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Designing and Maintaining Your Edible Landscape Naturally Paperback – March 30, 2005
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Kourik's color photos and Massion's art effectively illustrate a text that fulfills the title's promise. The author's advice is sound and practical although the reader may bridle at his tone at times. (Attempting a chatty informality, for example, he orders one to "find a comfortable chair and leaf through the book.") Otherwise, this is a valuable guide to the holistic approach to gardening, which relies on natural fertilizers and avoids chemicals. The author begins with suggestions for designing plots according to environment, space available, personal preferences. (The pictures prove that areas featuring vegetables, herbs, fruit- and nut-bearing trees and other edibles can be beautiful.) Kourik, who frequently appears on TV and lectures nationally, includes recipes that use the wide variety of foods featured here.
About the Author
Robert Kourik began his career in organic landscape maintenance in 1974. Over the next four decades, he honed his horticulture-related skills by working with clients throughout the US, and has since written fourteen books on the creation of sustainable homes and gardens.
His book Designing and Maintaining Your Edible Landscape―Naturally, originally written in 1986, has become a classic in its field, defining the genera of gardening now known as “edible landscaping,” and focusing on organic, natural, sustainable, integrated systems.
His extensive thirty-five-year-old ornamental/herbal drought- and deer-resistant garden and orchard have never been watered.
Top Customer Reviews
The range of material is wide yet thorough. Can I grow peaches where I live? He compares 10 varieties, with limitations and virtues. He suggests alternate reading for each subject, and offers a capsule review (e.g., "A good one to browse in the library; only serious tree crops enthusiasts need own it." p. 219). The appendix seems all-encompassing to me, with an expansive index, recommended magazines and supportive organizations, mail order suppliers, & real recipes like "Chayote Parmigiana", with text on everything you'd EVER want to know about growing chayote for the dish, including Effort. (p. 300, 301)
Rosalind Creasy broke ground (ha!) promoting edibles in the landscape, and Kourik credits her. Her book has not been updated, however; this book remains timely.
The list of references/further reading is impressive but marred by needless repetition. The book 'Feed the Soil' is mentioned in the chapter bibliographies at least three times, each time with Kourik's peevish comment that he "dislikes the opening dialogue between rabbits and a worm". OK I think we got that bit Robert, we can move on now.
With some careful editing (and pruning out of one third of the text) a really fine book could have been created. And maybe no harm to add metric measures to the 'liquid measures conversions' at the end of the book. Even in the US, the metric system has been used by the scientific community for over half a century, and in the most of the rest of the world, terms like quart and bushel, long in disuse, will leave people scratching their heads.
In spite of those criticisms, this is a good book to add to your library. But get it second-hand.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very detailed book, helpful to us as we have just purchased property with room for lots of edibles.Published 5 days ago by B. Dancing
I purchased this book based on recommendations in the reviews of a general book on home fruit growing. Read morePublished 5 months ago by UltraB
Pages were clean, no writing in the book besides the Author's autograph, which was a plus. Pages absolutely clean and not curled, browning or stained. Read morePublished on May 19, 2014 by ZetaCeti87
Excellent book. Very detailed account. Much superior to similar titles. I've enjoyed several of his other titles - especially "Root Demystefied".Published on March 30, 2014 by Charles Frederick
If you care about your garden or landscaping, this book should be placed in clear view on your kitchen sideboard. Don't step outside without it!Published on March 19, 2014 by Chic Gast
I had hoped it would contain better lists of what would be suitable for various locations
and also planting/feeding/spraying schedules but I needed to look elsewhere for that.
This book takes you beyond the basics. It helps the reader to consider multiple variables in creating the edible landscape. Excellent charts and tables.Published on December 16, 2012 by anna butler