Google+ Organic Gardens Network™: Book of the Week: Eat More Dirt

Monday, November 7, 2011

Book of the Week: Eat More Dirt

Eat More Dirt: Diverting and Instructive Tips for Growing and Tending an Organic Garden, by Ellen Sandbeck

A witty, whimsical gardening primer for anyone who wants to tend their patch of earth with a truly green thumb.

A garden can either bring you bliss or drive you insane, but organic landscape gardener Ellen Sandbeck has spent a lifetime discovering creative, effective techniques for growing and tending a garden with ease—while being kind to the earth itself. Eat More Dirt is her delightful compendium of homespun tips and tricks for designing, planting, nurturing, and beautifying your land without the use of harmful chemicals and pesticides.

From peat moss to irksome pests and predators, Sandbeck explores the lively world of compost heaps (which can be used to naturally “vaccinate” your garden against disease), growing good soil, choosing plants well-adapted to your climate, weed warfare, planting protocols, and eco-friendly ways to quench your garden’s thirst. Whether you tend an acre or just a window box, Eat More Dirt is an essential guide to keeping your garden thriving, the natural way.

• Build up topsoil without toxic fertilizers or noisy machinery
• Compost, the other black gold
• Eradicate weeds with sunflower seeds
• Protect berries from birds with a sugar-water spray
• Gentle pruning techniques
• Banish beetles with wheat bran
• Drive off furry pests with cayenne pepper
• When life hands you a seep, dig a pond—transforming garden irritants into garden pearls
• Pre- and post-gardening stretches
• Dancing with tools
• The Zen of puttering

From Booklist
Dispensing organic and original gardening advice with wit and wisdom, Sandbeck walks novice and knowledgeable gardeners alike through those philosophies and practices that have earned her the title Queen of Nontoxic Know-how. From creative composting to prudent pruning, Sandbeck's approach to garden bliss stresses fun over fuss, success over stress, and victory over vermin, all without the use of products or procedures that will harm the environment. Hers is a garden where harmony can be produced without herbicides and where a modicum of patience is preferable to a dose of pesticides.

Covering topics as diverse as rototilling and rodent removal, Sandbeck presents her logical, commonsense recommendations with self-deprecating humor in a comprehensive how-to guide as entertaining as it is informative. Whether recycling cooking water to quench thirsty plants or cooking hot pepper spray to deter rampant rabbits, Sandbeck relies upon readily available materials and ecologically sound strategies in her organic gardening pursuits. Arcane facts blend with feasible advice in this delightful discourse on natural and nurturing gardening. Carol Haggas, American Library Association

About the Author
Ellen Sandbeck is the author of Slug Bread and Beheaded Thistles: Amusing and Useful Techniques for Nontoxic Housekeeping and Gardening. A landscape gardener and graphic designer, she lives in Duluth, Minnesota.

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