234 p.,  p. of plates : ill. ; 23 cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Pt. 1. Sleep (2000-2004) -- Germination -- Starting a seed company and gaining a gardening comrade -- Let's get a place -- Gardening behind the tofu curtain -- Sun, shade, soil, slope -- A model ecosystem...behind Kmart -- Guild-build -- Pt. 2. Creep (2004-2007) -- It takes a village to plant a food forest -- Tacky tropicalesque takes off -- The edible water garden -- Urban farming is my day job -- The greenhouse : Getting serious -- Perennial vegetable spring -- Putting down roots and a parakeet visit -- Meanwhile back at the farm -- A movement germinates -- Pt. 3. Leap (2007-2009) -- Excess success -- Turning weeds into eggs -- Grazing berries -- Fruits and nuts -- A nourishing nectary neighborhood -- Patterns of nitrogen fixation -- Groundcover carpets -- The garden's impact beyond the fence line -- Pt. 4. Reap (2009-2012) -- Emergent property -- Guiding succession -- Indigenous management inspiration -- Next-generation polycultures -- Checking back in after eight seasons -- What's still on the list?
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. In telling the story of Paradise Lot, Toensmeier explains the principles and practices of permaculture, the choice of exotic and unusual food plants, the techniques of design and cultivation, and, of course, the adventures, mistakes, and do-overs in the process. Packed full of detailed information about designing a permaculture garden, Paradise Lot is also a funny and charming story of two single guys, both plant nerds, with a wild plan: to realize the garden of their dreams and meet women to share it with. Amazingly, on both counts, they succeed.
Fox Valley Technical College
Bates, Jonathan, 1974-
Two plant geeks, one-tenth of an acre and the making of an edible garden oasis in the city