macmex

The Resilient Gardener by Carol Deppe

Macmex
10 years ago

Hey Folks,

I've been meaning to post something on this great new book I received recently. The full title is *The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times. It's by Carol Deppe, an innovative plant breeder and very good author from the West Coast. Carol also wrote *Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener's & Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding & Seed Saving*, which has been my favorite book on seed saving for years.

The reason I've held off posting is that I'm not totally through with the book. Plus, I have wanted to write a brilliant, glowing commentary on the book when I did. But I'm having trouble summing up the book. Actually, the title does that about as well as anyone could. But I'll give you a couple reasons why I'm so excited about this book:

1) This book pretty well nails what has been my wife's and my passion in almost everything we do related to self-sufficiency. That is, it addresses something larger and broader than just growing things. It addresses *production for consumption, survival and happiness.*

2) Carol writes uniquely. One does not learn what she has to teach without learning about her own journey. I find this very helpful, as the context helps explain the content. I also find Carol, in her books, to be a delightful person.

3) This book addresses other areas of production, which, in my mind are closely related to gardening, though often not considered so. For example she writes on poultry and other forms of meat production. To me, this is just a logical step from gardening and very important.

4) Carol is a "duck-aholic" and so am I. Okay, so she isn't into Muscovies, like I am. But her Anconas sound like excellent birds. I cannot understand why so few Americans like duck and even fewer like their eggs. Yet, ducks are probably the most practical of all poultry, with the potential of being raised where chickens can not.

5) Carol writes about growing and raising things because they make one feel good. I grow certain crops which I call "feel good crops." That's because, they are dependable and productive and, for one reason or another, when I grow them and am around them, I am happy. Carol expresses this very well.

6) Carol has celiac disease. Because of her wheat intolerance everything she produces is slanted toward a wheat free diet. My wife and I love wheat. But we greatly appreciate Carol's perspective. She has focused on corn, which for the home grower much easier to process. Being a plant breeder, Carol has actually developed some varieties of corn, special for the homesteader type. Also, we know a number of families with celiacs in them. We couldn't resist, we had to send them copies. We can't send out more now. But this book is very high on our list as a "must have," for several reasons.

Do look at the link below. There you can download the table of contents and first chapter of the book for free. You'll probably have to order it after reading that ;)

George

Tahlequah, OK

Here is a link that might be useful: Carol Deppe dot com

Comments (65)

  • Dan _Staley (5b Sunset 2B AHS 7)
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    George reminds me of something I forgot completely, regarding a hearing I attended about permitting chickens in the city. Someone spoke that said pretty much just what George said about ducks, and ducks not only should be permitted but are superior to chickens and if people raised ducks instead there would be no fuss over the issue of urban 'poultry'. .

    Dan

  • denninmi
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I just downloaded and read the first chapter. While it looks like a really interesting book, I'm not sure personally I would find a lot of useful information in it that I haven't already gleaned from trial and error and the school of hard knocks. It might be worth a purchase just for a "preaching to the choir" kind of feel-good read for me.

    I love the idea of self-sufficiency, and I really do try to practice it as much as possible. I'm not really sure what comments I could make that I haven't made before in many threads, so I'll just share some pictures:

    Beehives "sleeping" the winter away:
    {{gwi:8740}}

    Late spring view of part of my garden (taken in 2009). This area was brassica crops, potatoes, but it's hard to tell from the photo since they're small.

    {{gwi:8741}}

    Some spring onions and lettuce in barrels along side of greenhouse:
    {{gwi:8742}}

    Peas, favas, and onions (again from 2009):

    {{gwi:8743}}

  • jimster
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I know of several residential areas which have a stream or pond inhabited by ducks. The ducks in those places are considered an asset to the community because they are entertaining to watch and lend charm to the landscape. Feeding the ducks is a fun activity.

    I am enjoying watching the water fowl this winter -- ducks, geese, swans and cormorants. How they swim and dive in that frigid water for hours at a time is hard to believe. Their feathers provide amazing Waterpfoofing, insulation and buoyancy.

    Jim

  • Macmex
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Jim, you're right about how it doesn't make sense how people complain about poultry noise. When we lived in Mexico I could hear (easily) 300 roosters at almost any time. Everyone, including me, thought that was a beautiful sound. I suspect it's our media (like cartoons, etc.) which has conditioned people to hate that sound.

    Denninmi, I'd be surprised if you didn't learn something. I've been on this path for about 40 years and I learned some things. Carol, being a plant breeder, gets into quite a bit of genetics, especially in corn. Still, it is a good "preaching-to-the-choir" book ;)

    George

  • instar8
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Gorgeous pics!!! You're my new hero! Do you do drip under that plastic? Or just put holes in it?

    Are the yellow/white hive bodies to help the bees find their way home?

    I loved my ducks, and i liked their eggs fried, but the hard-boiled ones had, i don't know, this weird texture and kinda fishy taste that i just couldn't get over. But boy, they DID lay alot of eggs!! They were definitely hardy, i never found a randomly dead duck like i do chickens. Either something got them (usually owls)or the males drowned the females in the mating process....

    I could butcher if i HAD to...but i live out in Amish country, i can get my birds processed for a couple bucks each, really it's cheaper than investing in all the stuff i'd need to do it right anyway (i tell myself).

    I love my roosters crowing, and i'm looking forward to getting my first peacocks this spring, that'll teach those rich SOBs who built their McMansion right up against my property line! I would love a couple runner ducks, though...they look kinda skinny, are they good eats?

    lynn

  • jimster
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    "The only way to maintain a breed is to cull. "

    The same goes for seed saving. Carol Deppe makes the point that all seed saving is plant breeding.

    Jim

  • denninmi
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Lynn/Instar8 -- to answer your questions. I used to use T-tape drip irrigation, but I quit a few years ago because I had a tremendous problem with voles chewing into the lines to get water. The black line you see snaking down the plastic goes to overhead sprinklers -- that is the thicker flexible PVC pipe, and nothing has chewed it, although I can't say it resists puncture from garden tools or lawnmowers too well, as I've come to find out. B

    Before I unroll the plastic, I take my power drill with a 1/4 inch bit, and drill holes through the roll all the way to the core, spacing about 3 inches in either direction. This results in a nice, uniform series of holes in the plastic large enough to let rain through, but small enough that virtually no weeds pop through them.

    The yellow and white look on the hive bodies is because I slacked off and only got part of them repainted last spring before I needed to use them. Oh well, better luck this upcoming spring. I got some exterior yellow latex on the $5 paint table at Lowe's and thought it would be a nice change of pace from white. I have enough left to finish the job someday.

  • Macmex
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Lynn,

    Runner ducks are surprisingly good eating. I understand that sailing ships, stopping in Indonesia or Malaysia used to load up on them (smoked) for eating on their journey. A good egg laying strain will REALLY produce. But the last ones I had apparently were not a very good strain. Finally, after producing a good many 2 1/2 lb carcasses, I decided "Phooey on this! I'm going back to Muscovies!" It's about the same amount of work to prepare a 10 lb bird as a 2 1/2 .lb

    The only equipment I need for butchering birds is a bucket with scalding water, a machete or hatchet, a couple of knives (though I could do everything with just one knife), and a bowl.

    George

  • denninmi
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Well, I can't eat mine. I turn everything into a pet. I guess it's the Ellie Mae Clampett syndrome or something. Too bad I don't have the multi-millionaire father to go with it.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not against it, I just personally can't bring myself to "do the deed". Cooked a turkey yesterday, as a matter of fact. But, it came from the store.

    Some of my Coturnix:

    {{gwi:8744}}

    My ducks:

    {{gwi:8745}}

    My turkeys:

    {{gwi:8746}}

    If I had space, I'd get an Emu!

  • psittacine
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Glad to see I'm not the only one with trouble eating the critters in my care. My hubby has wanted to get chicken or ducks for eggs, but hasn't figured out where to retire them when they outlive their productivity, since I told him I would not eat them. No problem with store-bought, just a personal internal thing with the gag reflexes, for those that have made me smile.

  • pnbrown
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I suppose ducks could be used as 'tractors', same as chickens? And also, is it so that ducks are superior to allow loose amongst garden plants to eat bugs?

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    George, I always enjoy an enthusiastic recommendation. I bought the book last night and it's on it's way. I was surprised that my library system didn't have it. I've always been interested in sustainability and would like to try to move toward that direction more.

    LOVE your photos Dennimi. I would also never be able to eat an animal I raised. Definitely couldn't harm a hair on their head. I would be in big trouble I suppose if I had to live off the land. [g] I'm also not against it. Do you take care of all your gardening and livestock yourself?

  • Macmex
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Pat, I've seen recommendations for using them in gardens. But my personal experience is that they don't belong in the garden. Remember I mentioned that they are "exuberant?" Well, that description first occurred to me when I let six runner ducks loose in my summer time garden. They homed in on my cucumbers and cantaloup and EXUBERANTLY began picking the immature fruit and nibbling them to peices! Later that year, when it was early winter, I let them back into the garden. "What could they hurt?" I thought. Well, when I went back to check on them they were pulling up Eygptian onions and swallowing them like a cartoon character slurps spaghetti!

    I did build a duck pen into one corner of the garden. Later I rotated its location, letting the ducks enrich the spot.

    I just dug into the section of this book on potatoes. "No way!" I thought! It is rich on info on the different kinds (not varieties but kinds, such as for baking, mashing or boiling, etc.) Plus Carol goes into great depth on how to save your own potatoes for growing from year to year. There is more to it that I would have thought.

    George

  • teauteau
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I've never had duck eggs and I would like to try them. I also want to get ducks on my farm eventually. I don't have a house built yet so the critters would probably get my ducks if I didn't have a couple big dogs to protect them and I can't have a couple big dogs if I'm not there to take care of them because of no house. Oh well. Hey, I love goose eggs. A co-worker used to bring me 1/2 dozen goose eggs every two weeks or so. They were HUGE! And they were rich. I'm a big eater but I made an omelette out of two goose eggs and I could barely finish it. After that, one goose egg was plenty for breakfast and the yolks were orange and very, very good!

  • Donna
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    macmex, this is a fascinating thread (down all its seams). FYI, I ordered both books from Amazon today. Am looking forward to reading them, especially on seed saving. D.B.

  • Macmex
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    When I read a book like this one, first I check out the acknowledgements, intro and table of contents. Then I jump around in the book to different parts that especially catch my attention. Finally, I settle down and read it cover to cover. I'm about two thirds through this last step now.

    Most recently I discovered that Carol Deppe explains how to actually let ducks help in the garden without destroying it. Also, in this book she goes into detail with instructions on producing and cooking the best flavored duck eggs. Cooking them for optimal flavor and texture requires a slightly different technique than that used for chicken eggs.

    The other day, I learned quite a bit about making the best use of the distinct flavors & textures of different colored potatoes.

    George

  • oregonwoodsmoke
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    [[[[....I find myself "apologizing" to the victims....]]]

    You might possibly find that it makes a difference if you thank the animal instead of apologizing.

    Apologizing involves guilt, but a thank you is an appreciation and cherishing of the animal.

    Ducks are excellent bug control, but they will eat small plants. So maybe not so good for the veggie garden.

    Duck eggs have a very good and high priced market because people who are allergic to "eggs" are most often allergic to chicken eggs and can eat duck eggs. There is also a strong market for oriental cooking. So if you are looking for self-sufficiency, duck eggs have good cash generating or barter value.

  • aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    George now you've done it, I was going to paint walls but they can be done anytime right :). I'm putting an order in today for both of these books. They'll come at a time when I can't do much in the garden so it looks like I'll be spending some very enjoyable evenings sitting by the fire reading, looking at the all the rain we're getting now there'll be a few afternoons too. Maybe I can get some painting done before the books come, maybe not I need someone to give me a jump start.

    Annette

  • denninmi
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Many people who are allergic to chicken eggs can eat Coturnix quail eggs safely. It takes about 4 to 5 of those to equal one large chicken egg in volume, so it is more cracking to get a serving of scrambled eggs.

  • gardendawgie
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Carol is a great writer. Wonderful reading her words. I really loved her book on breeding veggies. One of my best ever books for reading. Here is what I found on the web about the book. Hope this helps. This is most likely written by the publisher.

    Scientist/gardener Carol Deppe combines her passion for gardening with newly emerging scientific information from many fields - resilience science, climatology, climate change, ecology, anthropology, paleontology, sustainable agriculture, nutrition, health, and medicine. In "The Resilient Gardener," Deppe extends these principles with detailed information about growing and using five keystone crops that are especially important for anyone seeking greater self-reliance: potatoes, corn, beans, squash, and eggs.In this book you'll learn how to: Garden in an era of climate change and unpredictable weatherGrow, store, and use more of your own staple cropsGarden efficiently and comfortably (even if you have a bad back)Save your own seed potatoes, or find sources who sell certified seedGrow, store, and cook different varieties of potatoesGrow corn to make your own fast-cooking polenta, cornbread, parching corn, corn cakes, and even savory corn gravyMake whole-grain corn-based breads and cakes using the author's original gluten-free recipes involving no other grains, artificial binders, or dairy productsGrow and use popbeans and other grain legumesGrow, store, and use summer, winter, and drying squashKeep a home laying flock of ducks or chickens, while integrating them with your gardening activities and growing most of their feed, /li>"The Resilient Gardener" is both a conceptual and a hands-on gardening book, and is suitable for gardeners at all levels of experience. "Resilience" here is broadly conceived, and encompasses a full range of problems, from personal hard times such as injuries, family crises, financial problems, health problems, and special dietary needs (gluten intolerance, food allergies, carbohydrate sensitivity, and a need for weight control) to serious regional and global disasters and climate change. In the end, though, this is a supremely optimistic as well as realistic book about how resilient gardeners (and their gardens) can flourish even in challenging times and help their communities to survive and thrive through everything that comes their way - whether it's tomorrow or in the next thousand years.

  • alabamanicole
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    This book is already on my wish list, but I am glad to hear the good reviews.

    I have a question for those of you keeping ducks -- is it feasible without pond or stream? I had crossed ducks off the list since I don't have year-round water anywhere. I despise duck meat but I prefer their eggs compared to chickens, and I think a big bodied duck would be too much of a challenge for the occasional hawk I get when there are squirrels and rabbits everywhere. Plus, I think 2 or 3 ducks would be more palatable to my suburban neighbors than chickens. I'm allowed to keep anything I want... but you can't put a price on good relations with the neighbors.

  • neohippie
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks for this post. Now I want this book even more! I already have "Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties" and have read what articles she's put up on her website, and it's all good.

    I rent my house, and I doubt my landlord would allow poultry. We had enough trouble getting him to allow our pet cats (would I need to pay a pet deposit for each chicken?). Also, I did ask if I could plant a veggie garden in the backyard, and he said it was fine, but I do wonder if he was thinking the "couple of tomato plants" type of veggie garden, or what I ended up doing, which was digging up every bit of the yard that wasn't too shady! (Which turned out to be about a thousand square feet of growing space.)

    But considering that I'm pretty poor right now, (darn that recession!), letting that space be wasted on "lawn" just doesn't seem right. It seems almost foolish and wasteful to me to not try and grow as much of my own food as I can, especially during these tough economic times.

    I love Deppe's attitude about gardening for self-sufficiency and resilience. It's all "doing the best with what you have", rather than expecting you to have ideal conditions. Ok, so yeah I wish I owned a few acres of land so I could have a flock of poultry and a cornfield and an orchard, but what can I do with what I have RIGHT NOW? It's starting to look like it might be a lot.

    She's reeaaally making me reconsider my decision to not bother with corn. :-/

  • Macmex
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    "I have a question for those of you keeping ducks -- is it feasible without pond or stream?"

    Alabamanicole, to answer your question, yes. You can. I know folks who do it by setting out numbers of buckets. But even with our pond out back, I still set up a kiddie pool near the coop. The main thing is that they have to be able to submerge their heads, in order to clear their nostrils from dust, etc. I have a couple of large (like in 2 1/2' across) rubberized feed pans which I fill and use like waterers. It's funny to see a large Muscovy hop in the feed pan/waterer and take a bath. I believe that it is best to have something large enough for them to jump in and splash around in. But you can do this without a pond or stream.

    I do have two caveats on this. First, if you keep ducks together with chickens, be sure that you keep waters clean by frequent changing. Chickens can really suffer by not having clean water and ducks love to dirty it. Second, beware when introducing ducklings to the waterers or kiddie pool. Sometimes they manage to jump in, but are not able to get out. Then they drown. I always have a really shallow pan for them and place ramps in the other waterers, so if they do get in, they can walk out..

    Neohippie, I feel your pain. There is a lot you can do. Carol Deppe specifically addresses this issue in *The Resilient Gardener*. She herself is not a large land owner and has passed periods of time as an apartment dweller.

    Even if one could not garden or raise anything, there are ways to better cope and be prepared. My wife and I have been greatly blessed by another book as well: *Self-Reliance: Recession-Proof Your Pantry*. Carol Deppe deals with a number of the things these authors write about. But this other book is written more from the perspective of one purchasing what they need.

    "I think a big bodied duck would be too much of a challenge for the occasional hawk I get when there are squirrels and rabbits everywhere."

    Alabamanicole, you are probably right. We've had very little problem with hawks and Muscovies. Of course Muscovies are real survivors. They even have claws and know how to use them. But any larger breed would probably be more hawk resistant.

    George

    Here is a link that might be useful: Self-Reliance: Recession-Proof Your Pantry

  • pnbrown
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    When the alien life-forms come, and view us as a handy food source, and we could understand their enlightened thanksgivings to us for being their food, would that make being slaughtered more acceptable? Or would we still seek ways to avoid it?

    Neither thanks nor guilt on the part of the slaughterers make a bit of difference to the slaughtered. How they live before the slaughtering does make a difference to them, of course. But at the moment of destruction, that's all in the past.

  • jimster
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    "Carol Deppe specifically addresses this issue [limited space] in *The Resilient Gardener*. She herself is not a large land owner and has passed periods of time as an apartment dweller."

    She addressed this issue repeatedly in "Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties". I consider it one of the most interesting and important features of the book for home gardeners. For example, she wrote about strategies for dealing with isolation distances in seed saving and plant breeding when space is limited, as it is for many of us. Most other seed saving info just states "50 feet" or "half mile" and leaves it at that.

    Jim

  • Macmex
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Pat,
    I hope I haven't offended you. I respect what you're doing. Obviously, we come from very different perspectives on some basic questions concerning life & reality. Earlier I wrote: "But I know that I'm doing what is right. (I'm a Christian and find biblical support for this as well.)" I don't believe that it's to the benefit of those interested in this book to digress in this area. If you'd like to "converse" about it, we could do that via e-mail. I just believe that debating the concept of animal vs human life is too wide for this thread.

    George

    BTW: This book also deals with preparation & use of dried summer squash as a staple food item; something I had never before heard of.

  • aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    We hatched our 3 black east indian duck eggs under a banty hen. After they hatched we gave them a small dishpan for a pool, they loved it but it sure freaked their mom out when they jumped in. Then we hatched a pekin under the same hen, mom had a hard time covering it up at night when she started to grow :). We bought a kiddie's wading pool for her and the others, the only trouble was the pekin emptied it out after doing a couple of fast laps.
    We lost our ducks when a mink got into their pen one night, didn't have the heart to get any more.

    Annette

  • denninmi
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    George wrote: "BTW: This book also deals with preparation & use of dried summer squash as a staple food item; something I had never before heard of."

    Well, I don't know if I would consider it a staple by any means, but I've made dried summer squash and cucumber chips many times. Just slice (a little thick, like 1/3 inch, since they shrink so much), dehydrate. When dry, dust them with a flavoring like ranch dressing type herbs. Makes a nice crispy snack. Needs to be sealed REALLY tightly or they pick up moisture and go limp.

  • pnbrown
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    George, check your email at juno.

  • alabamanicole
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    George, thanks for the info. I wouldn't keep both chickens and ducks -- it would be either/or and then I'd *still* have too many eggs.

    I used to have semi-wild Muscovies at my old house... escapees, I assumed. They were tough, but not very bright. Not tough enough to win versus a speeding car, but tough enough to stare down my dog and make her back away very confused. :)

  • Macmex
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Denninmi, Carol Deppe dedicates a page or so to making chips from summer squash. But she spends more time on drying it for use in soups and other uses, which are more substantial then snack food. Turns out the Hidatsa and Mandan tribes, at least, actually used more of the green squash, in dried form, for cooking meals, than they did the mature squash. Carol did some study on this and then decided to duplicate some of their methods. It sounds very interesting. I'm sure that a new dehydrator is in the plans in our home, and I'll be planting a bit more summer squash this year.

    Carol spends quite a bit of time discussing the distinct flavors of different kinds of squash, when prepared this way. Some are great, and, apparently some varieties taste badly.

    Pat, thanks for the e-mail. I'll write tomorrow.

    George

  • gardengalrn
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I downloaded the book on my Kindle and love it. My purchase was based on the recommendations here. I am just getting started on what I consider "the good parts." While I found some of the early chapters a little "rambling," I really have gleaned some very good advice and perspective. Thanks for recommending it! Lori

  • firstmmo
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Just ordered the book through my library...though it might be one of those that I can't stand to give back. In which case, if I feel I need it, I will download it readily. Thank you so much George for sharing this. I appreciate all the good tips both in the garden, in the house, and general info that I have gleaned from this forum. Really look forward to reading the book then posting my thoughts too.

    BTW, we have chickens but no ducks. I have definitely thought about the ducks but am not sure our City allows them. We are urbanites so don't have much space. Afraid I might have to stay with the chickens and dream about ducks when our kids grow up and we move back up to the hills.

  • instar8
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    George dude! I got home with this book about 20 minutes ago...and i gotta leave in about 10...in the meantime, I gotta say i can't wait to read it through and through, just skipping around I'm finding a kindred soul and soothing wisdom....

  • aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    The book arrived in the mail today it only took a week from Amazon.ca, hmmmmmm, doesn't look like I'm going to get much painting done. I'm heading to the chapter on beans first :).

    Annette

  • jimster
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    "I'm heading to the chapter on beans first :)."

    A chapter on beans!?!?!?

    That does it! I must have this book!

    Jim

  • Donna
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Have completed reading Breed your Own Vegetable Varieties and am about a third of the way into The Resilient Gardener. These are GREAT books. I have learned so, so much, and I too love her writing style. She is a perfect combination of scholarship, common sense, and storyteller.

  • Macmex
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I'm glad that others are reading this (these) books and that I'm not alone in my opinion. I've been a seed saver most of my life yet, because it is Carol's "job" to research and experiment, she's taken things to such a depth that I find myself learning new things, even in areas I consider to be my strengths. Yet, her writing style is also designed to communicate effectively to someone who is brand new in gardening.

    George

  • shebear
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Amazon shipped my copy today. It should arrive on Tuesday. I know what I'll be doing next week.

  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Ah, now I've got to get that book, too!

    We have chickens, have had them for several years now. We only have eaten one - and that one because it was a very aggressive rooster that attacked me and really drew blood. It had to go because we were worried about it attacking a neighbor and we'd get sued. Even at that, it was hard to choke it down. DH wouldn't let me be out there when he killed the bird and I think it was so that I wouldn't see him cry. We love our girls. We had some ducks given to us once but something got them (quite probably the coyotes.) Darn. Those duck eggs made THE BEST chocolate cake ever!!

    Edie

  • Macmex
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Edie, it is hard for many. Our society doesn't tend to give us enough contact with the complete process of animal husbandry. But if one is going to raise chickens, eventually, practicality will call for killing one; that is, unless they are pets. If one has to kill, it is better not to waste. That's the how and why I learned to produce my own meat.

    This is a bit off topic, but for anyone who butchers an older bird: remember to cook it LOW and SLOW. Even the oldest bird can be tender and succulent if cooked right.

    I just finished reading this book straight through, which is the last thing I usually do when "reading" a book like this. The last chapter, on corn, is worth the price of the entire book. Actually, the recipes in this book are worth the price of the entire book. Carol Deppe has the most unique recipes, things like how to make a sandwich bread using only corn flour, or what corns make the best polenta and how to use polenta in place of rice or noodles, in various dishes.

    Carol discusses strategies for maintaining pure corn seed, even if there are other corn growers around you. And, she discusses how to know that your seed is not contaminated with GMO germplasm.

    She has the most in depth, yet practical discussion of corn genetics which I've seed, even telling how one can grow sister varieties in an environment with some cross pollination and yet still keep them practically pure.

    Carol has experimented widely with the flavors of corns and how they flavors are affected by the pigmentation of the different parts of the kernel. For instance, I never knew that different colors of corn make for distinct flavors of meal or flour.

    Finally (for me, at the moment, anyway) Carol discusses the production and consumption of true parched corn. I didn't realize that true parched corn is made from only flour corn. What I've learned, just about parched corn, will probably have a major impact on our lives, as I'm sure my wife and I will want to produce and consume the stuff. It is supposed to be delicious and usable as a staple food item.

    Now for me, the problem is, how am I going to raise any more corn?

    Happy reading/gardening

    George

    Here is a link that might be useful: Corn for Meal & Grits 2

  • firstmmo
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Loving this book...I was surprised to learn that she doesn't even compost yet uses what she has in a more natural way.

    I too highly recommend this and am so thankful for your recommendation. Also got Steve Solomon's book and am going to start that soon.

  • MrClint
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I'm at the half way point right now, reading straight through. Any issues I have with the book would be nit-picky. Much of the information is common sense, local to her area and highly subjective. I'm fine with the minor negatives because she explains her thought processes very well, and it's not that big of a jump to consider how your needs and locale might be different.

    For me, fresh fruits & leafy vegetables are sixth and seventh important food elements to go along with potatoes, corn, eggs, squash and beans. Life would be pretty tough without them. She gives fruits and veggies very limited coverage.

    She does do a very good job of laying the ground work (pun intended) for defining "resilience" from just about every angle. That said, some of the exercise and diet coverage did get a little off-track and tedious -- but some of it was also interesting and on topic. I found it curious that the only mention of dietary supplements were cod liver oil and vitamin B-12. The obligatory, "Talk to your Doctor before you try this..." warning was noticeably missing as well.

    It's still a good read that is thought provoking. I think most of us would likely find some gaps in the information, as I have. Still, I recommend it for its general information and readability, but not necessarily as a step by step guide book.

  • Ispahan Zone6a Chicago
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I have now read "The Resilient Gardener" two times straight through (as well as individual sections multiple times) and I really, really love it. Along with her earlier work "Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties", this new book is thoughtful, intelligent, well-written and truly unique in perspective. The chapters on squash, corn, potatoes and beans would each alone justify the price of the book for me. I have never seen this information published anywhere else.

    I wanted to let all of you know that I have also found another interesting book that deals with many of the same topics in "The Resilient Gardener." It is called "Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times" by Steve Solomon. It is a somewhat shorter book than Deppe's, and Solomon's writing style is quite enjoyable and readable but very different from Deppe's. I have only made it about a third of the way through the book, but can heartily recommend it so far. Much like Deppe, Solomon speaks from years and years of experience with food-raising, appropriate self-sufficiency (to use one of Deppe's terms) and experimentation. I get the feeling that Solomon's book must have been a major influence on Deppe as she wrote "The Resilient Gardener." The two books seem to complement each other beautifully.

  • instar8
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I have already gathered a ton (a least)of solid, usuable and "springboard" type info from this book, it reminds me of why i still like to come here, nothing beats learning from SOMEONE ELSE'S experiences, before you start out on your own hopefully streamlined trials and failures!

    So far I am very excited about drying squash, especially summer squash, I love squash in soups, but just ain't crazy about frozen summer squash. I've already found her recommended varieties...

    Really want to try some parching corn, too...got some work ahead to figure out how to isolate it here in N.IN! Way excited about trying that squash/punkin crustless pie recipe!

    Deppe talks about being intolerant of carbohydrates, and that is also an issue for me, with type II diabetes. It's sad that our manufactured food supply has screwed up so many folk's metabolisms so that even good natural, fiber and phytochemical-rich natural foods like corn and beans become an issue.

    I think the process of growing things like this yourself, even on a small scale, is nourishing on every level, so i love her wholistic approach, and the mindfulness it implies. The section on exercise and gardening also carry this wisdom, i discovered yoga a while back, and it helps more than most medical interventions when it come to gettin out there and working, but one still has to work smart no matter how big the garden emergency!

    More to come...

  • Macmex
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Carol Deppe just released her first seed catalog. Having signed up for news letters at her web site, I received it by e-mail. She's listing some "plant breeding materials," for those who might be interested. Plus, she's selling what appear to be some fantastic corn varieties and a northern adapted cowpea. Her web site is linked at the very beginning of this thread.

    George

  • Macmex
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Well, back in April I took the plunge to try growing potatoes from seed. Carol Deppe mentions this in her chapter on potatoes. Also, interestingly enough, a good many of her favorites were bred by Tom Wagner of Tatermater seeds. I've been astounded at the breeding that Tom has done with potatoes and, that I can purchase seeds from his breeding. This could merit another thread, so I won't go into it too much here and now.

    But for long term resiliency I can't think of a better resource than learning how to grow potatoes from seed.

    George

    Here is a link that might be useful: Tom Wagner's True Potato Seed

  • pnbrown
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Apparently sweet potatoes can also be bred from seed, an even more lengthy process than TPS cultivation.

  • Ispahan Zone6a Chicago
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    How fascinating to be able to grow potatoes from true seed. I hope you keep us updated on your progress.

    It is amazing how much this book has influenced all of us in some way. I don't have the space or land that some of you do, but Carol Deppe has definitely made me rethink the way I garden and think about food production in general.

    I found seeds for 'Withner's White Cornfield' beans and 'Russian Hunger Gap' kale for my garden this year. So far, the beans have had vigorous cold soil germination (especially considering they are a white-seeded variety) and the young plants do not seem phased by growing in a spot that receives 2-3 of direct sun per day.

  • Macmex
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Well, last year my attempts to grow potatoes from true seed flopped. There were several reasons. But the main one was the extreme heat and drought of the summer. I'm doing better, so far, this year, and have about forty little potato plants, almost ready to set out in the garden.

    George