By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao

Getting down and dirty is the usual way to go when it comes to farming, gardening, or agriculture in general. Many practitioners attest that people can learn faster when they experience the task hands-on.

However, not everyone has the chance to brave the outdoors and start growing what they can right away. Fortunately, learning about agriculture isn’t confined to under the sun–it can partly be acquired in the comfort of one’s own home, and at their own pace.

Researching about the field from different published materials can help in many ways to prepare the farmer or gardener with what they’re going to face.

Other than the Internet, books are a good source of farming knowledge that span difficulty levels from beginner to professional. Here are some titles to look out for:

  1. The Backyard Farm Growing Your Own Food by Paula Zayco Aberasturi (Anvil Publishing, 2017)

    This book discusses the basics (with illustrations) on how to start your own backyard farm in the Philippines or other tropical countries by following biodynamic, permaculture, and organic agriculture practices.

  2. Home Gardener’s Small Gardens by David Squire (Fox Chapel Publishing, 2016)

    Home Gardener’s Small Gardens is a guide to developing small gardens and outdoor areas. Its topics range from small garden types, the right plants to grow, to the problems and opportunities that gardeners might encounter. It also offers illustrated information on how to make the most of a confined space.

  3. Animal Breeding: Principles and Practice in the Philippine Context by Dr. Orville L. Bondoc (University of the Philippines Press, 2010)

    The book adds to the list of local literature available on animal husbandry and development. The contents of the book as well as the livestock breeding principles mentioned stem from the Dr. Bondoc’s research and personal experiences regarding the topic.

  4. A Pictorial Cyclopedia of Philippine Ornamental Plants by Dr. Domingo Madulid (The Bookmark Inc., 2000)

    Madulid published the comprehensive but easy-to-read book about ornamental plants in the Philippines with the hope that people will gain better understanding about the diversity of plants and the proper knowledge to propagate and care for them, as well as to encourage them to protect as well as conserve rare species.

  5. Likas-Kaya at Organikong Pagsasaka ng Palay by Dr. Oscar B. Zamora (Go Organic Philippines and UPLB-College of Agriculture, 2009)

    Written in Filipino, the book is a step-by-step guide to organic farming systems, technology, and even organic fertilizer production—everything a farmer will need to start organic farming.

The next time you find yourself wandering along the aisles of a bookstore or a book sale, keep an eye out for these titles to learn about agriculture as told by the research and experience of these authors.