Hard times happen.  They happen in the lives of every individual creature, the histories of every country and culture, the evolution of every species.  They come in all sized and shapes.  They may affect just you, or they may affect your entire neighborhood, country, or planet.  They may be temporary, requiring only survival until things get better.  Or they may be permanent, and require transition to a dramatically new and different way of life.   Carol Deppe, The Resilient Gardener.

Carol Deppe is a well-know plant breeder who lives and farms in the Pacific Northwest.  In her book, The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times, she explains in clear detail why you should be interested in gardening and resilience, and how you might raise enough real food, both in variety and quantity, to support yourself and your family.  Bear in mind, this book is not a cookbook or a food storage how-to.  Instead, Carol presents a practical discussion of how you might go about making a plan suitable for your own life situation, and then how you might go about carrying out such a plan.  Though Carol describes how she gardens/farms in the Pacific Northwest, her teachings are amenable to any area of the world.

Concepts covered include what hard times might be like, the basics of gardening, 5 basic crops you should grow and how to do it, planting multiple varieties of a given crop in order to withstand unexpected loss of one or more plantings, the importance of growing what actually will grow where  you live, finding the land you need, breeding crop varieties that meet your specific needs, and integrating poultry into your gardening system.

Of interest is Carol’s discussion of how she came to the resilient gardener mindset and how she has developed specific plant varieties, through plant breeding, to meet specific cooking purposes, such as the best corn variety for making good tasting cornbread versus the best corn variety for making polenta.  Several recipes for potatoes, squash, corn and beans are also included.

323 pages of text; 16 pages of color photos

Disclosure: This is not a paid review.  I purchased this book myself, for my own use.

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