Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains – A guide to high altitude, semi-arid home permaculture gardens. 4th Edition (2013)
[07-Various],  Resources

Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains – A guide to high altitude, semi-arid home permaculture gardens. 4th Edition (2013)


“Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains” will teach you how to garden in dry weather, high winds, intense sunlight, cold nights, summer heat, poor soil, insect pests, weeds and other challenges of the high elevation Southwest. Contains more than four times the information in the 3rd edition. Includes:Information applicable to an expanded geographical range including…;





“Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains” will teach you how to garden in dry weather, high winds, intense sunlight, cold nights, summer heat, poor soil, insect pests, weeds and other challenges of the high elevation Southwest. Contains more than four times the information in the 3rd edition. Includes:

  • Information applicable to an expanded geographical range including the highlands of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California.
  • An expanded list of fruit, herbs, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds with detailed planting information on water, sun and soil needs, USDA zones, pollination requirements and more.
  • A thorough look at how climate change is altering gardening at high elevations in the Southwest.
  • Why we need to recreate local food systems in an era of climate change and resource depletion.
  • An expanded description of permaculture garden design for our bioregion including a new chapter on creating plant guild ecosystems in harmony with your local wild ecosystems and wildlife. Learn how to attract native pollinators and other beneficial insects and birds to your garden while keeping out garden pests.
  • Expanded chapters on improving local soils, rainwater harvesting, greywater reuse, xeriscaping TM and other efficient garden watering methods.
  • The new final chapter contains a brief history of Southwestern gathering, horticultural, agricultural and food traditions of Native Americans and European-American settlers.
  • Appendices include glossaries of food plants and ingredient substitutions using foods that can be grown locally, and a large resource section of books, catalogs, magazines, DVDs, arboretums and permaculture institutes.
  • For the first time the book includes an index.
  • Hundreds of black-and-white drawings.
  • Color maps of USDA Plant Hardiness Zones and Forest Ecosystem Communities of the Southwest.
  • 8 ½ x 11 inches. Comb binding. 
  • Printed in Flagstaff, Ariz. (USA) on 100% recycled paper.

Lisa Rayner is an award-winning local foods activist and the author of four food-related books. Her books are known for being thoroughly researched, expertly written and lavishly illustrated. (For much more about Lisa Rayner, see Amazon’s Lisa Rayner page.)

 “Lisa Rayner’s book removes much of the mystery and guesswork involved in the endeavor of growing food in these harsh and, at times, unforgiving climates. Lisa draws from her extensive background in ecology and permaculture to create a holistic approach to gardening. The book contains critical information on microclimates and soils and on selecting appropriate species and varieties that are adapted to high elevations and short growing seasons.

She also incorporates helpful information on the history of growing food in the Southwest, describes guilds of species that create thriving forest gardens, and recommends appropriate times to plant your seeds and starts.

The appendices, which include a list of food substitutes, a glossary of food crops, and several pages of additional resources are well worth the price of the book. I highly recommend this book for anyone in the Southwest Mountains who is serious about growing their own food.”

— Judith D. Springer
Co-editor of Field Guide to Forest & Mountain Plants of Northern Arizona

“… a remarkably thorough and carefully assembled handbook for the home gardener in these challenging environments.

There is excellent material on the political and economic imperatives for local food production, climate and microclimate, plants, soils, water management, garden pests, seeds, composting and basic garden layout.

… [Lisa Rayner] has delved deeply into the synergistic implications of climate – including climate change – topography, transportation, demographics, microclimates, and much more…

The book should be a first go-to reference for sustainable food system designers, home gardeners, and permaculture designers in the mountain Southwest.”

–Peter Bane, Permaculture Activist Magazine



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