About The AMERICAN BOTANIST, booksellers

D. Keith Crotz
D. Keith Crotz, Founder
I founded The American Botanist, booksellers, in 1983 as an outgrowth of my interest in agricultural, botanical and horticultural history. My college education in botany and history provided me with an excellent command of the topics and literature.

I began purchasing out-of-print and rare botanical books as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois, and subscribed to the major bookselling and collecting journals. So after being laid off for a second time in six years — and with a wife and 4-month-old son — I began my book business.

The first catalogues included books in all areas of plant science, though in time, I have become less interested in books on orchids, petunias, and roses, in favor of volumes on historical agriculture and horticulture. Today, my special focus is olericultural books.

Much of the organic gardening movement has its origins in the practices of American agriculture from 1820 through 1870. There was no “organic” gardening then, just farming and gardening using the now-popularized “green manures,” animal wastes and mulches. Many of the methods being “discovered” are actually tried and true practices lost as “modern” methods were introduced after the Civil War.

Much of the work at The American Botanist involves advising clients about books for restoration of specific gardens at historic sites or early homesteads. Not only can we recommend appropriate books and resources, but we can detail the varieties of plants and seeds, as well as methods for their care.

View and download a .PDF* copy of my white paper Resources For Growing Your Own Crops!

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