The written word, type, something I hope we never see come to an end. There is something quite amazing about picking up a book. It has this ability to slow down the chaotic pace of every day life and transport you to a simpler time, and I never have to worry about the content disappearing never to be found again. Not to mention the graphic designer in me loves seeing type on paper. My shelves contain too many books to count, but here are my go to resources to problem solve, gain knowledge and get inspired. Most I have ordered online so I will link each one to a source so you can add them to your resource bank as well.
Alchemy of Herbs
This is the book for you if you’re interested in developing a more holistic approach to wellness. It is packed full of different herbs and spices, information and beautiful imagery. You begin by learning how to select the right herbs for your body type. The book continues with information on each herbs/spice what they treat, how to use them and offers some fantastic recipes. I used this book to help decide what I wanted to plant in our own garden and prep ahead of time how I wanted to use them. A fantastic resource.
Carrots Love Tomatoes
This is a great introduction into companion planting. Well I don’t buy into all the myths that come along with companion planting, for instance beans do not provide nitrogen to things planted next to them, some things definitely benefit one another. For example, certain plants attract beneficial insects or compliment each others growth habits. Regarless, this book is full of information to get you moving and experimenting with new techniques.
Drink the Harvest
You guessed it, this book is all about turning the food you’ve grown or gathered from someone else and turning them into delicious drinks. You will gain knowledge on a variety of topics such as when and how to harvest, useful equipements, different ways to juice your harvest, fermentation, canning, and other storage methods. It is loaded with beautiful imagery and recipes for making and preserving juice, wines, meads, teas, ciders and syrups.
Rodale's All-New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening.
This book has it all. Well, maybe not all. It’s missing the gorgeous imagery that I love so much but it is a phenomenal resource for almost anything you would want to know. Think garden textbook. It’s set up rather uniquely in the fact that it literally catorgorized everything alphabetically. Hense the encyclopedia part of the name. Great resource for a ton of different topics.
Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener's Handbook
I am a firm believer that every new gardener should have this book. Exactly as it says, this handbook is organized by expected first and last frost-date and informs you of what you need to be doing that week to be successful in the garden. You’ll learn what to plant, when to start seeds, how to prep for the coming season, etc. It’s full of tips, trick and great information. This is the handbook that I include in all my garden planning options and educational courses.
Heirloom Vegetable Gardening
A fantastic a beautiful book self discribed as a Master gardener’s guide to planting, seed saving and cultural history; that is exactly what it is and they do it beautifully. Loaded full of information, this is the book for anyone interested in diving deeper into different heirloom varities of our food. I can totally nerd out on this and have gained a much greater appreciation for the food I eat and the history behind it. Not only that but it also provides fantastic information on how to grow them yourself.
American Horticultural Society Pests & Diseases
A bit of a gross book I must admit. Inside you will find a valuable resource for identifying, preventing and treating a multitude of garden pests and diseases. Pictures will help you identify good bugs, harmful bugs, and that horrible disease that’s killing off your chance for an abundant tomato harvest. Definitely one you should have at the ready.
Practical Permaculture informs you on the definition, guiding ethics and principles behind permaculture and it does this for everyone. You don’t have to live in the country and own multiple acres of land to practice permaculture. Permaculture priciples can be applied to your life whether you live in an urban area or a large homestead. Practical Permaculture covers systems for managing water, waste, energy, shelter, food production, soil fertility, animals and wildlife.
Ha! Look at all those post it tabs. I believe I have about every third recipe in this book marked to try. If you are looking to expand the ways in which to preserve your harvest or just getting started, this is a great book. It covers canning, culturing, pickling, freezing, fermentation, dehydrating, salting, smoking and cellaring. The recipes in this thing are mouthwatering and there are a slew of things to get you inspired.
Agriculture is the life blood in which the community I live in thrives. I mean that quite literally. That being said, modern ag is distroying the land, the health of those who live in farming communities, and by extention those who consume the products that come from what they grow. That being said, I am well aware there is no easy answer to the question of what should we do to fix it. I believe it has to start in our own backyards. We must make the decision to take part of our food supply into our own hands whether you can grow all your own produce or just a few planters worth. This is a beautifully written book that takes a look at we can farm and restore the land.
I made it one of my goals over the last few years to learn how to store our harvest through the winter without having to can or freeze everything. I quickly discovered this isn’t as easy in modern times as it was when everyone had root cellars. The cellar in our home stays too warm to store most things and living in Minnesota, all our out buildings and everything in them freezes solid in the middle of winter. This book gives you a comprehensive look at natural cold storage, when to harvest, how much to grow for your family, and out of the box thinking for when you don’t have a traditional root cellar. I gleened so much from this book.
Seeds On Ice
I truly have a love affair with this book. As big agriculture gets bigger and bigger, the diversity in our crops has gotten smaller and smaller. Which in turn means our ability to adapt as growing conditions change is much less. Seeds On Ice is a book about Svalbard and the Global Seed Vault. To quote this book, ” The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a key component of global efforts to secure the diversity of our most important crop plants for the future of humanity.” If you would like a small hard yet beautiful look into the loss of genetic diversity and what is being done to save it. And, I do mean beautiful. This book has gorgeous photography.
The Bees in Your Backyard
There are more than 4000 species of bees in the United States. Yes, there are more bees than just the magnificient honeybee that we all love dearly, and believe it or not, they polinate things too. Did you know that most bees don’t live in hives but rather in the ground and in small crevasses? And how about the fact that different species of bees polinate different types of plants? This is just a speck of the information you’ll find in the book. Save the honeybees, yes. But more importantly, educate yourself so you can help save all the bees. They all play an incredibly important role in our food supply.
The Vegetable Gardener's Bible
The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible is a wealth of information. It focuses on a more natural, holistic approach to gardening and multiple styles of gardening. In it you will find growing guides for nearly every type of plant you’d like to grow, instruction on different gardening styles and techniques, pest prevention and control, composting how-tos and the list goes on. Not to mention there are loads of pictures for those of you who are visual learners. The is a must have for anyone that has a garden or is planning on starting one.