- Paperback: 73 pages
- Publisher: Warwick House Publishers (2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1936553090
- ISBN-13: 978-1936553099
- Package Dimensions: 4 x 0.5 x 0.5 inches
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,234,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Learned by the Fencepost (Lessons in Organic Farming and Gardening) Paperback – 2011
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Donald Lewis offers a common sense approach to organic farming and gardening by sharing what works--and what doesn't. The author draws on years of experience to provide valuable insight and ignite the reader's curiosity about the use of chemical fertilizer. His life's journey results in methods proven to produce. Whether you're experienced in farming and gardening or simply looking to begin a new hobby, Learned by the Fencepost provides encouragement for those who want to successfully grow organic. "Donald Lewis has put forth his knowledge of organic farming and gardening in a perilous time for our earth, where less use of chemicals can only benefit humanity. Mr Lewis was a pioneer, over 50 yers ago, in his use of organic farming techniques which are hundreds of years old." DAVID DOUBLEDAY,Historian, Vermont Standard "Any serious grower interested in organic farming would benefit from this book, which is clearly based on a lifetime of experiences." BILL NANCE, President, Bedford County Farm Bureau
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Admittedly, the author, Donald Lewis, was a man before his time with his farming techniques. And Mr. Lewis won some interesting awards for production on his farm -- but in the 1950s. He rambles about his farm experiences, mixes time, dates and information and then repeats all 3 as he slowly heads toward the topic of organic gardening. Here, he does impart two concepts - spreading manure before the snow falls and tilling, every year. The first is accepted practice, the second is something that many organic gardeners would never do as it destroys the micro-culture in the first 9 to 12 inches of soil.
Mr. Lewis seems like a nice man; his life sounds like it was a good one. But his gardening advice is limited and his writing is disorganized, personal and frankly not interesting enough to wade through for the limited bit of information he does share. If you want to learn about soil - read Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth- a lovely, almost poetic book about how alive soil is, how easy it is to use and enhance and how quickly it can be deatroyed.
I have had a discouraging gardening year so far. Since reading Mr. Lewis' book, I now look forward to the new ideas I'll apply starting next year. Thank you Mr. Lewis.
I appreciate his promotion of the use of soft rock phosphate from Florida. I recommend that soil amendment to clients regularly, but I run a comprehensive soil analysis so I know exactly how much of each element is needed for optimal balance. Don recommends taking soil samples to the local extension office, however my side-by-side comparisons of soil analyses and recommendations from the extension "service" and from a good independent lab were vastly different. Don criticizes "the USDA and the government" for pushing the use of chemical fertilizers--and I totally agree with him. However, the extension "service" is an extension of the (corrupt)government and the information I have gotten from them is often misleading. I believe that the agriculture chemical corporations, who control government to a large extent, do not want growers to be able to grow supremely healthy crops which don't need their chemicals.
Don talks about his experience in Virginia starting his organic garden. It took him 5 years to get his soil in good enough condition to produce well. With the proper soil analyses and amendments he could have saved himself a lot of time, trouble and heartache with getting his soil to perform well. And his produce could have been more nutrient rich also.
As Don says, "Observation, logic, an inquisitive mind, and Mother Nature are valuable teachers in farming and gardening, as well as in many other aspects of our lives." Let's all keep learning and moving forward together!
Dr. Jana Bogs