Such an edible forest garden--multilayered and mimicking nature--is not just an idyllic vision. It is a very real and exciting alternative to the typical suburban landscape, with its inedible ornamentals, its monoculture of grassy lawns, and its unimaginative plant selections. No matter what climate you live in, the concept of working with nature, rather than against it, is a familiar theme of the permaculture movement. Forest gardening applies principles of permaculture to home-scale agroforestry: the growing of useful crops in forest-like ecosystems where many kinds of plants cooperate with one another. The ultimate goal of forest gardening is to create a beautiful, productive, and largely self-maintaining landscape--much like the “primeval” forests that existed in North America before European settlement, forests which were intensively managed by native peoples.
This groundbreaking book is the first comprehensive manual to spell out the key concepts of forest ecology and to apply them to temperate climates. The authors inspire and inform readers, providing the tools necessary for designing and planting in tune with nature. Useful tables, illustrations, and plant lists round out this advanced-level gardening course—one that will change the way you look at plants and your environment.