I recently finished reading The Resilient Gardener, by Carol Deppe. Normally I would do a full review on a good book, but possibly the most telling thing that I can say about this book, is that there is so much outstanding content in this book, that it would take me hours to tell you about it. Instead, I’m going to tell you why you should buy your own copy, and study it hard.
One of the best reasons to read this book, is that there is so much useful stuff in it. I’ve read a lot of books, which means that I have a pretty good framework of knowledge, in which to put new information into. This normally makes it possible for me to concentrate on the new stuff, and to ‘get it’ in one reading. That isn’t the case with this book, and I expect to return to it regularly.
The book provides a background and philosophy for growing staple foods, in uncertain times. The first half of the book concentrates on the background to how and why to garden for resilience. This includes climate, diet and food resilience, labour, water, and soil and fertility. My description doesn’t go into detail, but the book does. This part is 150 pages full of useful information.
The second half of the book concentrates on what the author believes are the foods to produce for resilience. They are potatoes, ducks, Winter Squash, beans, and corn. Each part goes into detail about species selection, growing, feeding, watering, harvesting, breeding and seed saving, storage, and cooking. All with resilience, and simplicity in mind. I have never learnt so much from a gardening book.
Some of you may familiar with Carol’s first book, Breed your own Vegetables, and some of that information is repeated here. This means that you might want to concentrate on this one, until you are ready to save all of your seed.
The only two problems that I have with this book are that it will be next to impossible to get hold of the American vegetable varieties listed in the book, and that her suggested reading will give me more to read, and to think about.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
There is some content on her website, which you can find here, but it’s no replacement for the book.