Edible landscaping or gardening has been very important in my life & for my health. I’ve always grown as much of my own food as I could, including in my front yard, on a city street, in my plots of a community garden along a river, & every garden, urban or rural, that I’ve planted & tended. The main reason, other than love of gardening, was the much superior flavors. I grew mostly heirlooms, as well as preferred cultivars from around the world (grown for flavor, rather than longevity in transit, or shelf life).
The reasons to grow one’s own food are now growing, well beyond flavor, to health, our own & that of the environment, to saving the food supply.
Garden trends go & go, but perhaps the most positive & repeated is the revival of interest in edible gardening. Perhaps the return of interest, at this time, is because the corporations, that supply so much of the food (& seed) supply, have interests that are detrimental to consumers’ health; or perhaps because of the chemical over spraying of crops, or the toxic additives in almost everything. AND perhaps, it is because home grown food does taste better & is more nutritious.
The difference is, now, that the edibles are now often grown on smaller pieces of property, with close-by neighbors, and regulations of home owners’ associations. Aesthetics has become more important, which means combining edibles with ornamentals. The following books are excellent for helping gardeners make all of the pieces & considerations of “urban agriculture”, or edible landscaping, work for them.
“The Edible Landscape; Creating a Beautiful & Bountiful Garden with Vegetables, Fruits, & Flowers”: “We have had our fill of tasteless, woody tomatoes from the far reaches of the globe & have begun tasting again-thanks to farmer’s markets & co-ops–the real flavors we remember from childhood.Inspire by these events, people have started growing food in the most unlikely places, including rooftops, abandoned parking lots, & tiny balconies & backyards on average city streets. Individuals & families are taking up the trowel & discovering that gardening can be fun, fulfilling, & ultimately, delicious.
“Edible Landscaping”: Since Rosalind Creasy popularized the concept of landscaping with edibles a quarter-century ago, interest in eating healthy, fresh, locally grown foods has swept across the nation. More and more Americans are looking to grow clean, delicious produce at home, saving money and natural resources at the same time. — Creasy’s expertise on edibles and how to incorporate them in beautifully designed outdoor environments was first showcased in the original edition in 1982), Now this new edition presents the latest design & how-to information in a glorious full-color format…
“Edible Landscaping With a Permaculture Twist” “is a how-to manual for the budding & experienced gardener alike, full of creative & easy-to-follow designs that guide you to having your yard and eating it, too. With the help of more than 200 beautiful color photos and drawings, permaculture designer & avid grower Michael Judd takes the reader on a step-by-step process to transform a sea of grass into a flourishing edible landscape that pleases the eye as well as the taste buds.”
A colorful guide covering the basics of replacing a traditional lawn with a wide variety of easy-care, no-mow, drought-tolerant, money-saving options that will appeal to today’s busy, eco-conscious homeowner. Free yourself with “Lawn Gone!” with realistic choices, achievable plans, & simple instructions:
• alternative grasses that seldom (or never) need mowing
• drought-tolerant, eco-friendly landscapes
• regional plant recommendations for all parts of the country
• artificial turf that looks like the real thing
• step-by-step lawn-removal methods
• strategies for dealing with neighbors and HOAs
• ways to minimize your lawn if you’re not ready to go all the way
“Edible Forest Gardens” is a groundbreaking 2-vol. work that spells out & explores the key concepts of forest ecology & applies them to the needs of natural gardeners in temperate climates. Vol. I lays out the vision of the forest garden & explains the basic ecological principles that make it work. In Vol. II, Jacke & Toensmeier move on to practical considerations: ways to design, establish, & maintain your own forest garden.
“Integrated Forest Gardening”: Permaculture is a movement that is coming into its own, & the concept of creating plant guilds in permaculture is at the forefront of every farmer’s & gardener’s practice. One of the essential practices of permaculture is to develop perennial agricultural systems that thrive over several decades without expensive & harmful inputs…
“Creating A Forest Garden”: Offering inspiration for all gardeners, this book features beautiful color photographs & illustrations throughout, & is divided into 2 parts. Part One looks at why & how to grow particular crops & how to look after them for maximum health. Part Two features more than 100 perennial edibles in detail, both common & unusual, from rhubarb to spinach & Jerusalem artichoke to nodding onions. Also: plenty of cooking tips.
Mini Farming describes a holistic approach to small-area farming that will show you how to produce 85 percent of an average family’s food on just a quarter acre—and earn $10,000 in cash annually while spending less than half the time that an ordinary job would require.
It’s time for home gardeners to rethink the traditional garden & explore the wide variety of options for growing edibles in “anywhere” gardens—from decorative pots and raised beds to unusual growing bags, hanging pouches, & tomato rings. These contained gardens are more manageable than long rows or plots and require much less work—yet yield just as much bounty.
Fruits & Vegetables in Pots: Containers, Raised Beds, & & Using a combination of easily accessible information & inspiring photographs, the Simple Steps series promotes gardening as a real pleasure rather than a back-breaking chore. Learn simple steps to growing & nurturing your own fruits & vegetables in containers.
Items to simplify your edible gardening:
Greenes 4’x4’x21″ Cedar Tiered Raised Garden Bed in Cedar: The top two tiers (21″ & 14″, respectively) offer the perfect depth for growing deep-rooted vegetables & plants. — The dovetail design means quick & easy assembly; Kit is made in the USA from 100% chemical-free naturally rot- & insect-resistant N. American cedar; Perfect for organic gardens! Uses 1 cubic yard of soil.
Gronomics RAISED planters: 24″, 34″, & 18″ high
Gronomics VERTICAL Planter 32″x45″x9″
- 100% unfinished Western Red Cedar.
- no assembly required”
- includes drip irrigation
“Designing & Maintaining Your EDIBLE LANDSCAPE Naturally”: First published in 1986, this classic is back in print by demand. It’s the authoritative text on edible landscaping, featuring a step-by-step guide to designing a productive environment using vegetables, fruits, flowers, & herbs for a combination of ornamental & culinary purposes.
“The Beautiful Edible Garden: Design a Stylish Outdoor Space Using Vegetables, Fruits & Herbs” If you want to grow some food, but you don’t want your yard to look like a farm. Or maybe your HOA has rules on that & will freak if they can tell you planted some produce producing plants. Or maybe you have a neighbor who has a tendency to report everything you do to the city inspectors. If you are looking for a way to mix in the edible plants with ornamental things, this could be the book for you.