The Vegetable Gardener's Guide to Permaculture: Creating an Edible Ecosystem

Christopher Shein, Author, Julie Thompson, With
Christopher Schein with Julie Thompson. Timber Press, $24.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-60469-270-9
Reviewed on: 02/04/2013
Release date: 01/01/2013
Open Ebook - 250 pages - 978-1-60469-540-3
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This handsomely designed, informative guide introduces both new and experienced gardeners to a system to transform their gardens and lawns into beautiful, edible landscapes. Schein, who owns a permaculture landscape business, covers basic permaculture concepts such as mapping sectors (the forces affecting a garden such as sun, wind, or a noisy neighbor), designing with zones (regions in the plot based on proximity and frequency of use), and creating polycultures -- "growing diverse plants together to create mutually beneficial relationships among them." Schein explains basic organic gardening methods such as soil testing, composting, and tree planting, but takes them a step further with instructions for more esoteric elements such as compost tea and permaculture favorites like herb spirals, hugelkultur, and sheet mulching. He gives cultivation advice not only for familiar vegetables but also fruit and nut trees, unusual perennial vegetables, edible weeds, and mushrooms. The book is profusely illustrated with drawings and color photographs, some of them so oversize that the plants they depict look unfamiliar. Although a little sparse on theory, the book gives gardeners a wide variety of tools to begin to use the principles and techniques of this "ancient yet cutting-edge technology."(Jan.)
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