gardening, plant breeding, and writing. (So please don’t expect to order seeds
or get questions answered at the seed company email address (or my home address) year round.)
There
is no print catalog, telephone ordering, or email ordering. Acceptable payment includes personal
checks, money orders, and any piece of paper that my bank will accept as a deposit. Please do not send
forms of payment that require me to make a special trip to some special place in order to cash them.
Please do not use certified or registered mail, as this, too, often requires a special trip to the post office,
greatly delaying, NOT expediting your order. What if you have no printer? Yes, you can use a piece
of paper. However, include all info on the ordering form, including your email address (which I need to
deal with any questions or problems).
 
Katy Rose
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Yes, this is how I placed my order back in January. I know it was received because my check was cashed (I believe in February), but then I never received the seeds. I emailed both addresses both pre- and post-April 31. I suppose I could write her a letter and maybe get them for next year's planting.
 
Nicole Alderman
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I give this book 8.5 out of 10 acorns.

I live in the pacific northwest, and so was excited to find a book writen about my area and how to garden in a resilient way here. When I first bought the book, I thought, "Oh, I won't need the chapters on squash and potatoes because I'll never grow those." Lo and behold, this year I did grow both, and was so thankful to have a chapter on each on which varieties grow well here and how to best grow them. Knowing I didn't need to water those potatoes too often was a big help--and I had a great harvest of potatoes this year.

I also really appreciated the section on the Year without Summer, and how people survived during that extremely hard time. Many of those strategies I have been trying to introduce to my own homestead. 

This book does, however, cover some not-so-permaculture techniques, such as yearly tilling. And, I feel the chapter on ducks could be a bit more informative, but it is just one of many chapters, and so if you want to learn to raise ducks, getting a book just about duck rearing is hightly advised. This book does, however, it also has a fantastic chapter on breeding your own varieties of plants that will succeed in your own microclimate. It's enough info to get you started, and get you wanting her other book specifically about plant breeding, Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties
 
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