Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Applying Permaculture to the Home Garden: Toby Hemenway on Writer’s Voice

Francesca Rheannon of Writer’s Voice talks to Toby Hemenway, author of the new classic Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, in the first part of this podcast on Sustainable Gardening.

When you think about natural, sustainable gardening, says Toby, “organic” is really just the starting point. What a permaculture gardener is really trying to achieve is to mimic the processes that go on in nature. Say you walk into a forest: everything looks fine. You go back in three months later: things are pretty much the same. With minimal, if any, human inputs, nature takes care of itself. How can we apply this to our own backyard gardens? That’s the question Toby Hemenway tries to answer in his never-ending quest to dispense permaculture across the land, like Caine dispensing justice on “Kung Fu.”

Listen Now


“If we work hard, we sleep well.” Independent Farmstead Q&A (part 2)

Twenty years ago, the land that authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty purchased and have come to name the Sow’s Ear was deemed “not suitable for agriculture” by the state of Ohio. Today, their family raises and grows 90% of their own food.Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive pasture […] Read More

The Miracle of Farming: Toward a Bio-Abundant Future

Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer’s Le Ferme du Bec Hellouin is a celebrated model of innovative, ecological agriculture in Europe, connected to national and international organizations addressing food security, heralded by celebrity chefs as well as the Slow Food movement, and featured in the inspiring César and COLCOA award-winning documentary film, Demain (Tomorrow).In this excerpt from their […] Read More

Sow Seeds: Stop Walking Around Doing Nothing

“In the last one hundred years, 94 percent of seed varieties available at the turn of the century in America and considered a part of the human commons have been lost.”That’s one of the key takeaways in award-winning author and activist Janisse Ray’s book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. In her book, Ray […] Read More

True or false? Figs contain dead wasps

They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are wish-fulfillers … rainforest royalty … more precious than gold. They are the fig trees, and they have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways. Gods, Wasps and Stranglers tells their amazing story.Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles […] Read More

Imagination, Purpose & Flexibility: Creating an Independent Farmstead – Q&A (part 1)

Twenty years ago, the land that authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty purchased and have come to name the Sow’s Ear was deemed “not suitable for agriculture” by the state of Ohio. Today, their family raises and grows 90% of their own food.Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive pasture […] Read More
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