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The Earth Manual: How to Work on Wild Land Without Taming It Paperback – October, 1985
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"An attractive, knowledgeable and unpretentious guide...written with quiet authority, filled with specific information." -- Los Angeles Times
"Even more than in 1975, humans now debate the "wild" and... "tamed," and _The Earth Manual_ answers the debate..." -- Whole Earth
About the Author
Malcolm Margolin is publisher of Heyday Books and author of several books on California history, including _The Ohlone Way_ and _The Way We Lived_.
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1. Wildlife: wildlife needs, "do not restock" (carrying capacity), predators, variety, managing for _all_ wildlife, brush piles (including land and water piles for fish), rock piles, holes and dens (including den trees), hedgerows, corridors through heavy brush, dusting places, forested openings, fruits and natural foods, the issues around artificial feeding of wildlife.
2. Felling a Tree: Why this must be practiced and when, how to plan the downfall, which trees to cut, dropping the tree (nice diagrams on the cutting procedure), stumps, and safety precautions.
3. The Mulch Mystique: To mulch or not, selecting the kind of mulch, applying the mulch, and working with kids in mulching.
4. Be Your Own Tree Doctor: Things you can do to cure a sick tree or heal an injured one, the importance of sickness and dead trees in nature, tree first aid and surgery, barbed wire wounds, and feeding a tree (fertilizers, etc.)
5. Erosion Control: An essential task, how erosion happens and gullies develop, fighting erosion with plants, sheet erosion and plant cover, brush mats and wattles, contour trenches, principles of building check dams, culverts, streams and bank erosion, channel erosion.
6. The Seed Bag: When and how to collect seeds from wild plants, labeling, conifer cones (pine cones,e tc.), drying/storing/treating wild seeds, planting from seed.
7. Plant Midwifery: Helping plants reproduce through root cuttings, layering of shrubs and vines, willow stakes, and hardwood cuttings.
8. Pruning: With wild trees, pruning is not about shaping, but more about the health of plants and the land, cutting diseased branches and getting cuttings for planting.
9. Planting Trees: Bare-root seedlings, when to plant trees- and when other habitats are needed, what trees to plant, spacing, "heeling in" (keeping trees temporarily before you are able to plant them), when and how to plant, mistakes, container-grown trees, preparing the hole, planting (water, mulch, staking), transplant shock, transplanting wild trees, picking and moving the tree, root ball size, root pruning, lifting and moving the tree, bare rooting larger trees, and more.
10. Ponds and Watering Holes: The magic of water sources in the land in attracting wildlife, potholes, springs, seeps, rainfall cachments, containers and digging holes, erosion, leaks, plumbing (if called for), what animals/plants will naturally come and which you might want to bring (fish to control mosquito larvae for example) -but caution against bringing in turtles, etc.
11. Happy Trails to You: How to plan for and make a trail through your land, surveying, switchbacks, clearing, grading/sloping, special problems (wet areas, steps, etc.), and clean up.
12. Working with Kids: For teachers, youth programs and others who depend on kids' participation in working on the land, issues of volunteers, recruiting, don't make the work too difficult, and how best to get your message across of carrying for the land.
A real, hands-on gem for those wanting to work in partnership with their backlot or secondary growth areas.