Emily Murphy

Author of GROW NOW : How We Can Save Our Health, Communities, and Planet—One Garden at a Time

Our gardens provide beauty, food, and a respite from the world. But they can also become a source of positive environmental change. In Grow Now, Emily Murphy shares easy-to-follow principles for regenerative gardening that foster biodiversity and improve soil health and shows how every single yard mirrors and connects to the greater ecosystem around us.

No-dig growing, composting and mulching smartly, and planting a variety of edible perennials that attract bees and butterflies are all common-sense techniques everyone can use to grow positive change. You’ll also find detailed advice on simple ways to increase your nature quotient, choosing plants that cycle more carbon back into the soil, selecting a broader variety of annual vegetables and fruits to improve overall soil fertility, rethinking space devoted to lawns, and comingling all this with companion plants for pollinators to truly rewild any plot of land large or small.

Exquisitely photographed and filled with helpful lists and sidebars, Grow Now is more than just a gardening book—it’s a call-to-arms, urging gardeners to tackle climate change in their own way.

Actionable, hopeful, and joyful, Grow Now is a roadmap for “growing our way” to individual climate contributions.

Emily Murphy is a regenerative organic gardener, photographer, and designer. As the author of Grow What You Love and creator of the celebrated blog passthepistil.com, she has dedicated the last 15 years to garden education and nature advocacy. Emily has appeared on NBC’s TODAY Show, The Marilyn Denis Show, and her writings can be found nationally and internationally in publications such as Reader’s DigestPacific HorticultureThe Saturday Evening PostMother Earth NewsThe North Coast Journal, and Better Homes & Gardens.

How to grow vegetables with less water?  Feed the soil to increase water-carrying capacity.

Feed soil with organic matter similar to the plants you are growing. 

If vegetables or fruits, feed greens, browns, and kitchen scraps.

Worms for composting best obtained from someone local.

What are the advantages of placing worm subpods underground? 

How to start a garden in a lawn?   Sheet mulching: trim grass short, layer with wet cardboard and 4” of fine compost.  Plant in the compost.

Check for a community compost source.

Chicken manure is hot, must be aged an year.  Steer manure okay.  Avoid commercial horse manure – possible herbicides.

Where to site your garden?  Factor in tree and shade areas.  Afternoon shade probably okay.

What does Beyond Organic mean?

Regenerative vs. sustainable.  Connecting with nature through microbes.

The more biodiverse the environment, the more biodiverse the microbial environment in our bodies.

What are the benefits of spending 120 minutes outdoors each week?

Would vegan agriculture be better for our planet?  Is Emily vegan?

What special considerations does a container garden need?

Right plant, right place, care for the soil, select a big enough container, insulate the soil.

Consider starting with herbs.

Why is testing a soil sample important?  How to sample.

What material to use for mulch?

Recommendations for more diverse vegetable choices.  Try lovage, New Zealand spinach. 

Grow what you like to eat, experiment with something you can’t buy in the grocery store.

Growing asparagus – buy crowns, minimum of 2 years old, older better.

Are heirloom seeds important?  Local seeds are already adapted.

Where did the wasps go?  Bees, butterflies?

Create an environment in which biodiversity can survive.

How to deal with gophers?  Plant in gopher baskets.  Grow vegetables in raised beds with hardware wire underneath.

Why is organic food so important?  Need to make organic food more accessible.

Experience the joy of being In nature through your garden.


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