Fall Planting Calculator
Figure out when to sow seeds or set out transplants of crops for fall harvest with this handy Fall Planting Calculator from Johnny's Selected Seeds. Enter the date of your first expected fall frost and find the date to sow a wide range of crops. The calculator takes into account the slower growth in fall due to shorter days and cooler weather.
Do you dream sometimes about expanding your gardening efforts into full-scale farming? You can get a vicarious taste of the farming life, with its pleasures and daunting workload, in two new memoirs about small-scale organic farming. The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball (Scribner, 2010, $15) chronicles how she and her husband came to start a diversified farm in the challenging climate of northern New York. Now in their ninth year of farming, they developed a whole-diet, year-round CSA that provides members not only with vegetables and fruits, but meat, milk, grains, eggs, maple syrup -- everything for a complete diet, and all the work done with draft horses. Written with humor, grace, and insight, this book follows Kristin's metamorphosis from a non-gardening city dweller to a wife, mother and farmer in love with "the dirty life" with all its challenges, hard work, and ample rewards.
In The Seasons on Henry's Farm: A Year of Food and Life on a Sustainable Farm (Agate Publishing, 2009, $25), Terra Brockman describes a year on the Illinois farm owned by her brother Henry and worked by her extended family. Organized by season, descriptions of farm life are interspersed with meditations on nature, family, and the environment, as well as dozens of delicious recipes that utilize the farm's abundance. After living in cities in the U.S. and abroad for fifteen years, Brockman came back to central Illinois, where her family has farmed for five generations, to help on her brother's farm and found The Land Connection, a non-profit organization that works to preserve farmland, train organic farmers, and encourage the consumption of local produce.