From Library Journal
Sue Gardner, Albert Wisner Lib., Warwick, N.Y.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Coleman's personable work draws together the experience and wisdom of his 25 years as a vegetable gardener in Maine. It includes nearly all the material in the previous edition (LJ 11/1/89), communicating a respect and feeling for "the land" and its processes. Every page is imbued with the wisdom and careful observations he and his associates have gathered; from soil structure to "mobile greenhouses" that expand the growing season, each method is thought through to its ultimate impact on the earth and on economic survival. Well-presented graphics illustrate methods and techniques. This new edition includes sidebar references and notes, new chapters on creating fertile soil (without importing items such as manure from sources that may not use organic methods), and use of existing information channels to learn of new information. Of interest for even the smallest veggie patch grower. The Dirt Doctor's Guide to Organic Gardening presents many of the same sustainable concepts with the vehemence of its radio talk show host and news columnist author. Garrett gives tips on a broader range of home gardening, including landscaping and wildlife, and spends much effort on the abuses of past and current practice. Basics are presented briefly, with many eco-asides that help break up the dense, information-rich text. Lack of visuals makes the material harder to absorb, yet one is constantly copying out directions as they appear. These tidbits and the coverage of issues concerning Southern gardens make the title of value, though gathering the tips in an appendix or special section would have provided better access. For general collections.
"This is the best book on small-scale farming I've read in years."--Pat Stone, Mother Earth News
"I know of no other person. . . who can produce better results on the land with an economy of effort and means than Eliot. He has transformed gardening from a task, to a craft, and finally to what Steward Brand would cal 'local science'."--Paul Hawken, from the Foreword
"Anybody seriously tempted to try. . . raising healthy food on healthy land. . . must first read The New Organic Grower. Coleman, who has been a quiet leader in the American organic movement for several decades, presents a balanced, logical exposition of his subject."--Horticulture
"Coleman conveys a vast amount of detailed information without ever insulting the intelligence of the reader. He speaks as if to a fellow home or market gardener, sharing what works for him and discussing what he knows and what he doesn't know. The New Organic Grower will be the book you dog-ear and feather with yellow sticky pages, returning to it time and again."--San Francisco Chronicle
"Eliot Coleman's book will help market gardeners establish the vital and profitable link between farm and city during the 1990s. Every small-scale grower and serious gardener should have a copy."--Robert Rodale