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Forest Gardening [Paperback]

Robert Hart
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.95
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Book Description

1 May 1996
Forest gardening is a way of working with Nature which is not only productive and requires minimal maintenance, but creates great environmental benefits. As Herbert Girardet says in his Foreword, "Robert Hart was a rare person . . . For decades he waged a lonely battle for life, patiently writing books and articles and quietly planting trees on his small farm in Shropshire. Robert created a magnificent forest garden which had a profound influence on the way people have cultivated their own land. It was a garden dedicated to human needs for fruit, nuts, vegetables and plant medicines. But it was at the same time a celebration of the myriad interactions of life; for it was based on profound observations, both intuitive and scientific, of how different life forms interact in order to stimulate and support one another."

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Forest Gardening + How to Make a Forest Garden: 1 + Creating a Forest Garden: Working with nature to grow edible crops
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Green Earth Books (an Imprint of Green Books); 2nd Revised edition edition (1 May 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1900322021
  • ISBN-13: 978-1900322027
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 222,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"Forest Gardening is a worthy successor which has brought the essence of all his previous writings together... His own back garden has over a hundred different species and variety of plants... Robert Hart has written an invaluable philosophical manual for the practice of Self Sufficiency and the Good Life ahead." - -- Rodney Aitchtey, The Vegetarian

"Robert Hart's tiny forest garden in Shropshire, covering no more than an eighth of an acre, is quite unlike anything I have seen in Britain or elsewhere in Europe. It is almost tropical in its lushness and fertility, and overflows with an abundant and tantalising variety of things to eat... An inspirational, optimistic book." -- Fiona Anderson, Tree News

About the Author

Robert Hart was the pioneer of Forest Gardening in the UK. His work inspired many others to pursue his vision of a more self-sufficient and vibrant community based on agroforestry techniques.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
77 of 90 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish! 12 Feb 2003
By Mr M.R.Watkinson TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this on the recommendation of an RHS gardening magazine I picked up in a hospital waiting room. The concept is fascinating; creating a garden that is producing food at every level, from the treetops down to root vegetables. The book, though, is a total let-down. The first 40 odd-pages are wasted tree-pulp; if I'd wanted a biography of the author I'd have looked for one. This from someone who spends the rest of the book tub-thumping for ecology & sustainability! Frankly, it would have been better titled with the sub-title, "Rediscovering Nature & Community in a Post-industrial Age". That alone should give you a fair indication of the nature of the book. It's a christian & vegan infected (& I quite deliberately choose "infected" over "infused"!) polemic of Green meanderings.

Don't get me wrong; if I wasn't Green-inclined myself, I'd never have been interested in the subject in the first place. But I want a practical guide on how to create a productive, sustainable, chemical free, low maintenance garden, in my case in a fairly small space. Instead, I get a lot of useless pseudo-philosophy, pseudo-science, & starry-eyed optimism.

The practical information in this book is almost entirely confined to the Appendices at the back and, to be perfectly honest, that is simply some brief information on flora, which is probably freely available as part of another source. In fact, it is! It's called "How to make a Forest Garden" by Patrick Whitefield. Luckily for me, I'd ordered it at exactly the same time as this one. If I'd only bought this effort, I'd possibly never have investigated the subject any further. I'd award this No Stars if I could. Save your money for something useful and, just as the author would have wanted, save a tree or two at the same time - DON'T buy this!!
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone can learn something from this book 28 Nov 2003
If you have not yet read 'Forest Farming' by Douglas and Hart, then you may lack the background to fully appreciate this book. In 'Forest Farming' we are told that civilized man has marched across the face of the earth and left a desert in his footprints primarily because he has ploughed the hills with the loss of top soil. Crop-yielding trees offer the best medium for extending agriculture to hills, steep places, rocky places, and to the lands where rainfall is deficient. Every good Buddhist plants and sees the establishment of one tree at least every five years and this simple act multiplied six billion times would have a greater economic benefit for humankind than traditional development plans. The 'tool' with the greatest potentials for feeding men and animals, for regenerating the soil, for restoring water-systems, for controlling floods and droughts, for creating more benevolent micro-climates and more comfortable and stimulating living conditions for humanity, is the tree. Douglas and Hart point out that the deeper problem is ignorance as many crop-yielding trees and shrubs are currently ignored by farmers because agriculture in most parts of the world is geared to cereal growing and livestock rearing by conventional means, despite the fact that trees offer higher yields per acre. If the tree growing potentialities of city private gardens was fully recognized, suburban areas would not only have purer air and a more benevolent microclimate but a greater degree of self-sufficiency.
In this book Hart develops the case for the urban dweller to adopt forest gardening to achieve economy of space and labor while producing fruit, nuts, root and perennial vegetables and herbs. He provides the guidelines required for temperate, tropical and sub-tropical climates.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great basis for forest gardening- not a guide 25 Jan 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a great book to guide you through some philosophy and ideas within Forest Gardening. It is not a guide as such but more an inspiration. Martin Crawford's book is a better 'how to' book- but still a lovely read for those interested (just may be get it from your library first!)
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Robert was a great friend, l bought one because mine is signed so that people can look through it and buy a decent second hand edition like this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 8 Aug 2014
I am so inspired. Everyone should read this book
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