Creating a Forest Garden: Working with nature to grow edible crop

By Martin Crawford - 336 pages - 2010
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Description

"Growing food sustainably is becoming more and more important in the light of our changing climate. Forest gardening is a way of working with nature that is not only productive and low-maintenance but also has great environmental benefits. A forest garden is a managed ecosystem modelled on the structure of young natural woodland, with a diversity of crops grown in different vertical layers. Unlike in a conventional garden, nature does most of the work for you.
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 comprehensive directory of over 450 trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, annuals, root crops and climbers – almost all of them edible and many very unusual.
As well as more conventional plants you can grow your own Nepalese raspberries, chokeberries, goji berries, almonds and hops – while creating a beautiful environment that benefits you and the ecosystem. Forest gardens offer one solution for a long-term, sustainable way of growing food without compromising soil quality, food quality or biodiversity." (from back cover)

"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 growing 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 have 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." (from Amazon)

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About the Author

Martin Crawford has spent over twenty years in organic agriculture and horticulture and is director of The Agroforestry Research Trust, 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. It produces several publications and a quarterly journal, and sells plants and seeds. See www.agroforestry.co.uk for more information.

Content

Table of Content

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. Ground cover and herbaceous perennial species
    • 16. Designing the ground cover / perennial 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: Species for windbreak hedges
Appendix 3: Plants to attract beneficial insects and bees
Appendix 4: Edible crops calendar
Resources: Useful organisations, suppliers & publications

External Links

  1. Forward by Rob Hopkins