Summary and Info
(which amazon sells but doesn't link to here on the purchasing options, perhaps due to the different ISBN: 1603580298 - fyi. it's got a whole new chapter, which this review does not reflect [remember, that's a different book with a different ISBN...])
I've read the whole book, and am rereading it now (seeing as it's about that time of year). 'Gaia's Garden' provides a wide arrange of topics and tactics regarding edible home landscaping, be they swales (methods of water absorbtion into the ground), chicken tractors, companion planting (with a few great and extended examples, much better detailed than I've seen in any other book yet), beneficiaries, and more. It's been a long while since I've read it entirely through, but I still recall feeling, at least towards the end, that many of the points were being weakly reiterated (at least in comparison to earlier in the book), somewhat tied together, but that they didn't really add too much to the whole of the book. Again, it's been a while, and this second reading may provide a contrary perspective.
Nonetheless, seeing as I've yet to encounter another book which covers half as much, that gives great examples of such, and a number of tables of plants for various uses, then don't forget about the good writing and lots of real world examples, and 'Gaia's Garden' still receives five stars by the likes of me.
p.s. 'Edible Forest Gardens' is also great (at least the first volume, wading through the second more technical one now), which I purchased with Gaia's Garden, and glad both were bought -- one is primarily about tree crops, and not so much in the way of utilizing annual garden vegetables (rightfully so, as Toensmeier has put out since then another book, 'Perennial Vegetables' [look it up on Chelsea Green's website, there's a good 10+ minutes of video with the author going through his garden, showing off some of the diversity of his perennial veg]), whereas Hemenway's book does cover annuals to some extent, with no less than two examples of good polycultures of them (extended throughout the season, even).
More About the Author
Toby Hemenway (April 23, 1952 – December 20, 2016) was an American author and educator who has written extensively on permaculture and ecological issues.
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