I’ve written a book!


Since I started blogging about forest gardening in a cool climate, lots of people have asked me – some joking, some seriously – when is the book coming out? Lots of them have told me that a blog is great for learning about individual plants, but what they really need is something more systematic and connected, leading step-by step through the stages of planting a food forest from scratch. As one put it, ‘How do I get from here to there?’

Well, there has been a silver lining to lockdown! I’ve spent the last year and a half writing, taking pictures, conducting cooking experiments… and somewhat to my amazement I now have a finished book at the printers. It condenses all my experience of how to do forest gardening in a cool climate or small garden into one volume, with 180 pages of plant profiles and chapters on

– Understanding forest gardens
– Designing a forest garden
– Implementing a forest garden
– Maintaining a forest garden
– Cooking and eating from forest gardens

Some people I respect greatly have said some very nice things about it. Here are two of my favourite.

It’s great to see a forest gardening book written with Scottish conditions in mind. This is one of the best recent books I’ve read aimed at smaller-scale forest gardens too, and is especially good with its coverage of the many herbaceous crops it is possible to grow.
Martin Crawford

This is one of the more positive things to come out of Covid! Alan’s written a fantastic comprehensive book I would have loved to have had time to write myself, covering a multitude of edible plants suited to all the diverse habitats that can make up a forest garden and with particularly relevance to colder climates. I genuinely enjoyed this book and learned much new from it, not really a surprise as I’ve enjoyed his blog with the curious name “Of Plums and Pignuts” and sought him out when I was passing Aberdeen. Importantly, the book provides the inspiration to growing more climate friendly food in what are often called “marginal areas”. I look forward to making pernicious pasta every year! Thanks Alan.
Stephen Barstow

In the UK, you can get the book through my website. Alternatively, it’s available from my publisher, Permanent Publications, online booksellers and, of course, all (really) good bookshops. In the US it will be available through Chelsea Green Publishing.

7 thoughts on “I’ve written a book!

  1. Sally

    This is a great book. I was looking forward to reading it when I first got it around 18 months ago, and it still lives within easy reach for quick references as my forest garden develops. Thank you Alan


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