Ben Raskin

Ben Raskin has worked in horticulture for more than 25 years, developing a wide range of experience both in practical commercial growing and wider policy and advocacy work.

As the Soil Association’s Head of Horticulture and Agroforestry, he provides growers at all levels of production with technical, marketing, policy, supply chain, and networking support. He is currently implementing a 200-acre silvopastoral agroforestry planting in Wiltshire.

Ben is the author of several books on gardening, including The Woodchip Handbook (2021), Zero-Waste Gardening (2021), The Community Gardening Handbook (2017), and 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 boards of the Organic Growers Alliance and Community Supported Agriculture Network UK.

The Woodchip Handbook

The Woodchip Handbook is the essential guide to the many uses of woodchip both in regenerative agriculture and horticulture. Author Ben Raskin, Head of Horticulture and Agroforestry at the Soil Association, draws on his extensive practical experience using woodchip, provides the latest research from around the world, and presents inspiring case studies from innovative farmers.

The book explores and unlocks the tremendous potential of woodchip to enhance soil health and plant growth:

  • As a natural mulch for weed suppression, temperature buffering, and water conservation
  • As a growing medium for propagating plants
  • As a decomposing source of warmth for hotbeds in the greenhouse or hoop house
  • As a carbon-rich compost ingredient that supports beneficial fungi and microorganisms
  • As a powerful soil health booster, when applied as small-sized ramial chipped wood
  • As an ideal substrate for growing many kinds of edible or medicinal mushrooms
  • As a sustainable, versatile, and durable material for foot paths and ornamental landscaping

Whether you are a commercial grower or farmer, a permaculture practitioner, or a serious home gardener producing your own fruit and vegetables, The Woodchip Handbook will show you how to get the most out of this readily available and renewable material.