Edible Perennial Gardening: Growing Successful Polycultures in Small Spaces

Edible Perennial Gardening: Growing Successful Polycultures in Small Spaces

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781856231497
Publisher: Permanent Publications
Publication date: 04/15/2014
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Anni Kelsey graduated with a first-class degree in geography from Aberystwyth University in 1990. She has worked as a research officer for a council’s economic development department and on various urban regeneration projects. She is passionate about permaculture, forest gardening, and the Transition Movement.

Eric Toensmeier is the award-winning author of Paradise Lot and Perennial Vegetables, and the co-author of Edible Forest Gardens. Eric is an appointed lecturer at Yale University, a Senior Fellow with Project Drawdown, and an international trainer. He presents in English and Spanish throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, and the Caribbean. Eric has studied useful perennial plants and their roles in agroforestry systems for over two decades, and cultivates about 300 species in his urban garden. His writing can be viewed online at perennialsolutions.org.

Table of Contents

The Author vii

Acknowledgements viii

Foreword ix

Introduction: Anticipation 1

Chapter 1 Setting an Objective ? five and grow as many perennial vegetables as possible 5

Starting points 5

Be realistic but push the boundaries of possibility 6

Definitions 11

What is special about perennial vegetables? 11

Are there any disadvantages? 13

Find and grow as many perennial vegetables as possible 13

Principles 15

Chapter 2 Foundations and Underlying Themes ? permaculture, forest gardening and natural farming 19

Permaculture 19

Edible forest gardening 20

Masanobu Fukuoka and natural farming 22

Synthesis 24

A wider context 24

What are we 'transitioning' towards? 25

Chapter 3 Living Soil and Plant Nutrition 27

The basics of soil structure 27

Healthy soil is alive 28

Soil food webs 32

Dead food web 32

Living food web 32

Plants need the right nutrients 33

The gardener's part 33

Chapter 4 Growing in Polycultures ? Diversity by Design 37

What is a polyculture? 37

The advantages of polycultures 38

The elements of polycultures 38

Plant size, shape and form 41

Chapter 5 Choosing Perennial Vegetables ? Part One 43

Selecting suitable perennials 44

Perennial leafy greens and shoots 45

Perennial green vegetables - cabbage family 47

Other perennial kales 51

Perennial green vegetables - other plant families 52

Perennial onions 56

Perennial roots and tubers 64

Chapter 6 Choosing Perennial Vegetables ? Part Two 75

Annuals that can be grown as perennials 75

Annual greens as perennials 78

Other useful annual greens 80

Annual roots grown as perennials 81

Perennials I would have liked to be able to grow better 82

Miscellaneous other perennial vegetables 86

Flowers 91

Chapter 7 Cooking with New Foods 93

Eating your perennial vegetables 93

Hearty chick pea and kale soup 94

Kale and leek colcannon 95

Kale with ginger, garlic and chilli 96

Wild rocket soup 97

Roasted perennial root vegetables 97

Chapter 8 Palnts to Complete a Polyculture 99

Tall plants 100

Medium height plants 102

Ground cover and low plants 104

Climbers 107

Nitrogen fixers 109

Flowers 109

Chapter 9 Pathways to Polyculture 111

Starting points and general principles 111

Planning a polyculture 113

Creating edible polycultures 113

Size and scale 115

Chapter 10 Site Selection and Preparation 117

Whereto grow perennial vegetables 117

Site preparation and initial fertility 118

Establishing the patch and ongoing fertility 121

Raising plants from seed 123

Fruit trees, bushes and forest gardens 124

Potted polycultures 125

Storing produce 125

Chapter 11 'Managing' a Polyculture 127

On balance 127

Principles 128

How does this work in practice? 129

'Weeding' 131

Mineral accumulators 134

Nitrogen fixers 134

Pests and diseases 135

Fertility 138

The 'do nothing' vegetable patch 139

Productivity 139

Edible landscaping 140

Resilience 141

Chapter 12 Reflection 143

Appendix 1 Table of perennial vegetable plants 147

Appendix 2 Suppliers of seeds and perennial vegetable plants 152

Appendix 3 Books, websites and blogs 155

Appendix 4 Dynamic accumulator plants 160

Appendix 5 Enzyme co-factors in physiological processes 161

Index 162

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