Paradise Lot Book
Get the award winning book, signed by the contributing author Jonathan Bates, right here!
Two Plant Geeks, One-Tenth of an Acre, and the Making of an Edible Garden Oasis in the City… When Eric Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates moved into a duplex in Holyoke, Massachusetts, the tenth-of-an-acre lot was barren ground with bad soil, peppered with broken pieces of concrete, asphalt, and brick. The two friends got to work designing what would become not just another urban farm, but a “permaculture paradise” replete with perennial broccoli, paw paws, and bananas —all told, more than two hundred low-maintenance edible plants in an innovative food forest on a small city lot. The garden—intended to function like a natural ecosystem with the plants themselves providing most of the garden’s needs for fertility, pest control, and weed suppression—also features an edible water garden, a year-round unheated greenhouse, tropical crops, urban poultry, and even silkworms.
Jonathan and his family moved to Brooktondale, NY in 2017. Jonathan and Eric are still friends and continue to collaborate on the Holyoke edible forest garden called Paradise Lot.