Monday, December 13, 2010

Resilient Gardener Book Giveaway

Finally, a gardening book written for gardeners dealing with the realities of peak oil and unpredictable weather! Carol Deppe's book The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times describes how to grow, store and cook "the five crops you need to survive and thrive - potatoes, corn, beans, squash, and eggs." Ms. Deppe covers these topics in a way that details, as she puts it, how to garden to "the appropriate level of sloppiness," using just enough time and effort to get the desired results, instead of how to garden to a fossil-fueled vision of perfection.



Carol Deppe, a Harvard-educated biologist with over thirty years of plant-breeding and gardening experience, has distilled an incredible store of knowledge into this book, which tops the scales at over three hundred pages long. In the book, she discusses:

- Growing food in an era of unpredictable weather

- Gardening with little to no irrigation or store-bought inputs

- Keeping a flock of ducks/chickens and growing most of their food

- Saving seeds and breeding plants

- Storing crops



Ms. Deppe's unique perspective, which sometimes goes against conventional wisdom, kept the book both amusing and interesting. How often do you find gardening books with sections entitled "Why I Hate Drip Irrigation," "Why I Don't Compost Anymore," and "The Power of Pee?" She is also not afraid to take a stand on nutritional topics, and although I found the chapter on celiac disease a little distracting, I can see that the information might benefit many people.



Her discussion of diet and nutrition related to the five main crops, and especially her discourse on the specifics of storing foods and saving seeds, seems particularly versatile. As Ms. Deppe said in an interview with Makenna Goodman on Alternet, The Resilient Gardener is as much about storing and using food as it is about growing it, which makes the book as helpful for people learning to cook and use local food as it is for gardeners. While the sheer volume of information related to some of the topics was overwhelming at times, I think these sections may be worth their weight in gold when they are needed.



As usual, I found myself wishing that a gardening book had been written by someone who lived in Oklahoma. But can I really fault the author for living in Oregon, which has a very different climate than we have?



To sum it up: The Resilient Gardener covers a wide range of subjects, in great detail, that will interest people who plan to garden in a post-peak, unpredictable weather kind of planet. Carol Deppe is not afraid to defy conventional wisdom, and is brave enough to discuss some taboo topics. The Resilient Gardener also garnered rave reviews from Toby Hemenway (author of the permaculture classic Gaia's Garden - one of my favorite books) and Gene Logsdon (author of Small-Scale Grain Raising and Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind).



So if you find yourself intrigued by this review, sign up to win a copy of The Resilient Gardener by leaving your name in the comments (no anonymous or non-U.S. lower 48 registrations, please). I will announce the winner on Wednesday morning. And if you don't happen to win... this book might make a great (i.e. useful) gift for the gardener in your life.



Final note: Because of the series of posts I wrote on resilient gardening, Chelsea Green mailed me a free review copy of The Resilient Gardener, however, I am keeping that copy for myself and sponsoring this holiday giveaway on my own dime.

19 comments:

Kate said...

Interesting point you raise about how much you'd like to see a book written specifically from the point of view of a gardener local to you. I think many people feel the same, and I can't blame them. Though I'd like to see the book (and please count me in for the drawing!) I will likely have to filter many of her particulars because of the differences in zone, climate, soil, and geography between Oregon and PA. Makes a good argument for developing those very local resources of know-how and experience. Can't find those in books too often.

tbiedl said...

I'd *love* the book - and I promise to pass it on to other interested people who live nearby once I've read.

Charlotte
(who is normally not in the US, but who will be visiting San Diego over the New Year and so for *once* can participate in a giveaway - yay!)

swiggett said...

This sounds like a wonderfully informative book; one that I would love to read. Please sign me up for the contest.
Thanks,
Emily

miltonics said...

I am intrigued...

Mareena said...

I sure would like to read that book. Here in Western NC I've been working to be resilient but I just hope I have enough time to make all my mistakes before TSHTF.

♥ Pacy said...

This is a book that I've been dying to read.

esp said...

I've seen this book mentioned somewhere else, too, and though it sounded very interesting.

Issa said...

Fabulous giveaway! Gardening to "the appropriate level of sloppiness" sounds just like how I want to garden. Count me in! :-)

Frugal Pursuit said...

Sounds like an excellent resource to have so I am putting my name in the hat for the book.

e4 said...

Wow, count me in. This sounds right up my alley, and approved by two of my all-time favorite authors (and one of my favorite bloggers too)...

JenHarper said...

I'd like to check out that book!
--Jennifer

Brad K. said...

Please add my name to the list of hopefuls. 'Cause I am hopeful!

My garden last year over-ran with sloppiness. And grasshoppers. It was a slightly bitter race, whether the grasshoppers or sloppiness were bigger challenges. And bermuda grass. Sloppiness and grasshoppers and bermuda grass were my biggest challenges. And "getting around to it". Um.

I did get a few really wonderful Black Cherry tomatoes out of the season, and some great pimento-tasting Sweet Chocolate peppers, too. And one 4" watermelon. The Loofa grew, and spread, and bloomed - and never produced a fruit.

Thanks for the recommendation, even if I don't get the book!

Christy said...

Sounds like a great book! Count me in:-)

Patty said...

I would love one!

Survival Mama said...

Add my name to the list too please! Sounds like a great book to add to my Wish List, just in case!

auntkate said...

Perhaps we all should become more familiar with a diversity of ways to grow our food - short season, long season, hot, cold, wet, dry - it could all be rather unsettled for some time to come and we need to build resilience into the system as Something Will Always Happen every growing season. The year that it doesn't is a real bonus!

Sue said...

I'd be very interested in this book as well, and this is the second reference I've read to it recently as well, though I'll be darned if I can remember where else I read about it. (Brain fog. Love it.) I will read it one way or the other and I'm curious how the advice will compare to Steve Solomon's Gardening When It Counts.
Thank you for for the give away- it's very generous of you.
Sue

Jenifer said...

This book sounds really interesting!

roseranchcowgirl said...

I'm probably too late for the drawing, but several of the authors' ideas are appealing (basic/core crops, not striving for perfection). The chapter on celiac disease sounds intriguing, as a friend of mine who has celiac disease believes it is vastly underdiagnosed.

Your giveaway is typically generous.