Darrell Frey is a sustainable community development consultant and permaculture designer with nearly thirty years experience in the field. He is co-author of the Food Forest Handbook and the author of Bioshelter Market Garden: A Permaculture Farm (New Society Publishing 2011)
Michelle Czolba, M.Sc. co-founded the Hazelwood Food Forest and was co-owner of a Pittsburgh-based permaculture design business. She has extensive experience in the design and maintenance of perennial polyculture through personal and professional projects. Her formal training includes biology, chemistry, and herbalism, and she has earned a B.Sc. in Environmental Science and a M.Sc. in Sustainable Systems. After obtaining her Herbal Certification she founded a natural cosmetics company, and developed her own full line of handmade, wildcrafted and organic skin care products. You can find her as part of the team at threesisterspermaculture.
In their collaborative effort, “The Food Forest Handbook“, Frey and Czolba offer a practical manual for the design and management of a home-scale perennial polyculture garden complete with simple, straightforward instructions. Read on to learn more and enter below to win one of three copies from New Society Publishers!
1. The concept of a “food forest” might be new to some. What exactly is it, in a nutshell?
A Food Forest is a perennial garden with up to seven layers of useful plants. Picture an apple tree,with smaller shrubs, such as currants around the edge of the tree’s canopy. Among the shrubs herbs and flowers can be planted.
Plants in the food forest are chosen based on permaculture principles and generally have more than one purpose, for example a plant that is both edible and attracts beneficial insects.
2. Why should we pursue developing a food forest? What are the advantages over other types of gardening?
A food forest is a good way to maximize small spaces. Shade loving plants can be placed on the shady side of the tree and sun loving plants on the sunny side. Instead of a single harvest of fruit from a tree, a perennial polyculture can provide provide a number of crops in the same space. Additionally, food forests include plants that provide for the system itself, such as plants that fix nitrogen, are used for mulch, or attract pollinators.
3. Can those in rural and urban areas alike develop and grow a food forest? Does it require a lot of acreage?
Some people do plant and manage large scale forest gardens, but a food forest design can be as small as a couple hundred square feet.
4. How does your book simplify the design and planning of a food forest?
Our goal was to write a book that takes the reader through a simple step by step process to study their land, make a plan and manage their food forest on a scale that the home gardener can tend to easily. We do not go into excessive details on specific plants to use, rather we wanted to keep it simple and focused on the design process itself.
5. What are some features of your book that readers will find particularly useful and helpful?
The Food Forest Handbook has a main focus on understanding basic permaculture concepts that relate to food forest design. We also provide a number of instructive and inspiring examples of food forests around North America. The reader can go from an empty piece of land, through the design process, to planting and maintaining their edible landscape with easy to follow instructions and language. One does not need to be a permaculture expert to understand the concepts.
To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post by midnight on Sunday, June 3, 2018 (be sure to provide a valid e-mail address) in answer to the following question:
Why do you want to transform your land into a food forest?
Be sure to include a valid e-mail address. The winner will be drawn at random from all qualified entrants, and notified via e-mail. (See rules for more information.)