by Eliot Coleman, 304 pages, 8x10, softcover. As a teenager, I was always listening to Pearl Jam’s Ten, and as a new farmer I was always reading The New Organic Grower. My cassette eventually broke, and my book is now so stained with coffee and potting mix that it’s practically unreadable. It’s a great time to be alive, though, because Ten is easily streamable, and Coleman’s classic book has just been reissued in a fully revised and updated 30th anniversary edition. A trailblazer and wise elder of the organic farming movement, Coleman famously turned some once depleted fields on the coast of Maine into vibrant productive farmland. Distilling his decades of experience and boundless enthusiasm for farming and innovating, this book covers the whole life cycle of a farm; from searching for land; to seed selection; crop planning; seedling production; weed, pest, fertility and labor management; even harvesting and marketing. And this is no mere reprint: he never stops experimenting, and his advice has been updated with details on new tools (including blueprints!) and techniques. Among the new additions are a chapter on ley farming and a section on growing flowers, as well as detailed color photos throughout the book. Coleman’s clear prose is a joy to read, whether you’re in the garden or on the porch. -Clayton Carter
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