‘Sustainable Vegetable Gardening,’ a highly-recommended winter read for those who want to raise environmentally-friendly food – Berkshire Eagle

“Sustainable Food Gardens,” Robert Kourik’s new book, is a must-have for those who want to raise their own food in an environmentally-friendly manner. “Myths & Solutions,” its subtitle, is something Robert devotes plenty of text to exposing the former and proposing the latter.

“Sustainable Food Gardens: Myths and Solutions.”

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“Sustainable Food Gardens,” Robert Kourik’s new book, is a must-have for those who want to raise their own food in an environmentally-friendly manner. “Myths & Solutions,” its subtitle, is something Robert devotes plenty of text to exposing the former and proposing the latter.



“Sustainable Food Gardens: Myths and Solutions.”




I should at this point share the fact that I have been an admirer of Robert Kourik’s work for many years, and that I wrote the foreword to this book. I do not benefit financially from its sales, though I do intend to put it to work in my garden.

As the spouse of a scientist and someone trained to seek out evidence-based solutions, I am often frustrated by the gardening media, where opinions readily pass themselves off as facts and tradition commonly trumps science. Robert’s writings are refreshingly different in this regard. He’s a dogged researcher and an avid reader of horticultural journals and reports. He’s not afraid to contradict popular opinion, although he’s more interested in getting to the root of the issue (a special knowledge of plant roots, incidentally, and how their habits affect plant growth and maintenance is one of Robert’s accomplishments and the subject of a chapter in this book).

Robert has had his hands in the soil for a long time. He started one of the first organic landscape-maintenance companies in this country back in 1974 and he is still experimenting with new techniques and testing new methods. He was a personal friend, for example, of Bill Mollison, half of the Australian duo that founded the permaculture movement, and Robert shares insights that he learned from this sustainable gardening pioneer. Robert’s not slow, however, to depart from permaculture dogma when he finds it contradicting peer-reviewed horticultural studies or his own experience. Indeed, Robert devotes 25 pages to a largely positive critique of permaculture, suggesting, however, ways in which its teachings may be adjusted to better reflect the realities of American suburban gardening.

Robert doesn’t hesitate to call out his own mistakes as well. He devotes a full page of this book to decrying a list of “dynamic accumulators” he published in 1986. Dynamic accumulators are plants that will, through the action of their roots, bring into solution and concentrate in their tissues minerals from the soil, making them available ultimately to their less enterprising neighbors in the garden. Robert has since come to question the reliability of his sources for the original list, and though he still maintains the value of the concept, he includes lists in this present book based on more reliable research such as the meticulous work of the late James Duke, PhD, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Sustainable Food Gardens is a remarkably comprehensive guide that will benefit …….

Source: https://www.berkshireeagle.com/arts_and_culture/home-garden/thomas-christopher-sustainable-food-gardens-robert-kourik/article_b32228b4-4696-11ec-aa7c-67830c382236.html

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