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Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, 2nd Edition Paperback – April, 2009
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"Become a sustainable producer of resources instead of a wasteful consumer. This wonderful book shows you how by helping you create and enhance beautiful backyard ecosystems within the garden. Put this book into action, and you'll begin to live an example that positively shifts your own community and beyond. Best of all, doing so with this book is simple, juicy, and fun."--Brad Lancaster, author of Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond and http://www.HarvestingRainwater.com
"Toby's fun, well-grounded, and engaging book is fast becoming a classic, and deservedly so. Practical yet visionary, broad-ranging yet focused on the basics one needs to know, this is a great place to start on the permaculture path. The new edition builds solidly on the success of the first. Congratulations!"--Dave Jacke, co-author of the two-volume Edible Forest Gardens
"The world didn't come with an operating manual, so it's a good thing that some wise people have from time to time written them. Gaia's Garden is one of the more important, a book that will be absolutely necessary in the world ahead."--Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy and Hope, Human and Wild
"Permaculture gardens are no longer a thing of the future. They are here to stay and flourish. Gaia's Garden is enlightening and required reading for all people who desire to make their home's landscape healthy, sustainable, and healing."--Robert Kourik, author of Designing and Maintaining Your Edible Landscape--Naturally
"Gaia's Garden is simply the best permaculture book ever written, and is in the running for best gardening book ever written. No one should be without it."--Sharon Astyk, author of Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front
"Toby Hemenway's Gaia's Garden will be recorded in history as a milestone for gardeners and landscapers--a fusion of the practical and the visionary--using the natural intelligence of Earth's symbiotic communities to strengthen and sustain ecosystems in which humans are a partner, not a competitor. An amazing achievement showing how we can and must live in harmony with nature!"--Paul Stamets, author of Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World
About the Author
Toby Hemenway is the author of the first major North American book on permaculture, Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture. After obtaining a degree in biology from Tufts University, Toby worked for many years as a researcher in genetics and immunology, first in academic laboratories at Harvard and the University of Washington in Seattle, and then at Immunex, a major medical biotech company. At about the time he was growing dissatisfied with the direction biotechnology was taking, he discovered permaculture, a design approach based on ecological principles that creates sustainable landscapes, homes, and workplaces. A career change followed, and Toby and his wife spent ten years creating a rural permaculture site in southern Oregon. He was associate editor of Permaculture Activist, a journal of ecological design and sustainable culture, from 1999 to 2004. He teaches permaculture and consults and lectures on ecological design throughout the country. His writing has appeared in magazines such as Whole Earth Review, Natural Home, and Kitchen Gardener. He is available for workshops, lectures, and consulting in ecological design.
He lives in Sebastopol, California.
Visit his web site at www.patternliteracy.com
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
I'm not kidding when I say that this book was transformational in my views on gardening - I live in the city with very limited space, and our lawn was the best in the neighborhood. I have a raised bed for a garden in the back, and did produce some good veggies, but not near enough to eliminate buying any items at the grocery store. My first 10 minutes with this book I learned what I was doing wrong in my raised bed - and as I dug deeper it was one "Aha!" moment followed by another. I am a scientist, and I can't believe none of this had ever occurred to me!
The book is very in depth and gives wonderful examples with specific plants (not just general concepts) - the only thing I would have liked to see more of was pictures of actual permaculture gardens. I'm a very visual person and like to have something to imitate when designing my own project, so I'm still searching for design examples to incorporate (once again with specific plants).
Just know that if you get this book you're going to be inspired to make some drastic changes in your landscape - as evidenced by my "Bomb Proof Sheet Mulched" lawn - the recipe in the book for this was extremely helpful! I will admit that my first initial thought upon opening the book was - oh no, this is too in depth and not being a professional gardener, I'm never going to understand - trust me when I say, pick a chapter that sounds interesting to you and start there - that is what I did, and it migrated to many of the other chapters and just kept going!
If a person is going to get just one permaculture book, this is the book to get.
That said, I decided to try his advice out in my own garden, and here is what I am experiencing thus far. For background, I am an experienced gardener of 25+years, who has spent the last ten or so years transitioning over to the organic and sustainable approach.
Last year my 80x30 garden and two hoop houses were entirely planted in rows - monoculture. Upon reading Toby's advice, I have planted all of them this year with broader raised beds, with "key hole" type paths to reduce the traffic and compaction areas. The improvement has been from 50% to now being at least 70% plantable space. Very good.
I also did the multiple layer mulching that he details, and followed his instructions very closely. Here is were the garden encountered some very real problems. Toby suggested that the mix of seeds be directly sown - scattered more like - into this top layer of mulch. What I am discovering is that the germination and survival rate for the seedlings is abyssmal due to the high acidity of the mulch. What I found is that if I start the seedlings separately, and then plant them deeply enough to enjoy the compost layer, the plants do well. If however, they were direct sown seeds that have not penetrated through the mulch layer, they are struggling for nutrients, remaining stunted with pale color.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The best book about gardening I ever read, brilliantly written, practical and enthralling. Everybody should read this, just to finally grasp what Earth means to us!Published 2 days ago by Martine Bogaert
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in permaculture or who is looking to transform their garden into something more stable. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
Great book, wish I had read it years ago. Lots of good info and illustrations.Published 5 days ago by norcal-buyer
Love! If you're a farmer/gardener then you probably already know about this author. He talks about working with the earth in order to cultivate success on your land. Read morePublished 8 days ago by KimE
Wonderful natural ways to change your outlook on gardening and really make it more enjoyable and more self sufficient. Read morePublished 1 month ago by SP
Perhaps I allowed my hunger for a good book on permaculture gardening a bit too much enthusiasm. Perhaps this book sorely needs an editor. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Walter J. Smith