Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

WATCH: A Forest Garden Year

Martin Crawford is the author of Creating a Forest Garden, and the co-star of the DVD A Forest Garden Year (the real star of course, is his lovely garden!). In this brief trailer, he show us a few of the edible plants that grow in the simulated natural ecosystem that is a forest garden.

As Crawford points out, his garden is much more efficient than your standard weed-warrior’s crop of annual vegetables. It yields far more per calorie spent on it than a row-crop garden (although it may not yield as much overall), mainly because a forest gardener uses plants’ natural characteristics to orchestrate a self-sustaining system. We may be clever critters, but we’ve got nothing on the millions of years Mama Nature has spent refining how plants interact with one another to sustain diverse life. This style of gardening takes a few pages from Gaia’s playbook to replace chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and to obviate the need for a “cast-iron back with a hinge in it”.

Creating a Forest Garden (a gorgeous, hardcover book full of photos) is available in our bookstore–on sale until June 30th!


New French edition of The Resilient Farm and Homestead available

Great news for French-speaking fans of Ben Falk’s The Resilient Farm and Homestead: An Innovative Permaculture and Whole Systems Design Approach. The French language translation is now available from Imagine Un Colibri, from French booksellers, and on Amazon.fr. Falk’s book is a technical manual that details the strategies he and his team have developed for […] Read More

How to Make Biochar

Doing some spring cleaning around your property? By making biochar from brush and other hard-to-compost organic material, you can improve soil—it enhances nutrient availability and also enables soil to retain nutrients longer. This excerpt from The New Farmer’s Almanac, Volume 3, explains how to get started. To make biochar right in your garden, start by […] Read More

Generosity as Activism, and Other Homesteading Principles to Live By

“Like everyone I know, we occasionally find ourselves faced with a decision to which there is no obvious answer,” says Ben Hewitt, coauthor of The Nourishing Homestead. “Do we borrow money to build a bigger barn, or do we keep getting by with what we have? Do we spend our meager savings on trees and […] Read More

Pass the Walnut Syrup?

Everyone knows and loves maple syrup, and in some states (like Chelsea Green’s home state of Vermont), it’s big business. However, it’s a widespread myth that maples are the only trees that can be tapped to produce sap, according to Michael Farrell, sugarmaker and director of Cornell University’s Uihlein Forest. Sap can also be collected […] Read More

4 Books for Growing Food in Winter

Don’t let cold weather stop you from producing and enjoying your own food. For many, the coming of winter simply means cultivation moves indoors or under cover. Small farmers, homesteaders, home gardeners, and commercial growers can extend the growing season with techniques outlined in these essential books. There’s no need for urbanites and small-space dwellers […] Read More
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