How to Grow Perennial Vegetables: Low-maintenance, Low-impact Vegetable Gardening Paperback – 5 Apr 2012
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This lovely book makes it clear that we are not just missing a trick, we are missing a feast. --Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
A really useful book... Let us start freeing outselves from the tyranny of the annual sowing, thinning and planting regime. --Bob Flowerdew
I admire tremendously the first-hand experience which informs Martin Crawford's writing. This book leads us down the path to a wealth of perennial vegetables and tells us how to combine them successfully. -- Anne Swithinbank. At last an in-depth book on perennial vegetables combined with Martin Crawford's usual diligence of research - essential reading. --Ben Law
About the Author
Martin started his working life a computer programmer but his passion for organic gardening quickly led to a change in career. Martin has had broad and varied horticultural/agricultural experience over the last 25 years - he has worked for the Yarner Trust in North Devon teaching small-scale organic agriculture; grown food for a small hotel on the Isle of Iona; restored the walled gardens of a manor house in mid-Devon; and run his own organic market garden and tree nursery in South Devon. His experience led him to the concept of forest gardening as a sustainable system that can flourish in our changing climate conditions and it was this that led to the founding of the Agroforestry Research Trust in 1992, where he has been systematically researching plant interactions, unusual crops, etc over the past 15 years. He currently manages a 2 acre Forest Garden in Dartington which he planted 15 years ago, he runs a commercial tree nursery specialising in unusual trees and shrubs and has an 8-acre trial site, researching fruit and nut trees. He also teaches courses on Forest Gardening and Growing Nut Crops, writes books and edits a quarterly journal, Agroforestry News. He is a director of 'Gaia', a Trust formed by James Lovelock to further his work. He lives in Dartington with his wife and 2 children. See www.agroforestry.co.uk for more information.
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Top customer reviews
A book that I will refer to time nd time again!
Who cares if the binding is week! Sellotape and glue exist!!
How to grow perennial vegetables is a simple guide to this wonderland of `low maintenance, low impact vegetable gardening'. It begins with a guide to growing them, with notes on co-planting, mulches and planting patterns. There are useful lists of plants that fix nitrogen, or that are good in the shade. That's the first quarter of the book.
The rest of it is an A-Z of perennial vegetables, and it's an exotic collection indeed. There are hedgerow plants and wild foods like ramsons or rosebay willowherb, common crops from other parts of the world that we don't traditionally eat here but could, like mashua or oca. There are perennial versions of other vegetables, such as leeks, garlic or cabbage. There are plants that may already grow in your garden that you didn't know were edible, like iceplant or hostas. There are some proper freaks too, like the water caltrop, which grows tubers that look like horned bats.
As usual with such books, it is written with the zeal of an enthusiast and your definition of edible may not be the same as the author's. I was surprised to read that strawberry leaves can be eaten in salads for example, and promptly put the book down to go and try them. Suffice to say that I'd need to be pretty desperate before I eat strawberry leaves again. My only other complaint is that while there's no shortage of roots and bulbs and `proper' vegetables, the book is slightly unbalanced towards leaves and spinach-type plants. Don't let either of those negatives put you off however. I'd be surprised if any gardener could browse this book without scribbling down a few things to try.
Is there a binding issue? Yes, but I've based my review on the content alone. That's because I've worked in publishing and I've had this happen to me. It's hugely frustrating, not least because these reviews will stay online long after you've taken your printer to task, organised a second print run and fixed the problem! If you get one that falls apart, I'm sure Green Books will replace it for you.
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