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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From Library Journal
Sue Gardner, Albert Wisner Lib., Warwick, N.Y.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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.
"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 call '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
- Item Weight : 1.86 pounds
- Paperback : 340 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780930031756
- ISBN-13 : 978-0930031756
- Dimensions : 8.03 x 0.91 x 10 inches
- Publisher : Chelsea Green Publishing; Revised and expanded second edition (October 1, 1995)
- ASIN : 093003175X
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #122,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I first checked this book out from the local library (as a newbie gardener I found the information relevant, fascinating and it fired me up about organic techniques which are making a comeback). I checked it out so many times that I decided to buy it. I must admit that some of the writing feels rather technical and elevated even though he does use plain English. The information on crop rotation was like a graduate level explication class for me (if that doesn't make sense that's how i felt after reading the crop rotation section). He has a method using index cards that i found clear as mud (that's part of the reason I didn't buy this book at first, i think I would have felt overwhelmed). It is geared toward small commercial growers 2.5 acres to 5 acres types. However, i believe that these concepts can be applied to a small home garden be it just a few raised beds or a 1/4 acre lot. While he won't tell you HOW to create a raised bed specifically or provide a step-by-step guide on everything there is to know about gardening, he gives you his known good advice on composting, soil amendment,row spacing, greenhouse growing and especially the crops that they grown on their farm successfully, and so much more. Also keep in mind that this book's concepts are from years working on a farm in New England (not to mention experience working on small farms in Europe)--for gardeners who don't have to contend with permafrost you just have to make adjustments and keep those garden zones differences in mind. I love this book but if you're a newbie, check the book out from the library and evaluate before you make a purchase (that's my general recommendation on any book for that matter).
Lastly, don't be to surprised if the techniques described in the book may appear more labor intensive (I don't know what aspect of gardening isn't labor intensive, but anyway...) or more complicated than traditional gardening techniques (say for example controlling weeds with chemicals or killing pests with pesticide or amending soil with chemical fertilizers). This book is about purely ORGANIC techniques that in the long run means less work for you as the gardener and more work returning to mother nature. Hence the name, New Organic Grower.
It is not a high gloss book, and I would have enjoyed some pictures of the actual farm, but it did give drawings of his outlines for rotation planting, harvesting, marketing, all based on his own experiences. Rock powders: The chapter I found the most important was the one dealing with rock powders as fertilizer. This should be of interest to almost anyone who wants to improve their soil, no matter where they live.
I will likely go with a raised bed system instead and some info in here is just not compatible, but if I had more open space I would certainly try Coleman.
Top reviews from other countries
I was totally inspired and went and bought two of his other books as a result!
in looking for a book to guide me i read reviews and excerpts to many books, and finally thought Elliot Cole's New Organic Grower sounded like just the ticket... I don't think I'm wrong... this book is loaded with great advice and techniques suited to a home or small market gardner
i was worried about such a book being used only to send me to sleep at nights, but Cole's style of writing is simple and engaging, and sometimes even witty... he's like that nice old uncle you always thought was smarter than your dad!
then again the real proof will be in next year's crop.. right now i have a whole lot of preparation to do!