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Gardening for the Future of the Earth Paperback – 1 Feb 2000

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Sustainable Gardening - We've all got to do it! 4 April 2000
By Dick Pierce - Published on
Format: Paperback
Howard Shapiro has done the organic gardener and the "thinking about it someday" armchair novice a great favor. He has read most of the good books for you; extensively interviewed and visited with the giants of the subject; and, he has added his own considerable wisdom and experience with Seeds of Change, to provide us with a great, concise volume on sustainable gardening and systems. "Gardening for the Future of the Earth" is also very serious about its title; Shapiro sprinkles the text with anecdotes and data about the huge genetic, environmental, health, and cultural impacts of modern chemical factory farming - his personal time line is 20 years until the world, all of it, is in serious trouble.
It has taken me over 7 years (and several hundred dollars) of intense interest and reading: to be exposed to Bill Mollison, the Tasmanian curmudgeon and genius who coined the term permaculture; to find his mentor/idol, Massanobu Fukuoka, the author of the "One Straw Revolution" and pioneer of intercropping rice and barley in Japan; to heed the teachings of John Jeavons and his Bio-Intensive, double digging techniques- a savior in the gumbo clay soil of Austin, TX; to uncover the amazing, successful, and almost occult practices of the Biodynamic techniques from the brilliant but difficult writings of Rudolph Steiner in the 1920's; to kindle an interest in perennial farming systems, which was Nature's way in our Midwest (prairie) until two centuries ago from Wes Jackson of the Land Institute in Salina, KS; and, to just start to fathom the import of Alan Kapuler's words on the crisis that is upon us in bio-diversity and the declining gene pool.
A whole library in one volume! A pleasant read! You will have no doubt that there is a problem, but there are solutions......and they are not coming out of our major research labs and campuses. They are coming from the grass roots. To quote Shapiro: "gardeners know a lot more about soil than laboratory scientists!'
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Gardening for the Future of the Earth 14 Mar. 2000
By Susannah Faith - Published on
Format: Paperback
A MUST READ! This book should be required reading for all people everywhere! Gardening for the Future of the Earth is very easy to read and very easy to implement. It tells us not only what is wrong, but actually gives ways (easy, do-able ways) to do our part in helping and healing the earth. We all to need to do our part and we need to do it **before** we don't have any parts left. I hope everyone enjoys this book as much as I have.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Lighting one candle... 20 Oct. 2001
By Dianne Foster - Published on
Format: Paperback
Day after day many of us read about the destruction of our planet: farm land covered over with environmentally unfriendly golf courses and asphalt or destroyed by huge pesticide driven agribusinesses; water supplies contaminated with arsenic and ecoli; air polluted with everything from asbestos to zinc; wetlands destroyed by pesticides and developers; dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico; old growth forests pillaged by greedy corporations; and thousands of species of plants and animals on the brink of extinction including the Orca Whale symbol of the West Coast Indians.
GARDENING FOR THE FUTURE briefly describes these destructive practices (and cites Al Gore's EARTH IN THE BALANCE) but it also shows us a better way. You should continue to support those organizations waging the good fight in Washington and elsewhere -- AND buy this book, read this book, and light one candle by turning your own yard into a living example of a better way. You can do it. I've done it and it works. Not only that, once you get your yard converted you will never have to mow grass again.
I've been farming organically for ages and had encountered and put into practice many of the ideas put forth in this book but this book brings all these ideas together. The authors have assembled thoughts of the "experts" in fighting the environmental battle on the homefront--your yard. Think Victory Gardens. Each of us can make a contribution to the "war" effort. Each of us can begin to turn our garden plots, no matter how big or small, into a "piece of the action" -- gardening for the future of the earth.
You can grow vegetables organically and replenish the soil and eschew the use of pesticides and herbicides and other killers -- I know I've done it. And, I've done it in on a several acre spread out in the countryside. My neighbors who had abandoned the "old ways" for modern chemcial solutions looked on in awe as the bad bad bugs beat a hasty retreat from my garden to theirs.
But most important, as Paul Mueller, one of the experts cited in this book says, "Gardening is not just about having tomatos and peppers and flowers -- Gardening is about empowering -- planting a seed and watching it grow -- no matter who you are it makes you richer and deeper and more understanding of all the cycles of the universe and of your relationship to them."
The authors describe their contributors as the "Dream Team" Bill Mollison (Tasmanian permaculture expert); John Jeavons (soil growing in very small spaces); Masanobu Fukuoka (a plant pathologist promoting natural farming); Alan York (a viniculturist involved in biointensive gardening); Alan Kapuler (a biologist and Seed Exchanger); and Wes Jackson of the Land Institute.
This book is filled with ideas and plenty of practical examples. Everything from garden design to plant breeding is covered by numerous experts. You don't have to be a genius or work 12 hours a day to make this happen. The only thing you give up is that awful environmentally unsound lawn. I've done it. My neighbors are doing it. You should see the birds who come to our place.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By daughternature - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a truly wonderful book and a very good read for anyone interested in the well being of the earth. Subjects such as permaculture, improving soil, water harvesting, seed saving and the importance of seed diversity are all discussed here with input from some of the masters on these subjects.
This book is not only a reminder of the damage that we have done to the earth but also an inspiration so that we may change our ways and improve the environment. One quote that stuck with me from this book is from E. O. Wilson ..."what humanity is doing now in a single lifetime (to our planet) will impoverish our descendents for virtually all time to come." Having said this, take this book, read it, practice what you have learned and share this info with all you know. As individuals, we can do our part to make a difference for the future.
Much appreciation goes to Seeds of Change organization for their efforts in bringing the importance of seed diversity and other environmental issues to our attention. I think they've done a great job with this book.
On a similiar subject, I found "Gaia's Garden" and "Forest Gardening" both to be very good reads as well.
Fosters healthy gardening and living 5 Jun. 2013
By Libby - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This work gives a thorough explanation of the elements of environmentally safe gardening. I especially like its discussion of preserving and protecting our soil.
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