Four-Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman

Four-Season Harvest - Eliot Coleman

Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long

Eliot Coleman is an American organic market gardener.  In his book, Four-Season Harvest, Coleman describes his trip through Europe following the latitude of his property in Maine, USA.  Coleman seeks knowledge on growing seasonal food all year round in climates similar to his own: colder than Tasmania but with similar levels of winter light.

The book is well written and rich with anecdotes about speaking to farmers in their fields and gardeners in their potagers, mostly in France.  What Coleman discovers is that plant growth in winter is more about the amount of light available than about heat.  The answer to maintaining plant growth in low light latitudes is to simply ensure that the plants have developed a large surface area of leaf by late autumn, when the sunlight hours become very short.  Then, only pick half the amount of leaves you would normally pick at any one time in summer, so the plants’ large solar surface area is maintained throughout winter.

Chapters of the book include; Presenting the Four Season Harvest, The Living Soil; Compost, Seeds for Four Seasons, Garden Helpers, Envisioning the Winter Garden, The Covered Garden: Cold Frames, The Covered Garden: Greenhouses and High Tunnels, The Underground Garden: Roots, and The Natural Garden: Plants and Pests.

Sally chooses Four-Season Harvest at The Cygnet Market

Four Season Farm is an experimental market garden in Maine, USA owned and operated by writers Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman. The farm produces vegetables year-round and has become a nationally recognized model of small-scale sustainable agriculture.

Eliot Coleman has more than 40 years of experience in all aspects of organic farming, including field vegetables, greenhouse vegetables, rotational grazing of cattle and sheep, and range poultry.

If you love the joys of eating home-garden vegetables but always thought those joys had to stop at the end of summer, this book is for you. Eliot Coleman shows how gardeners can successfully use the sun to raise a wide variety of traditional winter vegetables in backyard cold frames and plastic covered tunnel greenhouses without supplementary heat. Coleman expands upon his own experiences with new ideas learned on a winter-vegetable pilgrimage across the ocean to the acknowledged kingdom of vegetable cuisine, the southern part of France.

This story of sunshine, weather patterns, old limitations and expectations, and new realities is delightfully innovative in the best gardening tradition. Four-Season Harvest will have you feasting on fresh produce from your garden all through the winter.

Buy Four-Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman at:

The Garden Shed and Pantry or at The Cygnet Market

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2 thoughts on “Four-Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman

  1. Ooh look I’m famous! I didn’t just buy it, I read it too, from cover to cover. This is one of those readable, enjoyable gardnening manuals. The idea of harvesting bountiful vegies in the snow all sounds a bit un-natural, but read this book and it all makes perfect sense. The winter harvesting techniques outlined in this book are to do with thinking ahead- growing plants in summer/autumn so they hold all winter, choosing vegies to suit the climate/season and making the most of passive cold frames and tunnels.
    I wish I’d read this in january! Actually, it’s quite timely as I’m planning to build a greenhouse; this book is full of information on the subject.
    I did wonder just how relevent a book about growing vegies in Maine (and Southern France!) could be to me here in Tassie.. the climates seem so different. It’s all to do with latitude/daylight though, and ours is pretty much the same.
    Having read this book, it’s a wonder we dont have more fresh garden produce here in winter.. we don’t even have frozen soil and a few feet of snow to contend with!
    This book has given me a fresh outlook on winter- I’d recommend it to any enthsiastic vegie gardener.

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