Author: Bill Best
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Release Date: 2017-02-01
Saving seeds to plant for next year's crop has been key to survival around the globe for millennia. However, the twentieth century witnessed a grand takeover of seed producers by multinational companies aiming to select varieties ideal for mechanical harvest, long-distance transportation, and long shelf life. With the rise of the Slow Food and farm-to-table movements in recent years, the farmers and home gardeners who have been quietly persisting in the age-old habit of conserving heirloom plants are finally receiving credit for their vital role in preserving both good taste and the world's rich food heritage. Kentucky Heirloom Seeds: Growing, Eating, Saving is an evocative exploration of the seed saver's art and the practice of sustainable agriculture. Bill Best and Dobree Adams begin by tracing the roots of the tradition in the state to a 700-year-old Native American farming village in north central Kentucky. Best shares tips for planting and growing beans and describes his family's favorite varieties for the table. Featuring interviews with many people who have worked to preserve heirloom varieties, this book vividly documents the social relevance of the rituals of sowing, cultivating, eating, saving, and sharing.
Author: Bill Best
Publisher: Ohio University Press
Release Date: 2013-04-15
The Brown Goose, the White Case Knife, Ora’s Speckled Bean, Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter — these are just a few of the heirloom fruits and vegetables you’ll encounter in Bill Best’s remarkable history of seed saving and the people who preserve both unique flavors and the Appalachian culture associated with them. As one of the people at the forefront of seed saving and trading for over fifty years, Best has helped preserve numerous varieties of beans, tomatoes, corn, squashes, and other fruits and vegetables, along with the family stories and experiences that are a fundamental part of this world. While corporate agriculture privileges a few flavorless but hardy varieties of daily vegetables, seed savers have worked tirelessly to preserve genetic diversity and the flavors rooted in the Southern Appalachian Mountains — referred to by plant scientists as one of the vegetative wonders of the world. Saving Seeds, Preserving Taste will introduce readers to the cultural traditions associated with seed saving, as well as the remarkable people who have used grafting practices and hand-by-hand trading to keep alive varieties that would otherwise have been lost. As local efforts to preserve heirloom seeds have become part of a growing national food movement, Appalachian seed savers play a crucial role in providing alternatives to large-scale agriculture and corporate food culture. Part flavor guide, part people’s history, Saving Seeds, Preserving Taste will introduce you to a world you’ve never known — or perhaps remind you of one you remember well from your childhood.
Author: Janisse Ray
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Release Date: 2012-07-06
Genre: Social Science
There is no despair in a seed. There's only life, waiting for the right conditions-sun and water, warmth and soil-to be set free. Everyday, millions upon millions of seeds lift their two green wings. At no time in our history have Americans been more obsessed with food. Options- including those for local, sustainable, and organic food-seem limitless. And yet, our food supply is profoundly at risk. Farmers and gardeners a century ago had five times the possibilities of what to plant than farmers and gardeners do today; we are losing untold numbers of plant varieties to genetically modified industrial monocultures. In her latest work of literary nonfiction, award-winning author and activist Janisse Ray argues that if we are to secure the future of food, we first must understand where it all begins: the seed. The Seed Underground is a journey to the frontier of seed-saving. It is driven by stories, both the author's own and those from people who are waging a lush and quiet revolution in thousands of gardens across America to preserve our traditional cornucopia of food by simply growing old varieties and eating them. The Seed Underground pays tribute to time-honored and threatened varieties, deconstructs the politics and genetics of seeds, and reveals the astonishing characters who grow, study, and save them.
"This book is sure to be a modern classic and is one of the most important books on gardening in the current century." —Jere Gettle, founder, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds Heirloom Vegetable Gardening has always been a book for gardeners and cooks interested in unique flavors, colors, and history in their produce. This updated edition has been improved throughout with growing zones, advice, and new plant entries. Line art has been replaced with lush, full-color photography. Yet at the core, this book delivers on the same promise it made two decades ago: It’s a comprehensive guide based on meticulous first-person research to these 300+ plants, making it a book to come back to season after season.
In this comprehensive book, Seed Savers Exchange, one of the foremost American authorities on the subject, and the Organic Seed Alliance bring together decades of knowledge to demystify the time-honoured tradition of saving the seed of more than seventy-five coveted vegetable and herb crops--from heirloom tomatoes and long-favoured varieties of beans, lettuces, and cabbages to centuries-old varieties of peppers and grains. With clear instructions, lush photographs, and easy-to-comprehend profiles on individual vegetable crops, this book not only teaches us how to go about conserving these important varieties for future generations and for planting out in next year's garden, it also provides a deeper understanding of the importance of saving these genetically valuable varieties of vegetables that have evolved over the centuries through careful selection by farmers and home gardeners. Through simple lessons and master classes on crop selection, pollination, roguing, and the processes of harvesting and storing seeds, this book ensures that these time-honoured traditions can continue. Many of these vegetable varieties are treasured for traits that are singular to their strain, whether that is a resistance to disease, an ability to grow well in a region for which that crop is not typically well suited, resistance to early bolting, or simply because it is a great-tasting variety. In an age of genetically modified crops and hybrid seed, a growing appreciation for saving seeds of these time-tested, open-pollinated cultivars has found a new audience from home vegetable gardeners and cooks to restaurant chefs and local farmers.
Author: Tom Kimmerer
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Release Date: 2015-10-06
When the first settlers arrived in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky, they found an astonishing landscape of open woodland grazed by vast herds of bison. Farmers quickly replaced the bison with cattle, sheep, and horses, but left many of the trees to shade their pastures. Today, central Kentucky and central Tennessee still boast one of the largest populations of presettlement trees in the nation, found in both rural and urban areas. In Venerable Trees: History, Biology, and Conservation in the Bluegrass, Tom Kimmerer showcases the beauty, age, size, and splendor of these ancient trees and the remaining woodland pastures. Documenting the distinctive settlement history that allowed for their preservation, Kimmerer explains the biology of Bluegrass trees and explores the reasons why they are now in danger. He also reveals the dedication and creativity of those fighting to conserve these remarkable three-hundred- to five-hundred-year-old plants -- from innovative, conscientious developers who build around them rather than clearing the land to farmers who use lightning rods to protect them from natural disasters. Featuring more than one hundred color photographs, this beautifully illustrated book offers guidelines for conserving ancient trees worldwide while educating readers about their life cycle. Venerable Trees is an informative call to understand the challenges faced by the companions so deeply rooted in the region's heritage and a passionate plea for their preservation.
Growing vegetables requires regionally specific information—what to plant, when to plant it, and when to harvest are based on climate, weather, and first frost. The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast tackles this need head on, with regionally specific growing information written by local gardening expert, Ira Wallace. This region includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Monthly planting guides show exactly what you can do in the garden from January through December. The skill sets go beyond the basics with tutorials on seed saving, worm bins, and more.
Savor your best tomato harvest ever! Craig LeHoullier provides everything a tomato enthusiast needs to know about growing more than 200 varieties of tomatoes, from planting to cultivating and collecting seeds at the end of the season. He also offers a comprehensive guide to various pests and tomato diseases, explaining how best to avoid them. With beautiful photographs and intriguing tomato profiles throughout, Epic Tomatoes celebrates one of the most versatile and delicious crops in your garden.
You don't need a sprawling backyard or spacious raised beds to grow delicious fruits, vegetables, and herbs of your own. In The Edible Balcony, longtime urban gardener Alex Mitchell shows how to transform whatever space you have, from a balcony or rooftop to a fire escape or window box, into a profusion of fresh, seasonal produce. While raising your own produce is eco-friendly in itself, you'll learn how to plant, grow, and water as sustainably as possible to ensure your edible Eden remains green and productive all year long. Plus, with a collection of innovative, step-by-step projects for designing colorful pots and plant supports with recycled containers and other household paraphernalia, you'll double your eco-friendliness, avoid hours of shopping, and be able to infuse your space with your own personal flair and style. Who knew saving time, money, and the environment could be so much fun? A collection of practical advice, fabulous container projects, and stunning examples of how gardeners around the world are successfully transforming urban spaces into abundant fruit and vegetable plots, The Edible Balcony is your guide to creating attractive, responsible, and thoroughly rewarding small space gardens—and perhaps never having to settle for grocery store produce again.
What gardeners want most is a bigger and better return on their investment of time and money—maximum yields and superior flavor for edibles, long-lasting blooms for flowers. Derek Fell's Grow This! features expert advice for choosing and growing the top-performing plants (and avoiding the ones that disappoint). Derek Fell has grown hundreds of varieties and annually visits gardens and test plots across America, so he's qualified to guide gardeners to the best of the best—more than 600 vegetable, flower, herb, and lawn grass all-stars. He offers honest feedback about plant performance, even when it contradicts favorable public opinion or a grower's claims. Seed racks may be filled with ‘Kentucky Wonder' snap beans, but he dismisses that variety as too fibrous and needy and instead recommends ‘Blue Lake' beans for tenderness and high yields. Fell's firsthand experience means the difference between choosing plant winners and losers. Packed with insider evaluations from seedsmen, growers, and nursery retailers that readers won't find elsewhere, Derek Fell's Grow This! explains industry lingo and debunks marketing hype to help gardeners select the best-performing plants for all garden conditions and goals.
Here is the first regional American cookbook to offer a true taste of the Mountain South. This unique cookbook gathers together more than 180 authentic down-home southern recipes -- full-flavored, no-nonsense dishes more and more Americans are returning to -- and leavens them with memories of food, family, and friendship from some of country music's most beloved performers. "Take a chicken and you kill it/And you put it in a skillet/And you fry it 'til it's golden-brown./That's southern cooking and it tastes mighty nice." -- "Kentucky Means Paradise" by Merle Travis "Straight from the heart and soul of southern cooking. It's a banquet, with background music." -- John Egerton, author of Southern Food; "Simple, honest cooking of the Mountain South. . . . A fresh, entertaining approach to food." -- Atlanta Constitution; "Reeks with authenticity." -- Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Fresh is simply best. To get the tastiest, most nutritious produce, you have to grow your own, and in a cold climate this presents unique challenges. Fresh from the Garden will help you extend the growing season to produce the best vegetables, berries, and herbs, right in your own backyard. The guide includes more than 150 edible plants and helps you decide which varieties to choose; where and how to plant, tend, and harvest them; and what to do with your bounty. Fresh from the Garden is a clear, concise guide, with nutrition information tables and hundreds of helpful color photographs. Drawing on more than fifty years of gardening--and nearly as many years writing on the subject--John Whitman describes various methods of planting to make the most of different sites, whether in containers, raised beds, or on level ground, and takes into consideration the abbreviated growing season and longer summer days. He discusses the merits of starting from seed indoors or outdoors, the making and uses of compost, and measures for keeping a garden healthy, from mulching and fertilizing to crop rotation and winter protection. Included in his wealth of knowledge is a generous listing of more than 1,700 varieties of vegetables, berries, and herbs, from the best known to the highly unusual, including hybrid and heirloom varieties. He covers the specifics of cultivation, nutritional values, storage techniques, and culinary usage. Dedicated to organic practices, for the health of gardener and garden alike, the information and advice in Fresh from the Garden will enrich the experience of cold climate gardeners.