Print This Page

Organic Answers Column - November 16, 2022 - Book Recommendations

Books Recommended by Howard Garrett


Hopefully you have all of my books by now – or at least the ones covering the subjects you are interested in. But there are other books and publications I recommend.



Here's an updated list of the most important reference books in my library. There is an expanded list in the Library of that will be helpful to you as well.


An Agriculture Testament and Soil Health by Sir Albert Howard are state-of-the-art guides to organics and the use of compost to bring soil back to health. They were written in the 1940s, but are still two of the best publications on the market. Oxford and Rodale Press.


Bread from Stones by Julius Hensel is a classic explaining the role of earth minerals in the production of wholesome food crops. Acres U.S.A.


Establishment and Maintenance of Landscape Plants by Dr. Carl Whitcomb provides excellent research and backup for the practical approach to horticulture. Lacebark Publications.


The Garden-Ville Method (Lessons in Nature) is written by the king of compost, Malcolm Beck, one of the most knowledgeable people on organics in the country. Acres USA.


Holistic Resource Management by Alan Savory is for anyone involved in the management of land. This book teaches you how to think and treat people and their environment as a whole. Island Press, Washington, DC.


How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back, Exposition Press, Gardening Without Work, Devin-Adair, and The No Work Gardening Book, Rodale Press, by Ruth Stout are great. She was a humorous writer, a philosopher and an advocate of mulching.


Shinner's and Mahler’s Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas is a wonderfully detailed book about the native and naturalized plants of North Central Texas. By George Diggs, Barney Lipscomb and Robert O'Kennon.


Nature's Silent Music by Dr. Phil Callahan explains how to preserve the health of the land by avoiding toxic chemicals and working within nature's laws and systems. Acres USA.



The Omega Diet and Why Grass Fed is Best! by Jo Robinson. Covers the research and data behind eating grass fed meats! A wonderful book about the health benefits of eating grass fed animals and eggs. It is easy to read and well documented. Vashon Island Press.


The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka is an introduction to natural farming and an excellent book on the philosophy and practicality of organic gardening from one of Japan's living legends.


Seaweed and Plant Growth by Dr. T.L. Senn explains in detail the wonderful powers of seaweed as a fertilizer, growth stimulator, and pest repellent.


The Secret Life of Compost by Malcolm Beck is a "how to" and "why" guide to composting. Acres U.S.A.


Science in Agriculture and Food Plague by Dr. Arden Anderson are "must-have" and "must- study" books for anyone interested in eco-agriculture. Acres U.S.A.


Seeing Trees by Nancy Ross Hugo is aa beautiful and educational book for serious tree lovers like me.


Silent Spring by Rachel Carson is a must-read. If you don't convert to organics after reading this classic, you never will. The Riverside Press, Cambridge.


Teaming With Microbes: A Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis. This book is a very thorough tour of life in the soil. It has terrific photos of the various critters in the soil and explains the natural organic approach in a fresh and unapologetic way.


The Organic Method Primer by Rateavers. Bargyla and Gylver Rateaver produced an updated Version of Bargyla’s original book. This primer was first written in 1973 for the world’s original course in the organic method. This is the book that explains the process of endocytosis (plants absorbing “chunks” of materials – not just basic elements) and much more of the basics of the organic approach.


Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis. A renowned cardiologist explains how eliminating wheat from our diets can prevent fat storage, shrink unsightly bulges, and reverse myriad health problems. Every day, over 200 million Americans consume food products made of wheat.


And check out these links:






  Search Library Topics      Search Newspaper Columns