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All of us at West Coast Seeds love gardening, but being able to eat the fruits of our labour is an extra reward. Growing vegetables for use at home or for the market garden is a skill that improves every year. Whether you are a novice gardener, growing cherry tomatoes in a patio garden, or a seasoned horticulturalist trying an Heirloom seed for the first time, there is always more to learn. The books we have selected below contain valuable tips and techniques to improve your crop, your health and the environment.
by Anthony Boutard
Much more than a how-to book, Beautiful Corn weaves together this uniquie plant's contribution to our culture, its distinctive biology and practical information needed to gorw and enjoy it at home. Market farmer and naturalist Anthony Boutard advocates a return to this traditional, nourishing, and beautiful whole grain, in all of its diversity. Come along on this lyrical and inspiring journey through the seasons, and discover the joy of restoring heritage corn varieties to our tables.
15 x 23cm, 208 pages.
By Nancy Bubel
This helpful book offers valuable tips and tricks for getting the absolute most of every corn seed that is planted. When to plant, where to plant, how to condition the soil to the best effect, and when to fertilize. It's all in this informative little handbook. 32 pages.
By Weldon Burge
This helpful book gives gardeners a wealth of tips and techniques for maximizing their sweet pepper and chile pepper crops. How and when to sow seeds, when to plant out, which varieties to do best under glass and when to harvest. More thorough and indepth than many brief chapters in gardening books, this handbook is necessary reading for all growers of pepper crops. 32 pages.
By John Page
Everything the home gardener needs to know about tomato plants and their needs. This little handbook discusses sowing seeds indoors, containers, soil, plant support, fertilizers, pest control and many other aspects of getting the most out of tomatoes. For experienced or novice gardeners. 32 pages.
By Alan Buckingham.
Home-grown vegetables are fresh, healthy and inexpensive. Here is the manual for growing your own, whether on your balcony, in your apartment, or in a garden, large or small. Even if you have only a few hours a week, Grow Vegetables teaches you the tools and methods you need to produce your own vegetables. This full-colour book is a wonderful gift for all growers of food. 352 pages.
by Geri Harrington
Make room among your tomato vines and zucchini plants for an exciting new trend in vegetable gardening. Chinese greens, beans, herbs, and other edible plants will delight gardeners looking for new challenges and cooks eager for fresh flavors from the backyard. You'll even find a chapter on starting a Chinese water garden. Complete growing instructions and exciting culinary options for 40 vegetables and herbs guarantee variety in your garden and exotic tastes on your dinner table.
7½ x 9¼", $21.50
by Ron L. Engeland
Fifteen years of organic farming experience has enabled Ron to write this, the most comprehensive book on growing garlic. He discusses everything from the history of modern garlic types to correct planting procedures and pest control. 213 pages.
by Fionna Hill
Hill offers expert guidance on successfully growing, harvesting, and preparing the 20 most popular microgreens, including arugula, beet, kale, radish, wheatgrass, and basil. Her comprehensive instructions explain which containers and growing media to use, how to prepare and sow the seeds, when and how to harvest, and how best to store the bounty. 8 x 10¼", 108 pages.
By Fern Marshall Bradley.
This encyclopedic collection of gardening advice is purely organic, albeit with a no-nonsense, 21st-century attitude. Extensive attention is given to cover cropping and dealing with deer damage. The vegetable entries are equally comprehensive with sections detailing Crop Basics, Secrets of Success, Preventing Problems, Regional Notes and Troubleshooting Problems. Drawings of pest-infested plants are helpful. Practical information is given on timed planting, crop rotation, barriers and repellants. Wise advice regarding prevention as the first tactic and using (organic) insecticides as a last resort. For any gardener who needs to keep track of "crucial care" for squash, how to control cucumber beetles with a vacuum cleaner, or any of the myriad details that arise every day in the garden, this book is a must. 471 pages.
By Charles Dowding
Small is beautiful, less is more; a salad a day - but not the supermarket way. This compendium of practical methods for growing a wide variety of salads throughout the year will inspire you to grow your own, whether on a windowsill or a garden. Here is all the information you need for productive, healthy, and tasty salads. Learn the subtleties of salad seasons and virtues of different leaves throughout the year. And when your table is groaning with the abundance of your harvests, there are delicious and imaginative recipes from Susie, Charles' wife, exploiting the fantastic flavors, color, and vitality of home-grown salad leaves. 234 pages.
by Marie Iannotti
Why did Angela Nardello sew pepper seeds into the hem of her skirt before setting sail from Italy bound for America? It wasn't so that she would have a tale to tell her grandchildren. It was because 'Jimmy Nardello', which she named after her son, is a one-of-a-kind pepper with a fresh, fruity sweetness that resembles ripe cherries. Or what about 'Aunt Molly's', the ground cherry tomato that traveled all the way from Poland? With its sweet blend of pineapple, strawberry, and citrus notes, it's perfect for making a delectable tomato jam. Heirloom expert Marie Iannotti brings us the fascinating stories, but more importantly, she tells us which varieties are the easiest to grow and the tastiest to eat, and how to cultivate each one successfully. If you've never tasted the meaty and mellow 'Lacinato' kale or the unexpected sweetness of 'Apollo' arugula — or if you have tasted them and want more — The Beginner's Guide to Growing Heirloom Vegetables is your guide to growing the best vegetables.
7.5 x 9.5", 252 pages
by Sharon Hanna
Kale—one of the most nutrient-dense greens in existence—has been growing for thousands of years without any fuss. Yet, despite the fact that kale is lauded as a miracle food, and most people know that they should be eating it, many don’t know how to make it taste good. Here, kale-evangelist Sharon Hanna provides more than eighty simple but superb recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Wilted Kale with Caramelized Parsnips, Pizzocheri Noodles with Greens and Fontina, Kale and Potato Torta and Kale in Coconut Milk with Salmon Candy will blow kale skeptics out of the kitchen. This garden-to-kitchen guide gives readers all they need to know to grow this super-sustainable crop organically—as edible landscaping, on balconies and boulevards and even indoors. And, aspiring locavores take note—purple, silvery-green, frilly, stately Tuscan and rainbow-hued kale can all be grown year-round throughout North America, helping families save hundreds of dollars a year on grocery bills.
192 pages, 8 x 10", full colour throughout.
Another fantastic gift book by Amy Goldman, with lush, seductive photographs by Victor Schrager, the team that brought you The Heirloom Tomato. This coffee-table style book covers all aspects of the squash family, from zucchinis to pumpkins, with full descriptions of the various styles and types, growing details, and even recipes. The Compleat Squash is the ultimate gift book for someone who loves these vegetables or anyone who appreciates fine photography. 214 pages, full colour throughout.
By Ted Jordan Meredith
An essential element in cuisines around the world, garlic enjoys near mythic status among cooks, chefs, foodies, and enthusiasts of natural remedies. Worldwide, garlic cultivation occupies over 2 million acres of farmland, an area that has more than doubled since 1970. Yet even garlic fanciers may be unable to tell hardneck from softneck, or Purple Stripe from Rocambole, not to mention the hundreds of cultivated varieties grown today, many with distinct differences in taste and character. In fact, the wealth of garlic varieties in nearly a dozen horticultural groups rivals that of corn, carrots, apples, and peaches. This book is the most comprehensive and in-depth guide available to what surely should be the next gourmet frontier. From 'Ajo Rojo' to 'Zemo', Meredith presents illustrated profiles of nearly 150 cultivars. Detailed chapters cover natural history, the history of garlic in cultivation, the nuances of cuisine and culture, therapeutic benefits, plant structure, how to cultivate, curing and storage, taxonomy, pests and diseases, and chemistry. Especially useful are the Quick Guides, which summarize information on growing and buying garlic and provide recommendations for the best-tasting cultivars for specific uses and climates. Lists of garlic sources and organizations are a boon to the aficionado. Whether you share Ted Jordan Meredith's "garlic affliction" or just find the pungent bulb indispensable, you'll understand it as never before with this meticulously researched, lovingly written book. Beautiful bound hardcover, 330 colour pages. Great gift!
by Hielke de Jong, Joseph Sieczka, and Walter de Jong
This really is the complete book of potaotes - a thorough exploration of potato history, biology, varieties, diseases, cultivation, nutrition, harvesting, storage, pests, and more. Illustrated with colour photographs and diagrams, this is the ultimate reference for potato growers and something of a tribute to this versatile, nutrient-rich food crop.
By Dave De Witt and Paul W. Bosland
This "gardener's guide to choosing, growing, preserving, and cooking" chile peppers is an exhaustive, hardcover, full-colour, fascinating book. This is the final word on all things chile, and includes extensive notes on history, botany, soil preparation, container cultivation, diseases and pests, chemistry, chile varities, preserving the harvest, cooking with chiles, and even a thorough resources section... We have yet to see a finer book on chile peppers. It's a really excellent book. 336 pages.
By Gail Damerow
Growing, cooking and carving: it's all coverd in this extensive and thorough guide to behemoths of the vegetable garden. Filled with anecdotes, quotes and facts about pumpkins, the book also features a large and surprising receipe section nd some amazing pumpkin crafts. "...I believe this could be the best book ever published on pumpkins." - Howard Dill, pumpkin breeder from Windsor, Nova Scotia. 224 pages.
by Steve Sando
More than ever, we crave connection to the food we eat, and growing gorgeous heirloom food has never been more accessible and fulfilling. Let Rancho Gordo founder Steve Sando win you over with his infectious enthusiasm for the humble bean.From the dusky, chocolatey Rio Zape to the rich, peanut-buttery Vallarta, the flavors — and beauty — of his favorite varieties will astonish you. So simple to grow in your own backyard and full of luscious surprises, these beans are a delight for both the gardener and the cook.In reintroducing the best of the New World heirloom beans, Sando has created a sensation, and food lovers everywhere will relish transforming this humble staple into a celebrated delicacy.
18x24cm, 180 pages.
By Gail Harland and Trevor Cole
Tomatoes are by far the most popular edible vegetable or fruit grown in gardens- US plant nurseries and seed websites stock many more varieties of tomatoes than any other vegetable or fruit. The popularity of heirloom varieties has further fueled interest. Aimed at both food-lovers and gardeners, The Tomato Book showcases the different varieties and shows how to grow them-in pots, hanging baskets, grow bags, under glass, and outdoors-and harvest tomatoes, as well as cooking and preserving them.