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Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, 2nd Edition [Paperback]

Toby Hemenway
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 19 2009

Frequently Bought Together

Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, 2nd Edition + Sepp Holzer's Permaculture: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale, Integrative Farming and Gardening + The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming
Price For All Three: CDN$ 59.72

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book. April 17 2011
Format:Paperback
I'm not a gardener. Yet. I have a small, inner city backyard that has run to weeds, with a few wild raspberry bushes in it, and I haven't known where to start to get it under control.

I got this book, and have been reading it like a novel for the past couple of days. It's strange to say that about a permaculture/gardening theory and how-to book, but seriously, I can't put it down! I'm so inspired by it. Not only that, but there are some really practical ideas for getting started, ideas that even a beginner like me can figure out. For instance, instead of doing the back-breaking weeding I kept thinking I had to do in order to get my backyard in order (and which we did some of last year, only to find the weeds growing back as fast as we could get rid of them), Hemenway suggests sheet mulching. Not to mention some rethinking about what "weeds" are, and what their role is in your garden ecosystem.

And I like the fact that the book really explains permaculture and the principles behind it, and how plants and trees and bugs and animals and people interact with each other. It starts from the very beginning, for beginners like me, but I think that even experienced gardeners will love this book because of all the examples and ideas Hemenway seeds through all of his writing.

If you need not only an introduction, but a thorough understanding of permaculture, this is your book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Re-imagined gardening April 18 2011
By Hélène TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Finally a way of gardening that calls to me! It's incredible the ressources we spend on producing food the standard way. It always felt against the flow to me, planting just a couple of different plants in rows, necessiting fertilisers, weeding and when things broke apart, insecticides, pesticides, fungicides. Without talking about seeds, seedlings and other time and money investement a garden needs! So much work for a gardener! This book, amongst other things, introduce the gardener to plants seldom seen in standard garden and how to reduce the human workload while upgrading significantly the harvest. This is not your lettuce garden, it is so much more.

Permaculture redefine the way a gardener works by suggesting to him to let mother nature do a lot of that work for him. The ingredients for the recipe are simple and Gaia's Garden: A Guide To Home-Scale Permaculture go through them clearly and thoroughly. From soil and water management to the insect and wildlife kingdom, it suggest ways to create a garden webbed in rich collaboration. The result is a garden that is stronger by it's diversity, making it more abondant and resistant.

If you feel you've been lacking the spark in gardening, this book could redefine the way you go about it with a world of exciting possibilities.

The small minus of the book I found was mostly at the beginning, where the author preaches more the philosophy of the practice. It feels like he need to defend his stance and for me, that's not necessary. I would say the 2 lasts chapters were the best. One of them does a great recap of all the book without the aforementionned preaching and the other is about a "Pop!". When a garden suddenly gets it's groove on. There is also chapters about urban gardening in very small spaces or the opposite, forest gardening. It is a tremendous reference for the gardener of the future.
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By Jesse
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In Gaia's Garden, Toby Hemenway has compiled an easy to read and comprehensive look into the vast world of ecological gardening and permaculture design. The many lists and appendixes provided throughout the pages makes Gaia's Garden an invaluable reference as well. Toby has given the reader a "full toolkit" of techniques and systems that can be put to use in any garden, wether it be urban, suburban or rural acreage. The takeaway is that we can treat the earth better, and reap many benefits in the process.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A paradigm shifter! Aug. 19 2010
Format:Paperback
Taking gardening and land stewardship to a whole new level, this book truly presents an entirely new paradigm for sustainable living.

The book picks up where bio-intensive gardening leaves off. If you're curious about permaculture, urban forests and sustainable life-styles, this is your chance to reach into the future, starting on a small urban or suburban property.

Hemenway gives deeper meaning to working with nature by exploring how She can help remedy the banes of residential lots: poor soil, bad drainage, and dependency on purchased water, chemicals and landscape materials. I wish I had discovered the book a long time ago. Read it, live it! Gaia's Garden: A Guide To Home-Scale Permaculture
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By Jae Pea
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Gaia's Garden has opened many academic and philosophical doors for me, From companion planting under fruit tree, to the effectiveness of "weeds" as cover crops and nutrient accumulator. This book is leading me down a path to soil sciences as well as pushing to a very ecological side of the fence.

The book itself has beautiful color pictures and diagrams and is well put together.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 24 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A must have for everyone concerned about the health of the earth's soil-skin. Hemenway's word give us hope.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible book! Aug. 20 2012
By Sherri
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is packed full of user friendly information about permaculture and I LOVE everything about it. Couldn't put it down! Highly recommended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Permaculture book I own Nov. 24 2012
By me
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really like this book. Very straightforward, practical, really worth its price. There are many ideas in this book I will certainly apply to my land.
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