Creating a Forest Garden: Working With Nature to Grow Edible Crops

Creating a Forest Garden: Working With Nature to Grow Edible Crops

Book rating: 05 Hardback

By (author) Martin Crawford

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  • Publisher: GREEN BOOKS
  • Format: Hardback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 222mm x 276mm x 30mm | 1,760g
  • Publication date: 1 July 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Totnes
  • ISBN 10: 1900322625
  • ISBN 13: 9781900322621
  • Illustrations note: full colour illus
  • Sales rank: 14,853

Product description

Forest gardening is a novel way of growing edible crops - with nature doing most of the work for you. A forest garden is modelled on young natural woodland, with a wide range of crops grown in different vertical layers. Unlike in a conventional garden, there is little need for digging, weeding or pest control. Species are carefully chosen for their beneficial effects on each other, creating a healthy system that maintains its own fertility. Creating a Forest Garden tells you everything you need to know, whether you want to plant a small area in your back garden or develop a larger plot. It includes advice on planning, design (using permaculture principles), planting and maintenance, and a detailed directory of over 500 trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, annuals, root crops and climbers - almost all of them edible and many very unusual. As well as more familiar plants you can grow your own chokeberries, goji berries, yams, heartnuts, bamboo shoots and buffalo currants - while creating a beautiful space that has great environmental benefits. In the light of our changing climate it is important that we find new ways of growing food sustainably, without compromising soil health, food quality or biodiversity. Forest gardening offers an exciting solution to the challenge.

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Author information

"Martin is a true pioneer and his work deserves respect and celebration." - Permaculture Magazine "Martin Crawford is a frontiersman, a pioneering teacher and an inspiration. Both his work and his garden are national treasures." - Chris Nichols, Director of the Ashridge MSc in Sustainability and Responsibility. Martin started his working life a computer programmer but his passion for organic gardening quickly led to a change in career. He has had broad and varied horticultural/agricultural experience over the last 25 years - he has worked for the Yarner Trust in North Devon, teaching small-scale organic agriculture; grown food for a small hotel on the Isle of Iona; restored the walled gardens of a manor house in mid-Devon; and run his own organic market garden and tree nursery in South Devon. His experience led him to the concept of forest gardening as a sustainable system that can flourish in our changing climate conditions, and it was this that led to the founding of the Agroforestry Research Trust in 1992, a non-profit-making charity that researches into temperate agroforestry and all aspects of plant cropping and uses, with a focus on tree, shrub and perennial crops. At his 2-acre forest garden in Dartington, Devon, planted 15 years ago, Martin systematically researches plant interactions and unusual crops. He also runs a commercial tree nursery specialising in unusual trees and shrubs, and has an 8-acre trial site, researching fruit and nut trees. Martin teaches courses on Forest Gardening and Growing Nut Crops, writes books and edits a quarterly journal, Agroforestry News. His book Creating a Forest Garden - the forest gardening 'bible' - was published in 2010. His other books include Cherries: Production and Culture, Directory of Apple Cultivars, Directory of Pear Cultivars, Peaches and Apricots, Plums: Production, Culture and Cultivar Directory, Currants and Gooseberries, Blackberries and Raspberries, Chestnuts: Production and Culture, Hazelnuts: Production and Culture, Walnuts: Production and Culture, Bamboos, Ground Cover Plants, Nitrogen-fixing Plants for Temperate Climates, Timber Trees for Temperate Climates, Edible Plants for Temperate Climates,Useful Plants for Temperate Climates, Plants for Hedging, Plants for Basketry, Bee Plants and Dye Plants. His latest book, How to Grow Perennial Vegetables, was published in 2012. He is a director of 'Gaia', a Trust formed by James Lovelock to further his work. He lives in Dartington with his wife and two children. See www.agroforestry.co.uk for more information.

Customer reviews

By Tadej 12 May 2014 5

Very well written, so anyone can understand the process of planning and establishing a food forest. Mayn things are explained in detail and there are lots of pictures and data on several different plants you can put in each layer. The book is divided into logical successive chapters which makes it easier to understand individual steps.
I was (positively) surprized of the amount of information and experience of the author.

I recommend buying it. It's worth much more than you will pay.

Review quote

"This book is a magnificiently produced and massive tome that is sure to become every forest gardener's horticultural toolkit and bible." Grow It "Marting has produced a book that is not only visually beautiful but very practical, offering advice on planning, designing, planting and general maintenance." Positive News - Summer 2010 "If you are seriously considering the creation or maitenance of a forest garden then you would do well to have this book on your shelves. Even if you are only looking for novel ground cover suggestions in shaded areas or approaches to inter-planting trees, then this book offers bountiful food for thought." Green Prophet "Creating a Forest Garden is a fascniating read for gardeners interested in how to plant communities that work." Gardens Illustrated "Martin Crawford has produced a spectacularly useful guide to new horticultural and ecological terrain of great importance." Permaculture Activist "This semina piece of work is not only visually entralling, it's incredibly easy to use and it contains a level of detail and explanation that makes it, I believe, a must read for anyone who is serious about building a truly sustainable forest." WWOOF Ireland "Martin's book is visually stunning with beautiful photography and illustrations, accompanying very informative and well constructed text." Self Sufficient-ish Website - 11 June 2010 "This book is a must if you are interested in producing food from your garden, becoming more self-sufficient or just curious about plants and their uses." The Cottage Gardener - June 2011 "The ultimate book on the subject... extremely thorough and beautifully illustrated" Let's Talk (East Anglia)

Table of contents

Foreword by Rob Hopkins Introduction Part 1: How forest gardens work 1. Forest gardens 2. Forest garden features and products 3. The effects of climate change 4. Natives and exotics 5. Emulating forest conditions 6. Fertility in forest gardens Part 2: Designing your forest garden 7. Ground preparation and planting 8. Growing your own plants 9. First design steps 10. Designing wind protection 11. Canopy species 12. Designing the canopy layer 13. Shrub species 14. Designing the shrub layer 15. Herbaceous perennial and ground-cover species 16. Designing the perennial/ground-cover layer 17. Annuals, biennials and climbers 18. Designing with annuals, biennials and climbers Part 3: Extra design elements and maintenance 19. Clearings 20. Paths 21. Fungi in forest gardens 22. Harvesting and preserving 23. Maintenance 24. Ongoing tasks Glossary Appendix 1: Propagation tables Appendix 2: Trees and shrubs for hedging and fencing Appendix 3: Plants to attract beneficial insects and bees Appendix 4: Edible crops by month of use Resources: Useful organisations, suppliers and publications