The Winter Harvest Handbook – Book Review

Review by Michael Smith

Year-round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses
by Elliot Coleman
published by Chelsea Green Publishers April 2009
29.95 USD
Paperback, 7inches x 10inches, 256 pages, printed on recycled paper
ISBN: 978-1-60358-081-6

Published in April 2009 THE WINTER HARVEST HANDBOOK, Year-round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses by Elliot Coleman is a clear and concise book full of information and instructions. The word “handbook” definitely describes this book well and to a tee.

The author leads the reader step-by-step through all the states of how it is done and how it should be done. Even a chapter about the right tools is included with the “instruction” also as to how to develop a good transplanting trowel from an ordinary bricklayer's one. That is definitely a tool that I want to make for my personal and professional use.

In his book the author provides a practical model for supplying fresh, locally grown produce during the winter season, even in climates where conventional wisdom says it “just cannot be done”.

This book will, definitely, be indispensable to small farmers, homesteaders, smallholders, market gardeners, allotment gardeners, and home gardeners who seek to expand their production season.

I must say that I was also very taken with the idea of growing tomatoes and cucumbers in a space saving way by training them to grow up vertically. Not only does this save space, in my opinion, but it also makes harvesting, especially for the cucumbers so much easier – no need to bend to pick them. My back will be more than thankful.

While this book is written by a professional farmer and grower who, in this case, talks about growing vegetables all year round – including in winter in unheated greenhouses in climate conditions like those of the Northern New England States – on a relatively large scale in the book, I am sure that this can be scaled to almost any size for vegetable growing.

I certainly want to see how I can adapt some of this for my vegetable production here at home.

A great book that shall definitely be a guidebook in my attempt to become more self-sufficient in produce.

© M Smith (Veshengro), 2009