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About the Book

This comprehensive two-volume book constitutes an in-depth course in ecological garden design. Written in a passionate, clear, and engaging style, it integrates the vision and ecology of forest gardening with practical design, establishment, and management strategies. While we wrote Edible Forest Gardens as an integrated whole, each volume can stand alone as valuable learning tools and references.

For details on these books, see below.

Save 27% off the $75 per volume retail price: $55 per volume (plus shipping and handling), signed by the author.

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Get a PDF of the Table of Contents of both volumes here.

Volume 1: Ecological Vision and Theory for Temperate Climate Permaculture 
Hardcover. 8 x 10. Approximately 356 pages. Numerous color and black and white photos, illustrations, and tables. Bibliography, glossary, index, plant and resource lists.

Winner: 2006 Media Award Silver Medal from the Garden Writer's Association, named Outstanding Academic Title of both 2005 and 2006 by the American Library Association's Choice Magazine, and, along with Volume 2, nominated for an award from the Council of Botanical and Horticultural Libraries in 2006! This volume begins with an overview of the ecological and cultural context for forest gardening in modern North America. It also lays out a holistic vision that guides the study of forest ecology that follows. This ecological exploration forms the bulk of volume 1, and offers clear and specific direction for forest garden design and management. Three forest garden case studies ground the concepts discussed in the book and bring them life. Volume 1 concludes with colorful descriptions of forest gardening's "Top 100" species, and useful listings of information and organizational resources.

Click below to see excerpts of Volume 1 at the Chelsea Green website.
Volume 1 Preface
Volume 1 Introduction

Volume 2: Ecological Design and Practice for Temperate Climate Permaculture
Hardcover. 8 x 10. Approximately 617 pages. Numerous black and white photos, illustrations, and tables. Comprehensive appendices on forest garden plants and animals, resource lists, glossary, bibliography, indices.

Nominated, along with Volume 1, for an award from the Council of Botanical and Horticultural Libraries in 2006! Volume 2 focuses all of its attention on effective design and practice. It organizes the ecological strategies from volume 1 in a way that is accessible to gardeners and designers. It offers a unique 'pattern language' for forest garden design, and provides detailed advice for how to design, prepare the site for, plant, and maintain your forest garden. Volume 2 also includes a unique Plant Species Matrix and several associated appendices which offer a wide-ranging catalog of the ecology, uses, and ecosystem functions of the best temperate-climate forest garden plants, and a few edible mushrooms, from around the world.

Click here to see Volume 2's Introduction at the Chelsea Green website.

The Two-Volume Set:
The most comprehensive treatment of forest garden design ever created.

No other book on forest gardening integrates ecology and design as thoroughly, and with such rigor, as this. The two volumes combine to give you the most up-to-date and advanced synthesis available on the subject. If you are serious about ecological gardening, ecological horticulture, permaculture design, or forest gardening—whether you are an amateur, a professional, a student, a researcher, or just a hard-core eco-freak—then the two-volume set is for you. It is an investment in intellectual capital that will pay dividends for years to come.

About the Authors

Primary author Dave Jacke has been a student of ecology and design since the 1970s, and has run his own ecological design firm—Dynamics Ecological Design—since 1984 (click here for a PDF of Dave's resume). Dave is an engaging and passionate teacher of ecological design and permaculture, and a meticulous designer. He has consulted on, designed, built, and planted landscapes, homes, farms, and communities in the many parts of the United States, as well as overseas, but mainly in the Northeast. A cofounder of Land Trust at Gap Mountain in Jaffrey, NH, he homesteaded there for a number of years. He holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Simon's Rock College (1980) and a M.A. in Landscape Design from the Conway School of Landscape Design (1984). You may reach Dave by email at:

Coauthor Eric Toensmeier has studied and practiced permaculture since 1990. He has spent much of his adult life exploring edible and useful plants of the world and their use in perennial agroecosystems. After co-authoring Edible Forest Gardens, Eric wrote Perennial Vegetables, also published by Chelsea Green.  Until June 30, 2009, he managed an urban farm project for Nuestras Raices Inc. (www.nuestras-raices.org), which provides immigrants and refugees with access to plots and start-up support on a 30 acre farm. He gives courses and presentations in English, Spanish, and Botanical Latin.  Eric is a graduate and former faculty member of the Institute for Social Ecology in Plainfield, VT.
"...But the book I will be keeping by me for the seasons ahead... is Edible Forest Gardens by Dave Jacke with Eric Toensmeier. In its way this book--the first of two volumes--is a sequel to the wonderful Tree Crops: A Permanent Agriculture (1929) by J. Russell Smith.... Edible Forest Gardens offers a vision of the garden that reaches well beneath its aesthetic surface and into its ecological depths. It reminds us that whatever gardens are an oasis from, they can never be an oasis from the natural world or our own underlying economic needs."

Verlyn Klinkenborg
The New York Times Book Review
June 5, 2005

"This is certainly the most thorough and realistic assessment of the potential for temperate perennial-based gardening that I have seen -- and I've read everything I've been able to find on temperate perennial crops, going back to J. Russell Smith and John Hershey...

The first volume of Edible Forest Gardens is a superb primer on ecology as it relates to horticulture in general, and I highly recommend it even for gardeners who aren't primarily interested in useful perennials..."

Greg Williams
Publisher, Hort Ideas

"...this book will define the intellectual territory of its subject for at least a generation...

Dave Jacke has knit an indigenous practice at once ancient and renascent with the mainstream of scientific exploration. He has given us legitimacy – and by us I mean all the ecological agricultural explorers of the epoch – and a cogency that will now be impossible to denigrate or diminish...

An excellent and essential reference, brilliantly conceived and passionately written, Edible Forest Gardens should be on every permaculturist's reading list for the year ahead."

Peter Bane
Publisher, The Permaculture Activist magazine

"While the scope of the permaculture concept has expanded from its initial focus on forest gardening, it is exciting to see how the authors have brought together the ecological theory and practise necessary to further this aspect of the permaculture agenda."

David Holmgren, cofounder of permaculture and author
Permaculture: Principles and Practices Beyond Sustainability

"...Perhaps as important as it's applied ecological contributions is its psychological gifts of hope and visions of achievable, more meaningful ways of living in a post-oil world."

Dr. Stuart Hill
Foundation Chair of Social Ecology, University of Western Sydney, Australia

"Your book blows me away! So much work, so much depth. I hear the voice of this good and gentle earth in Edible Forest Gardens . . . and am excited to keep reading more!"

Michael Phillips, author The Apple Grower: A Guide for the Organic Orchardist and coauthor The Herbalist's Way.