Synopses & Reviews
Perennial vegetables are a joy to grow and require a lot less time and effort than annuals. In this book Martin Crawford gives comprehensive advice on all types of perennial vegetable (edible plants that live longer than three years), from ground-cover plants and coppiced trees to plants for bog gardens and edible woodland plants.There are many advantages to growing perennial vegetables, for example:
- they need less tillage than conventional vegetables and so help retain carbon in the soil
- the soil structure is not disturbed in their cultivation
- they extend the harvesting season, especially in early spring
- and, of course, they are much less work.
Part One looks at why and how to grow these crops, and how to look after them for maximum health.Part Two features over 100 perennial edibles in detail, both common and unusual - from rhubarb to skirret; Jerusalem artichoke to nodding onions. This book offers inspiration and information for all gardeners, whether experienced or beginner, and also includes plenty of cooking tips with beautiful color photographs and illustrations throughout.
Library Journal, starred review-"Gardeners looking to expand their edible plantings beyond the usual tomatoes and peppers will find a bounty of possibilities in these pages. Crawford's (dir., Agroforestry Research Trust; Creating a Forest Garden) first two chapters introduce the types of perennial vegetables (trees, shrubs, tubers, etc.) and provide general information on why and how to grow them. The remainder of the book is an alphabetical list, by common name (and cross referenced), of more than 100 plants, ranging from familiar favorites to many that will be new to even the most adventurous gardeners and eaters. Each plant profile includes botanical and common names, a brief description of the plant, its hardiness zones, cultivation instructions, and culinary uses. A list of seed and plant suppliers in Europe, Canada, and the United States is also included. Throughout, Crawford emphasizes sustainable, organic gardening practices, and he includes many plants that can be grown in the shade. Culinary and cultivation information is useful but brief, assuming basic horticultural and cooking knowledge. With an index by botanical name. VERDICT: This inspiring book is highly recommended for experienced gardeners who wish to broaden their horticultural and culinary horizons."
“Martin Crawford is a frontiersman, a pioneering teacher and an inspiration. Both his work and his garden are national treasures.” —Chris Nichols, Director of the Ashridge MSc in Sustainability and Responsibility
About the Author
Martin Crawford has spent more than 20 years in organic agriculture and horticulture, and is director of the Agroforestry Research Trust, a nonprofit charity that researches temperate agroforestry and all aspects of plant cropping and uses, with a focus on tree, shrub, and perennial crops. The Trust produces several publications and a quarterly journal, and sells plants and seeds. He is the author of several books, including Creating a Forest Garden and A Forest Garden Year.