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This review is from: Bioshelter Market Garden: A Permaculture Farm (Paperback)
I have been an urban farmer/designer for the past 4 years. I have read heaps of books on farming and gardening, and I was surprised by how excellent this book is.
Many books are primers on ideas in modern ecological farming and gardening. This book is not a beginner book on vague permaculture design ideas. It's a very thorough book with case studies of actual projects, showing you how to design, build and run these systems, including the pieces of the bioshelter puzzle (ie- keeping chickens, aquaculture, compost in the bioshelter.) It IS light enough reading though that it provides great inspiration for aspiring gardeners.
It's very practical and he goes into a superb amount of detail on everything, even what kind of lights and fixtures to use. This is really a book to get if you actually plan to employ some of these ideas.
He includes calculations of how to determine how to provide sufficient heat in a greenhouse year round with minimal supplemental heating, how to determine BTUs from compost, etc. This book can get you a lot of the way toward designing a farm project that you feel confident about.
In addition to the bioshelter information, he also talks about the general running of an intensive farm, going through each season. This is stuff that would be helpful to any farm or garden, even if you're just growing for yourself. Darrel is very thorough and you can tell that he put a ton of research and time into writing this book. Highly recommended!