Step by Step Organic Vegetable Gardening, by Shepherd Ogden
The second most influential book I have read, a close second behind Eliot Coleman. Also a cold-winter gardener in New England. This book is nicely geared towards home gardeners and, like Coleman, Ogden offers his version of the principles of organic gardening with tips and recommendations based on his experience. Easy to read, and well organized, it even includes some pictures of Shepherd working in the garden in his jean shorts. Awesome stuff.
His grandfather, Sam Ogden, wrote one of the first organic gardening books about forty or fifty years ago - way before organic was cool. Shepherd builds on the foundation that his grandfather built, and includes more recent research and practices, and makes some alternative suggestions to his grandfather's techniques. Each chapter begins with a quote from Sam's book. Great section on the importance of compost led directly to the pile in my backyard.
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