For gardening bookworms
Five 'green' reads for the gift-giving season.
By Lisa Brunette
It’s a tough time of year for those of us who like to be outside, with our hands in the dirt. The only way to face the winter months of garden dormancy is with a book in one hand and a cup of herbal tea in the other. Whether you’re looking for a suggested read yourself or to give the gardeners on your list this holiday season, I’ve got you covered with these five books.
The subject of a past Brunette Gardens giveaway, Tammi Hartung is one of my favorite authors, and this gorgeous hardcover book is a gem. With hand-drawn illustrations throughout, Cattail Moonshine & Milkweed Medicine drops such knowledge bombs as these:
Until the mid-1990s, the ink used to stamp meat packages was made from elderberry juice
“Panic” grass is employed in the reclamation of old mining land
Persimmon pulp has been used as a poultice for warts
This link will take you directly to Tammi’s website shop, where you can order from the author herself. Bonus: She’ll sign the book before sending it off!
Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway
An oft-cited introduction to permaculture, Hemenway’s book provides a philosophical model for gardening that is “permanent” and good for both our “culture” and our “agriculture.” While I caution you away from the irresponsible use of known invasive plants in your gardening schemes—a rather bewildering practice on the part of permaculturists like Hemenway—there’s enough else here to make the read worthwhile, not the least of which is a soaring symphony to soil in “Chapter Four: Bringing the Soil to Life,” which will forever alter how you think about dirt. Bonus: This and all other books below are 35 percent off, now through Christmas.
Whereas Hemenway comes at permaculture from the perspective of an academic, Sepp Holzer’s take was forged through his experiences farming 100 acres on a steep Austrian mountainside. And it shows. From mushroom cultivation to alternative composting methods, Holzer tackles a variety of gardening topics he’s had proven success with despite a challenging landscape—5,000 feet above sea level. While the average suburban gardener would be hard-pressed to duplicate his model to a T, many of his tips—such as “no till” and water-wise gardening—can be put into practice on a much smaller plot of land. Bonus: This surprisingly lovely book is illustrated with both full-color drawings and photographs of Holzer’s farmstead.
The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott
While I’ve long since broadened my diet beyond autoimmune paleo, I still return to the healthy, tasty recipes in this book. If you seek a delicious diet centered on protein and vegetables, with an emphasis on lowering bodily inflammation, look no further. It’s especially good for those interested in paleo but sensitive to eggs and nuts. This hardcover, full-color cookbook is a nice addition to any kitchen, and not just for hands-down the best recipe for kale chips I’ve ever found. Bonus: Cauliflower “fried rice.”
Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update by Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, and Dennis Meadows
Considered the most important book on the topic of sustainability ever written, Limits to Growth was the subject of our fall giveaway and three-part series. A rather earth-shattering prognosis on the planet, it more than any other book I’ve read explains so much of what’s happening in the world today, and why.
What books would you recommend to your green-thumb friends this winter? Seriously, don’t leave me hanging… looking for some new books to read!
We link to Hartung’s book purely as a courtesy, but the rest of the books here contain our Chelsea Green affiliate links. We might receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you purchase using the links.