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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
Bioshelter Market Garden: A Permaculture Farm
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:$20.18+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on January 14, 2012
I have a certificate in permaculture from the Regenerative Design Institute in Bolinas, CA, and am in the very beginning stages of getting a farm going in Oregon. This wonderful book holds an excellent overview of permaculture principles - a great review - then goes on to present details about how they are applied at Three Sisters Farm. In addition to straight permaculture, the authors interweave ecoscience from more mainstream sources, to excellent effect.

Even more special is the thorough presentation of the bioshelter concept, their design, their use of their bioshelter, and - thank you! - thoughts on what they would do differently / how they would adjust their structure. Following the Three Sisters bioshelter are case studies of the structures from other farms.

The book is both very well organized and very well written. It is a treasure, and is going to be a mainstay for me as I lay out the garden and aquaponic areas of my farm. I unreservedly recommend this book. It has wide scope but presents it in a manner that is imminently practical. Can't say enough good things about the book.

Note: The book is, as many farming / gardening books seem to be, focused on what works well in the U.S. northeast where Three Sisters is located. Those of us in different climates can read, understand, and adjust as needed...
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on June 7, 2012
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!
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on March 12, 2012
I agree 100% with Marilyn P's review. This book is 463 pages of pure gold. They even show you... to calculate how much compost you will need annually, and how much raw material you will need to get there. to figure solar gain, solar storage and heat loss so you can size your heating system, and
...a table of temperate zone wetland plants with their uses and problems.

The only criticism I have is that there are only 8 pages of color photos, and only a modest number of black and white photos or line drawings. They do the job though, and I am not sure what I would have wanted them to leave out so that they could have more photos, so this criticism is really nitpicking. I only hope they find the time to write "Volume 2" to give us a status update on their farm activities, provide more photos, and give us more detail on how to set up the more complicated systems.

As it is, this book is worth every penny!
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on July 25, 2017
Great book, with a good balance of general ideas and specific experiences and advice. I've already been gardening with an attached greenhouse, so some of this was old hat for me, but I also found a lot of useful new advice.
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on June 26, 2014
As some other reviews have well stated, this is a book that covers all the basic theory of sustainable agriculture/gardening/farming as well as many practical aspects. It is written in a direct and accessible style. It is particularly strong on integrated pest management, and the many aspects of the bioshelter. This is a great book for people interested in indoor or urban agriculture since the bioshelter is essentially a very environmentally friendly form of a greenhouse. Since chickens are an integral part of the bioshelter for various reasons, the book would be of interest to some of the growing numbers of people with an interest in chickens. Of course, those engaged in organic and sustainable farming are the natural audience. I have visited Three Sisters Farm and seen all the principles in action. Darryl is the real deal, as his students in permaculture certification and his design customers would agree. One shortcoming specific to the kindle edition is the lack of a table of contents. For Kindle readers, if you go about 2% into the book, there is a page that is basically an annotated table of contents that fully explains the structure of the book. This is helpful for people who, having read all or part of the book once, want to continue to use it at as a reference book. I did some library searches for the book under "farm" and "greenhouse" and was gratified that it did come up, although not as high up as I would wish, under "greenhouse" but I ran out of patience before I found it under "farm." I plan to also acquire a print edition so that I can annotate it in a way that is more intuitive for me. I would like to see a new edition with a subtitle including the word "greenhouse" in some form, and also an index to allow the rapid retrieval of details (like what to do about thrips.)
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on January 3, 2014
If you are planning to have a commercial (for income) garden, this book is what you need. If you are planning to have a personal garden (not for income), this book is not what you need.
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on March 25, 2012
Sure do wish the photos were in color. Some of the photos are duplicated more than once. The words are great though and it's very well thought out.
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on October 5, 2015
good book.
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on May 2, 2013
This book is packed with a details. It can be hard to follow if you don't have a mathematical mind. It covers everything from planting seed to how to calculate thermal mass and locate the magnetic south. Great book for a serious sustainable farmer.
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on September 5, 2013
A great overview of permaculture with a good emphasis on sheltered gardens. Great for permies who live in sub-tropical or temperate climates and still want to do everything that permies do in the tropics.
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