Emma Cooper's Reviews > The Edible Garden

The Edible Garden by Alys Fowler
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Apr 29, 10

bookshelves: gardening
Read from April 13 to 29, 2010

In The Edible Garden, Alys Fowler is trying out a new (to her) system of gardening that's variously called polyculture (what I'd call an aspect of permaculture), edible landscaping, decorative kitchen gardening and ornamental edibles. The idea is to turn a smallish garden into an edible paradise, and the book explains clearly how you might go about that.

Alys covers all the basics about growing from seed, fertilizing, making compost and green manures that you will need to grow edibles without resorting to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. She goes on to have a good look at plants you might like to have in your garden - from common vegetables, herbs and fruits through to perennial vegetables and more unusual specimens you may not have come across, as well as edible flowers. She's clear about what can grow in a container and what is only really viable when planted in the ground.

Then there's a big section on using your harvest, including ideas for preserves and chutneys as well as recipes for meals using the produce from your garden and wild plants you've foraged. She touches on fermentation, motors on through herbal teas and ends up with fruit liqueurs and cocktails, so there really should be something to appeal to everyone.

Detailed, informative and inspiring, Alys has come up with a book that encourages people to get out in the garden and grow something to eat, and is a good effort at describing a way of growing edibles that doesn't follow the normal 'straight row' standard. All in all this is one that any laid back vegetable grower would enjoy having a regular dip into.
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