Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains - A guide to high-altitude, semi-arid home permaculture gardens
By Lisa Rayner
Copyright (c) 2013
Printed on 100% recycled paper.
Printed in Santa Fe, NM.
280 pages. 8.5 inches by 11 inches.
Color cover, 400+ black and white illustrations.
$29.95 plus shipping
Preface by Dr. Gary Paul Nabhan
Whether you are a weekend gardener who has never heard of permaculture, or an avid gardener already familiar with the permaculture approach, this book will help you grow food under the most challenging of circumstances. Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains will teach you how to deal with dry weather, high winds, intense sunlight, cold nights, summer heat, insect pests, weeds and other challenges of the high-elevation Southwest.
This 4th edition of this popular regional gardening book contains more than four times the information in the 3rd edition. The 4th edition includes:
- Information applicable to an expanded geographical range including the highlands of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California.
- An expanded list of fruit, herbs, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds with detailed planting information on water, sun and soil needs, USDA zones, pollination requirements and more.
- A thorough look at how climate change is altering gardening at high elevations in the Southwest.
- Why we need to recreate local food systems in an era of climate change and resource depletion.
- An expanded description of permaculture garden design for our bioregion including a new chapter on creating plant guild ecosystems in harmony with your local wild ecosystems and wildlife. Learn how to attract native pollinators and other beneficial insects and birds to your garden while keeping out garden pests.
- Expanded chapters on improving local soils, rainwater harvesting, greywater reuse, xeriscaping TM and other efficient garden watering methods, cold climate gardening in the semi-arid Southwest, gardening in sunny, shady and windy conditions, planting windbreaks, protecting plants from hail, fireproofing your yard and gardens, dealing with garden pests and diseases in an ecological manner, choosing seeds and seedlings, detailed seedling-raising information, seed saving and more.
- The new final chapter contains a brief history of Southwestern gathering, horticultural, agricultural and food traditions of Native Americans and European-American settlers. The chapter ends with a peek at creating a new bioregional cuisine from these traditions and traditions from similar ecosystems around the world such as the Andes Mountains and Tibetan Plateau.
- Appendices include glossaries of food plants and ingredient substitutions using foods that can be grown locally, and a large resource section of books, catalogs, magazines, DVDs, arboretums and permaculture institutes.
- For the first time the book includes an index.
Hundreds of black and white drawings.
This book will be most useful to you if you live in the ponderosa pine/Jeffrey pine forests or pinyon-juniper woodlands between 6,500-8,500 feet in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California. Most of the book is also useful to gardeners living in ponderosa forests and pinyon-juniper woodlands below 6,500 feet. Most of the information is also applicable to higher-elevation aspen-spruce-fir forests.
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What people are saying about
Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains
"Lisa Rayner’s book removes much of the mystery and guesswork involved in the endeavor of growing food in these harsh and, at times, unforgiving climates. Lisa draws from her extensive background in ecology and permaculture to create a holistic approach to gardening. The book contains critical information on microclimates and soils and on selecting appropriate species and varieties that are adapted to high elevations and short growing seasons.
She also incorporates helpful information on the history of growing food in the Southwest, describes guilds of species that create thriving forest gardens, and recommends appropriate times to plant your seeds and starts.
The appendices, which include a list of food substitutes, a glossary of food crops, and several pages of additional resources are well worth the price of the book. I highly recommend this book for anyone in the Southwest Mountains who is serious about growing their own food."
— Judith D. Springer
Co-editor of Field Guide to Forest & Mountain Plants of Northern Arizona
"... a remarkably thorough and carefully assembled handbook for the home gardener in these challenging environments.
Handsome original line drawings by Zachary Zdinack and old-fashioned woodcuts of garden scenes and plants ably enhance the text.
The large, spiral-bound book, five to eight times the volume of its original predecessor, lays open easily....
There is excellent material on the political and economic imperatives for local food production, climate and microclimate, plants, soils, water management, garden pests, seeds, composting and basic garden layout.
I really like the book and respect the hard work it took to assemble so much useful information on crops, soil, and climates.
...the template Rayner has created is an exemplary model for parallel work to be done in any major ecoregion. She has delved deeply into the synergistic implications of climate - including climate change - topography, transportation, demographics, microclimates, and much more...
...should be a first go-to reference for sustainable food system designers, home gardeners, and permaculture designers in the mountain Southwest."
— Peter Bane, Permaculture Activist Magazine
"Now in an expanded fourth edition with nearly four times as much information as the third edition, Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains is a methodical, user-friendly, in-depth guide written especially for people living in the states of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona Colorado and New Mexico. Since the current industrial agriculture system relies heavily on fossil fuel consumption to produce and transport peak food, the need for alternatives -- including local, sustainable food supplies -- is ever-increasing. Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains discusses the basics of the Southwest Mountain climate, how to create permaculture zones, warnings against invasive species, tips for creating garden-friendly eco-communities, soil maintenance advice, watering strategies, advice for dealing with so-called 'pests,' a brief history of Southwestern food traditions and much more."
— Midwest Book Review
"If every region in North America had a handbook
like this, we would be seven leagues ahead
of where we now are in Permaculture education.
The author and publishers are to be commended
for creating a first-class resource."
— Cathy Holt (about the 3rd edition)
The Permaculture Activist magazine
“Lisa Rayner's new edition of this little masterpiece provides you with principles for living and eating in harmony with northern Arizona's natural habitats. It is a primer on how to change our food production and consumption strategies to sustain the natural and cultural heritage of our region.”
— Dr. Gary Paul Nabhan (about the 3rd edition)
Author of Coming Home to Eat: The Pleasures and Politics of Local Foods.