Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association

Greenhorns Beginners Guide to Getting Into Farming

September 1, 2020

By Severine V.T. Fleming, 2020, https://www.greenhornsguidebook.org/. This is a free online guidebook about getting into agriculture, a choose-your-own-adventure playbook into a highly diverse set of lifeworlds. It’s about tuning in, finding the path, finding consonance, and weighing all the co-factors that will allow you to ‘rule your destiny’ and design a place for yourself on the land.

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Welcome to the Agrihood

Housing, Shopping, and Gardening for a Farm-to-Table Lifestyle

September 1, 2020

By Anna DeSimone, Housing 2020 Publishing, 2020, 215 pages paperback ($15.95) or ebook ($5.99), https://annadesimone.net/books/welcome-to-the-agrihood/. Anna DeSimone says agrihoods are defined as “healthy lifestyle communities centered around a professionally managed farm.” In an agrihood, “The daily routine for residents often begins with a walk to the farm store to buy food freshly harvested from the farm, or to enjoy a cup of coffee at one of the gathering spaces at the community center.” Her book covers dozens of farm-centric communities.

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Fighting Pollution and Climate Change

September 1, 2020

By Richard W. Emory, Jr., BookLocker, 2020, 302 pages, $18.95 paperback, $4.99 Ebook from BookLocker.com. Baltimore native Richard Emory grew up summering in Brooklin, Maine, before heading to college (Yale), and then Harvard Law School and the Coast Guard. He ended up working for more than 30 years for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where he was the nationwide legal advisor for all of its pollution-crime investigations. Emory comes across as down-to-earth, with his love Maine and his value for the work of the Coast Guard and for the writings of Rachel Carson. He hopes, through his stories in this book, to inspire young people to follow a similar path to environmentalism.

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Plants for the People

A Modern Guide to Plant Medicine

September 1, 2020

By Erin Lovell Verinder, Thames & Hudson, 2020, 208 pages, hardcover, $29.95. Erin Lovell Verinder, an herbalist for almost 20 years, has studied in Australia (where she lives) and the United States. “Plants for the People” is a beautifully designed, readable book that deserves a place on the shelf alongside books by our wonderful Maine herbalists.

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Eager

The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter

June 1, 2020

By Ben Goldfarb, Chelsea Green, 2018. Thinking about beavers makes me happy. I don’t know much about them: They haven’t flooded my back garden, my neighbors’ back field or forest, chewed my trees down, jammed the culvert and inundated the road. But I think they might help us manage water, given the weather shift in climate change. “Eager: The Surprising Life of Beavers” joyfully and defiantly tracks work being done to bring beavers back, sometimes with human help, into damaged landscapes that can’t hold water anymore. Apparently the whole U.S. territory was crawling with beavers when Europeans arrived, a landscape of cascading dams and wide, shallow beaver flowages, full of all the other aquatic creatures. 304 pages, hardcover, $17.95

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The Planter of Modern Life

Louis Bromfield and the Seeds of a Food Revolution

June 1, 2020

By Stephen Heyman, W.W. Norton & Company, 2020. How is it that a bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer living and working outside of Paris after World War I whose success – literary and social – was envied by his friends Fitzgerald and Hemingway is the same man who inspired Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson and Joel Salatin to proselytize on sustainable agriculture? This writer publicly fought the Franklin administration on behalf of America's farmers during World War II and then hosted Humphrey Bogart's second marriage to Lauren Bacall at his Ohio farm; the wedding was covered by newspapers and magazines around the world. He testified in Congress against the use of DDT and similar new pesticides in agriculture 17 years before the publication of “Silent Spring.” How is it that such a man seems forgotten today while those he worked and socialized with, along with those he inspired, live on in our memories as giants of their times? https://www.theplanterofmodernlife.com/

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Gardening with Emma

Grow and Have Fun: A Kid-to-Kid Guide

June 1, 2020

By Emma Biggs and Steven Biggs, Storey Publishing, 2019. The first thing you notice about this book is that it is bright! It’s filled with colorful photos and kid-friendly illustrations that invite you to explore the pages. The table of contents is laid out like square-foot beds, instead of list-style, each chapter’s block labeled with what’s inside. At a glance you can see that there’s practical garden advice, fall and winter gardening tips, and a huge section with garden ideas for kids. 144 pages, paperback, $18.95

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The Farm That Feeds Us

A year in the life of an organic farm

June 1, 2020

By Nancy Castaldo; illustrated by Ginnie Hsu; Quarto Publishing, 2020. How wonderful to read a book that begins, “Hurrah for farms that supply us with the food we eat!” While some farms grow crops and some farms raise animals, the farm in this book does both. Divided into sections by season, “The Farm That Feeds Us” features a modern organic farm that provides food all year long. And it does so in a fun way. 80 pages, hardbound, $18.95

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Willie Knows Who Done It

June 1, 2020

By Hans Krichels, Atmosphere Press, 2020. Hans Krichels migrated to Maine to homestead in the ‘70s and learned to appreciate the rural, independent way of life here – along with the many characters who lived that life. He sold his woodcarvings at early Common Ground Country Fairs. His book of stories and poems comes from his years of taking notes about these people and places. 208 pages, paperback, $15.99. Available at BookStacks in Bucksport, Union River Book & Toy Co. in Ellsworth, all Sherman’s locations, Longfellow Books in Portland, and from Amazon and atmospherepress.com

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Edible Weeds on Farms

Northeast farmer’s guide to self-growing vegetables

June 1, 2020

By Tusha Yakovleva, 2020

The 98-page free PDF discusses weeds as foods, outlines harvesting and marketing, and offers weed identification resources and recipes. The information was researched thanks to a grant from Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education. http://foundwith.care/weeds-as-crops

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