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Gardeners tend to assume that any organic product is automatically safe for humans and beneficial to the environment--and in most cases this is true. The problem, as Jeff Gillman points out in this fascinating, well-researched book, is that it is not always true, and the exceptions to the rule can pose a significant threat to human health. To cite just one example, animal manures in compost can be a source of harmful "E. coli" contamination if imporperly treated.
Gillman's contention is that all gardening products and practices--organic and synthetic--need to be examined on a case-by-case basis to determine both whether they are safe and whether they accomplish the task for which they are intended. Ultimately, Gillman concludes, organic methods are preferable in most situations that gardeners are likely to encounter. After reading this eye-opening book, you will understand why, and why knowledge is the gardener's most important tool.
Jeff Gillman is an associate professor in the department of Horticultural Science at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in nursery management. He lectures and conducts research on the production of woody ornamental plants and the abuse of pesticides. Jeff spent his early life on a small orchard in rural Pennsylvania and then attended the University of Georgia to earn his master's degree in entomology and his doctorate in horticulture. Jeff loathes information that is passed without concern for the consequences, and he has researched and published papers on the use of lime in containers, how plant hairs affect mites, how to control deer, and more. He lectures on topics including homebrewed remedies, organic pesticides, and sprayer and fertilizer calibration techniques. Jeff enjoys spending time at home with his daughter in her slug hunting and slug control research. Together they test lint, eggshells, coffee grounds, and other top-shelf ingredients.