ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Gaia's Garden- a Review

Updated on May 1, 2011

Gaia's Garden

Toby Hemenway’s newly revised book Gaia’s Garden- A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture is not your average gardening guide.

It will help you grow healthy vegetables, however, the step-by-step manual does much more than that.

So if you are only seeking to maintain a small kitchen garden and that is a great idea borrow a copy of Hemenway’s book from your public library and carefully read the first five chapters. Keep a pen and notebooks handy. You will find much that you can use and need to know to be a successful gardener.

But, if you are looking to enhance your family’s ability to feed itself and increase your personal food security, consider obtaining your own copy and read the book from cover-to-cover.

For people who are city dwellers, the Second edition provides information on how to use permaculture design techniques to build your urban garden. Chapter 11, Permaculture Gardening in the City addresses the issues that are common among many urban gardeners; too little space and intense traffic and usage.

Permaculture design embraces the concept of the multifunctional space and the urban yard can certainly have many uses from playground to dining area to a place for the family dog to romp.

This chapter explores the positive side of what our urban centers have to offer and that is the social capital or as the author says:

the synergies and opportunities generated by creative people working together. P230.

Your urban home may have a small backyard and your first impression is that you will not be able to grow as much food as you want, no matter how creative your garden design is. However, you do have neighbours and it is possible that they are interested in growing their own food but are worried about the same space restrictions you are.

If you are intrigued by the possibilities cooperation among neighbours offers when it comes to growing food then you need to read the rest of the chapter.

Perhaps the most important contribution Hemenway’s books both the original Gaia’s Garden and the 2nd edition make is to help people make the transition from consumers to producers as least as far as food is concerned. You will still need to purchase other items and that is fine, try to buy local when you can and let your money work towards building a strong local economy.

When it comes to food, the city dweller will need to supplement what is grown by buying in the marketplace, let that marketplace be a farmers market, local merchant or direct from the farm when possible.

Gaia’s Garden will teach you how to:

1- Build and maintain soil fertility

2- Catch and conserve water

3- Provide habitat for beneficial insects, birds and animals

4- Grow an edible forest.

You can change your backyard ecosystem into a bountiful and healthy space by working with Nature rather than fighting her.

It does not matter how big your garden is; you can apply basic permaculture principles to make it more diverse, more natural, more productive and more beautiful.


Submit a Comment
  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    I agree, it is a useful book, thanks for dropping by.

  • kerryg profile image


    9 years ago from USA

    I haven't looked at the second edition yet, but the first was one of the best $20 I've ever spent!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    It is sad that people are disconnected from their food's source. Thanks for dropping by.

  • profile image

    Nelle Hoxie 

    9 years ago

    I own the earlier edition and have found it very helpful. I love raising my own fruits and vegetables. When people visit for a summer dinner, they are fascinated to see where their salad grew! It makes me a little sad that they are so excited to see how a cucumber or pepper grows.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)