April 16, 2011

A Book Win

Click for a closer look.
I won a book!

I was poking around the internet, following links of interesting blog titles, and ended up at Trashing My Reputation. Wendy is a certified Master Recycler & Composter through the Master Recycling Program in Portland, OR. On her blog, she shares the whats, whys, hows and more on reducing, reusing and recycling. The first time I visited, she was posting about a book giveaway (what better way to recycle, right?!?!? :)

The book is entitled Healthy Soils for Sustainable Gardens It is a Brooklyn Botanic Garden All-Region Guide, edited by Niall Dunne. Each chapter is written by a different author, and chapter titles include: The Physical Properties of Soil, Ecology of the Soil, Soil Fertility and the Essential Nutrients, Conditioning Your Soil, Compost, Fertilizing, and The Magic of Mulch. Soil Care Strategies include gardening in challenging conditions and soil care tips for specific plants.

My introduction to soil science was through the extremely detailed first volume of Edible Forest Gardens by Dave Jacke. I'd call Healthy Soils, the nutshell version of soil science.

I confess that our soil here, on our property, has puzzled me. The southeastern US is known for its red clay soils, yet as we've tilled and done garden preparations, we've found that the top 8 to 10 inches or so is browner and sandier. I can already see how the texture test and texture triangle on pages 35 and 36 is going to help. And while I understand the basics of soil fertility, I'm already gleaning tidbits from this book.

I was pleased to win and want to give Wendy a big thank you for having the giveaway. This book is a welcome addition to my homestead library.


Tami said...

Hmmm...sandy you say? Sure you're not at the beach? (grin) What I want to see is worms. Big fat juicy worms. I expect your's are like mine. Long, skinny anorexic looking things.

Congrats on the new "kid" BTW.

~ McKenzie Elizabeth~ said...

Congratulations on winning the book.
Looks like a great read!

Mr. H. said...

Congratulations, it sounds like a good one...I'll have to check it out.:)

Michelle said...

Nice Win! There is a Master Recycler program? That is great, I'm going to have to go read about that.

Angie said...

Very nice win! Soil is still mysterious to me--I hope to improve my knowledge--and gardens--someday soon.

Sherri B. said...

Congratulations, what a nice win! That book looks like one we could use as well with our clay soil and whatever else?!..Have a great weekend.

Blue bird said...

Hello to the lucky winner:
Soil is everything if you want to grow plants!
It is known to me that the East Coast of the USA mostly has acidy soils, what makes you do things according to that!
Best of luck to be able to work smoothly together with Nature!
Love: Julia/bb :)

Mama Pea said...

Each of us in our own unique gardening/growing locations has to learn about the weather and the soil. Wouldn't ya think that would be simple? Not so, not so. Happily, there are lots of good books out there to steer us in the right direction! Looks like you won a good read.

bspinner said...

Congrats!!! If anyone deserves to win this book its you. Sounds like a good read.

trashmaster46 said...

Leigh - I'm glad the book went to a good home!

Michelle - The only Master Recycler program I'm aware of in New York is offered through Westchester County. If that's not where you live, check with your city or county to see if they've started up a program recently.

I posted links to all the Master Recycler programs I know of in the US and CAN here: http://trashingmyreputation.blogspot.com/2011/01/master-recycler-programs-in-us-and-can.html

Kaat said...

I'm ordering it from the library as we speak.
Generalizations about one's geology (and climate, for that matter) only go so far. Have you checked out the the surficial earth materials and bedrock lithological maps of your region at the USGS? The colors on those maps!

Leigh said...

Tami, I know, isn't that odd? But there's plenty of clay underneath! Happily, I'm finally starting to see worms in our garden soil, including a couple of nice plump ones!

McKenzie Elizabeth and Mike, thanks!

Michelle, see Wendy's comment below. I hope you can find something in your area.

Angie, it's a fascinating subject,really. So much to learn.

Sherri, thanks!

Julia, that is very true. pH is always something that needs working on. :)

Mama Pea, that is so true. And it's what makes blogging so interesting. :)

Barb, thanks!

Wendy, yes, I appreciate it very much. In fact, we're making changes on our gardening techniques based on what we're learning about soil.

Kaat, I've only taken a few peeks at such charts. I think as I study and begin to understand our soil better, those charts will come in very handy. Thanks for reminding me about them!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! About the puzzling soil, is it possible that a previous owner tried to improve the soil by adding sand and organic material to build humus? Because thats what I would try and also, what I guess will happen in the herb garden in the H├╝gelkultur beds. Waltraud

Anonymous said...

PS: I forgot to say that I am far from being an expert which would explain doing it all wrong and resulting in puzzling soils. I'd also like to add that I enjoy reading your homestead blog very much! Waltraud

Leigh said...

Waltraud, it's interesting you should say that because I've wondered the same thing. It's obvious that at one time, someone who lived here loved gardening and landscaping. We're still finding things that have been overgrown and neglected for years. There is evidence of railroad tie beds around the place, and it definitely seems as though they added better soil to them at one time. On the down side, the area all around the house was once mulched with black plastic, which has long since deteriorated terribly! Still, we've got a jump start on the soil, thanks to an owner from year's past.

Thanks for commenting! I'm happy my blog is interesting to you, and enjoy getting to know readers.