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!


“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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