"Biologist and plant breeder Deppe (The Resilient Gardener, 2010) shares principles and practices that
will 'allow a gardener to do nothing whatsoever after sowing the seed until it is time to come back and
harvest.' Such wonderful pragmatism does not mean that this is a cut-and-dried how-to. Far from it.
Deppe is lively, thoroughly engaged, and cheerfully direct, and her use of the tao is no gimmick. She
infuses her in-depth, hands-on guide to growing, harvesting, preparing, and eating the most popular and
nutritional vegetables with pithy and resonant philosophical observations, including such aphorisms as
these, which preface the weeding section: 'Deal with the small before it is large. Deal with the few
before they are many.' Age-old wisdom graces comprehensive, clear, and timely instructions on every
aspect of vegetable cultivation and enjoyment, including Deppe's guidance in avoiding late blight, the
disease now threatening heirloom tomatoes, and her 'eat-all greens' strategy for growing succulent kale,
mustard, and other leafy greens. Whether writing about squash or serenity, Deppe is pleasurable and
enlightening company, and this is a vegetable gardener's treasury."
“This thoughtful book is a guide for growing tomatoes, squash, and greens, but its most significant contribution is Deppe's
approach to gardening. She encourages the gardener to cultivate an intuitive relationship with plants and almost a sixth
sense about when to actively work in the garden, and when to stand back and let the plants do the growing they need to do.
She calls it the Tao of gardening, a form of “non-doing” or “doing that which gives maximum effect for the minimum effort,”
so that unnecessary action has been eliminated. It is about balance: not watering too much, not fertilizing too much. She
further enjoins the gardener to create a relationship with the garden, knowing what needs tending what needs to be left alone.
The advice for raising tomatoes and greens will benefit the gardener, but the magic of the book is the way it teaches the
gardener how to grow with the garden.”
"If you want to read the complete, deepest-down lowdown on how to grow organic vegetables successfully,
this is the book. It also stands as a guide to the most genuine, independent lifestyle possible, relying
only on nature and the author's awesomely detailed knowledge of plant life to achieve successful food
production and a contented way of life. The reader learns not only how to grow and cook vegetables, but
how to breed new varieties and save the seed. And while you read her book, you are also charmed with
the Tao philosophy of living—something I have come to believe is a sure path to tranquility."
—Gene Logsdon, author, Gene Everlasting and The Contrary Farmer
“The Tao of Vegetable Gardening is another absolutely brilliant book from Carol Deppe. It's smart,
ultimately sensible, refreshing in the way old assumptions get questioned, vastly informative about
gardening—plus it's a really good read. I mean, how many gardening books make you laugh out loud and
get you to pick up the phone and order a tool from a place called Red Pig? I'm so grateful for this
book—I will have it memorized by the time the soil is ready to work.”
—Deborah Madison, author, Vegetable Literacy
“There are many knowledgeable gardeners but very few wise ones. Carol Deppe is both. Her excellent new book, The Tao of Vegetable Gardening,
serves up generous portions of homegrown know-how gleaned from three decades worth of experimentation. It will, no doubt, make you a better gardener.
What sets this book apart, though, is its potential for making us into happier gardeners by sharing the deeper life lessons our gardens have to teach.
The Chinese word tao can be defined in different ways but my favorite is "path," and Carol Deppe shows us that the timeless path to health, happiness
and wholeness cuts right through our own backyard, if we choose to take it.”
—Roger Doiron, Founding Director, Kitchen Gardeners International
“Why do different ripe tomatoes harvested from the same plant in the same season taste different? What does bean seed color have to do
with vigor and flavor? After nearly forty years in the seed business, I still learn amazing things from each new book by Carol Deppe.
The Tao of Vegetable Gardening melds the observational skills and curiosity of a molecular geneticist with the sheer joy and inner
harmonies of a practicing participant in the garden's dance of life.”
—CR Lawn, founder, Fedco Seeds
“In The Tao of Vegetable Gardening Carol Deppe uses Taoist philosophical concepts to communicate gardening wisdom learned
through longtime practice and experimentation. She seemlessly integrates excellent how-to advice with her reflections on cultivation,
plants, soil, the elements, and life. This book is as profound as it is practical, and will be a great source of information and
inspiration for both experienced gardeners and those just starting out.”
—Sandor Ellix Katz, author, The Art of Fermentation
“With the insight of a skilled breeder Carol Deppe has drawn together the best of ancient wisdom and traditional crops.
Gardeners rejoice! The past has never promised us a better future than in these pages.”
—Roger B. Swain, host of PBS's “The Victory Garden”