Aaron Perry


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  • Episode 136 – Ben Raskin, Author, “The Woodchip Handbook”
Stewardship & Sustainability Series
Stewardship & Sustainability Series
Episode 136 - Ben Raskin, Author, "The Woodchip Handbook"

[Got Wood Chips?] In his new Woodchip Handbook: A Complete Guide for Farmers, Gardeners, and Landscapers, author Ben Raskin shares many insights and techniques for using wood chips in our gardens, farms, and orchards.

In forest ecosystems, fungi and other detritivores break down woody debris and fallen trees as they build soil and enhance the fertility of the landscape. As farmers, gardeners, and orchardists, we can emulate and accelerate this process by strategically placing wood chip piles around the base of trees and along garden pathways. In his book, Ben speaks to the many nuances that accompany this technique, and describes all manner of wood chip practices: the history of wood-chipping, the overall uses and benefits, the role of nitrogen fixers, silvo-pasture and agroforestry, biochar, allelopathy, quick coppicing species (willow, poplar, hazel, chestnut, etc.), conifers, mushroom cultivation, ramiel woodchips, hügelkultur, bioremediation, and sourcing clean, non-toxic woodchips if you don’t have enough available from your own landscape.


The Woodchip Handbook, published by Chelsea Green Publishing, is beautifully designed, and has striking color photos – it’s a must have for new and seasoned orchardists, silvopasturists, and agroforestry practitioners alike!

Use the code: YOE35 for a 35% discount on The Woodchip Handbook at Chelsea Green Publishing.


Ben Raskin has worked in horticulture for more than twenty-five years and has a wide range of experience in both practical commercial growing and wider policy and advocacy work.

As head of horticulture and agroforestry for the Soil Association in the United Kingdom, he provides growers at all levels of production with technical, marketing, policy, supply chain and networking support. He is currently implementing a 200-acre silvo-pastoral agroforestry planting in Wiltshire, England.

Ben is the author of several previous books on gardening, including Zero-Waste Gardening (2021) and The Community Gardening Handbook (2017), as well as three volumes of the “Grow Together Guides,” aimed at families with young children: Compost, Grow and Bees, Bugs and Butterflies.

Additionally, Ben co-chairs the Defra Edibles Horticulture Roundtable, and sits on the board of the Organic Growers Alliance and Community Supported Agriculture Network UK.



Facebook: Ben.Raskin.5

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Episode 070 – Jeff Moyer, (Former) CEO, The Rodale Institute

Episode 089 – Yichao Rui, (Former) Chief Soil Scientist, Rodale Institute

Episode 095 – John Liu, Founder, Ecosystem Restoration Camps

Episode 098 – Lin Bautze, Goetheanum Section for (Biodynamic) Agriculture

Episode 123 – Marissa Pulaski, Co-Founder, Drylands Agroecology Research

Episode 124 – Nick DiDomenico, Co-Founder, Drylands Agroecology Research


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