Forest Gardening in Practice by Tomas Remiarz
I give this book 8.5 out of 10 acorns.
Tomas Remiarz is not just an ivory tower academic. He has been working in forest gardens and observing them for many years, mostly in Britain. This book honors the forebears of food forest history and borrows ideas from them. Remiarz looks into many of them and what they were trying to do. There is some theory in here, but Remiarz acknowledges that most of that has been covered before. Most of the book focuses on examples of food forests in different location. What did they try to do in that specific climate? Where did they start from? What worked? What didn’t?
Remiarz lives in England, so most of the examples come from Britain. There may be some terms that are unfamiliar to North Americans, such as tree onions and hedge garlic. There are also examples of places in which you may not understand the specific climatological challenges if you can’t place Devon from Shropshire or Dorset.
However, Remiarz explains the details of each site very well. His writing style is clear. He makes you want to go to each place and experience it. The interaction of plants, weather and soil is intricately explained. You can tell that he must be really great at running a forest garden in the way he explains the interactions between plants, animals, and fungi. He delves into some possible problems that can occur in forest gardens and interactions that are helpful as well as interesting. He also expresses the joy that can come from people coming together in cooperative ways to establish and maintain a forest garden. As a food forest owner myself, I not only enjoyed the book, but I also could have used it when I started mine.