From Amazon: "In telling the story of Paradise Lot, Toensmeier and Bates explain 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, useful information about designing a highly productive 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."
A very enjoyable read about Eric and Jonathans journey from being roomates in a small urban home with no garden, to having an amazing food forest on a small lot.
A story of two garden bachelors who find their true loves through permaculture.
I would give this book 8 out of 10 acorns as well.
It is a excellent read- however it's a bit light on the plants used and the finer details of the project. Which isn't a bad thing- there's plenty to read in here and if you wrote down every mention of plants used you'd get a good list. I'm a bit over halfway through the book and they stated that they have 200 different plants and I haven't seen a single list yet. It's a story, not a how-to guide, however, it could easily be a how-to guide. It's inspiring, thought provoking, and most importantly, shows that you don't need a huge farm to have more food than you care to harvest from a small lot. It has given me hope that I could have the farm I wanted on my lot if I wanted to do more work. Expensive, yes, but then again selling seeds can pay for the plants as well.
Finished the book today. There is a nice appendix in the back of the book with a lot of information. So I can't say that there isn't a list in the book. Just not enough (imho) meat and potatoes on exactly how the plants worked together and why certain plants were selected to do certain jobs. But this isn't a book to do that. Lots of other references out there. Cornopuia is one.
I keep rereading it over the years, I just love it so much.
Paradise Lot is a biography of a garden for the first 10 years of its life, and the partial autobiography of its dedicated and visionary stewards. This most recent re-read, directly after I finished reading Miraculous Abundance (do you sense a theme here?), I was able to understand better that all this magic happened in the way it did because these authors were already plant cultivation experts by the time they moved on to their urban lot. They had been worked on Permaculture projects, research, and writing books for years, so they were more than able to hit the ground running when they arrived at their urban neighborhood property.
Experts that they may be, in the book they are frank about some mistakes and regrets, which was interesting to read about. Although there are things they would have done differently, they always made the best of what they had and had done, and wove things together to work in a new ways. I love how it's the story of what can be done with a small urban property with knowledge and skill, curiosity and experimentation and relish of life. You get a sense of all that from the book, and even a few ideas for things for the (non-expert) reader to try—like broccolitas.
I love how this book is subtly humorous at times, and how it is exactly like a conversation with the reader (again, as Miraculous Abundance is) and also is an eye-opening exploration of both ecosystem- and community-renewing possibilities (because they are two sides of the same coin, depending on each other). A wonderful, hopeful read for anyone who might be discouraged by the state of things in the world, and for any gardener, although particularly an urban gardener, who wants his imagination stimulated and his hope revved up!
“Every human activity is an opportunity to bear fruit and is a continual invitation to exercise the human freedom to create abundance...” ― Andreas Widmer
I read this book some years ago, and liked it very much.
Much of what has been written about growing perennials or food forests is aimed at fairly warm climates. This book shows that New England is not too cold for a very productive, small-scale permaculture garden.
Companion Planting Guide by World Permaculture Association