- Paperback: 201 pages
- Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 5th edition (September 1, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0898157676
- ISBN-13: 978-0898157673
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.8 x 11.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #715,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
How to Grow More Vegetables: Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine Paperback – September 1, 1995
There is a newer edition of this item:
See the Best Books of 2018 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
Now in its fifth edition and printed in seven different languages, Jeavon's book is considered a classic in the field (literally) and has brought about a kind of green revolution in food production around the world. This book is based on Alan Chadwick's biointensive gardening techniques. It will show you how to raise enough fresh, healthy, organic vegetables for a family of four on a parcel of land as small as 800 square feet! Nothing could be more fundamental to the needs of an increasingly crowded world than food. Jeavons and the group he heads, Ecology Action, are making a quiet but earth-shaking revolution in how people raise nutritious food.
If you have a small, flat rooftop, access to a bit of open space between your house and your neighbor's, or any small patch of land, here's the ultimate how-to manual for making the most of it to raise your own food, including ways to enhance soil fertility and productivity, non-chemical pest controls, where and when to plant what in your climate or location, the tools you'll need, and the problem-solving skills essential to success. This "ground-breaking" book is used by gardeners around the globe and is as hopeful, inspiring, and motivating a gardening book as has ever been written. --Mark Hetts
About the Author
JOHN JEAVONS is a cofounder of the group Ecology Action and the father of the modern biointensive gardening movement. He lives in Willits, California, where he has been growing more vegetables for decades.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Biodynamic techniques were developed by Austrian genius Rudolf Steiner. French Intensive methods were developed in the 1890s by market gardeners outside Paris, a time when horses provided more-than-ample fertilizer and the city provided a ready market for vegetables. Chadwick studied under Steiner and French gardeners.
The method requires double-digging garden beds and adding compost or aged manure. Double-digging to two feet in depth provides loose soil that roots easily penetrate. Plants are seeded or transplanted very close together and form a living mulch, shading roots, causing greater water retention, denying sunlight to weeds. Other aspects of the method are planting and transplanting by the phases of the moon and daily sprinkling rather than periodical flooding.
This material has been recycled four times since the 1974 typewritten edition. I regret to report it is no longer up-to-date gardening knowledge, it will intimidate beginning gardeners, and it will bore experienced gardeners. There is only one new chapter, titled Sustainability, which is mostly promotion of Ecology Action. In addition, Jeavons seems confused. In the first four editions he wrote that he was teaching us the "biodynamic/French intensive method" of Steiner and French gardeners as learned and taught by Chadwick. Now in a chapter titled A Perspective for the Future, he writes that his work is based on the "Chinese Biointensive way of farming." Yet nowhere does he advocate or tell how to use humanure, which is the basis of Chinese food production, as first shown by F.H. King in his book, Farmers of Forty Centuries. Only in the bibliography do we find book listings under the heading: Human Waste. The huge bibliography (36 pages, was 22 pages in the last edition) apparently lists every book and catalog in the Ecology Action library but there is NO INDEX! I find the lack of an index in a nonfiction book to be unforgivable. For instance, looking for crop rotation or mulching methods means scanning the entire 201 pages--and coming up empty.
There are pages and pages of drawings and technical charts that most readers will never use. We find listings of plants and information both barely usable--seeds per ounce, pounds consumed per average person per year--and important--bed spacing, yields--although there is no recognition or advice concerning the many soil types and growing zones. One is dismayed to find--in a book titled How to Grow More Vegetables--more pages of charts about grain, protein source, vegetable oil crops; cover, organic matter, fodder crops; energy, fiber paper and other crops; tree and cane crops--20 pages in all, than about vegetable crops--8 pages.
Promotion of Ecology Action uses a fourteen-page chapter in addition to six more pages of self-promotion in the Sustainability chapter. If you want to support Jeavons' work, send a check to Ecology Action, or buy his book, The Sustainable Vegetable Garden, adapted from this book by co-author Carol Cox, which is smaller and less expensive and has all his best stuff without the wasted pages of charts, drawings and promotion, and it has an index! If you want current gardening information, read authors such as Eliot Coleman and Dick Raymond who are progressive and work with all garden designs, including the mulch method first popularized by Ruth Stout and now used by hundreds of my gardening friends across the country. Most of us have tried the double-dig method and have long since moved on. I recommend you not waste your time, except maybe once for new gardens, depending on soil conditions. Thereafter, use mulch, save your back and spend your time and energy on better pursuits.
The companion planting guide is very helpful for planting vegetables and herbs together.
Although this thin book has gone through five reprints, the passing years seem to have added little in the way of real information. Sure, knowing how to turn soil with hand tools and make a compost pile is useful, but most modern books handle that in a couple of pages. The book's policy of zero tolerance for chemical fertilizer and pesticides is an admirable ideal but a tad too stringent for me. I found the "charts" little more than unfinished notes that were largely indecipherable. The book offers dubious, sometimes contradictory, advice, including instructions on planting by the phases of the Moon. Sources for supplies are referenced with old-fashioned snail-mail addresses rather than 1-800 numbers or URLs. The book has no index!
Frankly, much of the text seems to be self-promotion for the Cause, worthy as it may be, rather than offering solid gardening tips. If you really want to grow more vegetables, get Dick Raymond's Joy of Gardening. He's plenty "green" and offers practical approaches to getting food out of the ground.
A resource and reference book that ever Gardener needs.
Rodney P. Dempsey