crops on farm

Looking for the best books on traditional gardening? The advancement of humanity itself can be linked to the simple act of gardening. It was by learning how to grow our food, instead of scavenging, that early humans were able to obtain more calories for less effort. This allowed them to shift their focus onto things like art and innovation. But how many of these ancient agricultural practices do we still use today, and do they really work? Here are three books that explore traditional gardening and agriculture techniques around the world.

Best Books on Traditional Gardening & Agriculture Techniques

  1. Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California’s Natural Resources. by M. Kat Anderson (Author)

This book discredits the notion that North America was an untamed wilderness before the arrival of European colonizers. Presenting instead the facts that indigenous people, like the Sierra Miwok and Valley Yokuts, cared for their land, by methods like harvesting, tilling, sowing, pruning, and burning. It explores the relationship native people have with their land, through interviews and correspondence, reflecting on the history passed down through their families.

  1. Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning

Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation. Foreword by Deborah Madison, Eliot Coleman.

How was food preserved before the invention of refrigeration, or canning? Translated into English, and with a new foreword by Deborah Madison, this book celebrates traditional but little-known French techniques for storing and preserving food in ways that maximize flavor and nutrition.

  1. Farmers of Forty Centuries: Organic Farming in China, Korea, and Japan Paperback – Illustrated, March 19, 2004. By F.H. King.

Available to read online at Project Gutenberg, this book is a compelling study of waste-free methods of cultivation. King provides glimpses of ancient farming methods that are still used after centuries in Japan, China, Manchuria, and Korea. The book studies topics like the utilization of waste: methods of irrigation, reforestation, and land reclamation; and the cultivation of rice, silk, and tea. We hope you enjoyed our recommendations for the best books on traditional gardening!

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