This is a handbook for growing a Climate Victory Garden when the enemy is global warming. Acadia Tucker, a carbon farmer and gardener, invites us to think of gardening as civic action. By building carbon-rich soil, even in a backyard-sized patch, we can capture greenhouse gases and mitigate climate change, all while growing nutritious food.
To help us get started, and quickly, Tucker drafts plans for gardeners who have a little ground or a lot of it. She offers advice on how to prep soil, plant food, and raise fruits, herbs, and vegetables using regenerative methods. She describes the climate changes taking place in our own backyards and the many steps we can take to boost a garden’s resilience.
Growing Good Food includes calls to action and insights from leaders in the regenerative movement, including David Montgomery, Anne Biklé, Gabe Brown, Wendell Berry and Mary Berry, and Tim LaSalle. By the end of it, you'll know how to grow some really good food, and build a healthier world, too.
Learn how to grow: blackberries, currants, fruittrees, herbs, rhubarb, strawberries, walking onions, peppers, tomatoes, green beans, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, garlic, kale, lettuce, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach, squash.
This is a beginners' gardening book for people who want to do their bit to slow or reverse climate change by growing their own food.
During World War II, Victory Gardens sprouted all over many countries to supplement rations, boost morale and reduce pressure on the public food supply. More recently, they have made a comeback in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But as climate change expert Christiana Figueres points out, “What we cannot afford to do is to jump out of the frying pan of COVID and into the raging fire of climate change."
In Growing Good Food - a citizen's guide to backyard carbon farming, Acadia Tucker shows us how to turn our gardens into organic, regenerative climate-victory gardens, providing food and reducing pressure on supply systems while simultaneously drawing down carbon from the atmosphere to help slow or even mitigate climate change.
This is a practical how-to book, not a glossy coffee-table ornament, and gives good, accurate information about the science and theory as well as highly practical guidance to help beginners set up their own climate-victory gardens. Acadia Tucker has studied her subject in considerable depth and has much experience of the practical side. She writes clearly and simply so that anyone with an interest in growing good food can follow her advice and be successful.
Her emphasis is on a permanent garden which includes plenty of perennials so this book would be a perfect addition to the library of anyone who has already attempted to create some kind of vegetable garden and wants to tweak it to be more efficient at capturing carbon. It would also be an ideal gift for anyone would like to make a difference to the world but doesn't know where to start.
I've been a huge advocate of carbon farming for years, and while my copy of Eric Toensmeier's Carbon Farming Solution is one of my most prized possessions, I'd be the first to admit that it's a pretty 'heavy' sort of book that many people would find off-putting, despite it's brilliance and relevance. When I first stumbled on Growing Good Food, I was thrilled that this book had been written 'for the rest of us' and reached out to the publisher to request a review copy as it seemed to be a perfect fit to fill a real need. Suffice to say, I was not disappointed!
Below is the contents list so you can see what topics are covered.
CITIZEN GARDENERS UNITE
THE CLIMATE CRISIS IN YOUR BACKYARD
Northeast, Southeast, Midwest,Southern Great Plains, Northern Great Plains, Northwest, Southwest
OUR GOOD EARTH
How soil and plants draw down CO2, Cultivate good soil, Take measure of your soil, Clear your plot, Build your plant bed
Questions - How do I know whether I have healthy soil? I have contaminated soil. Can I still grow food in it? How do I make compost to use in my garden? What can I use for mulch? What potting soil is best-suited to container gardening?
PLANT YOUR CLIMATE VICTORY GARDEN
Map your site, Choose resilient plants, Time your planting, Start your plants.
Questions - How can I find plants that grow well where I live? I have a tiny garden. How do I maximize my space? Can I practice backyard carbon farming if I only have pots to plant in?
KEEP IT GOING
Spring: Feed the soil. Summer: Tend your garden. Fall: Prepare for winter
Questions - Do I need to use fertilizer in addition to compost? My plants seem prone to disease. How do I save them? My soil is too acidic or too basic. How do I balance it?
Tools for Backyard Carbon Farmers
CHARTS & GUIDES
Signs you have good soil, Compost materials, Choose your mulch, Perennial plant characteristics, Annual plant characteristics, Organic pest solutions, Seasonal checklist, Common diseases and organic controls
Tim LaSalle, David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé, Mary Berry, Gabe Brown, Michael Weaver
I can't wait to get your book. I've finally made time to get in a decent garden this year. Including more container planting. I'm even trying to claim areas for gardening that haven't been used like that before. Is it odd to get excited when I find pots (including the black ones used for trees, and yes I take them home) that someone is tossing out and I think I need to grow plants in that?