Children’s Book Ages 4-10

Published in November 2017. 

Updated edition 2022 available for sale here.

International Book Awards: 

2017 Nautilus Silver Award

2018 Gold Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice 

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Do you want to make sustainable gardening fun to engage with and learn? Bring children and community together with the power of sustainable gardening!

Envision a place with the benefits of garden and forest, playground and outdoor school, leisure and work ground in one!

A little girl is walking through her (global) village collecting seeds, support and advice for a forest garden project that not all of her community understands. As the story progresses – with Mirabelle meeting different characters whom she asks for support – readers are taken on a symbolic tour weaving the magic of a forest garden dream. Mirabelle’s journey engages the reader in a joyful multi-purpose vision of a forest garden that needs companions for work and play. The story goes beyond trees and plants to community sharing and caring for others. It also subtly defies nutritional and gender stereotypes and shifts from either/or to both/and thinking. 

Join the vision quest to see what’s in it for you! There’s room for all to play in this new gardening game!

This storybook is a needed addition to elementary permaculture and sustainable gardening education. It interweaves educational activities and questions with community building, plant knowledge and engaging artwork.


The second edition launched in fall 2022 is a tribute to Mirabelle’s actual African cousins, an appreciation of #blacklivesmatter movement and the continuation of our African adventures with Mirabelle’s real cousins and friends. 

This edition includes 8 additional pages with activity handouts to explore in the garden and nature in general. This is the edition we’re using in Zambia and other African countries to promote permaculture education and green thinking.

Editorial reviews:

“…Brilliant tale of how a young girl can take gigantic steps in making the world more environmentally friendly, starting with her own backyard. Not only does Mirabelle’s Forest Garden tell an interesting and exciting story, but the educational value it provides knows no bounds. Information about beneficial plants, landscapes and the animals which can enjoy the bounty of it all is vast, not only in illustration, but also with extensive information about each. (…) People around the world can easily benefit from this book, which appeals not only to children but to adults alike.” Rosie Malezer for Readers’ Favorite

Read full RF Review here

“A delightful book for the young gardener.” Carolyn Nutall, Author, Outdoor Classrooms, Australia

“This inspiring and empowering book will delight and charm children, with a wise story, stunning illustrations and beautiful poetry.” Lusi Alderslowe, Children in Permaculture Network,

“Mirabelle’s Forest Garden is a much needed and beautiful addition to elementary permaculture education – it interweaves educational activities and questions with community building and plant knowledge seamlessly with colorful and engaging artwork and playful but detailed writing. Bravo!”  Matt Powers, author of The Permaculture Student

” A little girl builds community and sustainability.  Mirabelle pursues her project with spirit and determination, inspiring us all to learn more about plants and perennial gardens. The imagery is beautiful and the story engaging. Well done!”  Karl Treen, Author,

“Mirabelle’s Forest Garden is a fun and engaging story that will keep young readers engaged. The story has a positive way of challenging the status quo of previously boxed in thinking about the segregation of food. Once read, the mind of a young person will be filled with ways of designing and planting food growing systems that both heal people and the planet.” Nicholas Burtner, Director of the School of Permaculture,

“A wonderful engaging book so necessary as a resource for the growing Garden Pedagogy that gives so much hope for the hearts and minds of our future decision makers”. Janet Millington, Outdoor Classrooms Approach to Learning,

Mirabelle’s Forest Garden teaches children to trust their dreams, which is extremely important by itself. The book also presents important concepts like permaculture, perennial plants, and mushroom growing, in a way that’s easy for children to understand.” John WagesPublisher, Permaculture Design Magazine”

“Beautiful rhyming language, invoking a sense of possibilities. I loved how the author weaved together fun and learning. Permaculture is such a beautiful and important subject for all ages to know about, but if it isn’t presented in a fun and captivating way, it is dry and boring and has no meaning. The poetry, artwork and short exercises draw you into a magical world that you’ll never want to leave! Greg Traymar, International Director, Sharing Nature Worldwide,

“Great conversation starter with children about the importance of community, bio-diversity, asking for help and at the same time following one’s dreams. Santiago Miranda, Molinos Verdes de Moringa, Costa Rica,

“After reading the story to our seven year old son, he promptly got to work, with pen and paper, designing his own forest garden. He did not stop for the rest of the day and ideas continued to flow many days later…This book contains magic that unleashed his imagination and helped him to enter into our world in a way that is truly contributive in unique in astonishing ways.” Robyn Veraart, The Transylvania School of Self Sufficient Living,

 “A story that goes beyond trees and plants to community building and caring for others. Heart-fuelled inspiration for how we can address skepticism towards new visions with kindness.” Jenn Matchain, The Green Diary, Ireland,


Activity sheets in the workbook, 2nd edition
Get your copy here