Agriculture/Landscaping/Gardening

Storey Basics®

 

Container Vegetable mulch herbs

Storey Publishing has come out with a great idea of getting experienced authors to create small specialized books on just one topic. They are called Storey Basics® Books for Self-Reliance and so far I have read the first two you see here and I couldn’t be more thrilled with them.

They are written by people that know what they are talking about. While they cover the basics, they also have given me, a non-amateur gardener, some great tips. They have wonderful indexes so that you can get to where you need to go quickly and in the case of Saving Container Plants and Saving Seeds, they both include an extensive index of specific plants, including how hard they are to grow and propagate, how they pollinate,  issues to note, etc.

These two little 128 page Kindle books have replaced two large gardening chunksters that I had on my shelf. Why have the big books that often include tons of plants that I will never cross paths with when I can find what I need easily in smaller versions?

They are sold in paperback (retailing under $8) and e-book versions (retailing under $5) and don’t cover just gardening and herbs. There are books on quilting, growing Christmas trees, making vinegar, frozen yogurt, and more. The release dates seem to be staggered since last March to March of next year. Amazon already has more listed than the Storey website itself, so it is a nice way to see what’s coming soon.

Again, they are quick reads, yet well-covered and indexed, and have been written by experts in their fields.  (Rosemary Gladstar is the “Queen” of Herbs, sqweee!)So if you have been thinking of trying something new, check out either the Storey Basics® Books for Self-Reliance or Amazon and get busy. If you need a refresher course on a subject, they are a great place to start as well.

What first caught my attention about them was the one on quilting that comes out in September. My roommate is pretty darn good at quilting and I needed someway to catch up to her skill level quickly. Well, like I said the quilting one isn’t out yet so I tried the gardening ones to check them out thinking that I could be all, “I got this and I can vet these here beginner books on gardening.” Woops, I learned a few new things, like I have been propagating Hibiscuses all wrong, no wonder why they always die.

They won’t change your life, but they might make it a bit easier.  Which is pretty much my motto lately, so they are perfect. Now, don’t bother me, I’m propagating the hydrangeas and hibiscuses.

Storey Publishing gave some of the books in the series and I have bought a few to help complete the current selection. Next month, I will learn all about Vinegar so that I can share it with you and then September, my sewing machine will be busy sewing circles or whatever the Quilting Basics book tell us to do to master the art of kicking my roommate’s butt, I mean master quilting.

 

 

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Field Guide to California Agriculture by Paul F. Starrs and Peter Goin

field-guide-to-CA-agriculture

One can’t live in California for very long without realizing that a vast portion of the state is all about agriculture. An estimated 300 to 400 different crops and agricultural products are created, grown and tended in California; and it is the world’s fifth largest supplier of food and agriculture commodities.

Starrs and Goin have created a sort of encyclopedia of California agriculture by including sections on the individual products, regions, growing times and most interestingly, the history and people of agriculture. There is a vast amount of information to digest with growing dates, ranks, Latin nomenclature, the history of how each product came to California, and the accompanying pictures tell the very colorful story.

However, this is not a traditional field guide. If the reader is looking for a book that is going to help him or her identify crops as they are flying along Interstate 5, like a bird guide will help you identify birds flying over your car, this is not the book. It will leave you with a better understanding of what makes California a contender in the world’s economy and a grasp of what those vast fields mean to all of us.

 

Field Guide to California Agriculture by Paul F. Starrs and Peter Goin

  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (July 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520265432
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520265431
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