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Gardening and Nature Book Reviews


Nature can serve as a guide on how we should live our lives. With that in mind, here are reviews of some helpful nature and gardening books.

“Nature-An Economic History” by Geerat J. Vermeij was released by Princeton University Press. This offers an innovative approach to history by applying principles of natural history to human economic systems. This award winning author deftly shows that the same economic principles govern the lives of humans and non-humans alike. He looks at the roles played by geology, evolution, and geography.

In each chapter he explores a different aspect of natural history and explains how this can be applied to human economies.
For example, he looks at the predator-prey relationship and the defensive mechanisms available to plants and other organisms. He compares the long term trends between the human and non-human systems. In the final chapter, he takes a look at what the future might look like if we remain on the same path. One example he uses is the widening gap of incomes between the rich and the poor. The appendix contains a helpful geological time line.

“The Essence of Shinto-Japan’s Spiritual Heart” by Motohisa Yamakage was released by Kodansha America. The author reveals that this faith has no dogma or doctrine. He shows its emphasis is on nature. This gentle approach is a perfect antidote to highly stressed modern lifestyles. In this book, readers can learn how to apply the nature-based Shinto principles to their daily lives.

This comprehensive guide walks you through the various rituals and practices of Shintoism. The author also explores the historical origins of the faith and the role it has played in Japanese life. Each chapter looks at a different aspect, such as the fact that this can be practiced anywhere any time. It explains the different purification and breathing techniques. This has a helpful glossary of terms.

“First the Seed-The Political Economy of Plant Biotechnology, 1492-2000” by award winning author Jack Ralph Kloppenburg Jr. was released by the University of Wisconsin Press. This classic title is now in its second edition. Part of the Science and Technology in Society series, this groundbreaking book chronicles the history of plant breeding and the social change that has occurred in the field of crop improvement over the years. It focuses primarily on historical agricultural developments in America.

The big debate concerns the ownership of plant genetics resources. It covers everything from hybridization to genetically modified plants using high-tech means. The author also explores all of the pertinent issues, including the Green Revolution, changes in the seed industry, and plant genetics research.

This also examines the role of public agricultural research and science. The final chapter looks ahead to the future and the role that genetically modified plants will play. Throughout the book are helpful tables, maps, charts, and diagrams.

“A Nation of Farmers-Defeating the Food Crisis on American Soil” by Sharon Astyk et al was released by the New Society Press. With renewed interest in frugality, there’s more reason than ever to grow your own food. This definitive guide can provide inspiration to gardeners and those concerned about the environment. It offers practical solutions to all of the food-related problems brought on by industrialized agriculture and the globalization of food.

The authors show that gardeners and consumers can take charge by growing their own food and supporting local farms. This also addresses other key issues, such as why many Americans no longer cook their own food. Throughout the book are inspiring quotes and delicious easy to make recipes. Very carefully researched and well written, this documents what is wrong and what we can do about it. The authors call for activism on the part of gardeners everywhere.

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Content copyright © 2014 by Connie Krochmal. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Connie Krochmal. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Connie Krochmal for details.

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