Columbia Gardeners


Welcome to the Publications section of the Columbia Gardeners website. Below are various gardening-related publications that should be helpful to you in maintaining your plot or perhaps a gardening book that is just a good read. If there are any books or other reading material you would like to share with your fellow gardeners on this page, use the Contact form to send in your suggestions. Feel free to provide your own review of a book if you would like.


Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
Author: Barbara Kingsolver
Since its release in May 2007, Animal Vegetable, Miracle has helped launch a modern transition in America’s attitudes toward food. In this lively account of a family’s locavore year on their farm in Southern Appalachia, Barbara Kingsolver and her coauthors unearth the secret lives of vegetables and the unexpected satisfactions of knowing their food producers — and sometimes their dinner — on a first-name basis.

The Four Season Farm Gardener's Cookbook
Authors: Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman
The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook is two books in one. It’s a complete four-season cookbook with 120 recipes from Barbara, a master cook as well as master gardener, who shows how to maximize the fruits—and vegetables—of your labors, from Stuffed Squash Blossom Fritters to Red Thai Curry with Fall Vegetables to Hazelnut Torte with Summer Berries.

And it’s a step-by-step garden guide that works no matter how big or small your plot, with easy-to-follow instructions and plans for different gardens. It covers size of the garden, nourishing the soil, planning ahead, and the importance of rotating crops—yes, even in your backyard. And, at the core, individual instructions on the crops, from the hardy and healthful cabbage family to fourteen essential culinary herbs.

Roots: The Definitive Compendium with more than 225 Recipes
Authors: Diane Morgan, Antonis Achilleos and Deborah Madison
From the author of more than 10 cookbooks comes this comprehensive guide and collection of recipes using root vegetables. Discover the fascinating history and lore of 29 major roots, their nutritional content, how to buy and store them, and much more, from the familiar (beets, carrots, potatoes) to the unfamiliar (jicama, salsify, malanga) to the practically unheard of (cassava, galangal, crosnes). The best part? More than 225 recipes—salads, soups, side dishes, main courses, drinks, and desserts—that bring out the earthy goodness of each and every one of these intriguing vegetables. From Andean tubers and burdock to yams and yuca, this essential culinary encyclopedia lets dedicated home cooks achieve a new level of taste and sophistication in their everyday cooking.

The Unhealthy Truth
Author: Robyn O'Brien
Robyn O’Brien traces the relationship between Big Food and Big Money that has ensured that the United States is one of the only developed countries in the world to allow hidden toxins in our food—toxins that can be blamed for the alarming recent increases in allergies, ADHD, cancer, and asthma among our children. The book features recipes and an action plan for weaning your family off dangerous chemicals one step at a time. Listen and watch this extraordinary talk from the author.

Native Foods from Native People

Below are the source publications referenced by Michele Connolly and Yvonne Howard on Native Foods from Native People during their presentation at the 2012 Fall Meeting. Both Michele and Yvonne are Master Gardeners and the focus of their discussion was on how much Native Americans have much to offer the gardening world. Their heritage is not only the plants, but also the concepts. They have always taken stewardship of the land and ecology seriously. Many Native American still use the same techniques, crops and philosophy as in the past.

  1. The Mitsitam Cookbook: Recipes from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Richard Hertzler; Fulcrum Publishing, Golden CO, 2010.
  2. Native American Gardening: Buffalobird Woman’s Guide to Traditional Methods, Gilbert L. Wilson, Dover Publications, Mineola NY, 2005 (originally published as Agriculture of the Hidatsa Indians: An Indian Interpretation, 1917).
  3. Guide to Indian Herbs, Raymond Stark, Hancock House Publishers, Blaine WA, 1981.
  4. Plants on the Trail with Lewis and Clark, Dorothy Hinshhaw Patent; Clarion Books, NY, 2003.
  5. How Carrots Won the Trojan War, Rebecca Rupp; Storey Publishing, North Adams MA, 2011.
  6. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus, Charles C. Mann; Alfred A. Knopf, NY, 2005.
  7. Corn, Gail Gibbons; Holiday House, NY, 2008. (Children’s book).

Organic Gardening Publications

Below are the source publications referenced by Master Gardener Jerry Kissel on Sustainable Organic Gardening during his presentation at the 2012 Spring Fling. Jerry defined organic and sustainable gardening. He focused on soil health as being an important part of successful gardening. In a nutshell, the ways you can build healthy soil are to: test your soil, add organic matter, mulch appropriately, rotate your crops and fertilize appropriately.

  1. The Truth About Organic Gardening, Jeff Gillman, Timber Press, 2008 (Howard County Library, 635.0484G)
  2. The Dirt Doctor’s Guide to Organic Gardening, J. Howard Garrett, University of Texas Press Austin, 1995 (Howard County Library, 635.04G)
  3. Secrets to Great Soil, Elizabeth P. Stell, Storey’s Gardening Skills Illustrated, Storey Communications Inc., 1998 (Howard County Library, 635.04S)
  4. Organic Gardening, Geoff Hamilton, DK Publishing, 2011 (Howard County Library, 635.0484H)
  5. Building Soils for Better Crops, Fred Magdoff and Harold Van Es, Published in 2009 by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, with funding from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  6. Teaming with Microbes, Jeff Lowenfels & Wayne Lewis, 2006, Timber press, Inc.
  7. Growing Food Organically, John Bede Harrison, 1993, Waterwheel Press
  8. Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, Editor in Chief Pauline Pears, DK Publishing, 2002
  9. The Importance of Soil Organic Matter, Alexandra Bot and Jose Benites, 2005, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.