by Eric Toensmeier
Imagine growing vegetables that require as much care and attention as shrubs!
There are more than 100 species of little-known plants in this great book including many offered by the Edible Plant Project like Chaya, Cranberry hibiscus, the Moringa tree, Malabar spinach and many many more.
by Hank Bruce
This book contains profiles of lots of REALLY obscure food-producing plants.
Lots of fun reading.
Some of the plants covered are readily available; others may require a trip overseas to get!
Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties
by Carol Deppe
An outstanding, inspiring book that shows us how much power we have as home gardeners and seed-savers to select and improve the plants we grow, be they vegetables, fruit trees, or any other plant. She shows how to do everything from very consciously directed breeding programs, to simply being aware of how your growing conditions will adapt your variety over time to your conditions.
Example: Deppe was doing a pea-breeding project over several years. In her area of Oregon, slugs tend to eat the tender growing tips of newly sprouted pea plants. Some of the plants in her breeding population made lots of branching low to the ground, while others focused their energy into growing straight upwards for a while before branching. Slugs don’t climb very high, so the low-branching ones were eaten by slugs, while the high-branching types tended to have very little slug damage. So over several generations, only the high-branching, slug-resistant types were still left in the breeding population. Most plant breeders would have just put out slug bait, but because Deppe gardens organically, she automatically succeeded in breeding slug-resistant peas without even having to think about how to achieve that goal.
by J. Russell Smith
A classic book, first published in the 20’s, and then in a revised edition in the 1950’s. Long out of print, but you can sometimes find a copy in a library. This book has inspired generations to work on developing fruit and nut trees. Smith makes a well-reasoned, factual case that plow-based agriculture is the destructor of soils through erosion, and that tree crops are the way out.
It covers the possibilities for pecan, hickory, black walnut, persimmon, honey locust, mesquite, sweet acorn oaks, pawpaw, and many more, all in a delightfully engaging style. Makes you shake your head in wonder that so little has been done with this man’s ideas in the more than a half-century since this book’s publication.