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Back cover copy  

“A wonderful and well-researched book that describes all aspects of organic gardening, from seed to harvest, as well as how to gather seeds from your labors for subsequent years. This book will help you create a garden that will produce food for yourself and your family, whether you live in Florida or not.” —Nell Newman, president of Newman’s Own Organics

“With demand and desire exploding for fresh, healthful, locally grown produce, Ginny and Melissa are right on time. Hold a copy close, dig a plot, and grow your own!” —Michel Nischan, president of Wholesome Wave

“If you want to grow your own vegetables organically but are unsure how to get started—this is the book for you.”—Steve Christman,

“An excellent addition for any Floridian interested in raising food, either on a small-scale commercial basis or simply for the pleasure of seeing a garden grow.”—Marilyn E. Swisher, coeditor of Managed Ecosystems: The Mesoamerican Experience

With food costs on the rise, people are turning to their own backyards for affordable and delicious produce. In Organic Methods for Vegetable Gardening in Florida, expert botanist, Ginny Stibolt and Master Gardener, Melissa Contreras provide simple and accessible advice for successful, pesticide-free vegetable gardening in Florida, where soil types vary and mild winters do not clear out all pests. They offer suggestions for opportunities beyond the home garden, advice on what to do with over-abundant harvests, and strategies for developing a community garden. They also address pest management, appropriate bed types, irrigation, seed saving, proper harvesting, and food safety. By providing information that helps people get closer to their food sources, Stibolt and Contreras have created an invaluable guide for everyday gardeners as well as small farmers who wish to expand their operations in order to participate in farmers markets or CSAs.

Ginny Stibolt, botanist, lifelong gardener, and garden-writer, is the author of Sustainable Gardening for Florida. Melissa Contreras is a Miami-Dade County Master Gardener and founder of the Urban Oasis Project.
[end of backcover copy]

Melissa Contreras,  Melissa's hen, and  Ginny Stibolt


Ginny Stibolt is a life-long gardener with an MS degree in Botany, but when she moved to Florida in 2004, none of her previous experience or education helped one bit in her Florida gardening. She starting writing Adventures of a Transplanted Gardener to share what she was learning in her gardens. Eventually *things* started to make sense and in 2009 her book Sustainable Gardening for Florida was published by University Press of Florida. 50% of the royalties are paid directly to The Florida branch of The Nature Conservancy. Now she writes about gardening for Florida Native Plant Society, Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens,, Lawn Reform Coalition, and on her own blog:

Melissa Contreras has gardened in the challenging South Florida climate since 1998 and is a Master Gardener volunteer in Miami-Dade County. Taking on a challenge is in her blood--she proudly descends from a long line of stalwart Appalachian mountain pioneers who walked the sinuous Cumberland Gap following Daniel Boone's trail. Maybe her fascination with relationships between people, land, and food came from her grandmother, who grew enough vegetables for her 10 children on less than an urban acre in Middlesboro, Kentucky, and kept a cow, a pig, and chickens. She is creator of Urban Oasis Project, a non-profit organization, which educates people about growing and getting local foods. You can keep up with her at

Note: Ginny & Melissa first met when Ginny was on a book tour to support Sustainable Gardening for Florida and she was a speaker at The Edible and Garden Festival organized by Melissa at Fairchild Tropical Garden in Fall 2009. When asked to write an organic gardening book by an editor at University Press of Florida, Ginny knew that she'd need a partner in south Florida, because growing edibles there is so different from her location in north Florida. So she called on Melissa because she is a master gardener who has taken her passion public through her work at Fairchild and as founder of the Urban Oasis Project.