The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Midwest by Michael VanderBrugThe Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Midwest by Michael VanderBrug

The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Midwest

byMichael VanderBrug

Paperback | December 30, 2015

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How to grow your own food in the Heartland!

There is nothing more regionally specific than vegetable gardening—what to plant, when to plant it, and when to harvest are decisions based on climate, weather, and first frost. The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Midwest, by regional expert Michael VanderBrug, focuses on the unique eccentricities of the Midwest gardening calendar. The month-by-month format makes it perfect for beginners and accessible to everyone—gardeners can start gardening the month they pick it up. Perfect for home gardeners in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. 
Michael VanderBrug began vegetable farming in 2001 on 50 acres of his grandfather’s farm in Jenison, Michigan. The farm started with 30 members in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, and quickly expanded into other markets, including local grocery stores. Michael has also worked with several restaurants to design and insta...
Title:The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the MidwestFormat:PaperbackDimensions:176 pages, 9 × 7.5 × 0.63 inPublished:December 30, 2015Publisher:Timber PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1604695528

ISBN - 13:9781604695526


Read from the Book

Preface By gardening in the Midwest—land of vast plains, rolling hills, rivers, and lakes—you are participating in a long and complex agricultural history. This region’s fertile soils make it second only to California in terms of the diversity of plants that you can grow. Cool-season crops such as lettuce, peas, asparagus, potatoes, and cauliflower flourish in our chilly, damp springs. With the long, hot summers in most areas, beans, tomatoes, eggplant, corn, and other warm-season crops are possible. In fact, you can grow virtually any vegetable, from arugula to zucchini. Even winter, tough as it may be, is a boon to the gardener. The cold temperatures have a sanitizing effect on our gardens, helping to minimize the inevitable pests and diseases. And it gives us some time to reflect, regroup, and start planning for an even better season next year. This is the good news. Gardening in the Midwest has its challenges too, in the form of harsh winters, summer droughts, unpredictable storms, and weeds, which love our rich soils as much as the vegetables do. This book will show you how to mitigate many challenges through preparation and patience. Of course, sometimes there is nothing to do when a windstorm blows down your tomato trellis, or a torrential downpour floods the entire garden. But for me, this is part of the excitement. Time outside of our normal routines—and just plain outside—exposes us to the elements and heightens awareness of our surroundings. Although the seasons are relatively predictable, what happens within each one is not. On more than one occasion I have harvested crops in a hailstorm, transplanted in mud, and pulled leeks out of frozen soil. Gardening requires dedicated observation as every year brings new trials, surprises, and successes. I grew up in New England and now reside in lower west Michigan, roughly the middle of the Midwest region, on what was once my grandfather’s farm. I often consider the fact that both places I have lived are on the same latitude, meaning the seasons I experienced as a child are similar to what I experience now, if you substitute tornado warnings for hurricanes and add lake-effect snow to regular snowstorms. It might be the same latitude, but the Midwest is full of unique microclimates, each with its own peculiarities. As I thought about the word latitude, I considered how it applies to gardening. One definition of latitude is “to be given the space to act and decide for oneself.” The word is not only used to describe the distance of those imaginary lines from the equator, it also describes the freedom we have in making choices, and the leeway that exists within those choices. This is one of the great joys of gardening. It is your space, and you can decide what you want to grow, how big the garden is, or if you feel like weeding today or not. No garden is perfect, but the one you create is all yours. Over time you will get to know your specific growing area and soil, and slowly become the expert on your garden space like no one else ever could be. Use this book as a guide, and then observe, experiment, taste, and dig in. Above all, savor the spicy arugula, the sun-warmed heirloom tomatoes, the colorfully patterned beans, and the pure joy of digging up perfect fingerling potatoes. You are in the Midwest, and you can grow just about anything!

Editorial Reviews

“The handbook's month-by-month structure is easy to follow, helping the reader plan, prepare, plant, and harvest. . . . This guide has solid information packed with common sense.” —Publishers Weekly “VanderBrug welcomes his reader in joining the great agricultural history of the Midwest, and emphasizes the importance of knowing one’s garden and its various microclimates. Even those not planning a garden in the Midwest will find that following his calendar and narrative is surprisingly soothing, as he navigates the seasons and their chores.” —NYBG Plant Talk “While Timber Press has tackled other regions with its growing guides, this edition is its first time walking gardeners through working with the climate extremes of the Midwest. The guide includes month-by-month actions, as well as care and keeping profiles for fruits, vegetables and herbs that grow best here and details on garden basics, including planning.” —Agri News