Every year I like to write about the status of the garden as the vegetables start to come in. The hubby works very hard on it every year and he is constantly trying to improve things around our little piece of heaven. As part of his ongoing efforts he reads a lot of books. I would like to thank Quarto Knows for sending me Practical Organic Gardening at no charge for my honest review to add to his farm library.
About Practical Organic Gardening:
Get your hands dirty in the garden! Practical Organic Gardening is a comprehensive guide to organic gardening practices that focuses on hands-on, up-to-date information and high-quality visual information.
Practical Organic Gardening sprouts homegrown, healthy edibles and other safe plants that are nourishing and tasty for your family, pets, and beneficial wildlife. Organic gardening isn’t just for environmentalists anymore. Over the last several years it has been a popular gardening method. Believe it or not, it organic gardening has actually been around for most of the last century, but interest in organic gardening has soared in recent years as gardeners have become more aware of the quality of their food.
Now is your chance to learn with this comprehensive book. Written by Mark Highland, founder of The Organic Mechanic, this is far from a hippie manifesto; it is a scientifically driven, modern-day dive into the organic methods, products, and practices that will appeal to any home gardener looking to make the transition from conventional to organic.
ANY PURCHASE LINKS ARE AFFILIATE LINKS WHICH MEANS IF YOU BUY ANYTHING THROUGH THEM I WILL RECEIVE A SMALL COMMISSION (WITH NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU)
About the Author:
“The Organic Mechanic,” owns and operates The Organic Mechanic Soil Company. With academic training in environmental horticulture, composting, and potting soil. Highland is a sought-after speaker at garden centers, trade shows, and similar venues to promote, educate, and inspire others to the many rewards of organic gardening. He has taught classes at Longwood Gardens, The Tyler Arboretum, Mt. Cuba Center, The Scott Arboretum, Callaway Gardens, and speaks regularly at public events like The Philadelphia Flower Show, as well as to numerous garden clubs. Highland has served as a consultant for the EPA and Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and recently received the Young Professional Award from the Perennial Plant Association.
My (actually the hubby’s) Opinion:
Disclosure: I did not read the book I am only relaying what the hubby told me.
It’s a great book for someone who wants to go from not organic to organic. For someone who has always gardened with organic methods the book offers great tips to refine efforts and educate further. There are some gaps in some topics that may benefit a beginner – for example on no till methods there are no mentions of using a broadfork. He also would have liked more information on cover crops.
Overall though, it’s a good, solid book for someone looking to explore organic gardening.
How Does Our Garden Grow?
I’ve written about the big strawberry harvest when I posted the recipe for Lemon Strawberry Tart. Next to come in were the beets; they went into the freezer, I canned some borscht and I made a chocolate beet cake for the first time. Then came the carrots; again some went into the freezer, I made my carrot ginger soup and a carrot cake. The garlic has also been harvested and is drying.
Now things are in a bit of a waiting period although the broccoli is showing signs of producing heads already. This is the earliest we have seen that. There are even a couple of small cauliflower heads starting. It’s VERY early.
The eggplants are looking a bit sickly. They like things warm and this spring was a bit cool and very wet. Fortunately last year’s harvest was huge so I still have a fair bit in the freezer.
He has started using a Native American technique he learned called the “three sisters” with the corn, green beans and squash. They are all planted together as the corn uses nitrogen and the beans add nitrogen to the soil. The beans climb the corn stalks and the corn adds shade to help keep weeds down.
Next out will probably be the onions which I really don’t look forward to as I have to chop them for freezing. That’s a bit of crying for me. But the hubby does like to add them to his eggs when he eats them for breakfast.
The cucumbers are just starting to grow and the tomatoes are doing very well. In fact the first couple of ripe tomatoes came in the other day. Cabbages, romanesco and Brussels sprouts are growing but won’t be picked until fall. The blackberries canes are just full of fruit and we are expecting a big harvest from them.
Potatoes are looking very healthy and I am sure that there will be a big harvest just like last year.
Busy Time of Year
So, as I am sure you can tell it’s a busy time of year here on the farm. It’s funny how the pattern is so similar year after year but then the little surprises like the broccoli coming in early pop up. It’s a lot of work but we both like knowing where our food is coming from. The hubby is fully committed to organic gardening and I appreciate it. Even when your guest for lunch says to your husband, “uh, there’s a daddy longlegs running up your chest!”
It was not the first time he came into the house with one and I sincerely doubt it will be the last. Apparently they are very good in the garden – they are useful in the composting process. I don’t really care; they have many legs.
I post regular harvest updates on Instagram so be sure to follow me there if you want to see what is coming in.