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The Vegetable Gardener's Guide to Permaculture: Creating an Edible Ecosystem
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The Vegetable Gardener's Guide to Permaculture: Creating an Edible Ecosystem

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  192 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
“A masterful distillation of permaculture in a way that is easy to apply to our gardens, farms, and lives today.”—David Cody, founder, Urban Permaculture Institute

Once a fringe topic, permaculture is moving to the mainstream as gardeners who are ready to take their organic gardening to the next level are discovering the wisdom of a simple system that emphasizes the idea t
Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 15th 2013 by Timber Press
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Cathy Douglas
Jun 26, 2013 Cathy Douglas rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, outdoors
This is a good enough introductory book, with lots of visuals and some useful information. In fact, it would be very useful for someone living in zone 8 or 9, not quite so much up here at the cool end of zone 5. Shein goes into detail about important topics like seed saving and the basics of what to plant, and has some nice how-to diagrams for building swales, etc., but this book doesn't have the depth of reference material of others.

For me, it was a nice, quick how-to to get me started trying
Jul 28, 2013 Scott rated it liked it
Fairly basic information -- good for someone brand new to permaculture.

The author lives in California and focuses a little too much on plants and techniques for hot climates. Many of his suggestions wouldn't work in much of the country.

(Also, I can't believe another reviewer called this book "low on photos". I read it cover to cover in only a couple hours because at least 50% of it is pictures. (Not that that's a bad thing.))
Sep 18, 2014 Joseph rated it really liked it
Shelves: how-to, science, gardening
This is a quite beautiful book, full of gorgeous photographs and elegantly designed. Most of the information is not new, but it's nice to read a fresh take on the subject of gardening from the viewpoint of permaculture.
Cheryl Gatling
Every gardener knows that growing beautiful things requires constant work of weeding and watering, spraying for pests, thinning and pruning, etc, etc, while the weeds just sprout and grow all lush and healthy with no care at all. What if we could make our garden grow like things grow in nature? What if we could plant it, and let it go, and then just go out and pick food without slaving?

That's part of the idea of permaculture, the idea that if we work with nature instead of against nature, plant
Kristina Seleshanko
Mar 18, 2015 Kristina Seleshanko rated it liked it
Before reading this book, I only had a vague idea of what permaculture is. Now I realize the concept - at least as it pertains to growing edibles, called "food forests" - could really be summed up in a magazine article. Most of this book is very basic gardening advice, but it did help me understand permaculture and I did learn about two edibles I'd never heard of before: tree collards and tree tomatoes.

My only big gripe about this book is the communist ideals the author espouses. I have no probl
Jan 07, 2015 Katie rated it liked it
Shelves: gardening
This book aims to take basic permaculture principles and adjust them slightly for the person more focused on vegetable gardening than forest gardening. Overall the author does a decent job meeting this goal. Like most general gardening books is is very detailed in some areas and vague in others. The actual discussion of perennial vegetables to grow in a permaculture garden was disappointingly small and contained quite a number of vegetables that don't grow in my climate but do grow fairly well i ...more
Mar 21, 2015 Anastasia rated it really liked it
Very inspiring and easy read.Author shares his way of life,that is strongly connected to gardening. Recommendation for everyone, who has a small garden in the city and wished to transform it to edible paradise :)
Matt Kruse
Dec 10, 2015 Matt Kruse rated it liked it
Shelves: gardening
Good enough as an introduction to the topic, but there are a lot of better options out there if you want to get into specifics.
Sep 08, 2014 Jessica rated it liked it
Good ideas, but I have a hard time finding truly useful information in gardening books that are not region-specific.
Jan 10, 2016 Liz rated it it was ok
Shelves: gardenbooks
It was a beginning vegetable gardener's and permaculture guide. It read okay, but I would go with Gaia's Garden and a mainstream vegetable garden book instead. Nothing new or really noteworthy in here, and I didn't like that it included a lot of permaculture that is not scientifically based, like sheet mulching, compost tea and dynamic accumulators, and would have liked to see more focus on the integration and connection that permaculture can bring to a garden.
Jul 08, 2014 Christine rated it it was amazing
Love this book! Great ideas and information!
Oct 10, 2013 Theresa rated it really liked it
This is another good resource to have if you are interested in growing your food in the easiest and healthiest way possible. This book does a wonderful job of sharing the tricks of the trade to build edible ecosystems and plant communities, and expressing the wonders of a messy perennial garden that keeps on giving. It has great color photos and good diagrams, as well as short stories to enhance the learning experience. Permaculture is the best way, in my opinion, to grow plants and live long te ...more
Dec 23, 2013 Angie rated it really liked it
Very nice and colorful book with a great heft and feel to it. It has several plans for different sized lots and includes information about how plants contribute to the soil and to each other with lists of mineral and element fixers, suggestions for creating supportive tree guilds and lists of perennial vegetables to minimize all the back breaking work of having to plant yearly.

This is easily one of my favorites for permaculture in the suburbs.
Mills College Library
631.58 S543 2013
May 22, 2013 Jennifer rated it liked it
Very nice permaculture primer. I was glad to see it touched upon hugelkultur, my new obsession. I also appreciated that Shein attempted to include ideas for those of us in northern climes; however, I will always be envious of anyone who can grow figs!! (Yes, there are cold climate varieties, but no, they give up and die as soon as they get to my house!)
Dec 17, 2012 Lynne rated it liked it
This book would be a good introduction to permaculture gardening for the casual gardener. For those who want to delve deeper, read "Gaia's Garden".

That being said, there is some valuable information here, particularly for the novice seed-saver. Shein simplifies seed-saving by grouping like kinds of vegetables.
Nov 15, 2013 Marsha rated it liked it
I really liked this book in that it was a good starting point for me to learn about permaculture and how to begin implementing it into my garden. But, as some other have stated as well, it left out a lot for my climate area. I would recommend this book though to others who are just starting out.
For a beginner like me this book is excellent. Lots of great photos and information over a variety of topics ranging from intercropping (polyculture) to building a trellis. Sections are concise and inspiring.
Eva Markiewicz
Aug 12, 2013 Eva Markiewicz rated it it was amazing
Love this book! The perfect introduction to permaculture, but not as superficial as a lot of the other books I've bought on edible landscaping or related topics. Loads of interesting info - my notes are all over the pages. Beautifully laid out and very clear to read.
Betsy Dion
Jul 15, 2013 Betsy Dion rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
I ended up skimming this book rather than reading it. It didn't have any new info that I hadn't already seen in other sources, and it tried to cover too much so it lacked the detail that a person would need to implement the ideas.
Apr 07, 2013 Kelly rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. Topics were easy to understand and offered some great basic advice for newbies looking to learn more about growing vegetables in a sustainable environment.
May 07, 2013 Melissa rated it liked it
Shelves: gardening, nonfic
Low on photos, this introduced a not-very-flexible approach to permaculture. Very specific, but I was hoping for a book that had something for everyone.
Sep 24, 2013 Margaret rated it it was amazing
Lots of great information about permaculture and creating food forests. I just wish there had been more for us northern gardeners.
Mar 10, 2014 Megan rated it liked it
Good beginner guide to permaculture for the backyard gardener. His garden is in CA, so it wasn't always applicable to my yard.
Pat Loughery
Jun 18, 2013 Pat Loughery rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library, gardening
A very simple and practical guide to permaculture gardening. Makes it easy to start small and expand as time passes.
Oct 06, 2015 Guy rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, ecology
I don't recall being particularly impressed by this one. I don't think I'll go back to it, either.
Jul 08, 2013 Kris rated it it was amazing
Very helpful- good resources for planning, multi-regional information (not just for So Cal)
Feb 07, 2016 Wynn rated it really liked it
An enjoyable and inspirational intro with plenty photos. Not so much a resource text.
May 05, 2013 Crystal rated it really liked it
Very good for the beginner to permaculture. Easy to understand with good illustrations.
Mallory Billups
Mallory Billups marked it as to-read
Jul 19, 2016
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