The Tao of Vegetable Gardening explores the practical methods as well as the deeper essence of gardening. In her latest book, groundbreaking garden writer Carol Deppe (The Resilient Gardener, Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties) focuses on some of the most popular home garden vegetables—tomatoes, green beans, peas, and leafy greens—and through them illustrates the key principles and practices that gardeners need to know to successfully plant and grow just about any food crop.
Deppe’s work has long been inspired and informed by the philosophy and wisdom of Tao Te Ching, the 2,500-year-old work attributed to Chinese sage Lao Tzu and the most translated book in the world after the Bible. The Tao of Vegetable Gardening is organized into chapters that echo fundamental Taoist concepts: Balance, Flexibility, Honoring the Essential Nature (your own and that of your plants), Effortless Effort, Non-Doing, and even Non-Knowing. Yet the book also offers a wealth of specific and valuable garden advice on topics as diverse as:
• The Eat-All Greens Garden, a labor- and space-efficient way to provide all the greens a family can eat, freeze, and dry—all on a tiny piece of land suitable for small-scale and urban gardeners.
• The growing problem of late blight and the future of heirloom tomatoes—and what gardeners can do to avoid problems, and even create new resistant varieties.
• Establishing a Do-It-Yourself Seed Bank, including information on preparing seeds for long-term storage and how to “dehybridize” hybrids.
• Twenty-four good places to not plant a tree, and thirty-seven good reasons for not planting various vegetables.
Designed for gardeners of all levels, from beginners to experienced growers, The Tao of Vegetable Gardening provides a unique frame of reference: a window to the world of nature, in the garden and in ourselves.
"This thoughtful book is a guide for growing tomatoes, squash, and greens, but its most significant contribution is Deppe’s approach to gardening. She encourages the gardener to cultivate an intuitive relationship with plants and almost a sixth sense about when to actively work in the garden, and when to stand back and let the plants do the growing they need to do. She calls it the Tao of gardening, a form of 'non-doing' or 'doing that which gives maximum effect for the minimum effort,' so that unnecessary action has been eliminated. It is about balance: not watering too much, not fertilizing too much. She further enjoins the gardener to create a relationship with the garden, knowing what needs tending what needs to be left alone. The advice for raising tomatoes and greens will benefit the gardener, but the magic of the book is the way it teaches the gardener how to grow with the garden.”