Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist by Michael Judd

Last month I had the fortune of interviewing Michael Judd, the author of Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist.  This video is Michael explaining what his book is about.  There is a summary below.  There are also links below to Michael’s website, Facebook site, and an Amazon link to his book.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Edible-Landscaping-Permaculture-Twist-Have/dp/0615873790/ref=as_sl_pc_qf_sp_asin_til?tag=greescfar-20&linkCode=w00&linkId=d99a8d2ccb16461748017ec81d0147c7&creativeASIN=0615873790

Michael’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ediblelandpermtwist/?fref=ts

Michael’s Instagram: Permaculture Ninja

Micheal’s Website: http://www.ecologiadesign.com/

Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist has eight chapters.  I outline each of the chapters below followed by my thoughts of the book as a whole.

Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist by Michael Judd

Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist by Michael Judd

Introduction

The introduction chapter explains what edible landscaping is and why you would want it.  This chapter also explains what permaculture is and how to give edible landscaping a permaculture twist.

Herb Spiral, The Ultimate Raised Bed

An herb spiral as explained by Michael is like a snail shell coming out of the ground to create microclimates and provide lots of planting space in a small area.  This chapter explains what an herb spiral is, how to construct one and why you would want to construct one.  He even gives some examples of what someone may want to put in an herb spiral.

Rainwater Harvesting, Swales & Rain Gardens

In this chapter Michael explains some of the ways to harvest and conserve water.  He focuses on swales, which are a ditch on contour, to slow and stop the water to allow it to penetrate the land.  Michael then explains how to make and calibrate an A-frame level, how to design and dig a swale, and some concepts for dealing with raised beds, such as mulching and planting into them.  He also talks about rain gardens for capturing water and how to construct one and explains how to make a good soil mixture to put into the rain garden.

Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist by Michael Judd

Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist by Michael Judd

Fungi!! Growing Specialty Mushrooms

The fungi chapter covers several different ways of cultivating fungi and harvesting the fruit – the mushrooms.  He covers a good deal of safety in this chapter, as you have to be careful and not eat any old mushroom.  One of the best ways to be safe with mushrooms is to grow your own and this chapter gives you several ways to do this and several sources to order material from.

Food Forests

To quote Michael; “A Food Forest is a low maintenance gardening technique that mimics a woodland ecosystem but substitutes woodland species with edible trees, bushes, perennial vegetables, herbs, vines, and annuals.”  In this chapter he also touches on sheet mulching, companion planting, and guilds.

Uncommon Fruits

Here you will find some of the great forgotten fruits of our area as well as some not from our area.  The list includes persimmon, paw paw, hardy kiwi, mulberry, jujube, goumi, sea berry, gooseberry & currants, and cider apples.  He teaches us how to prune various fruit trees at different stages of a trees life cycle, how to graft, and how and when to paint a tree.

Hugelkultur, Mounds of Fertility

Hugelkultur is a mound of wood with soil on top.  The first year or two are not great to grow in, but after that there is added fertility and hydration in the soil available to plants.  Some mounds are built on top of the soil and some are sunken in the ground.

Earthen Ovens

Earthen ovens are better insulated than brick ovens allow the heat to be used longer and more efficiently.  This chapter explains how to make one of these and gives very good detailed instructions along with a lot of pictures.  He even offers up a recipe for your first pizza!

My Thoughts

I met Michael at the Mid-Atlantic permaculture convergence in August where he was the key note speaker.  He was selling books there and I bought one.  I went on a business trip the next week and read this book cover to cover and immediately wanted to build an earthen oven, herb spiral, and get some mushroom logs going.

Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist by Michael Judd

Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist by Michael Judd

This book is probably not for the career permaculturist.  It is absolutely for someone who is just starting out in permaculture or any level of gardening.  He explains permaculture concepts and actually all concepts in a very easy to understand way and does not drown you with unfamiliar technology and terminology, but you do walk away having learned an immense amount of new information.

The Video

Check out the video below titled Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist by Michael Judd.

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