Books: The Vegetable Gardener's Bible

The Vegetable Gardener's Bible


Author: Edward C. Smith
ISBN: 1-58017-212-1
Paperback: 309 pages (fully illustrated in color)
Publisher: Storey Publishing

The Back Cover

Discover Ed Smith’s System the Last W-O-R-D in Vegetable Gardening!

  • Wide Rows are easier to tend and provide a bigger yield per square foot. You’ll get up to four times more delicious vegetables!
  • Organic Methods are better for you, your garden, and the earth. They really work, so you’ll have few pests and diseases!
  • Raised Beds mean soil that drains better and warms up faster in the spring. The result is bigger, healthier, and better vegetables!
  • Deep Soil provides a reservoir of nutrients and moisture that encourages root growth while producing the best harvest ever!


Some Thoughts About Vegetable Gardening

Once in a long time, a truly fresh gardening personality emerges. Over the past 30 years, I’ve had the privilege of working with a few of these – Jim Crockett in the 1960’s, Dick Raymond and Bob Thomson in the ‘70’s, Louise Riotte in the 80’s, Lewis and Nancy Hill in the ‘90’s.

Ed Smith, vegetable gardener, Cabot, Vermont, is the latest of these amazing personalities. He and his family tend a richly fertile garden of over 1,500 square feet filled with raspberries, blueberries, flowers, herbs, and nearly 100 varieties of vegetables, including some Vermont heirlooms. His garden looks like what I envision as the "vegetable garden of Eden."

When we learned that Ed lived in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont (where gardening is only slightly easier than in Siberia!), we were skeptical. That is, until we saw his vegetable gardens. They are beautiful, the result of a high-yield system of gardening that Ed has been refining for over three decades. "If I can do it here in northern Vermont, it can be done just about anywhere," said Ed.

The proof was before our eyes, and as we talked, we realized how logical and easy his approach was. To underscore a point, he took us to the richest compost pile I’ve ever seen. With mock seriousness he instructed, "The path to a high-yield garden leads straight through the middle of a compost pile." Clearly, Ed’s no stick-in-the-mud when it comes to gardening.

Wherever we walked, Ed had gardening wisdom to share. At the corn patch he said, "Corn has the highest sugar content early in the morning. So pick it then, before it’s warmed by the sun, and refrigerate it in the husk until dinnertime. You’ll get the best-tasting corn with the morning harvest." It’s true.

When we saw him dusting his seed potatoes with sulfur, he explained that sulfur is a fungicide, but that wasn’t the reason he did it. "Treat seed potatoes with sulfur, and Colorado potato beetles will be much less of a problem." I followed his advice, and my new potatoes were the best I’ve ever had.

In the pages that follow, you’ll see the results of his gardening system with your own eyes. We’ve come to refer to this system as the "W-O-R-D," to remind us of the wide rows, organic methods, raised beds, and deeply dug soil that underlie everything Ed does. You’ll discover these, along with the trellises that allow beans to grow to the sky, knowledgeable companion planting, and basic crop rotation, all leading to remarkable harvests – a vegetable gardening paradise.

We spent the past year with Ed in Vermont, photographing his gardens from the first day of soil preparation to the last days of putting the garden to bed. These year-round photos will be very helpful to you in planning and planting your own vegetable garden, as will the numerous charts, tables, and garden plans.

We think that this is the most comprehensive and exciting new system of gardening that has come along in a very long time. Through the dozens of illustrated gardening lessons, and hundreds of tips, insights, and suggestions that Ed shares, you’ll quickly become a more skilled gardener. This book will help you do it, and have the best vegetable garden ever. That’s why we call it "the bible."

-M. John Storey

Customer Reviews

Please, take a moment and comment on this product.

dog-eared and muddy, favorite gardening companion!
by Nannette on Aug 19, 2012

This book is an excellent resource for new and experienced gardeners alike. We installed raised beds and use this book for our rotation and companion planting plans. Speaks well for the book, I think, that it accompanies me for most of the garden season, sitting on the edge of the bed with dirty fingerprints and dog-ears from my constant referral to it! This is my fourth year gardening with this guide, and we have had success each year even with suboptimal lighting and weather.


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