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Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate

Once and awhile a truly deep and comprehensive book about the practice of ecological gardening comes along. Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate: At Work in the Wild and Cultivated World, written by Green Gulch Farm Zen Center’s garden guru extraordinaire, Wendy Johnson, is a full and poetic account of her gardening and farming work that has supported, encompassed and marked this well-known paradisal facility for the past 30+ years. Wendy’s thoughtful prose informs, inspires and stimulates. Well worth reading for gardeners and farmers – young, old, new or experienced.

The Anatomy of Peace

Just finished reading a compelling book about resolving conflict. In my work as a farmer, father and local politician I am realizing that many of our issues and crises arise from conflict and involve some level or type of violence. This book suggests that another way – one of peace – is possible.

My family has recently gone through a major ‘event’ which is challenging our ability to remain at peace with one another. I have found this book to be very useful as we navigate our way through this situation. What I have learned from reading it will also prove useful in my political life.

Farming to Create Heaven on Earth

I am reading a very compelling book by Lisa M. Hamilton about Shizen Nouhou, the Japanese practice of “Natural Agriculture.” Well written and beautifully illustrated with the author’s photographs, Ms. Hamilton sensitively and thoroughly considers this relatively recent and seemly contrary agricultural practice by spending time with a range of practitioners farming in and outside of Japan. A highly recommended read – for farmers, gardeners and eaters – anyone actively seeking to create Heaven on Earth.

For a preview of the book’s contents visit Ms. Hamilton’s initial piece on Shumei Natural Agriculture that was written for the Rodale Institute.