Edible Forest Gardens is a two-volume set written by Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier that explores the concept of creating food forests, which are designed to mimic the structure and function of natural forests, but with a focus on growing edible plants. This comprehensive work is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in permaculture, agroforestry, or sustainable food production.
Volume 1 of Edible Forest Gardens starts with an overview of the principles and concepts behind food forests. Jacke and Toensmeier explain how these ecosystems are designed to be low-maintenance, high-yield, and sustainable, and he provides a detailed overview of the various elements that go into creating a successful food forest. This includes discussions of soil health, water management, plant selection, and overall design considerations.
Throughout the volume, the authors provide practical examples and case studies of food forests that have been successfully implemented around the world, giving readers a sense of the wide range of possibilities when it comes to designing and implementing these systems.
One of the strengths of Volume 1 is the way that Jacke and Toensmeier blend theoretical concepts with practical advice. For example, they provide an in-depth analysis of the various layers of a food forest, from the ground layer of herbs and groundcovers, to the shrub layer, the understory trees, and the canopy trees.
The Authors discuss the ecological functions of each layer, as well as the specific plants that can be used in each layer to maximize productivity and ecological health. However, they don’t stop at theory, but also provides detailed planting and care instructions for a wide variety of edible plants that are well-suited to each layer of the food forest.
Volume 2 of Edible Forest Gardens picks up where the first volume left off, with a focus on the design and implementation of specific food forest systems. The authors explore a range of different food forest designs, from small-scale backyard gardens to large-scale community projects.
The authors provide detailed case studies and real-world examples, as well as a wealth of practical advice on everything from site selection to plant selection and care.
One of the standout features of Volume 2 is the way that Jacke and Toensmeier highlight the diversity of food forest systems that can be created. For example, they discuss how food forests can be designed to produce a wide variety of crops, from fruits and nuts to vegetables and medicinal herbs.
Jacke and Toensmeier also explore how food forests can be designed to support a wide range of beneficial insects and wildlife, including birds, bees, and other pollinators.
Throughout both volumes, Jacke and Toensmeier emphasize the importance of working with nature, rather than against it. They make a strong case for the benefits of agroforestry and permaculture systems, which are designed to be low-input, low-impact, and highly productive. At the same time, they recognize that creating a successful food forest requires careful planning and attention to detail.
What’s provided is a wealth of practical advice and actionable steps that readers can take to create their own food forests, from selecting the right site to designing the layout and selecting the right plants.
Last update on 2024-02-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Overall, Edible Forest Gardens is an excellent resource for anyone interested in sustainable food production, agroforestry, or permaculture. The two-volume set provides a comprehensive and detailed guide to the principles and practices of food forest design, and is filled with practical advice, real-world examples, and detailed case studies.
Whether you are an experienced permaculturist or just starting out on your journey toward sustainable food production, Edible Forest Gardens is an invaluable resource that will inspire and inform your work.