Most gardening and farming is based on either chemical- or animal-based inputs, both of which have controversial aspects with regard to the environment as well as other issues. In Growing Green: Animal-Free Organic Techniques (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2007; $35.00), authors Jenny Hall and Iain Tolhurst provide detailed information on ways to use different green manures. In addition, this book also provides extensive information on practically every aspect of organic vegetable production, making it a primarily an organic growing reference.
Tool or Gardening Product
Although my day-in, day-out tool of choice is A.M. Leonard's soil knife, the circlehoe is the perfect tool when I want to remove weeds by hoeing rather than digging. Over the years, I've used many different types of hoes, but I like the circlehoe because it's really easy to get up close to plants and remove small weeds without harming the plants you're actually trying to grow. Its round shape actually gives it almost pinpoint accuracy, plus it only lightly scuffs the soil. I also use it to break up the soil surface around vegetable plantings. The circlehoe is available with three different handle lengths. The mini version is easily kept in a garden tool bucket, but the long-handled version is great if you like to weed standing up. For more information, visit: http://www.circlehoe.com/index.html.