Growing Food: A Guide to Food Production

T Winch 
Springer  2006  

Hardcover  333 pp  ISBN 9781402048272      £68.00
This specialist handbook is intended as a quick and easy reference guide to be used by individuals and organisations that are involved with the production of food, from both agriculture and horticulture. It is designed to be used as a reference book that answers basic questions about how food is produced from plants, and aims to demystify the subject of growing food as far as possible. The focus is firmly on the technical aspects of food crops; topics such as animal husbandry, agrochemicals and genetic engineering are only briefly mentioned.

There is a strong international flavour to the book, with a view to making it user friendly throughout the English speaking community. In fact the manual is designed to be also used by those who normally speak or read English as their second language, using simple English t erminology and phrasing, with explanations and cross references of the terminology, acronyms and terms used.

The book is divided into three sections, described further in the Table of Contents:
Section 1. -Principles and Practices used in Agriculture and Horticulture
Section 2. - Description and Characteristics of the Main Food Crops
Section 3. - Naming and Classification of Plants, Seed Purchase Procedures, Conversion Tables & Statistics, Planning and Assessing Agricultural Projects

Of interest to development and aid agencies both in private and public sector (UN agencies, NGOs, etc.), agricultural and horticultural extension agents, students and the training colleges that support them, Government departments of agriculture, horticulture and rural development, funders of agricultural and horticultural development programmes, consultants, nutritionists, health workers and gardeners



  • Plant Growth: a. Plant Propagation; b. Plant Population; c. Leaf Area Index ;d. The Root System ;e. The Nitrogen Cycle
  • Arid Regions: a. Plant / Soil / Water Relationships, b. Plant Reaction to Stress; c. Crop Management in Arid Regions
  • Soil: a. Saline Soils; b. Soil Analysis; c. Acid Soils / pH value; d. Trace Elements
  • Fertiliser
  • The Plant: a. Annual / Biennial / Perennial; b. Botanical Classification; c. Cultivar / Variety; d. Photosynthesis / Respiration; e. Transpiration; f. Wilting; g. Shade Plants / Sun Plants; h. Vegetative Reproduction; i. Determinate / Indeterminate; j. Day length / Photoperiodism; k. Growth Period; l. Tuber; m. Rogue Plant; n. Volunteer Plants
  • The Seed: a. Germination;b. Seed Rate; c. Hybrids; d. Composite Varieties; e. Inoculation / Nitrogen Fixation; f. Seed Treatment (Dressing); g. Vernalisation
  • Crops: a. Cropping Calendar; b. Break Crops; c. Catch Crops; d. Climbing Crops; e. Companion Crops; f. Cover Crops; g. Pioneer Crops; h. Smother Crops; i. Shade Crops
  • Farming Systems: a. Rotation; b. Mixed Cropping; c. Alley Cropping; d. Green Manure; e. Mulch; f. Silage; g. Hay; h. Land Area Measurement
  • The Harvest: a. Maturity; b. Yield; c. Haulm
  • Insects
  • Diseases
  • Weeds
  • Tools
  • Irrigation
  • Storage


  • Cereals: Barley, Buckwheat, Maize, Millet, Oats, Rice, Sorghum, Teff , Wheat
  • Legumes: Broad Bean / Horse Bean / Field Bean, Chickpea, Cowpea, Field Pea, Groundnut / Peanut, Haricot / French Bean, Lentil, Lima Bean, Mungbean, Pigeon Pea, Soybean, Vetch / Grass Pea / Chickling Pea
  • Oilseeds: Castor, Linseed, Niger Seed, Sesame, Sunflower
  • Root Crops: Cassava /Manioc, Irish Potato, Sweet Potato, Taro, Yam
  • Vegetables: Cabbage, Carrot, Cucurbits, Okra , Onion , Pepper, Tomato
  • Fruits: Avocado, Banana, Citrus, Guava, Mango, Papaya / Pawpaw, Watermelon
  • Under exploited Crops: Amaranth, Bambara Groundnut, Buffalo Gourd, Leucaena, Lupin, Tepary Bean, Winged Bean / Four-angled Bean


  • Naming and Classification of Food Crops
  • Seed Purchase Procedures
  • Conversion Tables and Statistics
  • Some issues to consider when planning or assessing agricultural projects

To find similar publications, click on a keyword below:
Springer : agriculture & forestry : food crops : food science : plant science

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