No more harmful sprays in the garden!
Do you want to grow beautiful, delicious fruits and vegetables without poisoning your yard with chemicals? The Naturally Bug-Free Garden shows you how to bring your garden ecosystem into balance so that beneficial insects and larger animals do the work of pest control for you.
In addition to ecosystem balancing, the book includes hands-on pest-control techniques such as succession planting, choosing resistant plant varieties, and shielding plants with row covers. Paying attention to the nutritional needs of your vegetables can also deter pests, and the remaining insects are simple to hand-pick.
Hess’s newest book sums up seven years of experience growing all of her family’s vegetables. With the help of this photo-rich text, your garden can also be naturally bug-free.
This expanded second edition will be available as a paperback from Skyhorse Publishing in spring 2015.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Many of my ebooks slowly build from blog posts as I nibble away at a problem on our homestead. But The Naturally Bug-Free Garden came to me nearly full-formed one winter while I was walking in the woods. I realized that the books I’d read on controlling pest insects in the garden were like Western medicine, focusing on the symptoms rather than on the underlying problems that caused those problems to appear. I wanted to share my techniques for keeping my garden in tip-top health, preventing pest explosions before they began.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
This is non=fiction, so the characters are me…and bugs. 🙂
Insects are one of the worst problems facing many organic fruit and vegetable growers, and I was certainly no exception at the beginning of my homesteading career. For the last eight years, my husband and I have grown most of our own food, and some days I was ready to throw in the towel. Our squash plants melted into puddles of wilted leaves just before they set fruit (vine borers at work), tiny grubs defoliated our asparagus fronds (asparagus beetles chowing down), and mysterious insects arrived in the night to eat our Swiss-chard leaves (striped blister beetles being bad). Our broccoli was so covered in cabbageworms that it seemed easier to toss the food than to eat it, and Japanese beetles dripped from our grapevines.
Our neighbors told us to spray, but even seemingly safe pesticides like Bt and neem oil gave me the willies. Wasn’t there a way to grow our food without any chemical inputs at all?
The answer was yes, but only once we learned to bend a little to nature’s whims. A garden ecosystem is always going to be at least slightly out of balance because humans have manipulated the soil and landscape to promote productivity, but we can still do our best to bring natural forces to bear against insect pests. My husband and I beat squash vine borers with variety selection and succession planting, we waited for natural predators to defeat the asparagus and blister beetles, we learned to plant our broccoli at a time when cabbage moths were dormant, and we switched over to a variety of grape that Japanese beetles don’t enjoy. With these and other techniques, we eventually learned to keep pest insects in check without spraying anything at all. Using the tips in this book, you can do the same in your own garden!
Anna Hess dreamed about moving back to the land ever since her parents dragged her off their family farm at the age of eight. She worked as a field biologist and nonprofit organizer before acquiring fifty-eight acres and a husband, then quit her job to homestead full time. She admits that real farm life involves a lot more hard work than her childhood memories entailed, but the reality is much more fulfilling and she loves pigging out on sun-warmed strawberries and experimenting with no-till gardening, mushroom propagation, and chicken pasturing.
She also enjoys writing about the adventures, both on her blog at WaldenEffect.org, and in her books. Her first paperback, The Weekend Homesteader, helped thousands of homesteaders-to-be find ways to fit their dreams into the hours leftover from a full-time job. In addition, a heaping handful of ebooks on Amazon serve a similar purpose.
Author Interview on BookGoodies
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