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Edible Forest Gardens is a groundbreaking two-volume work that spells out and explores the key concepts of forest ecology and applies them to the needs of natural gardeners in temperate climates. Volume I lays out the vision of the forest garden and explains the basic ecological principles that make it work. In Volume II, Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier move on to practical Edible Forest Gardens is a groundbreaking two-volume work that spells out and explores the key concepts of forest ecology and applies them to the needs of natural gardeners in temperate climates. Volume I lays out the vision of the forest garden and explains the basic ecological principles that make it work. In Volume II, Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier move on to practical considerations: concrete ways to design, establish, and maintain your own forest garden. Along the way they present case studies and examples, as well as tables, illustrations, and a uniquely valuable -plant matrix- that lists hundreds of the best edible and useful species. Taken together, the two volumes of Edible Forest Gardens offer an advanced course in ecological gardening-one that will forever change the way you look at plants and your environment. What is an edible forest garden? An edible forest garden is a perennial polyculture of multipurpose plants. Most plants regrow every year without replanting: perennials. Many species grow together: a polyculture. Each plant contributes to the success of the whole by fulfilling many functions: multipurpose. In other words, a forest garden is an edible ecosystem, a consciously designed community of mutually beneficial plants and animals intended for human food production. Edible forest gardens provide more than just a variety of foods. The seven F's apply here: food, fuel, fiber, fodder, fertilizer, and -farmaceuticals, - as well as fun. A beautiful, lush environment can be a conscious focus of your garden design, or a side benefit you enjoy


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Edible Forest Gardens is a groundbreaking two-volume work that spells out and explores the key concepts of forest ecology and applies them to the needs of natural gardeners in temperate climates. Volume I lays out the vision of the forest garden and explains the basic ecological principles that make it work. In Volume II, Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier move on to practical Edible Forest Gardens is a groundbreaking two-volume work that spells out and explores the key concepts of forest ecology and applies them to the needs of natural gardeners in temperate climates. Volume I lays out the vision of the forest garden and explains the basic ecological principles that make it work. In Volume II, Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier move on to practical considerations: concrete ways to design, establish, and maintain your own forest garden. Along the way they present case studies and examples, as well as tables, illustrations, and a uniquely valuable -plant matrix- that lists hundreds of the best edible and useful species. Taken together, the two volumes of Edible Forest Gardens offer an advanced course in ecological gardening-one that will forever change the way you look at plants and your environment. What is an edible forest garden? An edible forest garden is a perennial polyculture of multipurpose plants. Most plants regrow every year without replanting: perennials. Many species grow together: a polyculture. Each plant contributes to the success of the whole by fulfilling many functions: multipurpose. In other words, a forest garden is an edible ecosystem, a consciously designed community of mutually beneficial plants and animals intended for human food production. Edible forest gardens provide more than just a variety of foods. The seven F's apply here: food, fuel, fiber, fodder, fertilizer, and -farmaceuticals, - as well as fun. A beautiful, lush environment can be a conscious focus of your garden design, or a side benefit you enjoy

30 review for Edible Forest Gardens: 2 Volume Set

  1. 4 out of 5

    L.G. Cullens

    This is a reference set of two books that I consulted in further developing my own natural garden (forest edge ecosystem) in a back pasture of an old farmstead abutting a Nature preserve. I found it very helpful. From the blurb: "Edible Forest Gardens is a groundbreaking two-volume work that spells out and explores the key concepts of forest ecology and applies them to the needs of natural gardeners in temperate climates. Volume I lays out the vision of the forest garden and explains the basic eco This is a reference set of two books that I consulted in further developing my own natural garden (forest edge ecosystem) in a back pasture of an old farmstead abutting a Nature preserve. I found it very helpful. From the blurb: "Edible Forest Gardens is a groundbreaking two-volume work that spells out and explores the key concepts of forest ecology and applies them to the needs of natural gardeners in temperate climates. Volume I lays out the vision of the forest garden and explains the basic ecological principles that make it work. In Volume II, Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier move on to practical considerations: concrete ways to design, establish, and maintain your own forest garden. Along the way they present case studies and examples, as well as tables, illustrations, and a uniquely valuable "plant matrix" that lists hundreds of the best edible and useful species. "Taken together, the two volumes of Edible Forest Gardens offer an advanced course in ecological gardening-one that will forever change the way you look at plants and your environment."

  2. 5 out of 5

    John

    Volume 1 was mostly stellar. I found Volume 2 too tortured to get through reading directly but has so much additional reference and tutorial content that to reduce my overall rating would be churlish. The following is my review of Volume 1: What we have is no less than the beginning of an adventure, explicitly stated. That adventure is to see our habitats become habitats, restoring our dwellings to gardens in the shape of forests. The great pleasure of this adventure is that it can really be any Volume 1 was mostly stellar. I found Volume 2 too tortured to get through reading directly but has so much additional reference and tutorial content that to reduce my overall rating would be churlish. The following is my review of Volume 1: What we have is no less than the beginning of an adventure, explicitly stated. That adventure is to see our habitats become habitats, restoring our dwellings to gardens in the shape of forests. The great pleasure of this adventure is that it can really be any of ours. This book is the first of two volumes; between the two it is the considerably slighter by page count. With color illustrations, photographs, and watercolor touches, it also seems to be the prettier. Other comparisons will have to wait until I've also read the second. It is, as the subtitle promises, a vision followed by an ecology, but rich in structure, introductions and conclusions follow, not to mention an appendix including resources, index, glossary, bibliography, and in addition a guide to 100 favorite species and maps to hardiness regions. The introduction orients us, giving us the terms of what forest gardens are, explaining their basic feasibility and the regional specificity of this volume (which I will call the Eastern and Midwestern United States), and issuing an invitation to adventure. In any adventure, there is first a call to change, the challenge to address. This is engaged by looking into the past, remembering the primeval forest as it was managed by indigenous people, and the sequence of events that led to the current curious ecological situation of suburban life, where food, energy, and material flows happen divorced from the ecosystem of one's habitat. Then, a vision of a new forest gardening, what change directed towards restoration might look like, is presented. This remembrance and call to change are the two chapters which are together the vision section. It then turns to a case study of Charlie's garden, a forest garden of a large, but not implausible, urban lawn, done very well, but not perfectly, in reasonable satisfaction to its steward. Seeing the lay of the land, we are then able to start the ecology section, starting with the elements of forest architecture: vegetation layers, soil horizons, vegetation density, patterning, and diversity. This chapter gives us enough literacy to understand a case study of Robert Hart's garden, which despite having many criticisms is kind to the originator of forest gardening, indicating that forest gardening is often forgiving in how it allows one to meet goals despite mistakes. We then turn to the social structure of the garden, understanding the above ground food web, guilds, competition, and how particular communities of plants tend to fill particular kinds of niches in a way that changes over time. The next chapter follows the same path underground, looking at the interaction of roots, the soil food web, and the development of fungal and bacterial interactions supporting plant growth. These chapters provide a way to read the overall community, allowing one to see relations in the architecture. We then encounter our first difficulty, the morass of theories of succession, unquestionably the most painful section of this book. Here a musical score would become more discordant, as those undertaking the training would disagree about what is appropriate to the road ahead, the truth being revealed to be progressively more complicated. This particular formulation is really only helpful to those who well remember a simpler successional theory, which I imagine to be a substantial number if not including myself. The truth might be more concisely stated: succession proceeds in a variety of patches in a variety of directions with no fixed end but instead with continued cycles of disturbance. It turns away from this tone of with another case study in the form of an interview with Martin Crawford, who has undertaken an exemplary forest garden. This book concludes its main text with a summary, a look into volume two, a tome that will take us through design and practice. The appendix immediately following, which include 100 of the most commonly useful forest garden plants, acts as a reassurance that, although so much is unknown about the world below our feet, in the web of the soil, and there are so many contingencies above, we can recognize useful and common patterns which suitably, if not completely, prepare us for our own adventures, which is then a great place from which to begin learning to design and practice for ourselves.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Permaculture principles and doctrine focus on mimicing nature instead of manipulating nature and this central core is through out the volumes. However, I find the volumes overwhelming with information. While the idea of working within nature and social structures is appealing, most of the forest gardens and communities are large groups of people all with far more funds and or property than many people can afford. With the complexities of permaculture it must be taught on a more practicle level Permaculture principles and doctrine focus on mimicing nature instead of manipulating nature and this central core is through out the volumes. However, I find the volumes overwhelming with information. While the idea of working within nature and social structures is appealing, most of the forest gardens and communities are large groups of people all with far more funds and or property than many people can afford. With the complexities of permaculture it must be taught on a more practicle level for it to be sustainable itself. For example; not everyone can afford large tracks of land, or provide the physical labor to even impliment swells and the cost of planting trees on them. Not everyone can go off grid. Although these may be goals of many they are not doable by all. Please share insight on this. As I research these principles and find that permaculture incompasses more than the nutritional needs of people it requires the mindset that many are going to need to change ways of thinking away from past thought and methods which have forthemost part not been sustainable. For example monoculture gardening/farming and the need to kill all "pest", which means that learning to live with what once was called a pest. Should now be viewed has having equally and as much right to be there as any other. Not every weed is a "weed" yet some have other function. Get the big picture one seed or plant at a time.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    A close second for best book of 2009. This two volume set is a full course on North American forest gardening, from idea to implementation. Read it and you'll view gardening (and especially orchards) in an entirely different light. See my full review at http://waldeneffect.org/blog/What_is_... A close second for best book of 2009. This two volume set is a full course on North American forest gardening, from idea to implementation. Read it and you'll view gardening (and especially orchards) in an entirely different light. See my full review at http://waldeneffect.org/blog/What_is_...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    This is an excellent reference or textbook. There is just too much information in it to sit in read cover to cover, but I will definitely be coming back to this set again and again for personal and community projects in the future.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kelda

    Awesome, Really practical advice on creating forest gardens. As I write this I'm still reading volume 2, but have already found so much info useful: soil ecosystems, 'successional' work, making edge-y productive clumps, etc. Awesome, Really practical advice on creating forest gardens. As I write this I'm still reading volume 2, but have already found so much info useful: soil ecosystems, 'successional' work, making edge-y productive clumps, etc.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    A highly technical textbook on creating a food garden that mimics a forest comunity... in any location no matter how small. This book goes hand-in-hand with permaculture design. Building healthy soil to sustain plants which feed people and animals and the soil is essential to earth's survival. A highly technical textbook on creating a food garden that mimics a forest comunity... in any location no matter how small. This book goes hand-in-hand with permaculture design. Building healthy soil to sustain plants which feed people and animals and the soil is essential to earth's survival.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jordan

    Beautifully awesome resource! Wish it had a West Coast counterpart for the plant lists. Not the black hole of information that is most other permaculture manuals. Very useful for landscapers, gardeners, farmers, and anyone serious about understanding the applications of permaculture.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    635.09152 J122 2005

  10. 5 out of 5

    Yana

    FAVE!!!!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Annette Bowman

    Very comprehensive. They require knowledge to be able to get much from. Not for beginners.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I just heard Dave Jacke speak tonight, and I am so excited to read his books.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sean Maley

  14. 5 out of 5

    David Funderburk

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Goldsby

  16. 4 out of 5

    Allison

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ben

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jeanann

  19. 5 out of 5

    Wild Wood

  20. 4 out of 5

    Babur

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

  22. 5 out of 5

    Catherine I.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marcel

  24. 4 out of 5

    Zarah

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lee

  26. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Bell ii

  27. 5 out of 5

    Luis Mayorga

  28. 5 out of 5

    XXSxXxSCS

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rosalie

  30. 5 out of 5

    David Pitman

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