How to Grow More Vegetables: (and Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains, and Other Crops) Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine (Anglais) Broché – 1 octobre 2006
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The title means what it says, and they tell you exactly how to do it, basing their recommendations on the work of the organization that publishes the book, Ecology Action. They have been growing experimental gardens and conducting detailed research over the past 35 years. In succeeding editions of "How to Grow More Vegetables" they summarize their continuing research for those interested in personally benefiting from their methods and discoveries.
Some may object to the excruciatingly detailed charts and plans. Some of us find them a godsend. Regardless of what we think of them, they are the outgrowth of years of research and are intended to help, not just backyard gardeners in the US, but people in Kenya, India, Russia, Mexico, and other places around the world, whose lives and livelihoods, not to mention the health of their environment, may depend on maximizing their yields while minimizing their purchased inputs and water usage.
The central fact underlying this method is this: the only way to achieve the highest sustainable yields is to build and feed your soil, and the only way to build your soil without taking away fertility from someone else's soil (through purchased inputs such as compost, fertilizer, etc.) is to make and use your own compost. This book explains why, and shows you how. It works.
Though we are still shielded from it in the US, the world is facing a potentially devastating loss of agricultural fertility due to a combination of squandered topsoil (lost through both development and abuse by chemicals and poor tillage practices), water shortages, and soaring prices and reduced availability of fossil fuels (which power the farm equipment, get it to market, and form the basis of most chemical fertilizers). Years ago, Ecology Action set out to discover in a rational and scientific way, just how much land and labor it would take to grow the amount of food, properly balanced for calories and nutrition, required by one person for one year. Could a family of four truly feed itself from a 1200 square foot garden if it had to, or wanted to? How much work and water would it take? How much fertilizer would they have to buy? Could they grow their own fertilizer? What tools would they need? What about fiber for clothing? Building materials? Animal feed?
The "How to Grow More Vegetables" books answer those questions, and much, much more. As the years go by, (and with each succeeding food contamination scandal) more of us, even in the US, are realizing just how important those questions are. You may not need or want all the information in this book. But it is all there, and nowhere else that I am aware of, for those who do want it.
This book could save the world, if only the world would pay attention. But it will also show you how to grow fabulous, tasty vegetables with less water, less work, less weeding, less money.
Two things bother me; There`s an almost 100- page bibliography included in the book!? Couldn`t it have been put up on a website or something, instead of just making the book (look) bigger and thicker? The second issue is that I find it always a bit irritating when a lot of equipment or systems get mentioned in a book, but to get their specifics or plans you must buy another book. Maybe the plans for the U- bar or for the mini- greenhouse could have fitted on those bibliography pages?
Anyways, the four stars is for the part where the actual system gets described.
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