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The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener, 2nd Edition (A Gardener's Supply Book) Paperback – October 1, 1995


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The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener, 2nd Edition (A Gardener's Supply Book) + The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses + Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long, 2nd Edition
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Product Details

  • Series: A Gardener's Supply Book
  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing; Revised and expanded second edition edition (October 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 093003175X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0930031756
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 8.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

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.
Sue Gardner, Albert Wisner Lib., Warwick, N.Y.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"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



Library Journal-
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.

(Sue Gardner, Albert Wisner Lib., Warwick, N.Y.)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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A very easy read packed with helpful specific information.
Handyman
This book is a must for anyone who wants to garden or farm organically.
Dr. Music
I've read and re-read this book and glean something new every time.
maggiemoo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

122 of 123 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
I would like to start up a small garden market and was looking for a good book to get me started. This book provided more than I asked for! It was very thorough on every detail of what would be involved - making a good soil, rotating crops, green manure, composting, greenhouses, seed producers, materials and costs, the benefit of animals, hiring/firing workers, marketing your product, irrigation, finding a good land plot to begin with and so much more! His information about start up costs and materials is in a simplistic, not extravagant and expensive way. He stresses reusing and recycling just about everything to save time, money, effort, and most importantly, our valuable earth resources. Although he makes strong suggestions about what will work successfully, he is always open to new ideas and techniques that could better improve any small farm. I appreciate his open-mindedness to new ideas and the value of constant learning. Reading this book makes you want to go out and start a farm right away with confidence that you'll be successful!
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180 of 185 people found the following review helpful By R. Griffiths on December 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
This amounts to the 'bible' of organic growing. It is informative and inspirational in equal measure. While the approach Coleman takes is particularly suited to market gardening, it is also eminently suitable for smaller-scale gardeners who simply wish to feed their family.
Coleman writes, 'The premise of this book is that you can make a good living on 5 acres or less of intensive vegetable production. Thus it is those acres that concern us most.' (p16)
In a nutshell, Coleman's approach is to:
- plan and market effectively
- develop the healthiest soil
- grow the most valuable crops
- extend the growing season to the maximum
He show just how to do this in 334 pages with 28 chapters and four appendices. There isn't space here to offer a contents list, but here are some highlights:
Chapters addressing the question 'why do it?' - Agricultural craftsmanship', 'a final question'
Chapters on 'season extension', mobile greenhouses and 'the winter garden'.
'Plant-positive' solutions to pests.
Chapters on marketing strategy and marketing.
However, 'The New Organic Grower' covers far more than this - in fact everything you could need to start successful organic vegetable production! Readers living in cool/temperate climates may also want to check out Coleman's other popular book, 'Four Season Harvest'.
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115 of 118 people found the following review helpful By DAVID-LEONARD WILLIS on January 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
Practical idealists, the Shakers demonstrated that it is possible for man to create the environment and way of life he wants, not by complaining about the system but by building their own domain arranged to their liking. Eliot Coleman, farm manager of the Mountain School Program of Milton Academy in Vershire, Vermont, has demonstrated that it is possible to undertake small-scale, commercial farming and gardening without the use of harmful pesticides by using cost-effective, environmentally sustainable methods to produce spectacular results with economy of effort and means. By offering a wealth of ideas; by identifying the most efficient and practical machinery and tools; by offering simple and efficient production techniques; and advising on the most remunerative marketing methods, this book is for the gardener and small farmer who has an unfulfilled dream to established an organic enterprise with minimal expense. When low cost production methods are allied with the right machinery and marketing practices, the viability of the 1-5 acre farm producing high quality food is not only possible but also enjoyable and profitable.
The advantage enjoyed by the small farmer is quality. If the product is first class and in demand and you are a dependable supplier at reasonable cost there is never a problem finding customers. But it needs hard work and intelligence. When starting in the era of 'get big or get out' there were almost no models of commercially successful organic small farmers to provide inspiration and ideas and where they existed it was exhausting and neither cost effective nor efficient. But by seeking out the best from different parts of the world Coleman found the optimum to be about 2.5 acres per grower - enough to produce quality vegetables for 100 people.
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180 of 192 people found the following review helpful By James M. Marzluff on July 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
A glance at the other reviews will have you drooling over Coleman's "growers' bible". That's why I bought it. While good reviews are nice, I feel that the claim that this is a "master's manual or tools and techniques" is disingenuous. While Eliot is very complete and authoritative on the information he chooses to cover, there is NO information on:

1: Irrigation. He mentions he built a pond at one point. No clue how irrigation fits his system, if it does.

2: Mulches. While mentioned several times, there is no chapter or sub-section devoted to this important topic.

3: Egg or dairy systems. Livestock mentioned in the book is for meat. There is no concession for non-meat animal uses. He mentions sheep that he buys at the beginning of the season, sets to graze with the chickens, and then sells for little profit just so his chickens get more protein (read: bigger breasts).

Coleman never gets tired of talking about his farm-based sources of nutrients, and yet he is completely dependent on outside inputs for his unbelievably intricate 10-year fertility regime. He casually mentions buying peat and clay by the ton, neglects any mention of animal husbandry, seed saving or permaculture of any sort.

At times this comes over as downright sanctimonious, particularly in the chapter "Pests?" In which Eliot explains how every pest problem you've ever had is your fault for not paying attention to the culture requirements of the plants. He calls all pest management practices "palliatives" meant to hide the problem rather than correct the source of the pest issue.

Overall a well written book with loads of useful information. You just have to get over Coleman's down-east arrogance to get to the juicy bits.
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