Fresh Food from Small Spaces
R.J. Ruppenthal
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Library Journal –
Many gardening books describe ample land and space as being a prerequisite for growing flowers, plants, and food. And the ever popular container gardening books, generally written for those with little land or space in which to garden, do not always cover the question of raising fresh food that way. Ruppenthal, a business professor and lifelong trial-and-error gardener, here fills a gap in gardening literature and helps readers discover techniques for sustainable food production—even on a small scale—by using every square inch of space that is available to them. His book walks gardeners through assessing their available space and its lighting, deciding what to grow in the spaces they have, and buying (or building) vegetable garden containers. Using his techniques, gardeners will learn to grow herbs, vegetables, fruit, grains, and mushrooms, as well as raise chickens and honeybees and produce fermented foods such as yogurt. It may be nearly impossible to live completely off the grid in an urban environment, but through practice, patience, and creativity, it is possible to establish such a productive urban garden that you can eat some homegrown, fresh food every day of the year. Highly recommended for public libraries, special and academic libraries with strong agricultural collections, and all those who are serious about producing food and creating a more sustainable lifestyle.


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From marijuana to catnip, there are hundreds of remarkably common herbs, flowers, berries and plants that serve all kinds of important medicinal and health purposes that might surprise you: anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, insect repellent, antiseptic, expectorant, antibacterial, detoxification, fever reduction, antihistamine and pain relief. Here are eighteen potent medical plants you’re likely to find in the wild – or even someone’s backyard – that can help with minor injuries, scrapes, bites and pains.*


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What Is

Wildcrafting is a term for the age-old practice of collecting plant materials in their natural habitat for food, medicine, and craft.  Originally such activity was the only grocery store, medicine chest, and hardware store, available to man.  But eventually the “found materials” became a source of income to buy what could not be “gleaned” from nature.

People today continue to provide for their families by harvesting such things as moss, ginseng and other medicinals, natural dyes, mushrooms, wildflower seeds, berries, landscaping plants (and stones), and saps such as maple or pine.

Opportunities for wildcrafting are not just found in the countryside.  There are “wild” places in cities and in one’s own backyard.  Many landscaping plants and trees have fruit that goes to waste every year.  Crabapple and quince are just two examples.  In your own yard or in your neighborhood may be native persimmons, walnuts, blackberries, dandelions and wild roses.  In wildcrafting we are harvesting the bounty of the earth and should always approach collecting with respect and thankfulness.


Ila Hatter, a descendant of Pocahontas, was raised on natural remedies along with a love and respect for nature.  This led her into exploring the uses of native plants while living in the South from Texas to the Smoky Mountains, the Caribbean,  Spain, and Southern Appalachia.

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This is the year to form friendships with those of the sovereign kindred spirit to organize for a native life of the commons. We must always be aware that there are those who seek to coop our native love and use it to separate us from each other. It happened with the movement in the 1960 as recent CIA/Intelligence Agencies have admittted and released freedom of information that exposes their co opt efforts.

Videos on Youtube, tracking wild plants and native living

In dawn’s hour, sun breaks on Big Pink, Mount Hood rising behind the temple like a distant father. Mist sleeps in the river where you await the tribe’s return, on the east bank of the Willamette, knapping a blade from a broken bottle. Then, the flock begins to emerge from the cloud. Soundlessly, they glide toward you with perfect cohesion, that morning’s catch strung from the Umiak. Master mariner signs to ready the ropes. Now, sweet cedar smoke is conjured from a fire board. The child raises her tinder bundle to the sky and from her lips draws the flame.

Country: United States
Occupation: Outdoor Education
Companies: TrackersNW