The Home-Scale Forest Garden: How to Plan, Plant, and Tend a Resilient Edible Landscape

The Home-Scale Forest Garden: How to Plan, Plant, and Tend a Resilient Edible Landscape

by Dani Baker
The Home-Scale Forest Garden: How to Plan, Plant, and Tend a Resilient Edible Landscape

The Home-Scale Forest Garden: How to Plan, Plant, and Tend a Resilient Edible Landscape

by Dani Baker


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*2023 GardenComm Media Awards Gold Laurel Medal of Achievement

Learn how to create an edible forest garden—perfect for gardeners and growers at any scale!

Includes over 100 cold-hardy berry bushes, fruit and nut trees, perennial vegetables, herbs, edible flowers, mushrooms, and more.

When market gardener Dani Baker attended a permaculture workshop at her local Cooperative Extension office in upstate New York, she was inspired by its message of working with nature to create a thriving edible garden ecosystem. She immediately launched a new experiment she dubbed the “Enchanted Edible Forest.” In The Home-Scale Forest Garden, Baker shares what she learned as she became a forest gardener, providing a practical, in-depth guide to creating a beautiful, bountiful edible landscape at any scale—from a few dozen square feet to an acre or more.

Baker provides information on planning, planting, and maintaining a resilient forest garden ecosystem, including:

  •   Using permaculture principles
  •   Observing and mapping your space
  •   Building planting beds, including hügelkultur mounds
  •   Coping with saturated soil
  •   Matching perennial edible plants to the right growing conditions
  •   Grouping plants in diverse layers that attract and shelter beneficial insects and birds
  •   Creating microclimates to increase the range of plants you can grow
  •   Pruning, propagating, managing pests, and more
  •   Expending less energy for greater reward

The Home-Scale Forest Garden is complete with descriptions of over 100 food-bearing and multifunctional plants for every layer of a forest garden: overstory and understory trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants, groundcovers, vines, and mushrooms, too.

The book includes over 200 photographs taken over 10 years of forest development, along with illustrations of a garden layout and special plant groupings for a range of conditions, including hot, dry sites and shady, moist sites.

Throughout, Baker candidly shares both her mistakes and her successes to help readers better understand the dynamics of a forest garden as it grows and changes over time. From her Asian Pear Adventure and Tamarack Travesty to her discoveries of unique ways to rescue and transplant tree seedlings, readers will appreciate the practical advice as she recounts lessons learned from her grand edible gardening experiment.

This is the perfect guide for gardeners of all experience levels who want to work with nature’s model and expand the range of food crops they grow as they embark on their own forest garden adventure.

"Experienced gardeners with a serious interest in sustainability would do well to check this out."—Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781645020981
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Publication date: 05/20/2022
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 348,049
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.25(d)

About the Author

Dani Baker and her partner, David Belding, farm at Cross Island Farms on Wellesley Island in the St. Lawrence River between New York and Canada, where they raise certified organic produce and grass-fed beef and goats. Dani is a retired clinical psychologist and a self-taught gardener who learned her craft by immersing herself in reading, poring over nursery catalogs, attending workshops on permaculture and gardening, and enthusiastic trial-and-error experimentation. Dani now conducts workshops and tours at her edible forest garden as well as giving presentations at organic farming conferences and other venues. She takes particular pleasure in inspiring others to try their hand at incorporating permaculture principles in their gardens.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Planning and Planting Your Garden

1 Starting a Forest Garden Adventure 1

2 Letting Nature Do the Work 11

3 Planning Your Forest Garden 27

4 Implementing Your Plan 47

5 Planting and Tending Your Garden 69

Part 2 Plants for Every Level

6 Choosing Plants 89

7 The Overstory 99

8 The Understory 117

9 Shrubs 145

10 Herbaceous Plants 183

11 Ground Covers 215

12 Vines and Fungi 237

Part 3 Creating Plant Groupings

13 Plant Grouping Basics 257

14 Grouping Plants in Diverse Habitats 271

Acknowledgments 296

Appendix 1 Nutrient Accumulators 297

Appendix 2 Flowering and Harvest Times 300

Appendix 3 Stewardship through the Seasons 306

Glossary 309

Resources 311

Selected Bibliography 313

Index 315

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