After I posted this book recommendation, one of our lovely readers bought a copy and had it sent to our house!! We have no idea who it was, but we LOVE it! Thanks so much!!!
I LOVE this book! A few weeks ago, I scoured the library for gardening books to skim through during my down time in my office. This is the one I look at the most: Growing Fruits & Vegetables Organically, edited by Jean M. A. Nick and Fern Marshall Bradley.
I look at this book so often that it's become a sort of permanent fixture in my office, which is something I need to change before the library declares it as lost. (I've never officially checked it out.) I've added it to our Happy Chappy wishlist on Amazon and am thinking about purchasing it as soon as I earn enough from the books I'm selling.
What I like most about this book is that it's really well-organized ("you only need to read what you want to know today") and I never have to hunt down what I'm looking for. Everything is really easy to find and really easy to read about. (Some of the soil science stuff is a little tedious for me, but I guess it is supposed to be.) I'm looking forward to trying out some of the simple do-it-yourself construction projects, including cloches, cold frames, hotbeds, and the "weather station" for recording temperature and rainfall.
This book is really a great reference. It's got tips on composting, planning and record keeping, crop rotation, interplanting, biocontrols, and troubleshooting pests and diseases. There's a neat little Botany 101 section for people who know absolutely nothing about plants and a practical encyclopedia for individual crops. Each encyclopedia entry contains a huge expansion of what you might find on seed packets (sowing, spacing, days to maturity, etc.) as well as historical information, problem prevention, propagation, how to select varieties for your area, and some interesting folk information. Did you know that oregano is planted to repel sadness?