The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

The Grafter's Handbook

The Grafter's HandbookI've been looking for a book on grafting for years, and for years I thought one didn't exist.  Most books about tree fruits have a short chapter on the topic, but I really wanted something I could sink my teeth into.  Finally, I've found it!

The Grafter's Handbook is by R.J. Garner, who worked as a scientist at the East Malling Research Station for twenty years.  In case "Malling" sounds vaguely familiar, it should --- the research station gave its name to many of the apple rootstocks developed there.  Garner's book is a treasure trove of hands-on experience, all summed up in easy-to-read and scientifically-designed chapters.  Garner even hand-drew over a hundred excellent diagrams to illustrate his points (and included a few more dozen photos to prove his grafting techniques aren't a pipe dream).

The only downside of The Grafter's Handbook is that it was published in England and is now out of print, which makes it rather hard to find.  I lucked out and bought a gently used copy on Amazon for $10, but if you can hold your horses, there's a revised edition coming out next year, updated by British gardener Steve Bradley.  (When I started this review, I was actually going to say that the only thing that would make this book better is if it was lightly updated to include modern tools, so now I almost wish I'd known about the revised edition before I bought and read this one.)

Grafting book

This week (and next), I'll be regaling you with highlights from The Grafter's Handbook at lunchtime.  I hope it will inspire you to try your had at grafting this winter just like it did me.

The Weekend Homesteader has been reviewed by Booklist, so hopefully it will come soon to a library near you.

This post is part of our Grafting lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I thought graft was our national sport.
Comment by Errol Mon Oct 15 15:12:36 2012
Daddy --- That's why I'm posting the series now in the runup to the election, of course. :-)
Comment by anna Mon Oct 15 16:30:44 2012
Ha! I see where you get your sense of humor....
Comment by Deb Tue Oct 16 08:02:25 2012
Deb --- Yeah, all of my bad traits come from that side of the family. :-)
Comment by anna Tue Oct 16 08:42:02 2012

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