Create your own Paradise Lot: Food Tasting and Workshop


April 26, 2014 | Holyoke, MA | 10am to 4pm (does not include meals or accommodations)
Cost per person: $120

Spend a day with Jonathan Bates & 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 spring you may taste the early Perennial Vegetables like seakale, turkish rocket, wild leek, toothwort, hablitzia READ MORE AND REGISTER…

Eric’s workshop schedule 2014


Hi everybody. Mostly I’ll be writing my next book in 2014, but I will be going on the road to give some presentations and also inviting all of you to my home for some tours to sample the fruits of each season. Please contact the organizers for more information.


Perennial Crops and Food Forests

February 8

ECHO, Ft. Meyers FL USA

Featuring hands-on bamboo and biochar opportunities and tours of ECHO’s incredible tropical demonstration farm.

Backyard Bioshelters

November 15 (March 8 sold out)

Holyoke MA USA


Local Food Enterprise Summit

A Financial Permaculture Convergence

Earth Learning

March 10-14

Homestead FL USA


Permaculture Writers Workshop and Retreat

March 29-30

Holyoke MA


Paradise Lot: Perennial Vegetable Spring

April 26

Holyoke MA USA


Edible Forest Gardens and Commercial Food Forestry

May 23-28

Au Petit Boisé

Frelighsburg, Quebec CANADA


Create Your Paradise Lot

May 16-18

Omega Institute

Rhinebeck NY USA


Paradise Lot: Berry Summer

July 12

Holyoke, MA USA


Edible Forest Gardens and Commercial Food Forestry

June 27-July 2

Burlington, VT USA

Details TBA


Edible Forest Gardens and Commercial Food Forestry

July 28-Aug 3

Woodbine Ecology Center

Sedalia, CO USA


Bosque Comestible

September 1-5

Las Canadas

Huatusco, Veracruz MEXICO

This course will be in Spanish


Paradise Lot: Fruit and Nut Tasting

October 10-11

Holyoke MA USA


Regenerative Enterprise and Commercial Food Forestry

October 20-26

Blue Ridge Permaculture Network

Virginia USA


Designing Food Forests

November 7-9

Occidental CA USA


Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization Annual Conference

November 18-20

Ft. Meyers, FL USA


Carbon Farming Conference

February 10-14

New York, USA

Booklist’s Top 10 pick in Crafts & Gardening category


Booklist is: “More than 130,000 book reviews for librarians, book groups, and book lovers—from the trusted experts at the American Library Association”

Paradise Lot was rated as a Top 10 Crafts and Gardening Book of 2013

Here is the wonderful review of our book from booklist:

“With their shared passion for plants and a commitment to creating as self-sustaining a garden as possible on a minuscule lot in a small New England city cursed with a terrible climate and even worse soil, Toensmeier and Bates set about converting their urban backyard into a permaculture paradise. Informed by his work on a seminal, two-volume encyclopedia devoted to the concept of forest gardening, Toensmeier transformed the infertile and debris-laden property behind the duplex he shared with Bates into a natural ecosystem teeming with edible plants. As the authors’ postage-stamp-size front yard morphed into a lush, tropical showcase that astounded their Massachusetts community, the backyard incorporated all the components necessary to produce fresh fruits and vegetables year-round using cold-hardy, mostly native plants that would ideally require a minimum amount of work for a maximum output. As a memoir of a purposeful life, Toensmeier’s work is engaging, honest, and natural. As a directive to other gardeners eager to establish natural ecosystems in unlikely settings, his work is instructive, illuminating, and inspirational.”

— Carol Haggas

Winter food at Paradise Lot

persimmon 2

It’s not quite winter yet, officially. But it sure feels like it this time of year. And the neighborhood holiday lights are out, so for the purpose of this article its winter time : )

We just picked the last of the american persimmons and hardy kiwi fruit. Now we are harvesting our first crop of tree collard greens from the bioshelter. There will be greens through the winter, and into next spring, in the bioshelter.

The nursery plants protected from the cold, bird netting stored for winter, chicken coop manure put into compost piles, irrigation drained and turned off, and tools put away.

An opportune time for rest and planning for next year. Enjoying the warm sunny days in the bioshelter. A little writing to pass the time. Appreciating the holidays with family and friends.

Enjoy your winter rest. If you are reading this south of the equator, enjoy spring!

Best Selling book


Although I would rather encourage people to buy our book directly from either myself, Jonathan Bates, or from the primary author, Eric Toensmeier. And if not there, directly from the publisher Chelsea Green. It is worth noting that on, Paradise Lot is the 47th best selling book in the “Home & Garden” category for 2013!

Some articles to read if you are interested in understanding why buying from us is better then buy from them: