- Paperback: 259 pages
- Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing; Revised and expanded for North America edition (September 1, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0930031849
- ISBN-13: 978-0930031848
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,077,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Forest Gardening: Cultivating an Edible Landscape, 2nd Edition Revised and expanded for North America Edition
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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
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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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Top customer reviews
While I agree with some of the things he says, I think the ideology being thrown out so hard might limit the readership of the book to people of the same mind. I also think it's a bit over beaten, considering that the audience is predominately going to be people who are already trying to get closer to nature... Just the feeling I got from the book.
Overall, if you can push past the preaching, it's a worthwhile read.
-Very 'personable' (by this I mean it reads like you're talking to the author in a one-on-one conversation)
-Lots of anecdotal evidence and educated-speculation
-If you're looking for a book that is more of a practical introduction to Agroforestry (AF) or Permaculture (PC), this is not the book; this book will whet your appetite but won't teach you the basics.
I have a small personal journal of AF/PC principles I started when I took a class on AF/PC and fell in love with the concept. I periodically look up new systems and principles and approaches to AF/PC (I'll shorten this to AF from now on for conveniences sake) and sketch them down in my journal for personal notes for when I finally have my own little home.
I grabbed this book from my school library along with several others to work on my journal over the summer break. This was probably my least favorite of the 4 books because it is not the most applicable of books that I checked out, and by this I mean that it doesn't really lay out basic design ideas for AF. Instead, this book reads more like a personal, one-on-one conversation with the author. You can read his excitement in telling the story of his personal development in sustainable and ecologically responsible farming practices over time.
This really is more of a book about the author's own application of AF and less of a universal approach, but if you read closely this book is peppered throughout with examples of AF practices that you can apply to your practices. For example, in the middle of Chapter 7, Design and Maintenance, which really doesn't lay out in a concrete manner how to manage your property, on page 74 it discusses a type of mulch the author uses that can be easily adapted to one's own needs.
I liked this book because it also introduced me to other pioneers in AF and other organic farming practices that I had not heard of before, and some famous names such as Mollison and Holmgren. And, again, I liked how personable of a read this was (if you can apply the term personable to a book). I found myself making more notes about the people, concepts, books, and individual plant species rather than system designs.
If you are looking for something that will outlay practical application of AF principles and design concepts, this is not really the book for you. If you're looking for an enjoyable read that will inspire you to pursue AF a little more, this might be the book for you.
And if worse comes to worse you can donate it to your local library.