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Learned by the Fencepost (Lessons in Organic Farming and Gardening) Paperback – 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 73 pages
  • Publisher: Warwick House Publishers (2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936553090
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936553099
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #947,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
His book is easy to understand and an easy read.
Marla D Gates
Lewis's book is a study in how to approach organic gardening and farming intelligently.
E.L. Beck
I can't wait to see how our garden turns out this year and for years to come!
K. Robinson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jana on August 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
Don came across my website, [ ... ] , liked what he saw about growing more nutritionally-rich foods, and asked me to review his book. I enjoyed reading Learned by the Fencepost because it has practical tips from someone who helped get the organic movement going way back in the 1950's. Don paid attention to what happened in the field and garden, and learned from experience. He ran his own experimental trials to prove what worked.
I appreciate his promotion of the use of soft rock phosphate from Florida. I recommend that soil amendment to clients regularly, but I run a comprehensive soil analysis so I know exactly how much of each element is needed for optimal balance. Don recommends taking soil samples to the local extension office, however my side-by-side comparisons of soil analyses and recommendations from the extension "service" and from a good independent lab were vastly different. Don criticizes "the USDA and the government" for pushing the use of chemical fertilizers--and I totally agree with him. However, the extension "service" is an extension of the (corrupt)government and the information I have gotten from them is often misleading. I believe that the agriculture chemical corporations, who control government to a large extent, do not want growers to be able to grow supremely healthy crops which don't need their chemicals.
Don talks about his experience in Virginia starting his organic garden. It took him 5 years to get his soil in good enough condition to produce well. With the proper soil analyses and amendments he could have saved himself a lot of time, trouble and heartache with getting his soil to perform well. And his produce could have been more nutrient rich also.
As Don says, "Observation, logic, an inquisitive mind, and Mother Nature are valuable teachers in farming and gardening, as well as in many other aspects of our lives." Let's all keep learning and moving forward together!
Dr. Jana Bogs
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E.L. Beck on March 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
Having come from a long family tree of farmers, traceable as far back as records will allow, I know how the old-school farmer thought. My grandfather was one. So is Donald Lewis. His book, Learned by the Fencepost, is not a How To Garden in Three Easy Steps. You read Lewis' book to take your organic gardening or farming to the next level, to learn how to -think- like farmers thought for centuries when faced with nothing more than soil and seed. While Lewis provides good information on organic techniques, just as importantly Lewis unveils his thinking process. When faced with X, how does one get to Y? Learned by the Fencepost is a text in farmer epistemology for the organic and sustainable practitioner.

With access to capital, anyone can farm, though perhaps not intelligently. Lewis's book is a study in how to approach organic gardening and farming intelligently. The most successful farmers I have met in life - those who not only practice organic and sustainable techniques, but were always thinking about better techniques that harmonized with nature and thus reduced recurring input costs - were also some of the most intelligent people I have ever met, from any walk of life. Lewis is one of them. In contemporary society, we want microwaveable answers. Lewis shows us how he goes about generating slow, methodical pillow thinking.

If you don't know what "pillow thinking" is, read the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Robinson on March 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
Donald's book is an easy read with no nonesense advice for creating the best soil possible to create great gardens without chemicals. I can't wait to see how our garden turns out this year and for years to come!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By bill smits on March 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
very interesting,would have liked some more information how to controle weeds after going organic. why are not more farmers using this system.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Brooks on December 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a very, very special book!! I was really excited to learn about the process that Donald used to find the very best type of farming to get the most outstanding crops. What determination he had to stick to it for several years until he found the exact formula that would produce the best vegetables and with almost no insects. That is a winning combination. I am praying that more and more large farms will adopt these methods so that more of us can purchase this wonderful produce. I have been doing a great deal of research in what foods are best for us and without a doubt, we will only benefit our bodies if we eat organic. I also am a huge believer in supplements because the produce from this new way of farming is so inferior than it was 50 years ago when Donald was doing all his own research. What a perfect stocking stuffer this would be for Christmas!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Sutton on December 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
Don Lewis has compiled an indepth and informative view of the organic gardening process. But that's not all. Don reveals the heart and soul of the farmer, with an instinct for the process and best practices of farming, that are sustainable, and renewable. He has the wit and wisdom of a northern New Enqland story teller, and the thorough knowledge of his subject matter. This is a very good read. As people become more educated about the food growing industry, and food conglomerates, the author's perspectives and ideas are basically what every food consumer, not just farmer, should know about. Great book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joan on September 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
Decades before organic gardening became trendy Donald Lewis was conducting real-world experiments on his Vermont farm. Now in "Learned by the Fencepost," he shares practical advice on establishing your own organic garden. This award winning farmer doesn't just write about environmental issues; he has developed an approach that worked well in Vermont over 50 years ago but is proving to be just as valid for production of healthy crops in Virginia. You will enjoy this book.Learned by the Fencepost (Lessons in Organic Farming and Gardening)
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