My housemate, Sharne, picked up this book for the 'ladies of the house' in a free box yesterday. I love it!
The cover boasts that it will teach you:
"How to negotiate a land purchase, dig a well, grow vegetables organically, build a fence and a shed, deliver a goat, skin a lamb, spin yarn and raise a flock of good egg-laying hens, all at the least possible expense and with minimum reliance on outside and professional help."
It's peppered with helpful charts, really cool, descriptive illustrations and poems written in calligraphy. Every 5-10 pages is a box with a journal entry about the season, farm, lesson learned. Many are very vulnerable entries about the author's engagement of women's issues and the accompanying anger, heartache, struggle toward growth, relationship problems, etc. I believe the writers may be what people I grew up with referred to as "Women's Libbers." Published in 1976, the hair and clothing styles, depicted in black and white photography, are modeled by strong women doing farm tasks like building fences and shearing sheep. There is a blonde afro in there.
Today I learned that I've been watering too little, too frequently -- that vegetables like good soakings, less often. And that I should have transplanted the radishes and lettuce with more of their root system and soil attached than I did, then watered them more gently afterwards. I'm such a rookie!
While googling the book I learned that one of the authors, Tetrault, died of melanoma. Sad! Wear your sunscreen while working outside, my friends!!
For the gardeners and country women among us: What have you learned this year that you'd like to share with us?