When Eric Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates moved into a duplex in a run-down part of Holyoke, Massachusetts, the tenth-of-an-acre lot was barren ground and bad soil, peppered with broken pieces of concrete, asphalt, and brick. The two friends got to work designing what would become not just another urban farm, but a “permaculture paradise” replete with perennial broccoli, paw paws, bananas, and moringa – all told, more than two hundred low-maintenance edible plants in an innovative food forest on a small city lot. The garden – intended to function like a natural ecosystem with the plants themselves providing most of the garden’s needs for fertility, pest control, and weed suppression – also features an edible water garden, a year-round unheated greenhouse, tropical crops, urban poultry, and even silkworms.
Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback, 240 pages.