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earthly pursuits: cultivating the gardens of the body, mind and spirit with an eclectic look at old-fashioned and new-fangled ideas about gardening, botany, agriculture, horticulture, floriculture, the language of flowers, bibliomania, food, life and other earthly things.
earthly pursuits urges everyone to be sustainable and organic



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 If you've got books you will want to take a look at these bookcases.

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Food and recipes
Tips on food and cooking,
recipes and interesting tidbits.

Sweet Potatoes
Rules for Eating
Sandwiches and Such
Eat the Best Food Possible
Food and Clothing in a Lifetime
Kitchen Tips
Weights, Measures

what is this?

Plant database links and books to help identify plants.


Most of the images on this site are available in high resolution for personal, non-commercial or educational use. Please email me.

And Still Looking For:

Squantum Sugar Corn Seed - "One of the sweetest and most valued varieties I know of. It is rather early and wonderfully productive. Rows irregular, but setting four and five ears on a stalk." (from Gardening For Profit by Peter Henderson 1886).

If you know where I can find a small quantity of this seed, please email me.


e-books in progress or complete :

The Flowers Personified - JJ Grandville - 1847 - The language of flowers with exquisite plates of flowers in their human incarnations as women. Flower The Flowers Personified covernames in English, French and Latin with meaning; flora's hour, days and months; and a short course on the history, grammar and use of the language of flowers. The flowers tell the stories of their lives as humans.

now available in paperback Volume I

click here for
more information

Farmers of Forty CenturiesFarmers of Forty Centuries: or Traditional Agriculture in China, Korea and Japan. - F.H. King - 1911. Sustainable agriculture proven.

The Evolution of Horticulture in New England coverThe Evolution of Horticulture in New England - Daniel Denison Slade - 1895

Letters From a Living Dead ManLetters From A Living Dead Man - Elsa Barker - 1914 - Judge David Patterson Hatch (d. 1912) through Elsa Barker's automatic writing, tells us what life is like on the other side of the veil. Comforting, inspirational, thought-provoking. Everyone who reads this book is uplifted. His next book is War Letters from a Living Dead Man. [complete online]

War Letters From a Living Dead ManWar Letters From A Living Dead Man - Elsa Barker - 1915 - The Great War from another perspective. [complete online]

Last Letters From The Living Dead Man 1919 coverLast Letters From The Living Dead Man - Elsa Barker - 1919 - The third and final Living Dead Man book.


The War Garden VictoriousThe War Garden Victorious - Charles Lathrop Pack - 1919 - "Coming events, we are told, cast their shadows before. Among the prophetic shadows now hovering over us is a finger of cloud which points to vital changes in the business of feeding the world. Indeed, these changes are already taking place. In part they have taken place, but many of us, being of those who have eyes yet do not see, are still unaware that the old order has changed and that the new order of things has come to pass." (from Chapter 13) World War I War Gardens were tremendously successful and can inspire us today to help end hunger. This book can serve as a blueprint of action.

Food Saving and Sharing 1918 Food Saving and Sharing
Telling How the Older Children of America May Help Save - from Famine - Their Comrades in Allied Lands Across the Sea.
Prepared under the direction of THE UNITED STATES FOOD ADMINISTRATION. - 1918

Victory Gardens - Handbook of the Victory Garden CommitteeVictory Gardens Handbook of the Victory Garden Committee War Services, Pennsylvania State Council of Defense - April 1944
A Handbook on necessity, history, organization, planning, planting, cultivating and preserving food in the Victory Gardens of WWII. Can be used as a guidebook to promoting the new sustainable Garden movement.

Allotment and Garden GuideMinistry of Agriculture Allotment and Garden Guides - 1945
A series of 12 leaflets published by the U.K. Ministry of Agriculture at its wartime base at the Berri Court Hotel in Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire, England  "...to help you to get better results from your vegetable plot and your fruit garden." I now have all 12 leaflets online.

Dig for Victory Leaflet No. 1 - Cropping Plan referred to in above guides.

The Old and the New in Corn Culture - Article from the 1918 Yearbook of Agriculture. Interesting facts about corn and its significance in American history. Fascinating Hopi method of planting corn in arid region.

The Garden Magazine
Beginning with the May 1917 issue, articles about war gardening started to appear. In this issue President Wilson makes gardening a patriotic duty and a garden plan is included.

about books
did you know?
old books: printing & binding
old books: differences in plates
old books - differences in bindings




books new & used :

Accessible Gardening
Books About Books
Companion Planting
Food Preservation
Garden Mysteries
Garden Tips
Gardening with Kids
Herbs - Medicinal / Culinary
Identifying Plants
Mulch / Intensive Gardening
Native American Gardening
Nature Spirits
Organic Gardening
Ornamental Grasses
Seed Starting & Plant Propagation
Seeds, Soil & Biodiversity

click here to browse earthly pursuits' used books in a variety of subjects.


feed the hungry

"There is no enemy
as great as hunger."

Neelix, Star Trek Voyager

No one should be hungry. Read about the tremendous success of the grassroots War Garden and Victory Garden campaigns during World Wars I & II. (The War Garden Victorious - 1919 ) Learn about A Garden in Every School program, community gardens and community supported agriculture (CSAs) and other programs. Grow your own vegetables and help others grow some too.

Hunger can, and must, be fed.


A brief history of
Greenhouses - Then and Now



what this site is about:
Before the big boys started digitizing library collections, earthly pursuits was envisioned as an e-book reference library on all aspects of gardening. I have been collecting old books and magazines to digitize and offer them online and as reprints through print-on-demand technology.

While this is still a goal, due to many reasons I have gotten sidetracked and this site has been neglected for some time. It is now time to resume posting some of the materials that are not already available on other sites.

I would like to post complete e-books, but since the process is very slow I will continue to post chapters as they are finished. Chapters will be added on a regular basis until the books, etc. are complete.

This website has only a fraction of the content I intend to make available. I have hundreds of  books, magazines, pamphlets and other materials to be digitized and prepared for this website.


a word about copyrights

The old books (anything before 1923) on this site are in the public domain, if you can find them to purchase. Acquisition and preparation of these public domain materials is expensive, very time consuming and requires a lot of labor and skill. So, even though the books are in the public domain, the files on this website are not and they may not be reproduced in any form without stated or written permission.






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