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The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses Paperback – April 15, 2009


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Frequently Bought Together

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 + 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)
Price for all three: $54.25

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing (April 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603580816
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603580816
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Eliot Coleman is widely recognized as the 'master' of the master gardeners. His new book, The Winter Harvest Handbook--which tells us how to produce local food even in winter in cold climates like Maine, without a lot of energy--now joins his other delightful books as another lovely read, packed with powerful and practical ideas that every gardener will treasure."--Frederick Kirschenmann, Distinguished Fellow, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, and President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture



"When does gardening become farming? When are you no longer having dinner parties and running a restaurant instead? For those who are ready to graduate beyond coffee-can retail, the incomparable Eliot Coleman is back with THE WINTER HARVEST HANDBOOK: Year-Round Vegetable Production Using Deep-Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses (Chelsea Green, paper, $29.95). I'm not one to quibble over the details of a "T-post anchor and homemade attaching bracket for securing the corners of a new rolling greenhouse design." Suffice it to say that this serious, meticulous, inspiring farmer and writer solves the problem of growing lettuce in Maine -- in January. Anyone living near Coleman's Four Season Farm is thrice blessed -- 1) to live in intense denial of the back-breaking effort he or she is 2) being spared in order to acquire what is surely 3) the tastiest, most wholesome and pure food available. Coleman's opus is as much a call to action for town planners to embrace local farms as it is a bible for small farmers. This book is for people who know what they're doing."-- The New York Times Book Review






"I just finished picking my first carrots, beets, and radishes from my new 'cold house' in Bedford, New York. It is so rewarding to harvest fresh vegetables and salads in the middle of winter and I grow them following the techniques of Eliot Coleman. I have been a devotee of Eliot's for years, fully agreeing with his methods for growing in winter, spring, summer, and fall, tasty, nutritious produce with a minimum consumption of fossil fuels. Congratulations on another volume of useful, practical, sensible, and enlightening information for the home gardener."--Martha Stewart



"Eliot Coleman's books have been called Bibles for small farmers and home gardeners. I suspect that's because he writes about not just gardening but about everything that connects to good food and pleasure; a Renaissance man for a new generation, he'll quote Goethe in the same breath as Ghandi, and as a result, you'll dig, weed, eat, think, and live more fully."--Dan Barber, Chef, Blue Hill and Blue Hill Stone Barns






"'Attention to detail is the major secret to success in any endeavor,' writes Eliot Coleman on page 156 of this absorbing and happily detailed report on his ongoing efforts to grow flawless vegetables without hothouses on the frozen 'back side' of the year. In chapters covering everything from The Yearly Schedule and Greenhouse Design to Weed Control and Marketing, Coleman tracks his own constant search for perfection, a quality that has led more than one young farmer to exclaim 'I'd follow him anywhere.' Well worth reading even if you don't grow vegetables, just to watch a master's mind at work."--Joan Dye Gussow, author of This Organic Life








"The Winter Harvest Handbook is a treasure trove of practical, proven techniques for producing crops on a year-round basis in any climate. Based on decades of on-farm research, this book is packed with useful ideas, tips and practices that anyone can use in pursuing the increasingly vital dream of local, organic food production using a minimum of precious resources. A masterful book from a master organic farmer. I wish I had had a copy 35 years ago!"--Amigo Bob Cantisano, President, Organic Ag Advisors




"How do you produce first-rate food all year-round in northern places? This is the big question facing the local food movement, and Eliot Coleman, one of America's most innovative farmers, has come up with excellent answers. Brimming with ingenuity, hope, and eminently practical advice, The Winter Harvest Handbook is an indispensable contribution."--Michael Pollan




"If we are going to create a good, clean, fair food system, we've got to learn how to grow affordable, local food year-round and make a living at it. Eliot Coleman knows more about this than anyone I've met. Here he gives the detailed information needed to make it work. The only way to learn it better would be to follow him around for a few seasons. And he won't let you."--Josh Viertel, President, Slow Food USA

About the Author

Eliot Coleman has over thirty years' experience in all aspects of organic farming, including field vegetables, greenhouse vegetables, rotational grazing of cattle and sheep, and range poultry. He is the author of The New Organic Grower, Four-Season Harvest, and The Winter Harvest Handbook, as well as the instructional workshop DVD Year-Round Vegetable Production with Eliot Coleman. Coleman and his wife, Barbara Damrosch, presently operate a commercial year-round market garden, in addition to horticultural research projects, at Four Season Farm in Harborside, Maine.


More About the Author

Eliot Coleman is one of America's leading practitioners of organic gardening and farming. He has pioneered a "plant-positive" approach to horticulture that surpasses chemical-dependent agriculture in every way—producing vegetables that are exceptionally nutritious, delicious, and healthy. His Chelsea Green books include The New Organic Grower and Four-Season Harvest. With his wife Barbara Damrosch he farms in Harborside, Maine, on land that was part of the homestead of Helen and Scott Nearing.

Customer Reviews

Great Book and very informative!
Charity Townsend
Winter Harvest will do more to change the way gardeners think than any book since John Jeavons' How to Grow More Vegetables.
Dale Miller
Very well written, very interesting to read.
Eric W

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

174 of 177 people found the following review helpful By Lynette R. Fleming on April 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Got a little land? Love a lot of vegetables? Then build yourself a Winter Wonderfarm. You may not be able to enjoy fresh garden tomatoes in the dead of winter, but there are more than 30 green and root vegetables that you can enjoy. From carrots to onions, celery to kohlrabi, and almost every vegetable in between, your Winter Wonderfarm will become the envy of your neighborhood. Perhaps that's where the expression "green with envy" came from . . . a better, greener farm.

The three components to a successful winter harvest, according to Mr. Coleman are:

1) Cold-hardy vegetables
2) Succession planting
3) Protected cultivation

As it turns out, if we can protect our vegetables from the winter winds, we can grow many vegetables successfully, even in the snow. Some vegetables, such as spinach, lettuce and matte, are actually even sweeter and more tender in cooler temperatures. Think you surely have to provide supplementary lighting? Nope . . . not needed when grown in one of Mr. Coleman's "cold houses". He uses these cold houses even in the Maine winters of Zone 5.

You'll also learn about vertical production of tomatoes and how to create your own cold frame with quick hoops made of electrical conduit and 10-foot-wide spun-bonded row cover held down by sandbags. These hoops can cover the same area as a 22 by 48 foot greenhouse at 5% of the cost. Speaking of cost, a recent article in the AARP Magazine indicated that we can save $1,000.00 a year growing our own vegetables in a small garden. Now add your winter crop savings, and imagine what you'd save. Your Winter Wonderfarm will yield delicious, organic vegetables, improving your diet and fattening your wallet. Forget putting out the Christmas lights . . . just grow vegetables.

Lynette Fleming, Coauthor of Lunch Buddies: Buddy Up for a Better Diet
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164 of 167 people found the following review helpful By Kirsten on May 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I agree with jyoung's review that there are great stories and history lessons in the book of how winter gardening works and how it worked for the French & British in the 1800's. The whole last 1/3rd of the book is about marketing and packaging produce for a business, so not very applicable for me as a home gardener. I also find his stories and techinques difficult to apply on a smaller scale for my home garden. I feel the book lacks actual how-to information, it is just some stories on what he has tried over the years and what he grows to sell to his customer base. Living at almost 11,000 feet in Colorado, I was really hoping for some good information on winter gardening since we have around 7-8 months of snow/year including receiving snow sometimes around (or after) July 4th. Though the book was an interesting read and a good history lesson, it was not quite the technical how-to guide I was looking for.
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70 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Richard L. Lachance on May 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
Once again Elliot Coleman has provided us with a wealth of knowledge when it comes to both home and commercial gardening. In these times of change, it is reassuring to know that there are those who are more than willing to share what they have learned. We have been using some of his techniques here in New Brunswick, Canada with great success. We are currently eating spinach in April and May that we planted last fall in our cold frame. If a crop can survive one of our winters, they should survive elsewhere. If you want to put in a garden, this is a must book to own.
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80 of 81 people found the following review helpful By jo on May 25, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have his first one, which I really enjoyed. This one is better-with color photos that will really excite any gardener. There are lists of specific seeds he has found will grow under winter conditions in the greenhouse, and how to help them best make it through the freeze. He list helpful items and where to get them. An easy read,for the person who wants to grow for their family or to sell. A helpful fun book. Elliot is a good teacher.
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71 of 72 people found the following review helpful By AlphaDog on October 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I took a chance on buying the Winter Harvest Handbook because I trusted Coleman's work on the New Organic Grower. I would always recommend checking this book out from the library first to see what you really think before buying. I love the book's glossy color photos and details (his other two books have lovely line drawings). This book can be read by the small commercial grower and the home gardener alike. The tone of the book as in his other books in is plain English, which I love. I've always been interested in using a greenhouse to extend the growing season (yes, even here in Central Texas) however this book changed my mind about the traditional sense of a greenhouse. To me, a green house was a place to store house plants or tropicals over the winter (a sometimes heated storage room), a crowded place to grow a few summer veggies in pots or tubs, or a place to start seeds for the spring and that was it. This book and Four Season Harvest changed all that. I really liked both books they really complement each other.

One caveat: if you grow veggies on 1/4 acre or more you're going to like this book more than if you grow veggies on a small lot (less than 100 sq. ft), on a balcony, or in containers. The reader will have to scale down significantly the concepts in this book. I don't think it's impossible; but it is more work for the reader. also, this is not a how-to book. Coleman gives some guidance but no step-by-step instructions.

The book focuses mostly on unheated hoop-houses, cold frames, and low tunnels (in a commercial setting but again, the concepts can be modified to fit the home grower).
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