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Monday, October 31, 2016

MOROCCAN SPICED CHICKPEAS & CHARD

NB - To prepare this dish for a class of 25 required much multiplication and calculations.  I think I might have gotten off track in all that with the result that this recipe should be a trifle more zingy than what I served yesterday.  YMMV 

Now is the time when leafy greens such as chard are tender and delicious. Chard can be prepared in many different ways, and in this respect it closely resembles its cousin, spinach. One of the ways that chard shines is in braises and stews.

This dish might seem to have daunting ingredient list. But don’t be put off; enough of the ingredients will already be lurking in your kitchen. And, if you leave out any one of the spices, it will probably still turn out well. In contrast to some meat Tagines, which take hours to prepare and cook, this dish can be made from start to finish on a weeknight. And the flavor is a lovely m√©lange of spices, slight sweetness from the raisins, and savory flavors from the chickpeas. Serve with rice or quinoa for hearty vegetarian dinner.

• 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• ½ sweet onion, minced
• 1 teaspoon paprika (sweet or smoked, according to preference)
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• ½ teaspoon turmeric
• ¼ teaspoon thyme
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ¼ cup golden raisins
• 1 tablespoon organic tomato paste
• 1 bunch chard (about 8 ounces) washed, center ribs removed, and chopped
• 1 cup cooked chickpeas plus 1 ¼ cups of their cooking liquid, or 1 can organic chickpeas with liquid plus ½ cup water
• 1 teaspoon hot sauce or ¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional)

Add the olive oil, onion, and garlic to a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or 3-4 quart pot, and turn the heat to medium. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes, then add the paprika, cumin, turmeric, thyme, salt, and cinnamon. Stir together and cook for a minute or two until fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients, cover, and turn the heat down to medium-low.

Be sure to stir every 3-5 minutes to ensure that the bottom does not burn and that your ingredients are evenly combined. You can add a tablespoon of rice flour if you like your stew thicker. Remove from the heat after 20 minutes. Enjoy!


d

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Best Practices for Toxic Urban Soils



Build your garden away from existing roads and railways, or build a hedge or fence to reduce windblown contamination from mobile sources and busy streets.

Cover existing soil and walkways with mulch, landscape fabric, stones, or bricks.

Use mulch in your garden beds to reduce dust and soil splash, reduce weed establishment, regulate soil temperature and moisture, and add organic matter.

Use soil amendments to maintain neutral pH, add organic matter, and improve soil structure.
Add topsoil or clean fill from certified soil sources. Your state or local environmental program, extension service, or nursery may be able to recommended safe sources for soil and fill.

Build raised beds or container gardens. Raised beds can be made by simply mounding soil into windrows or by building containers. Sided beds can be made from wood, synthetic wood, stone, concrete block, brick, or naturally rot-resistant woods such as cedar and redwood.

Your state or local city agency may recommend using a water-permeable fabric cover or geotextile as the bottom layer of your raised beds to further reduce exposure to soils of concern.

Practice good habits:

  • Wear gloves, and wash hands after gardening and before eating.
  • Take care not to track dirt from the garden into the house.
  • Wash produce before storing or eating, and teach kids to do so, too.
  • Peel root crops, and remove outer leaves of leafy vegetables.


For Your Records

Climate data for Los Angeles (LAX), 1981–2010 normal, extremes 1944–present
Month
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Year
Record high, °F (°C)
91
(33)
92
(33)
95
(35)
95
(35)
91
(33)
94
(34)
93
(34)
98
(37)
106
(41)
101
(38)
101
(38)
94
(34)
106
(41)
Average high, °F (°C)
64.6
(18.1)
64.3
(17.9)
64.4
(18)
66.4
(19.1)
68.1
(20.1)
70.6
(21.4)
73.8
(23.2)
74.9
(23.8)
74.6
(23.7)
72.5
(22.5)
68.9
(20.5)
64.6
(18.1)
69.0
(20.6)
Daily mean, °F (°C)
56.7
(13.7)
57.1
(13.9)
58.0
(14.4)
60.1
(15.6)
62.7
(17.1)
65.5
(18.6)
68.8
(20.4)
69.6
(20.9)
68.9
(20.5)
65.9
(18.8)
61.1
(16.2)
56.6
(13.7)
62.6
(17)
Average low, °F (°C)
48.8
(9.3)
50.0
(10)
51.7
(10.9)
53.8
(12.1)
57.3
(14.1)
60.5
(15.8)
63.7
(17.6)
64.3
(17.9)
63.2
(17.3)
59.3
(15.2)
53.2
(11.8)
48.7
(9.3)
56.2
(13.4)
Record low, °F (°C)
27
(−3)
34
(1)
35
(2)
42
(6)
45
(7)
48
(9)
52
(11)
51
(11)
47
(8)
43
(6)
38
(3)
32
(0)
27
(−3)
Average rainfall, inches (mm)
2.71
(68.8)
3.25
(82.6)
1.85
(47)
0.70
(17.8)
0.22
(5.6)
0.08
(2)
0.03
(0.8)
0.05
(1.3)
0.21
(5.3)
0.56
(14.2)
1.11
(28.2)
2.05
(52.1)
12.82
(325.6)
Average rainy (≥ 0.01 in) days
6.0
6.6
5.8
2.8
1.2
0.6
0.5
0.3
1.0
2.3
3.4
5.2
35.7
Average relative humidity, %
63.4
67.9
70.5
71.0
74.0
75.9
76.6
76.6
74.2
70.5
65.5
62.9
70.8
Source: NOAA (relative humidity 1961–1990)[64][69][70]

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Heads Up!



.DAY ONE... TODAY

A STORM SYSTEM WILL BRING MODERATE TO HEAVY RAIN TO THE REGION
BEGINNING LATE TODAY IN NORTHERN AREAS AND BY LATE TONIGHT ACROSS
THE SOUTH. THERE IS A SLIGHT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS TONIGHT.
RAINFALL RATES MAY BE HIGH ENOUGH LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT
TO CAUSE MUD AND DEBRIS FLOWS IN AND BELOW RECENT BURN AREAS.

* FLOOD WATCH................SEE WGUS66 KLOX - FFALOX FOR DETAILS *

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN... FRIDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY

RAIN WILL TURN TO SHOWERS FROM NORTH TO SOUTH ON FRIDAY. THERE IS A
SLIGHT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS IN THE MORNING. RAINFALL RATES MAY BE
HIGH ENOUGH IN THE MORNING TO CAUSE MUD AND DEBRIS FLOWS IN AND
BELOW RECENT BURN AREAS.

* FLOOD WATCH.

This was on my weather watch this AM -mind you, this is their best guess at the moment.
And things change.  It will be nice to get showers.

Remember - shower or no shower - class goes on.  We have enough to keep us busy
rain or shine!  

david

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The SECOND CHEAT SHEET


Being a Primer on What To Do and When To Do It
The best fertilizer is the farmer's shadow. 

AUGUST
Keep existing garden hydrated

Harvest tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, okra, squashes, beans and other summer crop

Keep basil pinched to ensure production and prevent the plants from setting seed and dying

Weed as required – keep yourself hydrated and sunburn free.

Try to water only in the evening or early morning

At the beginning of the month, begin to contemplate the Winter garden and look online for seeds to purchase. Remember that soon you'll be able to plant garlic, onions and potatoes so don't overdo it on seeds!

Late in the month, you may start with seeds of cool season crops out of full sun (indoors under lights works too):
Broccoli
Cabbage
Brussels Sprouts
Kale
Collards
Cauliflower
Chard
Lettuce
Fava beans
Peas
Leeks
Onions (they are easier from purchased 'sets' or transplants)

Add 3” of mulch to your garden which should cut down on weeding and watering in the coming months. It will also allow the ground to hold water when (if) it rains.

All things being equal, in August, you will be harvesting tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, okra, corn, melons, squashes. Keep the squashes picked or you will have a gigantic squash that is mostly inedible. Pinch the tips of basil back to keep the plant from going to seed and use the pinchings in salads or cooked dishes. Green peppers will become red, purple or yellow if you leave them on the plant until they mature. For my taste, I'll wait until they change color, but many folks like green peppers as much as the mature ones. Beans should be kept picked unless you are growing soup beans, which stay on the plant until the plant has died and is crispy. The pods should shatter easily when harvesting dry beans.

SEPTEMBER
Continue picking summer fruit, learn how to dry, freeze, pickle, jam or can some of the garden's bounty and share with family and neighbors. The summer garden will produce through November in mild years, but is over by the end of September or October in most. As you see plants coming to the end of their productivity, pull the plants and begin to replace them with winter plants or seeds of winter plants. In fact, it often is not even necessary to pull the plant immediately – you can leave the okra or pepper in place and simply begin to sow around it. If you sow too close, you may find you will need to cut the summer plant off, leaving the roots, if pulling them out begins to affect your seedlings. If you leave the roots in the ground, they will rot and become food for the microbiology of the soil and once rotted, channels will remain for water to infiltrate the soil.

Days get shorter and hopefully cooler

Direct seed into the garden larger seeds – peas, fava beans, lentils and garbanzo beans

Direct sow beets, turnips all month long – you can continue to sow beets until late March – you can continue to sow turnips until April – although most folks are rather sick of turnips by that time.

Late in the month, sow seeds of radishes, carrots and parsnips – you can continue to sow carrots and parsnips until January. Sow your first spinach and you may continue sowing short rows of it until mid-February if you wish.

Direct sow any lettuces or other 'salad greens' now through March – and even beyond if you're willing to take the chance! These larger leafy things really do not do well in the heat – oftentimes, even if you get a harvest, they will not be the sweet leaves you were hoping for but instead will be bitter and not at all something you would want to eat.

Set out plants started in sheltered locations.

Use shade as required on young seedlings – nursery flats and a stick.

Continue to sow broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower as in August. You CAN sow Brussels Sprouts, but your harvest will be truncated by the end of cool weather and there is no more reason to plant kale and collards as they will produce on into summer.


OCTOBER
Now there are significant short days and almost any winter crop is OK to seed or set out including:
Onions (buy transplants if you can)
Garlic and shallots (plant from bulbs)
Potatoes – white, red, blue, bakers and mashers – all of them, cut into chunks with at least one eye per chunk, allow to 'scab' over for a few days or dust with sulfur to help prevent soil born bacteria from attacking the open surfaces.
You can still direct seed any of the Legumes (fava beans, lentils, garbanzo beans), if you haven't yet
You continue with broccoli and other cabbage family members.

Be warned, there are often Santa Ana winds in October – they dry you and your plants out, keep an eye on the water in your garden if that happens.

By now, most of the summer harvest is in, perhaps you have a few of the Winter Squash still finishing up or some areas of drying beans. In open locations, start planting the winter crops. Try to keep the garden filled with producing plants. If you started lettuce in the shade back in August, you are able to harvest the outer leaves from some plants.

Have you ever heard of celeriac? Related to celery, this root crop has the flavor, but lacks the pizzazz of celery. It is useful in soups, but not for an appetizer tray because there is no channel for cream cheese or peanut butter. And it looks a little 'rooty.' Sow seed in a row directly even though the seed is really small. The root balls get about six inches in diameter if they are happy.

Now is when you can start using the planting stick – this invention makes easy work of succession sowing. Put your planting stick on edge and make a depression in the soil. Sow your seeds in the depression. All other seeds, cover with a small amount of garden soil and water well. Carrots are the exception. Do not cover carrot seed with soil, use vermiculite to cover them. All seeds should be moistened daily until they sprout – this is especially true with carrots. Follow a program of sowing carrots, beets and other root crops every week to get fresh roots all through the season.

NOVEMBER
In November, things begin to slow down significantly. You can continue to sow all cool weather crops with a shorter life expectancy. While in September you could sow cabbages that take three or four months (the big kraut or storage cabbages), now it's time to begin to limit yourself to the smaller, non-storage, cabbages which take up less space.

This is really your last chance to sow any garlic or shallots – after this, they won't have enough time to mature to fullness before the heat of summer. You can still sow those veggies that don't take so long to mature. I'm still willing to bet on carrots, but not parsnips which take much longer. Beets and turnips are sowable now through April or so.

You may have some harvesting to do, but the garden can be a little bare this time of year. All the summer crops are gone and winter crops are just babies – except turnips and radishes, which take from four weeks to 8 weeks from seed to harvest. Broccoli. Broccoli does not need much succession planting and is a star in the winter garden. Cut the main head of the broccoli to eat, and begin to watch for the side shoots. Keep them picked and you'll have a whole ton of broccoli to eat over the coming weeks. This is not true with cabbage or cauliflower, which only give one harvest.

DECEMBER
You almost have to have a good flashlight to garden! Really, if you can find time do a little here and there – if no rain, take up the slack with the hose. You can still sow carrots (and that'll be the last ones for this year); beets, turnips and radishes are all still on the sow list. If you have broccoli plants to put in, this would be about the last month I'd do that; cauliflowers aren't usually that tasty when they mature in the heat. Start seeds of cabbages (the smaller ones) and begin to think about where things will go in the garden for summer. Keep small lettuce plants on hand and every time something comes out of the garden, pop a lettuce in its place – lettuce is pretty, edible and fast! You can't have enough lettuce!

Try to go to holiday parties and enjoy a social life – the garden will still be there in January.

You can harvest radishes, turnips, maybe some lettuces and other greens. Perhaps you have a head or two of broccoli that will float your boat. Early cabbages might be ready to harvest soon, but the bigger kraut cabbages will take longer. The root crops (except radishes and turnips) will not be ready. If you have been reading the seed packets, you will note that my commentary disagrees with most of them. Because we sow in Fall, unlike the rest of the US, our days are getting shorter and cooler, meaning our crops take longer than the packet says they will, which was written for Spring and longer/warmer days.

JANUARY
Keep planting in the ground: lettuce, short season carrots, beets, potatoes, celeriac, radishes, spinach,

Start in containers: lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, chard, (these last two can be started now, but their production will be reduced by the coming warmer weather, both will last into the summer, but the flavor of kale grown in the heat is not the sweetness you expect, they are more bitter), peas, fava beans, lentils, garbanzo beans

Seed catalogs are in the mail! Most gardeners are now looking longingly and drooling to figure out which tomatoes, peppers, beans and other summer crops you will be planting. You will order too many seeds despite promises to yourself to not do it this year. You'll do the same thing next year...

You are eating good by now. You've got broccoli, lettuce, peas, fava beans coming in – maybe a few baby beets and turnips, you are about sick of radishes which have been coming for months.


FEBRUARY
In the garden, you can still direct sow lettuce (and other salad greens), beets, radishes, spinach, and the first of the summer plantings: purple beans.

Start in your six packs early tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, summer squash – I usually try to do this around Valentine's Day.

Otherwise: If you haven't over-ordered your seeds for summer yet, get busy. You're not playing by the rules.


MARCH
Continue to purple beans, lettuce, radishes, beets, radishes, spinach, You can begin to set out plants of basil, early tomatoes, later in the month, if you have space, sow early sweet corn (the exhortation for space comes from the fact that corn is a wind pollinated plant and there must be plants in a block large enough to ensure pollination between the plants – do not plant individual rows of corn, plant in a block).

Continue to sow seeds of tomatoes and basil if you need to do succession plantings of these (each plant should produce for several weeks, if not two months). Now it's time to sow peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, melons, all squash.


APRIL
You can now put out beans of all colors, lettuce and still some radishes, beets, spinach if you love them. For summer, though, you can set out plants of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, basil, you can start planting all corn now, if you have the space.

Add three more inches of mulch to your garden, whether it seems to need it or not.

You can still start more tomatoes, basil, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, melons and squash and okra, Note that cucumbers, melons and squashes tend to get powdery mildew in our part of the country and a good strategy is to plant a second follow on set of plants. When the first planting gives up, the second planting takes over. You cannot do this with melons or winter squashes which must remain on the plant until they are fully ripened before picking.


MAY
Step back from your garden and take a look. It's really getting powered up about new – soon your neighbors will be getting tired of all the great vegetables you are sharing with them!

You can continue to set our plants of basil, eggplant, all melons and all squash and cucumbers. Begin to plant your main crop of green and yellow beans and all the dried beans, which will be left in the garden to dry on the plant. If you have room, plant more corn too.

Continue to sow as you did in April, but it's getting late – peppers, eggplants and basil are still OK to start, but will not have a lot of time to produce as they would had you gotten to them earlier.


JUNE
Plant in the ground: all the above; you can still get a crop, but it might not live to its full term – furthermore, setting them out in June is hard on them – the heat can be problematic. If you do, you might have to supply some shade on extremely warm days.

Earlier tomatoes, cucumbers and beans are a part of your diet by now. I'm sick of zucchini already, how about you? Peppers are getting ripe, you can see the okra coming on – get it while it's small and don't over cook it! That keeps it from being slimy.

Start your pumpkin seeds in 4” pots to get them going, then take a nap, with my permission.


JULY
Plant in the ground only out of extreme necessity – you will have to water almost daily until they are established. Do not plant without mulching. Water as needed, early in the day or in the evening.

For starting seeds this month, I recommend you continue napping.

Now it's already time to begin to think about your cool season seeds. Get out your catalogs and prepare to over-order those like we did at the beginning of the year or get online. Try not to buy your seeds locally -you get fresher seed online or by ordering directly from the seed company by phone – your seeds are in perfect climate conditions until they begin to pull your order.

If you do tomatoes right, by now you have enough to open your own Italian eatery.


Friday, October 21, 2016

October Gardening In Brief



Start These In Containers
Start These In The Ground
Move to the Ground from Containers
All cabbage family crops
Fava beans
Fava beans
Lettuce
Any cabbage family plant big enough to survive.
Leeks
Potatoes (tubers)
Leeks

Carrots
Herbs

Lentils


Peas


Garbanzo beans


Garlic (bulbs)


Shallots (bulbs)





Here is the deal with winter sowing – you can continue to sow all winter crops through November. After November, we need to begin to look at the harvest dates. Before November is out, you will need to have all your onion family plants in the ground. These include garlic, leeks, onions and shallots. They take a long time. Celery and celeriac, another long season grower, should probably not be planted after November as well. Carrots and parsnips can be planted deep into December, but after that, look for smaller carrots that will be done before your world heats up.

You can cheat – this isn't mathematics where the answer is right or it's wrong. Often the answer in gardening is “it depends.” There are perimeters of hot and cold, sun and shade that we work with. There are no hard and fast rules about when to plant what – mostly just guidelines. You can lose – even when you don't cheat. I know, it is unfair, but it's part and parcel of growing food and you can see why many books from antiquity regularly address putting food in storage and consciously regard famine as an ever-present problem to be dealt with.

If you plant one thing on one date every year, in at least one of those in seven years will not work out for you. Not your fault. The weather is not the same every September 5th. Or any other day in the calendar. If you could predict the weather out for 6 months or so, you'd be very rich. But this has been the problem of food growers from the beginning. And climate change has made it even more forbidding. There are years when I'm watching baby tomato plants struggle in late May I wish I had planted beets instead – any we may well find that is the way we do things – start tomatoes AND plant beets at the same time.




Butternut Squash With Pecans And Blue Cheese
I've done this annually for many years and it's always been a hit! I know grilling in the fall seems like I missed the summer boat, but really, in Southern California, we can grill almost year round, avoiding windy days during dry season.

4-1/2 lbs butternut squash
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 stalks fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup pecans
1 cup crumbled Roquefort or other blue cheese

Get the grill going and warmed up.

Halve the squash, leaving the skin on, and scoop out the seeds, then cut into two to three inch cubes; you don't need to be precise, just keep the pieces uniformly. Smaller, they fall thru the grill.

Mix the squash in a bowl with the oil adding thyme. Cook on the grill until just tender enough to eat.

From the grill, throw them into a bowl with crumbled blue cheese and pecans and mix. The hot cheese will hold pecan pieces to the squash. Serve at once. You may eat the entire squash, skin and all.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Garden Tools by Category of Use (More or Less)

The most important tools you use are the different parts of your body – your hands, your skin, your back, your knees and your legs. Chemical sunblock may be bad for your body, but it most certainly does nature no good once you've washed it off. A long-sleeved cotton shirt and cotton pants are cool and, if you can find organic cotton that costs less than the US Military budget, you are doing Gaia a good deal. Wear a hat (it's stylish anyway!) and comfortable shoes. Get gloves that will stand to the work you are doing – digging with shovels almost always means a heavy glove, gardening in containers is a piece of cake with cotton gloves or some of the new plasticized gloves. Get more than one type.

A. Stand up gardening/Mulch, Compost moving
  1. Double digger, aka broadfork
  2. Spading fork
  3. Compost fork
  4. Grain Shovel
  5. Spade
  6. Round point shovel
  7. Poachers spade
  8. Leaf rake or push broom
  9. Wheelbarrow/gardeners cart

B. Kneeling gardening
  1. Trowel
  2. Hand fork
  3. Weeders
  4. The Stick tool
  5. Small stool
  6. Scissors
  7. Kneeling pad/etc
  8. Dibbles
  9. Wire brush
  10. Sharp serrated knives
  11. Watering can or hose
  12. Tape measure
  13. Hand hoe
  14. Japanese triangle hoe
  15. Hori hori

C. Container gardening
  1. Trowel
  2. Hand fork
  3. Weeders
  4. Kneeling pad (?)
  5. Tarp
  6. Watering can or hose
  7. Machete
  8. Pot brush
  9. Container knife
D. Seeding
  1. Widget
  2. Notebook for records
  3. Swiss Army Knife
  4. Pencil
  5. Marker
  6. Plastic tags
  7. Flats
  8. Newspaper
  9. Containers
  10. A spray bottle of water to moisten soil

E. Harvesting
  1. Knives
  2. Scissors
  3. Pruners
  4. Containers – baskets, bags, etc

F. Pruning
  1. Pruners that fit your hand
  2. Folding saw
  3. Loppers
  4. Pole Pruner
  5. Large saw
  6. Sharp knife
  7. Specialty gloves if needed (like gauntlets for rose pruning)

G. Tool care
  1. Linseed oil for wood
  2. Any oil for metal
  3. Rags
  4. Sharpening devices
  5. Sandpaper in different grades
  6. Listerine to sterilize blades

H. Almost all kits have
  1. Knife or knives (sharp!)
  2. Screwdrivers
  3. Pliers
  4. Measuring tape of some kind
  5. A radio for baseball games



Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Soil Triangle and Questions (Apologies for its lateness!)



We will cover this in class.  The following is a set of practice questions you can use to determine your ability to use the Soil Triangle.  This is not an assignment you need to turn in. 

Using the Soil Texture Triangle


Follow these steps to determine the name of your soil texture:

1. Place the edge of a ruler or other straight edge at the point along the base of the triangle that represents the percent of sand in your sample. Position the ruler on or parallel to the lines which slant toward the base of the triangle.
2. Place the edge of a second ruler at the point along the right side of the triangle that represents the percent of silt in your sample. Position the ruler on or parallel to the lines which slant toward the base of the triangle.
3. Place the point of a pencil or pen at the point where the two lines meet. Place the top edge of one of the rulers on the mark, and hold the ruler parallel to the horizontal lines. The number on the left should be the percent of clay in the sample.

The descriptive name of the soil sample is written in the shaded area where the mark is located. If the mark should fall directly on a line between two descriptions, record both names.

Sand will feel "gritty", while silt will feel like powder or flour. Clay will feel "sticky" and hard to squeeze, and will probably stick to your hand. Looking at the textural triangle, try to estimate how much sand, silt, or clay is in the sample. Find the name of the texture that this soil corresponds to.

Practice Exercises

Use the following numbers to determine the soil texture name using the textural triangle. When a number is missing, fill in the blanks (the sum of % sand, silt and clay should always add up to 100%) - the last line has been left blank for you to fill in the numbers you assign to your own soil sample.


% SAND
%SILT
%CLAY
TEXTURE NAME
75
10
15
sandy loam
10
83
7


42


37




52
21




35
50


30
55




37


21


5
70




55


40




45
10










A Soils Bibliography


Out of the Earth: Civilization and the Life of the Soil; ©1992 University of California Press , Hillel, Daniel. Hillel has written one of the most beautiful books on soil that has ever been published. This book introduces a little of soil science to the reader, but more than that, it fosters a love of the soil and an understanding about the magnitude and gravity of misuse and degradation; civilizations have paid little heed to the soil underfoot and it has cost them dearly. A delightful read!


Soils and Men, Yearbook of Agriculture 1938, © 1938, United States Department of Agriculture, The Committee on Soils. A government publication, no sane person will read from beginning to end! It is referenced here because it clearly shows the US government knew about the soil food web as early as 1938 and chose to ignore that information in favor of more commerce in chemical based fertilizers. We are at a point where ignoring the soil food web is too costly to continue.


Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web, Revised Edition, © 2010 Timber Press, Lowenfels, Jeff and Lewis, Wayne. This is the second edition of the book that blew my eyes open on the biology of the soil and how we cannot ignore that biology plays at least as big a part of soil fertility as chemistry. We ignore biology to our own detriment and destroy our soils.


The Rodale Book of Composting, ©1992 Rodale Press, Martin, Deborah and Gershuny, Grace Editors. This is the only book to read on composting. Everything else is compostable.


The Soul of Soil; A Guide to Ecological Soil Management, 2nd Edition, ©1986; Gaia Services, Gershuny, Grace. This fabulous and passionate book is injured by being targeted to farmers (only) and therefore all recommendations are written in “pound per acre,” when we need ounces per 100 square feet. When I used this book, I wrote up a formula in Excel to convert all these into a usable figure.


The Worst Hard Time, The Untold Story of Those Who Survived The Great American Dustbowl © 2006; Mariner Reprint Edition, Egan, Timothy. Not strictly a soils book, but a real eye opener that shows how we are repeating many of the same mistakes today as what lead to the disaster we call the Dustbowl. This book is gripping reading and is not fiction. It really happened and it happened on a scale unprecedented in modern times. We can do it again if we fail to heed these words. A VERY good read on soils and man's relationship to them.






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