From Library Journal
What exactly is a forest garden? British author and gardener Hart describes it as a miniature imitation of a natural forest, complete with a fruit and nut tree "canopy" and lower tiers of climbers, bushes, creepers, and assorted perennial vegetables and herbs. Such a garden may occupy half an acre or less and like the natural forest is largely self-regulating once established. In addition to self-sufficiency, it offers aesthetic rewards and provides a sanctuary for wildlife. In this book, originally published in Britain in 1991 and revised for a U.S. readership, the author describes his own forest garden in affectionate detail, as well as similar individual and community projects around the world. Both philosophical and practical, Hart discusses gardening, agroforestry, permaculture, the environment, and what constitutes a proper diet. At times he drifts away to romantic visions of a future postindustrial Green utopia, but for the most part his feet remain planted firmly in his beloved garden. Hart's personally annotated lists of trees and perennials include many varieties known and grown in North America. Suitable for both public and academic libraries.?William H. Wiese, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames
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A holistic approach encompassing health issues, spirituality, and environmental concerns governs Hart's philosophy of "forest gardening" --akin to multistory gardens maintained by certain indigenous societies. Hart and a partner have implemented just such a garden on a small farm in Shropshire, England, and Hart's ardent treatise champions a union of modern technological methods and machines with ecologically sound practices. Interplanting edible crops is utmost: herbs and fruiting shrubs, "fodder-bearing" trees, and a variety of perennial plants. Highlights include mention of other communities that have achieved great degrees of self-sufficiency, where a sacred view of man's connectedness to nature appears inextricably linked to low-maintenance symbiotic plantings, appreciation of handcrafted objects, a vegan diet, and independent lifestyle. Alice Joyce
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