The Winter Harvest Handbook: Four Season Vegetable Production Using Deep-Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses

The Winter Harvest Handbook Four Season Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses Choosing locally grown organic food is a sustainable living trend that s taken hold throughout North America Celebrated farming expert Eliot Coleman helped start this movement with The New Organic Gro

  • Title: The Winter Harvest Handbook: Four Season Vegetable Production Using Deep-Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses
  • Author: Eliot Coleman Barbara Damrosch
  • ISBN: 9781603580816
  • Page: 305
  • Format: Paperback
  • Choosing locally grown organic food is a sustainable living trend that s taken hold throughout North America Celebrated farming expert Eliot Coleman helped start this movement with The New Organic Grower published 20 years ago He continues to lead the way, pushing the limits of the harvest season while working his world renowned organic farm in Harborside, Maine.Now, wChoosing locally grown organic food is a sustainable living trend that s taken hold throughout North America Celebrated farming expert Eliot Coleman helped start this movement with The New Organic Grower published 20 years ago He continues to lead the way, pushing the limits of the harvest season while working his world renowned organic farm in Harborside, Maine.Now, with his long awaited new book, The Winter Harvest Handbook, anyone can have access to his hard won experience Gardeners and farmers can use the innovative, highly successful methods Coleman describes in this comprehensive handbook to raise crops throughout the coldest of winters.Building on the techniques that hundreds of thousands of farmers and gardeners adopted from The New Organic Grower and Four Season Harvest, this new book focuses on growing produce of unparalleled freshness and quality in customized unheated or, in some cases, minimally heated, movable plastic greenhouses.Coleman offers clear, concise details on greenhouse construction and maintenance, planting schedules, crop management, harvesting practices, and even marketing methods in this complete, meticulous, and illustrated guide Readers have access to all the techniques that have proven to produce higher quality crops on Coleman s own farm.His painstaking research and experimentation with than 30 different crops will be valuable to small farmers, homesteaders, and experienced home gardeners who seek to expand their production seasons.A passionate advocate for the revival of small scale sustainable farming, Coleman provides a practical model for supplying fresh, locally grown produce during the winter season, even in climates where conventional wisdom says it just can t be done.

    304 Comment

    • Allison says:

      Coleman writes in an easy narrative to follow, while talking about the complex solutions to farming more in-tune with nature. A great book for anyone attempting to grow food in the winter in inhospitable zones. "the farm is not a factory, but rather a human-managed microcosm of the natural world" -E.C.

    • Anna says:

      There's nothing not to like about this book (except perhaps the price if you actually buy it.) Stunning photos, clear text, none of the mainstream tendency to try to make the book longer by adding in common knowledge information. Highly recommended. Visit my blog to read highlights of the Winter Harvest Handbook.

    • Cindy Dyson Eitelman says:

      Way too technical for me, but required reading for any small farmer even if he doesn't plan to build moveable greenhouses. (I'd love one!) It's a textbook of greenhouse farming. But it had a bit of information for non-greenhouse, non-winter producers too.A very small chapter at the end speaks less of the how-to of organic farming and more of the why-do. And it reminds us of this: The reason for this still very active attempt to villainize organic farming is that our success scares the hell out o [...]

    • Justin says:

      Eliot certainly knows his stuff. Most of the techniques are both things I've heard of before and things I probably won't have time for for a while (I am probably not building/buying a greenhouse or other covering soon). Probably not the best for a hobbyist unless they have sufficient free time (e.g. no kids)

    • Andrea says:

      A lot of great information on how to have a garden year round. Part of the book went into a history lesson on farms in Paris 150 years ago, which I found fascinating. Coleman gave a lot of information on what to plant, how to plant, many of his techniques and more. He teaches how to create unheated, protected environments for your plants to live in during the winter.

    • William Orkins says:

      Great readThis book really helps explain the importance of healthy soil, and how to maximize the growing season. I recommend this book if you're looking at how to either start a small farm or expand an existing place.

    • Lauren Rauk says:

      Very helpful for planning a winter garden even if it's small. A bit scattered with the info but very thorough.

    • Kevin says:

      One of my ongoing interests is food security and the evolution of our current predominantly industrial food system as we move towards a post-peak-oil and eventually a post-fossil-fuel future. For long-term food security our future food system needs to be healthy, affordable and sustainable. Obviously, our current highly energy and fossil-fuel intensive food production and distribution networks are going to have to change significantly as the energy they require becomes too expensive or simply un [...]

    • Emma Cooper says:

      The early chapters of the Winter Harvest Handbook are downright entertaining. There’s a lot about how Coleman's Four Season Farm has developed its winter harvesting techniques, and some insights into the history of winter harvests that are fascinating. The book is clearly aimed at the American market. Not only are the temperatures all in Fahrenheit, but there are frequent mentions of USDA climate zones and the fact that winter harvests are (or have been, in the past) far more commonplace in Eu [...]

    • Cheryl says:

      Another great Eliot Coleman book. I found that this one was more geared to the market gardener/farmer and therefore Four Season Harvest was far more applicable to my situation. Still, this one was chock-full of good info and contained behind-the scenes look at how a deep-organic market gardener operates. What a finely tuned machine a market gardener needs to be! I have profound respect for the long hours put in by such a person and the highly scheduled, meticulous planning and planting of those [...]

    • Courtney says:

      Wonderful and helpful book. After many, many years of experience, Coleman has distilled much of his knowledge to this very manageable book. He does not try to cover all of the basics of growing food, but works you through the specifics of winter crop production. This book is very much aimed at small-scale farmers who are looking to increase their growing season and hopefully profit. His discussions of profitability and marketing are very helpful throughout the book. He not only gives the plans f [...]

    • Lynne says:

      It's really interesting to get a business point of view on how to economically raise gardens vegetables through 4 seasons in Maine. No heating, no expensive facilities just a high-tunnel hoop house and protected raised beds. Scale it down (way down) and there are some practical ideas for the home gardener here. No, you can't grow tomatoes in January. But you can get various fresh greens, carrots, beets and more for an extended season, or at least until the snow is too deep to bother trudging out [...]

    • Melanie says:

      Amazing read. I am very inspired by this book and by the author to try out a similar method of gardening/farming; altering, testing and observing differences and changes due to the difference in climate here. I have been thoroughly bitten by the gardening/farming bug. Many of the underlying principals that have driven the author in his work are ideas that can be transferred to an entirely different field It isn't a book about just putting plants in the ground and watering them, it is a book abou [...]

    • Dennis Hitzeman says:

      Eliot Colemen is, without a doubt, the godfather of year around gardening in the same way Joel Salitin is the godfather of modern sustainable agriculture, and as with Salitin, you have to take a huge dose of the man that is Coleman to get to the incredible information he brings to his books. For me, his attitude comes off as near condescension of anyone who does not see his brilliance, and that impression makes his books incredibly hard to read, especially as a fellow sustainable practitioner.Th [...]

    • Sarah says:

      On one hand, I can see why Eliot Coleman's books are considered to be an organic farmer's bible. This book was full of useful and specific information. I almost feel as if I could start a successful winter growing operation just from reading it. On the other hand, there is nothing inspiring in this book. Coleman seems to feel more passionately about measurements and yield than about the fresh air, sunshine, and delicious vegetables that come with being an organic grower. Statistics such as, 40% [...]

    • Jodi Mae says:

      Eliot Coleman is an organic gardening guru. He has been steadily at it since the early 1970'sowing all of his own food in Maine. This gardening myth-busting book is packed with enlightening information. You CAN grow food all winter long, even in cold, snowy conditions, and have freshly picked greens to make salads with year round. With detailed instructions about composting, building cold-frames, what veggies survive best in cold weather situationsis book is a must-read for any back-to-the-lande [...]

    • gina says:

      Okay, so I've had this book forever, and finally skimmed it last night. I had thought it would be more about harvesting and putting up food. So I was a little disappointed. It was about growing all types of food, marketing your own farm, selling the items year round, organic farming, and getting the most each season year round out of your farm. Would be more informative for someone actually farming whereas I'm not probably growing anything this upcoming year other than a few plants. So not reall [...]

    • Liz says:

      Provided a good look into what goes into the daily operations of a large nursery type operations. Entirely too large scale for your average home owner. Has descriptions for things like seed starting houses, mobile green houses, cold frame, hot houseso much. If you're looking for something to do in your own backyard, you'll find a few good ideas, but there's no real way to scale this down. If you have a few acres to dedicate and want to start your own vegatable stand or something of the sort, thi [...]

    • Amberjean says:

      This one's really aimed at the market gardener or other small production gardener. However, the information is both thorough and fascinating, and Mr. Coleman's writing betrays the combination of ingenuity and sheer anal-ness it takes to be successful as a farmer. His homemade tools are a hoot. The ideas are just as applicable to the backyard gardener, but the earlier book, Four-Season Harvest, is more aimed at that demographic.

    • Jeph says:

      This was a very educational book, and great inspiration to try and do a better job with making my garden more "winter harvestable" next winter. This book does cover a lot more territory than I'll ever need, such as the large movable greenhouses, but there's also plenty of information on other topics. Oh, and it's not JUST winter stuff in there - there is a small section on their summer harvest.I need to go back and re-read his earlier books to see how this one added on to previous topics.

    • Pam says:

      An excellent book for vegetable gardeners, who are looking to extend their growing season. Elliot Coleman explains how to plant greens like spinach and obtain harvests through most of the winter even in colder areas of the continental US. Readers will also learn how to extend the growing season for warm weather crops like tomatoes. While Coleman's methods require some investment in cold frames, he explains how to do it inexpensively.

    • Karen says:

      Just flipped through this really. It is about growing only vegetables, and some weird ones at that, in the winter in Maine. They achieve that by growing very hardy vegetables inside unheated plastic covered hoop houses, with a floating row cover over each vegetable bed for another layer of protection.It sounds simple and inexpensive enough that anyone could do it, if you like vegetables that much. I'm not much of a vegetable eater or grower.

    • Megan says:

      I was hoping that this book would inspire me to try to grow greens in the winter. Coleman is a well-known, small scale vegetable farmer who lives in a very similar climate zone to Madison - Maine. He does succeed in growing year round out there with minimal inputs. This book is geared more towards the small farmer than the home gardener, but it did convince me that if I really wanted to grow cold weather crops in the winter I could. I'm just not sure if I want to put in the effort

    • Sara says:

      I found this book to be extremely helpful. It talks about both heated and unheated greenhouses as well as tunnels. He lives in Maine, so you can be sure to be able to grow whatever he does--and he sells his produce so has a large business. He gives specifics as to temperatures, sunlight, growing seasons, and plants.

    • Clare says:

      Excellent reference book, as usual from Eliot. There's alot I can apply from this book, even though I am not a "Parisian maraîcher", (market gardener) or do la culture maraîchè (market gardening) I loved the history that he documents from France and Britian, as well. Everything old is new again. Highly recommend!

    • L Cole says:

      Great book, but could be even better. the bool has a ton of information in it but it is hard to pull out all the information into a plan of action. I wish they had more diagrams, tables and pictures of what he was talking about. At some points I caught myself wondering visually what he was saying. Great book though.

    • Kristina Seleshanko says:

      Although this book is written for small farm, commercial growers, it's fascinating. I love that the author cites all his sources (unfortunately unusual these days) and gives the long history behind winter gardening. My only wish is for a chapter devoted to taking these ideas (best suited for those with acreage) and applying them to home gardening.

    • Rachel says:

      His method is outstanding and he makes it feel like anyone can accomplish what he has in his hoop house. I am not this optimistic. Wonderful information would have liked a little more information and maybe some better plans for the houses and other suggestions he makes in the book. Otherwise, inspiring and well written.

    • Sheryl says:

      This book was inspiring to read in January. I'm excited to try to extend my own harvest next fall. Elliot Coleman makes a business out of his winter harvesting, but I think I will be able to scale down some of his techniques to use at home. I'm going to check out his "Four Season Harvest" book next. From other reviews, I'm guessing it is more suited to home gardeners.

    • Lori says:

      This is a book suited more toward small farming than the backyard gardener. It does have some great guidelines for planting based on your latitude and made for an interesting read. The pictures are fantastic, and the concept is inspiring. His book, "Four Season Harvest" is probably better for the average home gardener.

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