Everything’s coming up books! Urban farming books, that is. It seems every month there’s a new crop. Here are another four such titles for those new to the food security movement.
Every movement has its manifesto and Maria Rodale, granddaughter of modern organic agriculture pioneer J. I. Rodale, outlines hers in the form of Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe. After spending the first two-thirds of the book listing the impacts of chemical pesticides and herbicides on the environment and on ourselves, Rodale describes the healing benefits of modern organic farming and outlines “Five Solutions That Might Save Us”: governments need to ban agricultural chemicals and GMOs, farmers need to supply the organic demand, businesses need to create innovative solutions, economists need to measure strength, not growth, and everyone needs to demand organic.
Canadian Sarah Elton presents Locavore: From Farmers’ Fields to Rooftop Gardens: How Canadians are Changing The Way We Eat, an exploring of the movement in Canada. Elton zeroes in on farms, farmers, chefs and others involved, coast-to-coast, in the push to change our food system and culture one meal at a time. Likewise, City Farmer: Adventures in Urban Food Growing by Toronto-based farmer Lorraine Johnson explores community gardens and food security projects throughout North America.
Many may have heard the apocryphal Einstein quote about human beings going extinct four years after the bees do. The quote has never been substantiated, but it’s clear much of life depends on the work of these creatures. If beekeeping is an ailing art in need of resuscitation, then York University biology professor Laurence Packer’s book Keeping The Bees is our first aid kit. Subtitled “Why All Bees are At Risk and What We Can Do To Save Them,” Packer’s book is a great introduction to the world of bees and the vital role they play in sustaining plant and animal (including human) life. However, for actual beekeeping techniques one may need to consult more practical titles such as Howland Blackiston’s Beekeeping for Dummies and Beekeeping: A Practical Guide for The Novice Beekeeper by Werner Melzer.
“Grow Where You Can” might as well be the title of Gayla Trail’s latest guerilla gardening guide. Actually entitled Grow Great Grub: Organic Food for Small Spaces, Trail (also author of You Grow Girl!) covers apartment and suburban food gardens as well as rooftops and other tight spots. And with these titles, go forth and garden!
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