Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Wildlife-Friendly Vegetable Gardener

The Wildlife-Friendly Vegetable Gardener:

How to Grow Food in Harmony with Nature

By Tammi Hartung

Published by Storey, Dec 11th, 2013

I grow our fruit and limited vegetables in an organic and as wildlife-freindly manner as I can at home, and was so pleased to review this book!

Tammi Hartung and her husband have a small farm in Colorado which they run on organic and wildlife friendly principles; it is also a wildlife and botanical sanctuary, so they have amassed a huge amount of experience in  encouraging biodiversity and productive food growing.

In order to understand the inter-connectedness of plants, animals, birds, insects and humans, it is important to learn how to identify the wildlife in your garden and the composition and inhabitants of your soil in order to enhance your garden's attractiveness to wildlife and minimise problems with pest infestation. Planning and starting a garden, composting and water management are naturally covered early on in the book; companion planting of herbs to deter insect pests is encouraged as well as planting things which will encourage pollinating and predatory insects which will benefit your garden and its crops.

There are occasions when it may sadly be necessary to use an organic pesticide; this is discussed in detail and valuable advice given on how to use these products effectively, safely and with as little collateral damage as possible as well as the judicious use of covers, netting, crop cages, poly-tunnels and scarecrows which can help reduce crop losses due to predation.

There is an enormous amount of information crammed into this excellent book; the principles would be applicable to anywhere in the world although the flora and fauna would likely be very different. The whole book is a pleasure to pick up and read; the illustrations are delightful, the layout is clear and uncluttered and most importantly of all, it is easy to find whatever pieces of information you particularly need as well as being a treat to browse through in a more leisurely fashion!

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