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The Resilient Gardener: Food production and self-reliance in uncertain times

Carl Legge |
Monday, 2nd January 2012

Carl Legge reviews a book that is much more than a green gardening guide, it contains 'extremely useful principles, models and strategies' to help you become more resilient and self reliant in the face of economic instability and climate change. Very pertinent.

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Author: Carol Deppe
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Publication Year: 2010
RRP: £24.95

The Resilient Gardener is intended to provide some principles of gardening that are sustainable in the light of climate change, disasters, health and financial issues. So it's more than just 'green gardening'. It looks at 'sustainability' of the garden, gardener and their community in a wide context. This is summed up in the subtitle of the book: Food production and self-reliance in uncertain times.

Deppe is a scientist and plant breeder in Oregon on the west coast of the USA. She has written previous books on plant breeding and seed saving and philosophy.

This is a very easy book to read. Deppe's style is gently and plainly spoken, to the point and opinionated. Her long and detailed horticultural observation and experience shines out from the pages .

The Resilient Gardener contains some extremely useful principles, models and strategies. Some of the information is specific to the crops and varieties suitable for the maritime west coast of the USA and so this is not a 'how-to' book that is complete in itself. However, I found it easy to interpret and apply Deppe's principles to my own situation.

As a food writer, it was also very interesting for me to see recipes from a different cultural tradition. There are certainly some ideas I'll adopt.

I'd highly recommend this book to anyone interested in how to garden as a family or within a community to create greater resilience. It's also very useful for anyone interested in the issues of the 'personal sustainability' of people on smallholdings and the like.

RRP £24.95. £22.95 p&p free (UK only) from Green Shopping.

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