This episode is a review from my wife, Shawn Marie, of Michael Judd’s new book, Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist: Have Your Yard and Eat it Too.
Now then, onto the review.
The new book by Michael Judd, “Edible Landscaping, with a Permaculture Twist: How to Have your Yard and Eat it Too” is a wonderful reference for anyone wanting to make better use of their yard, patio or deck space at home whether they are interested in Permaculture or not. It is a book that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but one that can make an important difference in your garden design if you implement a few of its projects.
As expected from the title, Michael opens the book with a brief discussion of the basic principles of Permaculture and how they can, and do, relate to choices you make around your home and garden. I applaud him for taking the time to include the principles and yet he keeps the discussion from being preachy. What he shared was enough, but not too much, and it might even make a few readers want to know more.
I’ll admit I read the book cover to cover when I probably should have been doing other things, like working, but it was such a pleasure to read. Michael’s writing style is easy to read and he has a genuine sense of humor that comes shining through every section of the book. I was also fortunate that the subject matter was spot-on for me at the moment as well.
I’m looking to redesign our front garden next spring so I was hungry for ideas when Edible Landscaping landed in our Post Office Box. Sadly most garden books show perfectly manicured plantings and impossibly expensive projects that I could never attempt on my own or afford on a modest budget. I was pleasantly surprised that Edible Landscaping is different in every way from those other books. In fact, if I had to use only one word to describe it that word would be “approachable.”
This book is not scary, it is not too technical and though it has some nice photographs and beautiful gardens, it is believable that the projects in the book are doable by a regular gardener like me on a modest budget.
With the use of drawings, diagrams and photographs of actual projects in varying stages, Michael guides you through making small changes to your garden that will yield big changes in the long term. Cost for materials are often included as well when specialized items need to be purchased which is useful when deciding which projects to tackle if there is a budget involved.
For me, the most helpful information was on unusual fruits for your food forest. Even though I knew of all the plants Michael mentioned, what he provided was a more in-depth discussion of their growth habits than I have seen before. He also lists resources where you can find more information about the plant and also where to purchase growing stock.
Other topics discussed in Edible Landscaping are herb spirals, rainwater harvesting with swales and rainwater gardens, growing specialty mushrooms, Hugelkultur and Earthen Ovens. Also included at the very end of the book is a short section on Michael himself explaining his interests and background.
So, if you’ve ever wanted to try growing mushrooms at home, or you’ve seen an herb spiral but weren’t sure how one could be built at a reasonable cost, or maybe you just want to settle in to some good gardening reading in the dead of winter – for all those reasons (and tons more) pick up a copy of Michael Judd’s, “Edible Landscaping, with a Permaculture Twist: How to Have your Yard and Eat it Too.” It is well worth your time.
I am visiting Michael on January 14th, 2014 for an in-person interview. If you have any questions for him, please let me know.
E-mail: show (at) thepermaculturepodcast (dot) com