Eric Toensmeier

Eric Toensmeier is the award-winning author of Paradise Lot and Perennial Vegetables, and the co-author of Edible Forest Gardens. He is an appointed lecturer at Yale University, a Senior Biosequestration Fellow with Project Drawdown, and an international trainer. Eric presents in English, Spanish, and botanical Latin throughout the Americas and beyond. He has studied useful perennial plants and their roles in agroforestry systems for over two decades. Eric has owned a seed company, managed an urban farm that leased parcels to Hispanic and refugee growers, and provided planning and business trainings to farmers. He is the author of The Carbon Farming Solution: A Global Toolkit of Perennial Crops and Regenerative Agricultural Practices for Climate Change Mitigation and Food Security released in February 2016.

Summer Berries in a Humid Cold Temperate Climate (USA)

Berries are quick to bear and just make life better As the perennial vegetable season dries up, berries are coming into full swing. Foraging for fresh fruit in the backyard was a key goal in our garden and this is reflected in the diversity and abundance of berries we enjoy. Within two to three years, all of our berries were yielding well and many were filling in to form nice […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Create Your Own Paradise Lot and Berry Tasting Workshop (July 12, 2014, Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA)

When: July 12, 2014, 9-4pm Where: Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA Spend a day with Jonathan Bates and Eric Toensmeier, the co-designers and managers of the garden that inspired the book Paradise Lot. We will tour the garden and sample the vegetables and fruit that are in season. In summer you may taste blueberries, raspberries, jostaberries, currants, gooseberries, marionberries and many more!

Read More >
Shares Comments

Agroforestry Support Species for Cold Climates

A silk tree in my garden, serving as living trellis to arctic kiwifruit; also shade provider for shade crops including currant, mayapple, fuki, and edible hosta. Also fixes nitrogen. Rafter Ferguson’s recent excellent article “Permaculture for Agroecology” (PDF) challenges the permaculture movement to read up on what’s happening in related fields like agroecology and agroforestry. I’m particularly interested in learning from the well-established agroforestry practices of the tropics to see […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Forest Gardens and Commercial Food Forestry Workshop with Eric Toensmeier (Vermont, June/July, 2014)

Butternut, hazel, sunchoke and elderberry: nuts, fruits, tubers, and beneficial insects! What: Forest Gardens and Commercial Food Forestry Workshop Where: Huntington, VT, USA Want to learn about edible forest gardens, agroforestry, and commercial food forest business development for cold, humid climates? This is the workshop for you! Choose from an introductory weekend and an advanced six-day intensive. For more information or to register click here.

Read More >
Shares Comments

Spring: Season of Perennial Vegetables in the Cold-Climate Garden (MA, USA)

Excerpted from Paradise Lot by Eric Toensmeier with contributions from Jonathan Bates. Bates and Toensmeier will be hosting a perennial vegetable tasting and edible landscaping workshop at their garden in Holyoke, MA, USA this April 26, 2014. Jonathan Bates with spring perennial vegetables From the beginning of my interest in plants for permaculture and edible landscaping I identified perennial vegetables as a real gap in the available information. Nobody seemed […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Hardy Gingers for the Food Forest Understory

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) can handle 5°F/-15°C. The rhizomes make a great tea and are wonderful shredded into stir-frys or cooked with rice. When I visit tropical and subtropical forest gardens I often see ginger, turmeric, galangal, and cardamom in the understory, beneath and between the fruit trees. In fact, according to P.K. Nair’s fantastic Tropical Homegardens, ginger and turmeric are universally found in tropical homegardens (ancient, traditional food forests) around […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Create Your Own Paradise Lot: Food Tasting and Workshop (April 26, 2014, Massachusetts, USA)

Fuki (petasites japonicus giganteus) has great edible leafstalks and enjoys wet shade What: Food tasting and workshop When: April 26, 2014, 10am to 4pm Where: Holyoke, MA, USA Instructors: Jonathan Bates & Eric Toensmeier Cost per person: US$120 (does not include meals or accommodations) Spend a day with Jonathan Bates and Eric Toensmeier, the co-designers and managers of the garden that inspired the book Paradise Lot. We will tour the […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Learning About Permaculture Design from Organic Annual Vegetable Farmers

Some people will tell you that there is no place in permaculture for annual crops. I’m known as something of a perennials enthusiast myself. But permaculture is in part a design system that can be applied to many areas of our lives, and this certainly includes annual crop production. In 2002 I was privileged to spend the weekend interviewing a panel of highly experienced organic farmers through my work with […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

A Financial Permaculture Convergence – 2014 Local Food Enterprise Summit (March 10-14, 2014, Miami, Florida, USA)

Join economic and financial experts, permaculture designers, and sustainability entrepreneurs in designing regenerative business models that work for community resiliency! We will address economic and ecological challenges of the 21st century as we design forward-looking businesses that optimize the local natural systems and human capacities to implement models of regenerative business and local resiliency. Dates: March 10-14 2014, Miami Florida USA Keynote Speakers: Eric Toensmeier, Judy Wicks, Gary Paul Nabhan, […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Fruits and Nuts: Our Cold-Climate Favorites (Massachusetts, USA)

An excerpt from Paradise Lot: Two Plant Geeks, One Tenth of an Acre, and the Making of an Edible Garden Oasis in the City by Eric Toensmeier with contributions from Jonathan Bates Grapes August is the beginning of our fruit and nut harvest. Since we have little room for fruit and nut trees, we had to prioritize the species we most love to eat, with the prime fruit growing space […]

Read More >
Shares Comments

Small Scale Nursery Applications: Reflections from Loping Coyote Farms Nursery (NV, USA)

by Neil Bertrando , Eric Toensmeier Plant materials are a critical component of any homestead or agroecology site, and by using the permaculture design concept, we can figure out many yields to pattern into our management activities. I want to explore some opportunities presented by integrating a small scale nursery into the process of site development, based on my experiences in a high desert climate context on sites of <2 […]

Read More >
Shares Comments