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Grow Organic: Over 250 Tips and Ideas for Growing Flowers, Veggies, Lawns and More Paperback – April 2, 2007
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Grow Organic proves once and for all that dousing your yard in toxic chemicals is so 20th century. This is practical, attainable advice delivered in a friendly and unthreatening way. Homeowners and gardeners both need this book. --Theresa Ciesinski, Senior Editor of Organic Gardening magazine
Co-authors Jessica Walliser and Doug Oster are terrific guides along the organic garden path. Safe, simple solutions are offered instead of toxic chemical fixes...and you ll fall in love with your garden all over again as you learn to garden cooperatively with nature. --Ann Lovejoy, author of Ann Lovejoy's Organic Garden Design School and Gardening from Scratch
This book is a gentle and inspirational aid for homeowners looking to cut the chemicals from their outdoor life. --Mike McGrath, host of NPR s "You Bet Your Garden"
From the Back Cover
If you dream of having a beautiful lawn, fruits and veggies to die for, a flower bed that just won't stop, and a garden environment where all of nature has the chance to thrive without pesticides - this book is your answer.
GROW ORGANIC is an accessible, richly informative, witty and insightful guide to helping gardeners of all skill levels achieve their organic potential. For those millions of gardeners who are now realizing that organic is the only way to grow, this book offers practical information to help get ""the real dirt"" on up-to-date, easy-to-understand organic practices.
Nine chapters give you the lowdown on composting, companion planting, organic pest control, soil management and much more - with an invaluable Friends of the Organic Gardener source guide appendix. Got questions? In each chapter you'll find a quick and easy reference list of how-to tricks and tips the authors have discovered during their combined gardening experience of nearly 50 years.
""Co-authors Jessica Walliser and Doug Oster are terrific guides along the organic path. Safe, simple solutions are offered instead of toxic chemical fixes... and you'll fall in love with your garden all over again as you learn to garden cooperatively with nature."" -Ann Lovejoy, author of Ann Lovejoy's Organic Garden Design School and Gardening from Scratch
""This is a great book filled with useful information - fun to read, straightforward and convincing. If you were not an organic gardener when you started, you will be by the end."" -Holly H. Shimizu, Executive Director, United States Botanic Garden, Washington, D.C.
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The common sense approach and easy reading make this a practical, educational tool for any skill set. I can see myself picking this up at the beginning of each growing season as a refresher as well as idea generator for my next garden plans.
Not only does this offer great hints and tips but it encourages folks to live a chemical free life. It shows how easy and sensible natural living can be and I have learned so much.
Bravo to the authors on their contribution to natural growing, living and believing!
The only reason it doesn't get 5 stars is because it seemed like just a collection of tips and tricks, without out enough structured how-tos. Maybe I just need it spelled out, or maybe I'm not hard-core enough of a gardener, but I can't give it the oh-my-god-this-is-the-best review. Though I still recommend it to anyone interested in gardening.
While we have gardened organically for years, we've learned that it is both a science and an art. Like any art, there is much to be learned from those with with experience-- those who have made the mistakes you want to avoid. This is the first book I've read where the authors actually admit they've made mistakes and they don't make you feel guilty about having made any of your own.
The chapter with the step-by-step guide to organic pest control is great. Nothing makes you want to reach for the quick fix in a can like seeing your hard work invaded, but the steps given here (and the gentle reminders to be patient in letting nature achieve her balance) help maintain a little sanity while reminding you that an intelligent, methodical approach can help you keep the upper hand.
The other important point to make about any reference is that the index is effective.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to start getting the chemicals out of their gardens but don't know where begin. For those who have been doing this for a while but can still benefit from good advice, the writing style is light and terse making it easy to skim over the bits you already know.
The authors say they will "arm you with all the know-how you'll need to garden organically." And that they will "be with you every step of the way." One of the first steps taken is to explain the term "organic." Eaters everywhere are ever more concerned about the ingredients in processed foods. Doug and Jessica want gardeners to return to the old ways of gardening, pre WWII, when "our great-grandparents gardened." That was before the introduction of hamful chemicals now used in many gardens and on many more farms.
Using "scare tactics" in a friendly manner, Jessica and Doug list nine pieces of "information" about why you should switch to organic gardening. Information such as: "Kids who grow up around conventional lawn and garden chemicals are 6½ times more likely to get leukemia than kids who grow up in an untreated environment," and the "67 million pounds of chemicals applied to residential lawns each year." (The authors add: "These are scary facts, and there are lots more where they came from." I do not doubt the words of the authors, however, a list of sources for the facts would have been appropriate.)
In Chapter 2, "Taking The Leap," Doug and Jessica explain the necessary steps needed to wean a garden off the " 'steroids' of chemical fertilizers" and convert it to "natural care." For the beginning organic gardener, this Chapter is most helpful. Jessica and Doug lay out a six-step process that is clear and understandable.
At the end of each Chapter, Doug and Jessica share their organic gardening knowledge with readers in their "Tells All" section. This is a personal touch I found very warm and informative - a lot like talking across the garden gate with your next-door neighbor. The authors also include end of chapter tips, tricks, and useful anecdotes on many aspects of organic gardening.
No gardening book would be complete without a chapter on the health of soil and Jessica and Doug have done an exceptional job with their Chapter "The Real
Dirt - Organic Soil Management" in Grow Organic. This Chapter stands out as one of the most important keys in our understanding as gardeners of the health of the soil in our gardens and its relationship to the plants, flowers, and vegetables we grow.
Doug Oster and Jessica Walliser have given gardeners an impressive tool to use to help them become not only better gardeners, but also better stewards of the land. Grow Organic should be on every gardener's book shelf, within easy reach.