Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

New York Times: Eliot Coleman’s Book the “Bible for Small Farmers”

This past Sunday, the New York Times reviewed “the incomparable” Eliot Coleman‘s new book, The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year-Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses, as part of their Summer Reading recommendations.

If it seems a little incongruous to be talking about a winter gardening book in summer, you’d be right—if that was all there was to master organic gardener Eliot Coleman’s book. Once you dig in, you’ll see that winter is just the beginning.

From the New York Times Sunday Book Review:

This spring a young man’s — and woman’s — fancy should turn to vegetables. Judging by the new batch of garden books, we’re creeping into a back-to-the-land movement, rather like what happened in the 1970s but without the macramé. Yet — we’ll soon be making plant holders. Again. This being America, we’ve also found a way to cultivate that competitive edge. What the wine cellar was to the ’90s, the root cellar will be to this decade. Same concept, come to think of it: Climate control. Rotation. Status. Expense. By the time you read this, of course, serious gardeners will have sown their oats and tomatoes, but determined neophytes can still catch up.

[...]

When does gardening become farming? When are you no longer having dinner parties and running a restaurant instead? For those who are ready to graduate beyond coffee-can retail, the incomparable Eliot Coleman is back with THE WINTER HARVEST HANDBOOK: Year-Round Vegetable Production Using Deep-Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses (Chelsea Green, paper, $29.95). I’m not one to quibble over the details of a “T-post anchor and homemade attaching bracket for securing the corners of a new rolling greenhouse design.” Suffice it to say that this serious, meticulous, inspiring farmer and writer solves the problem of growing lettuce in Maine — in January. Anyone living near Coleman’s Four Season Farm is thrice blessed — 1) to live in intense denial of the back-breaking effort he or she is 2) being spared in order to acquire what is surely 3) the tastiest, most wholesome and pure food available. Coleman’s opus is as much a call to action for town planners to embrace local farms as it is a bible for small farmers. This book is for people who know what they’re doing.

Read the whole article here.

 

Related Articles:


The New Farmers’ Almanac: A Collection of Essays for Beginners

What agrarian future can we realistically build together? This is a question the Greenhorns hope to answer in their latest book, The New Farmers’ Almanac 2015. Greenhorns is an organization for young farmers—a non-traditional grassroots network with the mission to promote, recruit and support the entering generation of new farmers. It exists to celebrate young […] Read More..

How to Achieve Resiliency Through Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening

In today’s world the marketplace distorts our values and our dependence on petroleum keeps us from creating truly sustainable agriculture. So, how can we achieve true wealth and at the same time make society around us more resilient? The answer, Will Bonsall believes, is greater self-reliance in both how we grow our own food, and […] Read More..

Bramble On: The Ins and Outs of Growing Raspberries

Fresh, ripe raspberries picked straight from the garden in the morning. What could be a better start to your day? According to Michael Phillips, author of The Holistic Orchard, growing your own berries is entirely possible for anyone with a bit of space and a passion for the fruit. Brambles grow from the north to […] Read More..

Turning Meat into Money: How to Raise and Sell it Ethically

The consumer demand for grassfed, pasture-raised, and antibiotic-free meats is on the rise, putting farmers and ranchers in a unique position to make a decent living on meat that is produced ethically. But, how exactly do you turn meat into money without resorting to the large-scale industrial techniques of today’s confinement-operations? Look no further than […] Read More..

How to Grow Strawberries Indoors

It’s strawberry shortcake season, which means strawberry harvesting season. But for those of you with no outdoor space for gardens, fear not—you can plant, weed, and harvest all from the comfort of your own home! That’s right: it is possible to grow strawberries indoors, from small spaces. According to R. J. Ruppenthal, author of Fresh […] Read More..