Jan 172011

This is the time of year for gardener’s to think about their next garden. Or, maybe you have already started it with some garlic, shallots and onions poking up, some overwintered greens. Or, maybe fava beans. This is the time of year that seed catalogs show up at your door confusing you with a cornucopia of choices. It’s very confusing, especially for a new gardener.

I’ve been reading a new book by Carol Deppe called The Resilent Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times. I’ve already blogged about it once here in Thinking About Potatoes. The book is so rich in information that I could go on and on. But this wouldn’t be fair to Ms. Deppe. I suggest that any gardener buy the book.

Reading Steve Solomon convinced me that all gardening books are not equal in that they are not universally useful in every area of the country. We are best served by taking the advice of gardeners like Steve Solomon and Carol Deppe who have long histories in the Pacific NW. As I pointed out in the previous post, “Carol Deppe focuses on five crops: potatoes, squash, beans, corn and eggs (duck eggs). Motivated by celiac’s disease, a gluten intolerance, she developed a program of planting crops that would satisfy her nutritional needs over the course of the year. She goes into great depth on the planting, growing, harvesting, storing, preparing and nutritional benefits of her five main crops.” She also writes very useful and provocative chapters on labor and exercise, watering, gardening in an era of climate change and diet and food resilience.

Her book stimulates much thought and will give you lots of ideas for the garden seasons to come. And, getting back to those seed catalogs, she is pretty specific about which varieties to plant. On her advice I’ve ordered Oregon Sweet Meat Squash. a big sucker that she says will keep for a year! I’m also going to try and inter-plant pole beans with corn. She recommends Withner White Cornfield Bean. (You have to credit someone who can write a fascinating chapter on beans).

I probably won’t be able to resist culling a few more gems from this book for the blog. It’s a good one. Highly recommended.


  9 Responses to “The Resilient Gardener”

  1. If you live in New England instead of the Northwest, would you say Resilent Gardener is still worth reading? Our winters are colder, we get less rain and our summers are probably hotter. What do you think?

  2. I’ve also had great success with Scarlet runner beans, AKA Scarlet emperor beans or Emperor beans. They had beautiful edible red blossoms, nice on salads if you want to give up the beans. Young pods are sweet and tender. Mature pods yield beautiful black and purple storage beans. Easy to dry, eat over the winter and have bean seeds for next year. They have gave us a bountiful harvest, even with cool autumn. Kept them on the vine as long as possible so the last pods/beans could mature. Had to watch for mold on the last few still on the vine in October.

  3. Great info. Thanks.

  4. Bill, I do think it would be worthwhile for her philosophical approach to gardening for resilience. The specific varieties, irrigation techniques, etc. might not be relevant due to weather differences.

  5. Thanks for the guidance.

  6. […] The Resilient Gardener Randy’s blog post gives a positive recommendation for The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times. You can read the first chapter of this book free on your computer or iPad by using this Amazon link. . […]

  7. […] Deppe, in her new book The Resilient Gardener has a lot to say about beans. She argues that most of us have never really tasted a good, fresh […]

  8. […] shipped to us from long distances then we need to start make a shift in our diets. Carol Deppe, in The Resilient Gardener lays out a plan for growing calorie and protein rich foods focusing on beans, squash, potatoes, […]

  9. Kudos On the super ryeccling 🙂 what a great idea! P.s super jealous if your fab garden, I've wanted one for years now but s certain someone won't build me one (and move the back fence so the dog can't reach the "imaginary garden" and plant his bones!

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