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Book review-Vegetables for the Irish Garden


 
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inishindie
Rank attained: Tree plantation keeper


Joined: 27 May 2007
Posts: 563
Location: inishowen Ireland

PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:10 am    Post subject: Book review-Vegetables for the Irish Garden Reply with quote

Hi
I just thought I would share this great book with you.
Klaus Laitenberger from Leitrim has released a new book which I think will benefit all organic gardeners....I wrote a review for my gardening.ie blogsite......

Vegetables for the Irish Garden

At long last, a vegetable growing guide book just for us in the North West of Ireland. "Vegetables for the Irish Garden" by Klaus Laitenberger has just been released and is getting rave reviews around the country. This glossy 288 page book has all the tips and advice for growing a successful bumper crop of fine organic vegetables.

Klaus moved to Leitrim back in 1999 and quickly established himself as a trainer, becoming the head gardener at Rossinver Organic Centre. He also co-ordinated the restoration of the Victorian gardens at Lissadell House Co. Sligo. Klaus also runs seasonal vegetable growing courses around the country. The last one in Inishowen was at Greenhill Farm in the summer, which had twice as many people attending as the previous year- a good indication of just how popular growing your own is getting.

Milkwood Farm

Milkwood farm is Klaus's home and personal project in Leitrim. Over the years he has worked the land, developing an in depth knowledge of organic vegetable growing in the North West. "It took me a few years to adjust to the growing conditions," he explains. "The main changes I made were to be patient, delay sowing and planting times and to grow on raised beds." Over the years Klaus has developed his own sowing chart, which is geared to our own microclimate and this is included in the book.

"Vegetables for the Irish Garden" has lovely hand drawn images by artist Dympna Driscoll and some photos at the centre of the book showing life at Milkwood Farm, including some of the crops that do really well locally. "Ireland has extremely favourable growing conditions, long days, plenty of moisture and mild temperatures." Klaus continues. "Growing your own food can also save you a substantial amount of money. From a 200 square metre plot you can save up to €1000 in vegetable purchases." He states. "The other attraction is that home grown vegetables are full of nutrition and far tastier."

Logical
The first half of the book reviews vegetables that Klaus has worked with on his land and that are known to be a success; from artichokes to turnips. Every vegetable type from this section has the history of the plant, sowing and planting times, plant spacing, rotation needs, plant problems and how to deal with them, varieties and harvesting times suited to our climate.

Oca
One vegetable I have not seen before that Klaus mentions is Oca. This is the second most widely grown root crop for millions of people in the Andes. It's a good tasting, nutritious high yielding crop but unlike the potato it isn't susceptible to blight. Well worth a try for next year I think.

Planning a Vegetable Garden
Klaus uses the same logical layout on the rest of the book as he has done on his successful vegetable plot. His section on "Planning the Vegetable Garden" covers everything we need to know about getting started and keeping the soil healthy. Soil is the life of the garden and needs to be nurtured. Klaus mentions worms, recognising them as a vital part of the ecology of the soil.

There are also tips on composting, finding your soil type and ground preparation. Everything is explained in simple, easy to understand terms.
The book is a modern, up to date account of vegetable gardening today. Gone are the times when books have to be full of chemical solutions to gardening problems. Klaus realises that to make a garden great all that is needed is plant diversity from companion planting, good soil, manual weed control and picking the right plants for the right spot. "When plants become diseased or riddled with pests it is often not accidental. If the right plant grows in the right conditions in good earth it is unlikely that there will be any trouble". Klaus explains. You can't get any better advice than that, although if there are problems, there are suggestions on how to treat the plants.

Trial and error
Over the last ten years Klaus has used trial and error mixed with a strong working knowledge of plants to create a vegetable growing reference book that will suit both the professional grower and novice. The book has all the information you need for a successful yield and deserves to be in a handy place so you can read it again and again.

If you would like a copy of the book for yourself, "Vegetables for the Irish Garden" is on sale at Greenhill Farm in Fawn, Malin, The Book Centre in Ballybofey and Glenveigh National Park. You can also buy your copy online from milkwoodfarm.com. And at only €14.95 it would also make a great seasonal present for the gardener in your life.

Cheers

Ian



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if you are interested in raised vegetable beds and veggie growing I have a new website - raisedbeds.net We're busy on social networking too and have over 12,000 members in the group.
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Sive
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 1731
Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that Inishindie....definitely a book I will buy. I attended a lecture given by Klaus a couple of years ago, and he really is inspirational. I hope the book does well for him.
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inishindie
Rank attained: Tree plantation keeper


Joined: 27 May 2007
Posts: 563
Location: inishowen Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sive

I was also on a course in Inishowen last year with Klaus. Inspiring stuff. Here are a few tips we found about the benefits of growing your own....


* Organically grown vegetables are healthier for you. Klaus points out that we are not legally allowed to say this as scientific facts are still not conclusive and it upsets the industry. "It seems unfair that we need to have strict scientific evidence to prove the added nutritional value of home grown organic produce. This is an unfair system, as regular farmers do not have to account for their usage of chemicals."
* Being out in the veggie patch and getting exercise is health bringing in itself.
* Organic farming and vegetable growing is sustainable
* Higher nutrient content of the vegetables means a more healthy diet.
* Seeing your crops grow from seeds to full maturity gives you an amazing sense of satisfaction and achievement
* Growing your own encourages community as small networks of growers pass on their surplus stock to one another.
* It is good for the environment as adding nutrients into the soil locks in carbon...reducing your footprint.
* It's good for the soil. You feed and mulch the soil with organic nutrition as opposed to feeding the plants. Klaus explains "Conventional farming methods feed the ground with NPK fertiliser which is quickly taken up by the plants. The soil becomes more barren every growing season as nothing is put back. Organic methods store the nutrients in the ground until they are needed by the plant, which does away with any artificial feed. This cuts out pollution and chemical run off into the water course if too many chemicals are added." He says.
* Today's diet with low nutrient values means that you just can't eat enough. "If you have healthy nutritional food there will be no need for vitamin pills."
* You just can't beat the taste. For example, sweetcorn is delicious if you have the pan of boiling water ready when you pick a cob and put it straight into the water.

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if you are interested in raised vegetable beds and veggie growing I have a new website - raisedbeds.net We're busy on social networking too and have over 12,000 members in the group.
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michael brenock
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 12 Aug 2008
Posts: 1275
Location: cork

PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

regular farmers and growers must account for their use of chemicals. Saying otherwise is a lie and does little to promote organic growing. The nutritional value of organic and inorganic is the same, the flavour and texture may be different. Plant roots take up nutrients from the soil in the same form whether in organic or inorganic soils. We don't have to use chemicals, I don't. Regular farmers do not use chemicals aimlessly. The supermarkets backed by the Department of Agriculture decide what is acceptable.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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