Friday, March 2, 2012

Winter Gardening back in print, just in time for spring planting

Binda just gave me a cabbage as beautiful as this.

 My friend Binda Colebrook and I spent a couple of months this summer researching and editing the revisions to her classic book, Winter Gardening in the Maritime Northwest. In the 1970s when I returned to Western Washington following my collegiate sojourn in California, this is the book that taught me how to retool my gardening for Pacific Northwest realities. When I moved to Whatcom County in 1980, she was one of the first people I met. I edited the 2nd edition of Winter Gardening and it has been a treat to revisit our collaboration nearly 30 years later. Over that timespan seed companies have come and gone, genetically modified plants have become a battleground, and organic agriculture has gone mainstream, as have the kales and endives and leeks that were exotic to many readers when Binda first began to explain them.

This is the 5th edition of Winter Gardening. It covers--among other things--winter hardy varieties and their freeze-out temperatures, cold frames and other do-it-yourself weather protection, making the most of your specific site and soil, an invaluable introduction to integrated pest management, crop-rotation for smaller spaces, a well-annotated resource list for quality seed companies and organic farming activism, and poetry. One of Binda's gifts, honed through decades of work and thought, is to combine the specificity and the spirituality of life in the garden in a way that does justice to both.

Winter Gardening will be available in April. You can pre-order it now from the publisher, New Society, or through your favorite online bookseller. It's none too soon to start planning and planting for fresh produce next January.

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