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Creating a Forest Garden: Working with Nature to Grow Edible Crops by Martin Crawford

Creating a Forest Garden: Working with Nature to Grow Edible Crops

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Opens the door to a whole new way of growing food – and don’t be put off by the word Forest in the title, this form of gardening can easily be adapted to back gardens by lowering the tree canopy and limiting the number of plants you grow. A lifetime’s experience is distilled here, beautifully presented, it shows how to grow using perennial plants, the most sustainable form of gardening. As well as a new form of gardening, Martin Crawford is introducing new and unusual plants making this a stand-out choice.

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Who is Sue Baker


Creating a Forest Garden: Working with Nature to Grow Edible Crops by Martin Crawford

Forest gardening is a novel way of growing edible crops – with nature doing most of the work for you. A forest garden is modelled on young natural woodland, with a wide range of crops grown in different vertical layers. Unlike in a conventional garden, there is little need for digging, weeding or pest control. Species are carefully chosen for their beneficial effects on each other, creating a healthy system that maintains its own fertility.

Creating a Forest Garden tells you everything you need to know, whether you want to plant a small area in your back garden or develop a larger plot. It includes advice on planning, design (using permaculture principles), planting and maintenance, and a detailed directory of over 500 trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, annuals, root crops and climbers – almost all of them edible and many very unusual.

As well as more familiar plants you can grow your own chokeberries, goji berries, yams, heartnuts, bamboo shoots and buffalo currants – while creating a beautiful space that has great environmental benefits. In the light of our changing climate it is important that we find new ways of growing food sustainably, without compromising soil health, food quality or biodiversity. Forest gardening offers an exciting solution to the challenge.


“Even if you weren’t going to try forest gardening, I challenge you not to want to by the end of this book. This is a seminal piece of work on truly sustainable gardening, written with great spirit and soul.”
Alys Fowler, author and presenter, The Edible Garden

“Martin Crawford has spent 15 years creating what is almost certainly the best forest garden in the temperate world . . . and the breadth of his knowledge matches the depth of his experience. I’ve been looking forward to this book ever since I heard he was writing it.”
Patrick Whitefield, author, Permaculture in a Nutshell and The Earth Care Manual

About the Author

Martin Crawford has spent over 20 years in organic agriculture and horticulture and is director of The Agroforestry Research Trust, a non-profit-making charity that researches into temperate agroforestry and all aspects of plant cropping and uses, with a focus on tree, shrub and perennial crops. The Trust produces several publications and a quarterly journal, and sells plants and seeds. See for more information.

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Book Info

Publication date

13th April 2010


Martin Crawford

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Green Books


384 pages


Green Reads
The Real World
eBook Favourites

Gardening: growing fruit & vegetables
Specialized gardening methods



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