The Vegetable Gardener’s Guide to Permaculture: Creating an Edible Ecosystem
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I love this book! But don’t stop there.
I love this book because not only does it get into the philosophy behind permaculture, it gives you examples of permaculture and the knowledge to design a permaculture system to fit your space and needs. I simply could not put this book down. The author packed this so full of great, useful information that I couldn’t even skim! That’s a big thing to me… I’m a book skimmer. I can get the general message of a book by flipping through or speed reading through the paragraphs, but I found myself actually going back a page and re-reading some of what was written. Not because it was difficult to understand, but because the methods in this book made me think. I love books that make me think! I even
had have scratch paper stuffed in the back of the book with notes of crops and ideas I would like to try and especially things that I would like to change about what we are already doing.
The author covers everything I could possibly hope for in this book. How to do everything yourself from compost tea and log beds to trellising and mushroom logs. For the first time, I discovered theories behind building soil up instead of tilling (foreign concept to me) and tree guilds. I had no idea that some of these methods actually produced greater yields than conventional American gardening. I say “American” gardening because, thanks to high school history, I remember that the English would arrange their gardens from shortest shrub to tallest tree. Tree guilds remind me of this, but include so many more components that can give you even more food in the same amount of space without plants competing with each other. Simply enlightening!
The whole idea behind permaculture just amazes me. I didn’t really have the most educated idea of what “permaculture” meant before, but through this book I have become much more familiar with the concept. So if you are struggling with what permaculture is or why everyone is so ga-ga over it, please please read this book. You need it.
The concept of “inputs and outputs” is something I have been very interested in and just didn’t know how to best execute it on our property before. The idea is that you produce no waste. None.
Example: You input water to your garden and the garden produces (output) vegetables and grains. Your chickens eat the grains (input) and produce eggs and manure (output). The chicken manure is input to the garden to help produce more vegetables and grain. And so it continues.
Obviously that is a very simple example, but imagine that your whole garden, all your animals, and you, are able to have a working relationship between each other where the needs of one element are filled by the yields of another element. It’s a full circle folks.
So, obviously, I am enamored by this book… which doesn’t happen often. But if you still aren’t convinced that this book is worth it, just wait until spring and summer when I show off our new permaculture-inspired changes. I have a ton of ideas to try out to make our micro farm much more of a closed system. I would love to go all out one day, but until then I have a list a mile long of aspects of our farm that can improve and how to improve them. Trevor will be rolling his eyes and regretting buying this book for me, but I’m sure you will look forward to seeing what comes of this!