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First, you should know why a maritime Northwest raised-bed gardener named Steve Solomon became worried about his dependence on irrigation. I'm from Michigan. I moved to Lorane, Oregon, in April 1978 and homesteaded on 5 acres in what I thought at the time was a cool, showery green valley of liquid sunshine and rainbows. I intended to put in a big garden and grow as much of my own food as possible. Two months later, in June, just as my garden... more...

MY OWN ACRE A lifelong habit of story-telling has much to do with the production of these pages. All the more does it move me because it has always included, as perhaps it does in most story-tellers, a keen preference for true stories, stories of actual occurrence. A flower-garden trying to be beautiful is a charming instance of something which a storyteller can otherwise only dream of. For such a garden is itself a story, one which actually... more...

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Formerly it was the custom for gardeners to invest their labors and achievements with a mystery and secrecy which might well have discouraged any amateur from trespassing upon such difficult ground. "Trade secrets" in either flower or vegetable growing were acquired by the apprentice only through practice and observation, and in turn jealously guarded by him until passed on to some younger brother in the profession. Every... more...

THE CULTURE OF VEGETABLES Horticulture has a full share in the progressive character of the age. Changes have been effected in the Kitchen Garden which are quite as remarkable as the altered methods of locomotion, lighting and sanitation. Vegetables are grown in greater variety, of higher quality, and are sent to table both earlier and later in the season than was considered possible by gardeners of former generations. When Parkinson directed... more...

CHAPTER I. HOW TO MAKE A LAWN. A smooth lawn is a great attraction of itself, even if there is not a tree or shrub upon it. When it is once made, a lawn is easily kept in order, yet we seldom see a good one. There are three things to be taken into consideration in securing a fine lawn. First, location; Second, quality of the soil; Third, the kinds of seed to be sown. LOCATION. This is the most important matter relating to a good lawn. In... more...


I THE WAYS OF THE WIND "Out of the veins of the world comes the blood of me;The heart that beats in my side is the heart of the sea;The hills have known me of old, and they do not forget;Long ago was I friends with the wind; I am friends with it yet."—Gerald Gould." Whenever a piece of the land is to be set apart for a garden, two mighty rulers must be consulted as to the boundaries. When this earth child is born and flower garnished for... more...

The Epistle to the generall andgentle Reader. Although (generall reader) the nature of this worst part of this last age hath conuerted all things to such vildnesse that whatsoeuer is truely good is now esteemed most vitious, learning being derided, fortitude drawne into so many definitions that it consisteth in meere words onely, and although nothing is happy or prosperous, but meere fashion & ostentation, a tedious fustian-tale at a great... more...

COMPOSITION My chief reason for confining these four talks to the outdoor sketch is because I have been an outdoor painter since I was sixteen years of age; have never in my whole life painted what is known as a studio picture evolved from memory or from my inner consciousness, or from any one of my outdoor sketches. My pictures are begun and finished often at one sitting, never more than three sittings; and a white umbrella and a three-legged... more...

A note to the internet reader: In the the print-on-paper edition, this chapter and the next one on vermicomposting are full of illustrations showing composting structures and accessories. These do not reproduce well on-line and are not included. Growing the majority of my family's food absorbs all of the energy I care to put into gardening. So my yard is neat but shaggy. Motivated by what I consider total rationality, my lawn is cut only when it... more...

PREFACE. The following pages apply only to those English writers on gardening who are deceased. That there have been portraits taken of some of those sixty-nine English writers, whose names first occur in the following pages, there can be no doubt; and those portraits may yet be with their surviving relatives or descendants. I am not so presumptuous as to apply to the following most slight memorials, some of which relate to very obscure... more...