Foreword Reviews

The Home-Scale Forest Garden

How to Plan, Plant, and Tend a Resilient Edible Landscape

Dani Baker is the dreamer and planner behind the Enchanted Edible Forest, three acres in New York that were cultivated over a decade to grow more organic, edible plants. The Home-Scale Forest Garden brings these permaculture gardening principles to life with personal anecdotes and lush photographs. She shares experienced, friendly advice for gardeners of all experience levels.

Permaculture means that plants need less care as time goes on, but the early years of the Enchanted Edible Forest required research, trial and error, and heavy machinery to adjust the land for easier long-term maintenance. Canopy-providing trees were planned first, with decisions continuing on down to shrubs, plants, vines, and fungi. The first years required close observation, planning for the season ahead, and thoughts about functionality in later years, when larger plants like trees and established perennials would need less maintenance. Through this work, the Enchanted Edible Forest became bountiful—and a treasured space for special events.

Following an explanation of the Enchanted Edible Forest, the second half of the book profiles individual plants from the top down. Lessons in adaptability and adjusting one’s plans wend in, alongside creative tricks for stymieing pests—or employing them to the gardener’s advantage—as well as tips for growing plants recommended for other climates and strategic plant groupings. All soil types are discussed. Meanwhile, Baker shares personal recommendations, such as to reread gardening books, knowing that you’ll learn something different from them each time.

With fun stories, a methodical organization, and helpful appendices, this is a great primer full of gardening expertise. The Home-Scale Forest Garden explains permaculture principles as an inspiring resource for those planning sustainable green spaces.

Reviewed by Meredith Grahl Counts

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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