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At West Coast Seeds, we believe the best garden is the organic garden. By gaining an understanding of soil chemistry, crop rotation, companion planting, composting, the use of cover crops and many other aspects of the organic garden, vegetables, fruits and ornamental plants can be cultivated without the use of any dangerous chemicals. The crops themselves are healthier, with improved nutritional aspects, and the whole technique of organic gardening is environmentally friendly. Understanding (and passing on) good gardening practice is essential to the organic gardening community and kind to the world in which we live.
by Sylvia Berstein
Aquaponics is a revolutionary system for growing plants by fertilizing them with the waste water from fish in a sustainable closed system. A combination of the best of aquaculture and hydroponics, aquaponic gardening is an amazingly productive way to grow organic vegetables, greens, herbs and fruits, while providing the added benefits of fresh fish as a safe, healthy source of protein. On a larger scale, it is a key solution to mitigating food insecurity, climate change, groundwater pollution and the impacts of overfishing on our oceans. 7¼ x 9", 288 pages.
by Linda Gilkeson
The Complete Guide to Year-Round Organic Gardening in the Pacific Northwest. New for spring, 2011, Linda Gilkeson has produced this practical guide, packed with simple, low-maintenance methods for producing the most organically grown food all year round from any single garden. With advice on soil preparation, composting, seeding, watering, mulching, winter crop planting schedules, greenhouses, and more, as well as a wealth of information specific to the West Coast climate, Backyard Bounty will get you growing!
Signed copies now available!
By Louise Riotte.
A gardening classic for gardeners who prefer pest resistance planning to chemicals, this book covers how to use herbal sprays to control insects, starting small plots, window box gardens, and more. A practical book for every gardener of edibles. Also make sure to check out the sequel to this popular book, Roses Love Garlic. 224 pages.
by Michael Ableman
A farmer's journey in search of real food and the people who grow it. This beautiful hardcover, colour-illustrated book is like a love letter to the small organic farm. Ableman, himself a BC organic farmer, travels with his son across the United States in search of passionate and innovative organic growers, and reports their stories, their legacies - even their recipes. Highly recommended by WCS staff.
7.75 x 10.25", 256 pages.
by Steve Solomon
Home gardening done in North America before cheap oil brought pesticides, fertilizers, hoses and power tools required low input, less or no irrigation, and only hand tools to grow a highly productive food garden with minimum of expense. Designed for readers with no experience and based on Steve's observations and practice of his own garden for many years, Steve shows how, by putting plants further apart, you can enormously reduce the need to water the garden and simultaneously prevent yield of fruiting crops like squash and tomatoes from petering out early. This book is for someone planning a big garden and intending to grow as much of the family's food as possible using hand tools. A "must read for the serious kitchen gardener. 360 pages.
by Nancy Gift
All you need to know about the weeds in your yard! This book will help you identify the different common weeds of North America, but puts them in perspective of how problematic they are for your garden. The book is organized by "bad," "not-so-bad," and "good" - the last of which includes many edible weeds. Also helpful is the breakdown of the seasons in which each weed dominates and the inclusion of photos of each type in its youngest stage, before it becomes difficult to control. Like its companion, Good Bug Bad Bug, this book is spiral bound and sturdily built for use directly in the garden.
by Sally Jean Cunningham
Let Master Gardener Sally Jean Cunningham show you how to keep pests and diseases at by with her uniquie companion planting system. By planting special combinations of vegetables, flowers, and herbs, you can minimize pest and disease problems and create a high-yielding, beautiful garden.
7½ x 9", 278 pages, fully illustrated.
by Anna Pavord
In this revised and updated edition of her book The New Kitchen Garden, bestselling gardening writer Anna Pavord tells us all we need to know about growing fruit and vegetables. She describes how food crops can make a decorative as well as delicious addition to the garden, explains simply and clearly how to assess site and soil and devise a planting plan, and offers ideas for flexible contemporary variations on the traditional kitchen garden. She includes 12 plans for vegetable gardens ranging from a tiny roof garden through a Mediterranean courtyard and a vegetable patchwork to an exuberant potager. She goes on to give detailed information on growing a wide range of vegetables, herbs and fruits, recommending the best varieties for looks as well as taste, and providing recipes so that you can make the most of your harvest.
By Steve Solomon.
The Complete Guide to Organic Gardening, 6th Edition. This is the best book to start with if you are new to West Coast gardening. Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades features basic info on soils, composting, chemical-free fertilizing, efficient water usage and planning, but it is also filled with up-to-date tips on seed sources and new growing and cultivation techniques. Featuring an Earth-friendly focus on organic gardening practices, the book helps readers acquire a foundation of master-gardening knowledge that they can use to organize and plan their own gardens however they want. 339 pages.
by Sara Pitzer
Convert part of your yard into a productive and beautiful field of grain and enjoy your harvest in home-baked breads, salads, casseroles, and side dishes. Milled into flour, whole grains give you the basic ingredient for breads and other baked goods; left whole, your grains become th enutty, delicious start of healthful salads, filling entrees, and other dishes that will make you forget all about white rice. Barley, buckwheat, oats, wheat, rice, quinoa, and amaranth are just a few of the nine crops you can grow and eat with the complete planting, harvesting, and cooking instructions in this easy-to-use practical manual.
By Patricia Lanza
This delicious-sounding book goes over the basics of a non-traditional method of gardening that is not only organic, earth friendly, and incredibly easy, but will enable you to accomplish more, in less time, with less work. Patricia Lanza explains how to use a system of layered mulch materials - including newspaper, leaves, and grass clippings - to provide a nutrient-base for healthy gardens and robust flowers, herbs, vegetables and fruits. Garden Writers Award winner. 180 pages.
By Adam Caplin
Growing your own herbs, vegetables, and fruit organically, and harvesting them to make delicious healthy meals, is fun and immensely fulfilling. As this book explains, the whole process can be much simpler than you might imagine - even if your outdoor space is no bigger than a patio or roof garden. This is a large format, full colour flexi-bound book that makes a great introduction to organic gardening and cooking with herbs, vegetables, and fruit. Includes recipes! 144 pages.
By Charles Dowding.
Based on an ancient Japanese gardening technique, Dowding's variation allows organic gardeners to keep the soil healthy and the crops bountiful without tilling. This book includes every aspect of gardening, from design to seed collection, planting and harvesting. The second section of the book focuses on specific types of crops and how to maximize results while minimizing impact on the environment. 223 pages.
New for 2009, this 708-page behemoth replaces Rodale's All New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening as an updated, new edition. Edited by Fern Marshall Bradley, Barbara W. Ellis, and Ellen Phillips, this book covers every aspect of organic gardening, including vegetables, fruits, trees, decorative plants, garden design, soil chemistry, energy conservation, tools, composting, and much, much more. A very good reference book for new or expert gardeners.
By Louise Riotte.
Companion Planting and Other Secrets of Flowers. This sequel to Louise Riotte's best-selling Carrots Love Tomatoes explores beneficial plant combinations for the organic gardener. The book lists hundreds of species of flowers and herbs and how they can be combined with vegetable and fruit planting to increase crop productivity, reduce pest damage and eliminate the use of chemicals in your garden. It also includes tips on house plants, flower harvest and drying, designing specialty butterfly, bee, and hummingbird gardens, and more. 256 pages.
By Mel Bartholomew.
In print for many years, this is still one of the best guides for beginning gardeners wondering, "Where do I begin?" Its focus is on planting a defined area with just the right number and variety of plants you need and then planting again! It includes useful tips on how to incorporate vertical space for the highest yields in your limited space, and how to best plan for larger gardens. 350 pages.
by Barbara Pleasant
Are you planning your very first vegetable garden? Confused about soil, garden layout, seeds, temperatures, planting schedules, fertilizers, pests, watering, harvesting? Master gardener Barbara Pleasant takes the guesswork and anxiety out of growing food, explaining in simple language exactly how to start, maintain, and eventually expand an organic vegetable garden, even in the smallest of spaces. Choose one of 24 no-fail, small-scale garden plans and find out how easy it is to enjoy your own fresh food all season long! 180 pages.
By Barbara Damrosch.
For this, the second edition of Damrosch's classic guide to gardening, she has made the book 100% organic. Comprehensive, but accessible, this gardening classic belongs in the library of every organic gardener. It is a standard text on the subject. 820 pages.
"Takes your soaring visions of garden splendor and plants them firmly in the ground." - The Toronto Star.
by Steve Solomon
Vegetables, fruits and grains are a major source of vital nutrients, but centuries of intensive agriculture have depleted our soils to historic lows. As a result, the broccoli you consume today may have less than half the vitamins and minerals that the equivalent serving would have contained a hundred years ago. This is a matter of serious concern, since poor nutrition has been linked to myriad health problems including cancer, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. For optimum health we must increase the nutrient density of our foods to the levels enjoyed by previous generations.
To grow produce of the highest nutritional quality the essential minerals lacking in our soil must be replaced, but this re-mineralization calls for far more attention to detail than the simple addition of composted manure or NPK fertilizers. The Intelligent Gardener demystifies the process, while simultaneously debunking much of the false and misleading information perpetuated by both the conventional and organic agricultural movements. In doing so, it conclusively establishes the link between healthy soil, healthy food and healthy people.
This practical step-by-step guide and the accompanying customizable web-based spreadsheets go beyond organic and are essential tools for any serious gardener who cares about the quality of the produce they grow.
6x9", 336 pages.
by Frank Tozer
The long awaited third book by organic food gardening guru Frank Tozer, new for 2011. The New Food Garden tells you how to create the ultimate food producing home garden, one that is efficient, beautiful and produces an abundance of food with a minimum of work and resources. This book will help you to reintegrate food raising into your garden, making it an integeral component of the complete home and part of everyday life. It will change the way you think about gardening. 360 pages.
By Frank Tozer
The Organic Gardeners Handbook tells you everything you need to know to create a highly productive vegetable garden. Combining European tradition with American creativity, it covers the art and science of organic gardening with a depth that is rarely seen in contemporary books. There are chapters on every aspect of organic vegetable gardening, soil dynamics, soil management, cultivation, composting, crop planning, raising seedlings, watering, harvesting, seed saving, greenhouses, and much more. Whether you are a complete novice and need your hand held through every step, or a veteran gardener with a permanent layer of soil under your fingernails, you will find this book both helpful and informative. A book that will soon be covered in dirty fingerprints, 280 pages.
by Peter Bane
This comprehensive manual casts garden farming as both an economic opportunity and a strategy for living well with less money. It shows how, by mimicking the intelligence of nature and applying appropriate technologies such as solar and environmental design, permaculture can:
- Create an abundance of fresh, nourishing local produce
- Reduce dependence on expensive, polluting fossil fuels
- Drought-proof our cities and countryside
- Convert waste into wealth
Permaculture is about working with the earth and with each other to repair the damage of industrial overreach and to enrich the living world that sustains us. The Permaculture Handbook is the definitive, practical North American guide to this revolutionary practice, and is a must-read for anyone concerned about creating food security, resilience and a legacy of abundance rather than depletion.
8½ x 11", 480 pages.
By Jeff Gillman.
Gardeners tend to assume that any product or practice labeled as organic is automatically safe for humans and beneficial to the environment. And in many cases this is true. The problem, as Jeff Gillman points out in this fascinating and well-researched book, is that it is not universally true. The exceptions can pose a significant threat to human health. To cite just two examples: animal manures are widely viewed as prime soil amendments. When properly treated, they are, but if they are insufficiently composted, they can be a source of harmful E. coli contamination. Even more potentially dangerous are organic insecticides like rotenone, which is every bit as toxic as the synthetic compounds it is meant to replace. Gillman's contention is that all gardening products and practices - organic and synthetic - need to be examined on a case by case basis to determine both whether they are safe and whether they accomplish the task for which they are intended. When gardeners are well informed about the precise nature and consequences of what they use and do in the garden, they are in much better position to make responsible, effective choices. 208 pages.
By Frank Tozer
This highly practical book contains all the information you need to successfully grow over 50 common vegetables organically. There are specific, step by step, instructions for each crop; soil requirements, variety selection, raising transplants, direct sowing, protection, harvesting, seed saving, storage and more. After telling you what to do (and when), it also tell you why, by explaining in detail how crops grow. A book with imagination, it doesn't stop there, but also discusses many unusual crops, culinary herbs and more. It then goes on to unusual growing ideas, edible flowers, enhanced nutrition foods, additional uses for common crops, and even how to use common edible wild plants and garden weeds. There is also a small selection of outstanding vegetarian recipes.
This definitive month-by-month guide brings gardeners into the delicious world of edible landscaping and helps take a load off the planet as we achieve greater food security. Full of illustrative colour photos and step-by-step instructions, The Zero-Mile Diet shares wisdom gleaned from 30 years of food growing and seed saving with comprehensive advice.
By Carol and Norman Hall
The essential reference for gardening in the region from British Columbia to Northern California. This extensive book covers nearly 1,000 recommended plants, including trees, shrubs, ornamentals, flowers, grasses, and ground covers. Pest and disease information is thorough and location specific. While this book does not cover vegetable or food gardening, it is pretty much the best overall garden reference for this region. Full colour throughout, and good value. The authors live on Denman Island, BC. 352 pages.
by Ron & Jennifer Kujawski
This clever handbook doesn't talk about the weeks of the year. Rather, it works by the weeks before and after your first and last frost date. if you can determine when those two important dates are, this handbook will take all the mystery out of timing your garden, planting your seeds, preparing your soil, and harvesting your crops to full advantage. It also offers week by week advice on the chores you should focus on in order to reap your most bountiful harvest ever. The handbook is conveniently wire-bound, so it lays flat. There are ample places to make notes, so it will increase in value from year to year. Clever and useful!