Saturday, March 31, 2018

Practical Organic Gardening

The No-Nonsense Guide to Growing Naturally
Mark Highland

We were fortunate to meet Mark 10 years ago at a small, local wholesale show.  We set up next to him for a couple of years, getting to spend a couple days chatting between customers.  He showed up with his own coffee cup at a time when that wasn't typical and didn't make me feel terrible for not doing the same.  Instead, he set an example, and my sister and I soon started carrying our own cups and utensils more and more often. 
At a show in '08.
It was fun to talk to someone so excited about what they were doing.

So I was excited to see his book come out, knowing that his enthusiasm and earnest fondness for dirt and the earth would be a great read.  I also knew that he would teach me something, because he's that kind of person. You always walk away knowing something you didn't know before.  And so it is with his book.  Seriously.  Get this book.

I've been gardening for decades.  Sometimes vegetables, but mostly herbs and flowers, and in all that time, I never bothered to think too much about the soil.  This is Lancaster County.  The mycelium is almost anywhere one might insert a spade or fork, so I've rarely considered amendments. 
That might change, now.
This book...
Some things I've never even thought about. How much oxygen is in the soil?  When should you till?  Should you test your water pH, and how do you install a rain barrel?  Fermenting seeds before saving them (might explain my lack of success with persimmon and paw paw seeds), and organic weed control.  How about chickens to help in the garden?

Some things I've wanted to learn more about, like tilth and biochar. 
And everything else.
Naturally control pests, how and when to fertilize, what to plant, how to save seeds, raised beds, hoop houses, on and on - it's all in there, and it's amazing!

In one really beautifully illustrated and well written book, a complete novice will find everything they need to confidently begin organic growing.

It is much more than I expected, and I highly recommend it to novices and people like me, who have been growing for years, but still want to know more. Everyone will learn something they didn't know before.

240 pgs., Hardcover.
Get it from Mark at

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