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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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"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
"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
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.
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i live in the same climate zone as eliot coleman. i have a close friend who has a small organic commercial garden. i gave her a copy of The Winter Harvest Handbook as a present. she and i both found so much useful information in eliot's book. he has found a niche market for specialty veggies for local restaurants and stores. his methods are very practical and he places a high value on ease of operation, use of available space, creative making of tools, flexible greenhouses, and packing/display boxes. he is an actual full time farmer who has a commercially viable operation.
my friend, cindy, is already using some of eliot's ideas. she participates in local farmer's markets. our part of the country has some of the highest unemployment at this time, so we have to be creative to survive.
i plan to try a tomato trellis this year, which is an idea from eliot's book. i also interspersed jerusalem artichokes with sunflowers along the fence this year because the deer eat the sunflowers when they are young, but evidently don't like jerusalem artichokes. the tubers are quite edible. i found that info in Perrenial Vegetables.
i find mr. coleman's book to be very well written, easy to understand, well illustrated with photos, and inspiring. this is the first book i have read by the author, although he is a well known and respected author in the field of permaculture and small farm agribusiness.