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Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in…
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Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times (original 2005; edição 2005)

por Steve Solomon (Autor)

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4621454,134 (4.05)3
Discover forgotten low-input food gardening methods for surviving uncertain times ahead. The decline of cheap oil is inspiring increasing numbers of North Americans to achieve some measure of backyard food self-sufficiency. In hard times, the family can be greatly helped by growing a highly productive food garden, requiring little cash outlay or watering. Currently popular intensive vegetable gardening methods are largely inappropriate to this new circumstance. Crowded raised beds require high inputs of water, fertility and organic matter, and demand large amounts of human time and effort. But, except for labor, these inputs depend on the price of oil. Prior to the 1970s, North American home food growing used more land with less labor, with wider plant spacing, with less or no irrigation, and all done with sharp hand tools. But these sustainable systems have been largely forgotten. Gardening When It Counts helps readers rediscover traditional low-input gardening methods to produce healthy food. Designed for readers with no experience and applicable to most areas in the English-speaking world except the tropics and hot deserts, this book shows that any family with access to 3-5,000 sq. ft. of garden land can halve their food costs using a growing system requiring just the odd bucketful of household waste water, perhaps two hundred dollars worth of hand tools, and about the same amount spent on supplies-working an average of two hours a day during the growing season. Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series… (mais)
Membro:OswinsSouffle
Título:Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times
Autores:Steve Solomon (Autor)
Informação:New Society Publishers
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Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times por Steve Solomon (2005)

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    The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener (A Gardener's Supply por Eliot Coleman (Wmt477)
    Wmt477: Along side of Eliot Coleman's New Organic Grower, Steve Solomon's Gardening When It Counts are the two best books for small plot vegetable growers I have read. I highly recommend reading both books, then quitting your office job and become an organic farmer, selling produce you grow year round.… (mais)
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Useful, if not indispensable, for an organic fertilizer recipe consisting of seedmeal, tankage, dolomite, gypsum, and agricultural lime and for tips regarding the growth of certain essential vegetables and the management of pests and maintenance of tools and vegetable beds, though perhaps we are more reticent regarding the 2000's-era insistence on suburban/rural living and the eye-raising notion that we will soon be manufacturing our plastic products out of wrought iron. ( )
  Joe.Olipo | Sep 19, 2023 |
Purchased years ago, around 2006 or so. I found this gardening book very informative, although maybe not so self-sufficient if you are trying to grow a garden with no money...you know..."Growing Food in Hard Times" like the title suggests. My attempt at gardening always costs me an arm and a leg every single year; and I'm never really that successful. How exhausting! But, here is where I learned about plow pan. If you continue to plow your garden with a rototiller, you will get hardpan dirt just underneath where the tiller tines turn. I "tried" not to till, but because I get no help in the garden, shoveling really is just too damn hard. Period. So, tilling it is. I have all the pertinent, important stuff I want to remember from this book underlined. So, it's definitely a keeper. ( )
  MissysBookshelf | Aug 27, 2023 |
Grow all your family’s food with just hand labor, four basic hand tools, and with little or no electricity or irrigation

In hard times, the family can be greatly helped by growing a highly productive food garden, requiring little cash outlay or watering. This book shows that any family with access to 3-5,000 sq. ft. of garden land can halve their food costs using a growing system requiring just the odd bucketful of household waste water, perhaps two hundred dollars’ worth of hand tools.

Gardening When It Counts helps readers rediscover traditional low-input gardening methods to produce healthy food. Currently popular intensive vegetable gardening methods are largely inappropriate to the new circumstances we find ourselves in. Crowded raised beds require high inputs of water, fertility and organic matter, and demand large amounts of human time and effort. Prior to the 1970s, North American home food growing used more land with less labor, with wider plant spacing, with less or no irrigation, and all done with sharp hand tools. But these sustainable systems have been largely forgotten.

Designed for readers with no experience and applicable to most areas in the English-speaking world except the tropics and hot deserts, Gardening When It Counts is inspiring increasing numbers of North Americans to achieve some measure of backyard food self-sufficiency. ( )
  ciyates | Dec 21, 2022 |
The purpose of this book is to ensure you get something to eat from your garden this year.“I assume you are reading my book because you seriously need to make a food garden, starting as soon as you can put some seeds or seedlings into the earth.I assume you can't afford costly mistakes and wasted efforts”.[pg 13] In a chart on page 16 and in the chapter where he gives growing advice by crop he lists vegetables by level of care needed. Advice is also given on a sliding scale – what to grow and how to grow it based on how dire your straits are.

Solomon initially subscribed to John Jeavon's Biointensive method, but now rejects it. While growing plants for seed trials for Territorial he found that wider spacing led to less irrigation, larger plants, and better taste.[pg 2] He rails against the Biointensive method off and on throughout the book (to the point that it gets a bit old, if you ask me). Now that I've read both books here's what I have to say: neither method is bad, but they can't both be right for your situation. If you have access to soil improvers and a steady water supply but only a postage stamp of land from which to feed your family, go Biointensive. If you have a whole lotta land but a restricted water supply (or you are utterly reliant on rain) and little or no soil improvers, go with Solomon's system of inducing the plants to get their own water.

The author is an organic gardener of the truest type: soil-obsessed. Logically, you can't get more out of your soil that you put into it, but when you start to really (pun intended) dig into soil science you come to see that you get out of it exactly what you put into it. Solomon makes a compelling case for perfectly balanced soil by explaining that if you're short on any one component your plants are limited by that weak link. He gives the image of a barrel. All your soil components are barrel staves and the barrel is full of liquid plant potential. If one component is deficient, that stave is shorter than the rest and the plant's potential pours out through this low spot and is lost – no matter how tall the other staves you can only grow your plant to the point that the short stave allows. Perfectly balanced soils also yield the most nutritious plants. This is another thing I've heard time and again, but Solomon drives it home with a factual example: records of physical exams from the WWII draft. “In Missouri, the prairie soils are far more fertile than the once thickly forested soils in the southeast of that state . . . Accordingly, approximately 200 men out of 1,000 examined from the northeast of Missouri were found to be unit for military service, while 400 young men out of 1,000 from the southeast of the state were unfit.”[pg 19]

Solomon espouses the important organic tenet that many plant diseases and insect pests act like predators “like a wolf pack bringing down a sick, old animal” [pg 217] and that healthy plants can fight off or survive most attacks, but also points out something I hadn't considered – you could be up against a veritable plague of treatment-resistant diseases or pests because of a nearby commercial grower's enormous monoculture. [pg 218] Nonetheless, fertilize before you fight and your plants may be able to resist the offensive without you having to go on the defensive.

I do see why Solomon is not universally loved – when he's not being cantankerous he can be contentious or just plain difficult. The watering chapter is quite complicated and involves a surprising amount of math. On page 23 he says “I suggest that you forget about pH . . . In fact, the whole concept of soil pH is controversial.” He gives harsh criticism of widely-held composting beliefs and practices in Chapter 7.

Despite disagreeing with Solomon on a few key points, this was one of those books where I feel like I'm being reeducated – every other paragraph I have an “Aha” moment. I have to have a lot of “why” with my “how” and this guy gives it. ( )
  uhhhhmanda | Sep 5, 2019 |
Some practical advice in this. Heavy on the soil enrichment side... but for those specific plants. Learnt about a lot of stuff I did not know you needed to do. Zzzz. Decidedly lacking for advice in equatorial climates... but the basic stuff is there. ( )
  kephradyx | Jun 20, 2017 |
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Discover forgotten low-input food gardening methods for surviving uncertain times ahead. The decline of cheap oil is inspiring increasing numbers of North Americans to achieve some measure of backyard food self-sufficiency. In hard times, the family can be greatly helped by growing a highly productive food garden, requiring little cash outlay or watering. Currently popular intensive vegetable gardening methods are largely inappropriate to this new circumstance. Crowded raised beds require high inputs of water, fertility and organic matter, and demand large amounts of human time and effort. But, except for labor, these inputs depend on the price of oil. Prior to the 1970s, North American home food growing used more land with less labor, with wider plant spacing, with less or no irrigation, and all done with sharp hand tools. But these sustainable systems have been largely forgotten. Gardening When It Counts helps readers rediscover traditional low-input gardening methods to produce healthy food. Designed for readers with no experience and applicable to most areas in the English-speaking world except the tropics and hot deserts, this book shows that any family with access to 3-5,000 sq. ft. of garden land can halve their food costs using a growing system requiring just the odd bucketful of household waste water, perhaps two hundred dollars worth of hand tools, and about the same amount spent on supplies-working an average of two hours a day during the growing season. Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series

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