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1. Gaia's Garden, Second Edition:
2. PERMACULTURE: A Designers' Manual
3. Getting Started In Permaculture:
4. Introduction to Permaculture
5. Permaculture: Principles and Pathways
6. Earth User's Guide to Permaculture
7. The Basics Of Permaculture Design
8. The Permaculture Way: Practical
9. The Permaculture Garden
10. Edible Forest Gardens: Ecological
11. Chicken Tractor: The Permaculture
12. Edible Forest Gardens, Vol. 2:
13. Permaculture One: A Perennial
14. The Earth Care Manual: A Permaculture
15. Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale
16. The Woodland Way: A Permaculture
17. The Transition Handbook
18. The New American Sustainable Garden:
19. Permaculture One: A Perennial
20. Permaculture in a Nutshell

1. Gaia's Garden, Second Edition: A Guide To Home-Scale Permaculture
by Toby Hemenway
Paperback: 313 Pages (2009-05-19)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$18.51
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1603580298
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The first edition of Gaia’s Garden, sparked the imagination of America’s home gardeners, introducing permaculture’s central message: Working with Nature, not against her, results in more beautiful, abundant, and forgiving gardens. This extensively revised and expanded second edition broadens the reach and depth of the permaculture approach for urban and suburban growers.

Many people mistakenly think that ecological gardening—which involves growing a wide range of edible and other useful plants—can take place only on a large, multiacre scale. As Hemenway demonstrates, it’s fun and easy to create a “backyard ecosystem” by assembling communities of plants that can work cooperatively and perform a variety of functions, including:
  • Building and maintaining soil fertility and structure
  • Catching and conserving water in the landscape
  • Providing habitat for beneficial insects, birds, and animals
  • Growing an edible “forest” that yields seasonal fruits, nuts, and other foods
This revised and updated edition also features a new chapter on urban permaculture, designed especially for people in cities and suburbs who have very limited growing space. Whatever size yard or garden you have to work with, you can apply basic permaculture principles to make it more diverse, more natural, more productive, and more beautiful. Best of all, once it’s established, an ecological garden will reduce or eliminate most of the backbreaking work that’s needed to maintain the typical lawn and garden. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
I've gone to school for horticulture science and have been gardening for about 8 years and this book has lots of good ideas and great explanations of how to do them. I also like all the charts for plants and their uses, the carbon/nitrogen ratio chart, and pictures.
And I'm not even done reading it yet. Plus from all the reviews I read, this one was the best for introduction into permaculture.

3-0 out of 5 stars Very good, but too narrow a focus
This very informative book does a good job of discussing the design imperatives of a well thought out homestead plot. It is meant for the beginner in some sense, and deals with horticulture only. There are no chapters on year round gardening, or hydroponics, for example. There is a dearth of illustration. The tables are helpful, and the author is certainly well informed. I was wishing for more depth and more breadth, and would describe this book as a useful starting point, but is far from a description of self sufficiency.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gaia's Garden
Excellent book. Starting from the fact that the book is printed using green methods (and it looks real nice), this book is an invitation to common sense and finding equilibrium with and through nature. Don't be put off if the term permaculture is foreign to you. This is a totally accessible book that every gardener or aspiring gardener should have. It will change the way you see gardening forever and for the better so you'll be able to design gardens that ecologically speaking make sense (beautiful, high yielding and almost 100% self sufficient).

5-0 out of 5 stars Gaia's Garden book
This is an excellent Permaculture Design reference and how-to book. I recommend it to all who wish to become self sufficient and utilize their land in a way that helps not harms the earth and gets best yield of food.

3-0 out of 5 stars Practical Information is Lacking
The ideal Permaculture Book would:

1. Focus on one specific bioregion.For example:"Permaculture in the Maritime Pacific Northwest".The author is a university professor living and gardening in Portland, Oregon, so this is a reasonable focus for a future permaculture book.

2. Describe in detail a large number of permaculture "Guilds" optimized for the Maritime Northwest climate.

3. For each Guild, specify in detail: the optimum sun exposure; water needed during July-August; ideal soil composition; labor required to control weeds; vulnerability to insects & soil pathogens (including symphylans), with recommended controls.

4. For each Guild, identify any need for a "long rotation" to control soil pathogens.

5. For each Guild, specify the typical lifetimes for various plants within the Guild, and the author's experience with methods to attract or restore biodiversity within the guild.

6. For examples of larger, multi-Guild installations:specify the hours of labor and cost of materials needed to terraform the site.

7. Specify optimum techniques to limit munching by deer, rabbits, dogs, birds, etc.

These requirements are certainly reasonable.For example, Steve Solomon's "Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades" meets all of these requirements, with style. ... Read more

2. PERMACULTURE: A Designers' Manual
by Bill Mollison, Reny Mia Slay
Hardcover: 576 Pages (1997-10-01)
list price: US$50.00 -- used & new: US$89.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0908228015
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good!
This book by Bill Mollison is very good
for those ones who are intersted to learn and practice
permaculture. It is a manual and gives you all you need for
a good start

5-0 out of 5 stars Not for the light reader, this is the Encylopedia
This is the encyclopedia for the permaculturalist, covers almost everything except standards like plant databases and cultivation techniques easily found in other agro. books.

5-0 out of 5 stars a wonderful, comprehensive guide
this book has an incredible wealth of information, and i'm confident i will continue to refer to it throughout my life. it serves as a great compendium of all i learned in my permaculture design certificate course, plus much more we didn't have time to cover. this is a timeless classic and well worth the investment.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ground breaking
This book is the future. Permaculture is the future by teaching us how to reclaim our past.

With all the issues in the world today, basic sustainability is the number one priority. How to grow food and work with nature not against it. It is a truly great book and movement. It is not the easiest reading but all worthwhile.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Purchase
It was a great deal, they answered me in no time.
The product arrived in perfect conditions, and record time!!!
Thanks for everything guys!!!
cheers ... Read more

3. Getting Started In Permaculture: 50 Practical Projects to Build and Design Productive Gardens
by Ross Mars, Jenny Mars
Paperback: 102 Pages (2007-10-17)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 185623035X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Permaculture experts Ross and Jenny Mars outline the steps to transform your garden into a productive living system. Modeled upon the development of Candlelight Farm, and illustrated with photographs, this guide encourages the reader to make positive steps towards reconciling human impact with nature – following the permaculture ideal.
Permaculture is based on the ethics of caring for people and our planet. It is about growing your own healthy food, being resourceful and environmentally responsible. Permaculture concepts and ideas can be applied successfully from small suburban units to large farming properties.
Getting Started in Permaculture delivers step-by-step knowledge for a variety of useful projects including: making herb fertilizers, compost, organic sprays for pest control, and much, much more. It also includes how to recycle your soft drink bottles, waste paper, and tires in a number of useful projects such as ponds, fruit fly traps, retailing walls, and solar stills.
As part of Permanent Publications Simple Living Series, this practical and accessible guide for gardeners of all skill levels serves as an ideal introduction to the world of permaculture. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars Getting Started In Permaculture
If you want to skip all the theory (most of it) this is the perfect book for you. It gives you a lot of ideas to star now. I only give it three stars because after browsing through it you'll be left wanting more (maybe this is a good thing) and eventually go out and get another permaculture book. I recommend starting with Gaia's Garden instead, it gives you both theory (without being overwhelming) and practice in a much nicer presentation and depth.

3-0 out of 5 stars More of a pamphlet
This is an excellent very thin book.Great start but I expected there to be more!

4-0 out of 5 stars Permaculture-Book
a must read for everyone aware of the critical need to get back in harmony with our Earth home.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hands on starter kit
Quick read. Well written. Simple but good illustrations.Very practical guide with hands on projects to get started using permaculture design principles.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Permaculture hands on book
As I'm now starting in the permaculture, I really wanted a book that is practical, and gives you suggestions that could be useful and also easy to do. This book was the best! I was able put the principles in practice as I opened the book, simple but very effective information. Out of all the permaculture books that I have this one has been easy to use and with little skills and know how you could effectively put these tools to use. If you're looking for a book to get you started this is the one to buy. ... Read more

4. Introduction to Permaculture
by Bill Mollison
Paperback: 224 Pages (1997-08)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$43.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0908228082
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent information
This book by Bill Mollison is detailed, clear and well written by one of the founders of the now world-wide Permaculture movement.Plenty of drawing accompany the text making all theinformation easy to understand.While this book is an introduction, it has plenty of information for the more experienced individual seeking further education.As a Permaculture designer, I feel this book belongs in every person's library as the methods ensure better use of land without depleting the soil and at the same time, arranging the garden in an attractive and easy assessable way so it can be used easily.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great
This is a great way to introduce yourself to the topic of Permaculture without spending several hundred dollars on the FANTASTIC full text book by Mollison.Well worth the read.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is a great book !!!
If you are interested in permaculture then this is the book for you. Check it out.

3-0 out of 5 stars Introduction to Permaculture
Good ideas but too exclusive to authors' home area (New Zealand/Australia) which are not compatible with Midwest U.S.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great intro and overview
This is a great introduction and overview of permaculture concepts. The book covers a lot of material for initiates to permaculture. It's sets the foundation for further reading and studies for those who want to get serious though one could take the principles learned just from this book alone and be quite successful in my opinion. You learn how the sun, wind and rain, all play an important role in siting structures like homes, sheds, barns, green and shade houses and also in garden and plant selection and placement. The book also covers designing for temperate, tropical and dry-land environments. It explains how interconnected relationships between the land, climate, soils, water, structures, flora and fauna can be fostered to the benefit of all. There are just so many creative ideas and diagrams in this book that it is worth it for those alone. The book is 8 1/4 X 11 inches with small print that fills the pages with valuable information. I want to live in the sub-tropics of Hawaii and enjoyed the coverage in this regard but, the book also left me day dreaming about living the permaculture lifestyle in other areas like the High Desert of New Mexico and the Pacific Northwest of Oregon. This book touches on all the possibilities, from the home garden with a few animals to commercial orchards, forests, animal farms, aquaculture, urban gardens and more. But don't get me wrong, it does not cover these topics in depth, it gives a thorough introduction to these topics and an understanding that one would likely not gain by reading just one book. Also each chapter ends with a list of references for further reading. In addition there are appendices listing useful permaculture plants, such as nitrogen fixing plants. One appendix even breaks it down into useful categories, such as fruit plants and trees for temperate, topical/sub-tropical and dry areas,pest control plants and finally appendices which list hundreds of the plants mentioned in the text by common, Latin, and by species names. The book ends with a glossary of key terms used in the book and few pages about Bill Mollison (One of the founders of permaculture) and the permaculture institute including info on their 72 hour PC Design Certificate Course. This book is highly recommended! ... Read more

5. Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability
by David Holmgren
Paperback: 286 Pages (2002-12)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$17.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0646418440
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars An important actualization of the permaculture concept - essencial reading
Well, here we have THE important actualization of the permaculture concepts for the new milenium-
I agree with many of the other reviewers, that this book is probably not an easy read, since here Holmgren goes into a deep and profound analisis of ecological and systemic concepts. My tip - read this book slowly, two to five pages are enough, and than go out in the garden and experience....citing Permaculture Principle number 1: "Observe and Interact"....
This book is probably not something for beginners, who want to have practical tips on how to make a garden (well, there is enough literature around on that issue), nevertheless I consider it essencial reading for those folks who have some experience in sustaiability issues and some permaculture design practice - this book changed my life, and reinspired my more than 19 year permaculture experiences and practices.
Permaculture is much more than just a curious gardening filosofy, and here the lesser known co-originator of the concept destilles his 25 year or more practical permaculture experience in his twelve deep and empowering permaculture principles, that challenge most of the more mainstreamish sustainability concepts. Holmgren is an incredible conceptualizer.
This is a book for all those people, who are seriously interested in permaculture design/practice and sustainability issues. Also, I like Holmgrens more reflective and modest style, that contrasts a bit the more polemic, straightforward and sometimes provocative style of Mollisons permaculture Books - Highly recommended !!!

1-0 out of 5 stars Permaculture or PhD Dissertation on Systems Theory?
I was looking to expand my understanding of permaculture with Holmgren's latest work, where he seeks to "directly explain the principles of permaculure" (xi). However, I did not find Holmgren's presentation of permaculture to be useful or that coherent.

It's not just that I found Holmgren's prose to be extremely wordy and difficult to follow, often going back and forth between different ideas, but his writing seemed to overly focus on validating his take on Systems Theory where everything is quantified in terms of some abstract idea of "energy." This supposed all-encompassing worldview leads Holmgren to make some grandiose generalizations, like a "Maximum Power Law" which shows that "comfort and excessive protection from challenges and competition can lead to self-satisfied, lazy and eventually dysfunctional behavior" (pg. 56). Huh? So traditional hunter-gatherers who cooperated together to produce stable, sustainable food systems were lazy? Holmgren doesn't explain further. How about the even more absurd and equally unqualified statement that because fossil fuels have a low "embodied energy," they are not "bad, inefficient, and immoral.. [but] are very useful" (pg. 50). What?! Has Holmgren ever seen the coal mines or oil refineries in his own country? It's a hugely intensive process that seems anything but "beyond sustainable" to me.

I'm not sure who Holmgren's intended audience is, but "Principles and Pathways" seemed like an abstract PhD dissertation. His sweeping generalizations, buttressed by his Systems Theory that quantifies and then can supposedly explain everything, make him come off as arrogant at times. Maybe some people like this detached academic writing, but it's not really my cup of tea.

I found "Gaia's Garden" by Toby Hemenway to be a very accessible introduction and overview to permaculture with lucid examples. I've also begun to read some works by Bill Mollison and found them to be inspiring and easier to grasp. While the so-called "bible" of permaculture, "A Designers' Manual," remains college textbook-like expensive, many of Mollison's other writings can be found online for free.

2-0 out of 5 stars Good information but hard to read
Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability

I found this book incredibly hard to read.

I couldn't wrap my head around Holmgren's style of prose, and the layout and ideas in this book. It is wordy, meandering, and confusing - and I found myself lost in chapter after chapter as Holmgren's explanations went way over my head, leaving me confused and befuddled. This would not be a good introduction to permaculture, and no good at all as a teaching book or textbook.

I wish I could have given this book a higher rating than two stars, but I simply wouldn't recommend it to any but the diehard permaculture enthusiast who feels s/he must have every book on the subject in her/his possession.

I feel that Holmgren has somehow missed the simplicity of permaculture and become bogged down in unnecessary complexity, taking his readers with him. He presents a neat little set of diagrams, but I lost touch with what to do with them early on, and it was all downhill from there. Maybe the book improved towards the end, but as I never finished it I shall never know. Which is a shame.

Holmgren has done wonderful work in the field of permaculture and sustainability. His record in the field is commendable. I feel sad I can't recommend this book. I hope his next venture is more readable.

From now on, I'll stick with Mollison (the father and founder of permaculture) whose books I have found to be all incredibly readable, intelligent, and action-provoking.

1-0 out of 5 stars More numbers, less wisdom please!
In purchasing this book, I'd hoped to start learning the strategies and techniques for transforming a piece land into an environmentally sustainable legacy for future generations.Perhaps, I misunderstood the book's description when it specified that it would teach me the foundations of permaculture design and the 12 permaculture design principles.

Instead of providing a useful guide to designing a more sustainable environment for someone who wants to change their lifestyle for their own philosophical and ethical beliefs, the book takes one on 277 page New Age ramble.Rather than offering sound scientific reasons why permaculture offers a reasonable path through climate change and likely energy declines, the author offers platitudes and dubious claims.

I was bounced from preferences for traditional cultures (never mind traditions like female circumcision or traditional building methods that collapse in earthquakes) to citations of Hari Krishna practices as something to emulate to anti-patriarchal graphs and ending with a profound sense of disappointment.Yes, Mr. Holmgren, you can be a male Western scientific materialist and still want to create a sustainable environment and society for your children.

5-0 out of 5 stars Empowering
Reading this book, although in the beginning a bit of a dense and sluggish read, was a major pivotal moment for me. Holmgren presents a visionary perspective and context of humanity's position, provides profound and thought provoking discourse on the underlying philosophies and patterns of permaculture design, and projects an image of an inspiring future and a path to get there with confidence.

Once I got to the second half of the book, the pace picked up and I felt positively engaged right through to the end. It has supplied me with valuable tools and concepts which I use and refer to almost daily, as I am confronted by the bull-headed, sometimes irrational, sometimes blatantly parasitic structures humanity has surrounded itself with.

But Homgren's greatest gift to me, from the end of the book, was his argument for not needing to denigrate our forebears' roles in the situation we find ourselves in today; especially as permaculture design provides us with some of the key tools of thought that will empower us in todays times of monstrous change. This really helped me to release any stress I was creating around blame, freeing up that mental space to be employed in creative problem solving. ... Read more

6. Earth User's Guide to Permaculture
by Rosemary Morrow
Paperback: 288 Pages (2010-03-15)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$21.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1856230511
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The principle for permaculture is simple: provide back to the earth what we take from it to create a sustainable environment. The three principle aims are: Care for people; Care for the earth; and Redistributing everything surplus to one's needs.

This completely revised and updated edition of Rosemary Morrow's highly successful Earth User's Guide to Permaculture is a straight-forward manual of practical permaculture. Fundamentally, permaculture is design science and in this new edition design is emphasised. This book will be most beneficial if you apply it to the space where you live and work. The same principles apply for becoming more sustainable and living lightly whether you live in a small city apartment with a balcony, in a house with a garden in the suburbs, or on acreage in the country.

Included in this new edition are chapters on seed-saving, permaculture at work, integrated pest management, information about domestic as well as rural water usage, a non-destructive approach towards dealing with weeds and wildlife, and designing to withstand a disaster.

Earth User's Guide to Permaculture is suitable for beginners as well as experienced permaculture practitioners looking for new ideas in moving towards greater self-reliance and sustainable living. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars great source of info
Permaculture is the way of the future and the only way this planet could sustain itself going into the future and this book is a very straight forward explantation of permaculture's philosophy and benifits. It's very reasonably priced and helpful

4-0 out of 5 stars Great starting place
We bought this book because we had heard bits of information about permaculture and we didn't want to spend heaps of money learning about something which might not interest us.

Earth User's Guide to Permaculture has inspired us to get into permaculture in a big way.The information presented gives enough in the way of ideas to get the brain ticking over and to think how it can be applied in your own situation.We will buy another, more detailed book than this one, but this was perfect as an introduction to permaculture and to guide us in the direction we need to go.

I'd recommend this book to anyone with an interest in permaculture who isn't sure if it's for them.There's enough to get you thinking and to let you know if permaculture is for you.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great ideas to put principles into practice
Morrow and Allsop offer an amusingly illustrated and practical response to other intellectually overwhelming tomes available on permaculture (e.g. Bill Mollison's "Designer's Manual"). For those readers who want an easy-to-follow and get-to-the-point manual for designing their property according to permaculture principles, this book is it.

The author breaks down the complex material in simple layered concepts, building each successive chapter on the previous, and gives the reader practical "labs" to help apply the concepts--even if you are just dreaming about property and don't own any yet.

About 1/3 of the book is foundational material on earth science: air, weather, soil, plants, etc. Starting with the basics, like observation and note taking, the author guides us step by step to help us understand the macro (the earth) and the micro (our backyard) world around us. The next 1/3 of the book helps you to start planning your own property based on the principles uncovered in the first 1/3. Photos and cartoon-like illustrations help flesh out the concepts.

My only complaint is that the latter chapters are too brief. The author does such a good example of explaining the material in the first 1/3 of the book that I was disappointed to find the material lacking on how to build a natural forest. The reader will need additional books (like Patrick Whitefield's How to make a Forest Garden) to fill in where the author is sparse here.

Despite what a previous reviewer has written, this book is neither preachy nor impractical. The notion to get rid of your car was briefly suggested in one place, about 3/4 ways through the book, and certainly not presented as an imperative--merely one idea among many possible solutions to pollution.

To suggest that the author expects us to emulate Vietnamese poverty is misleading and unfair. The author presents several excellent agricultural examples currently employed in Vietnam--if good examples of permaculture exist there, why not use them to illustrate your point? The author in no way implies that we must adopt the Vietnamese lifestyle as a whole to fullfill the permaculture ideal. Rather, we can take their best examples and adapt them to our own situation.

By the way, as a policitally conservative reader (to the "right"), I can confidently say the tone of the book is NOT leftist. Sound ecological principles are not "leftist". Good stewardship of the earth is a biblical and conservative notion.

Anyway, this is a fun, informative book, with LOTS of practical ideas that have inspired me and enlightened my dreams for my own permaculture homestead.

2-0 out of 5 stars Permaculture, its own worst enemy
What a pity that a science which has as much to offer as permaculture should be so degraded by the radicalism of some of its proponents as to make it unsaleable to the mainstream of potential users, who will be turned away by its political philosophy. This book, while it offers some good ideas about design and planning, is tinged throughout by its greenie fringe. eg. what is the solution to weeds caused by vehicular pollution? Get rid of your car!

I bought this book to learn about sustainable agricultural practice, but found myself enmeshed in a diatribe of leftist sentiment. For those of us who do not wish to wear biodegradable clothes, or who do not believe that corporate profits are the result of greedy and unethical conspiracies, it is too tempting to disregard the entire subject of permaculture.

The proponents of this science need to accept that the majority of those citizens of the planet who have become accustomed to living in personal circumstances better than that of the "third world" are not going to go back to that lifestyle. While it might be a romantic ideal for some to live like a Vietnamese villager, not all would want to accept the poverty, short life expectancy and high infant mortality, to mention just three factors, which brand that country "third world". Permaculturists should abandon their politics and concentrate on promoting their science.

4-0 out of 5 stars makes permaculture understandable and practicable
Rosemary Morrow lives in Eastern Australia and has taught permaculturedesign in India, Africa, Thailand and Cambodia. As a result of herconsiderable skill and experience she has written a first-rate, practicaland informative guide to sustainable living. Permaculture was firstdeveloped by Bill Mollison and Dvid Holmgren and has since spreadexponentially around the world. This book is a very practical guide to helpyou get started in your locality. While it has an Australian perspective, I have found the vast majority of it entirely applicable or easilyadaptable to a Northern hemisphere temperate context.I bought The EarthUser's Guide to Permaculture because I wanted to learn about Permaculturebut was intimidated by the price and sheer weight of the key textbook,Permaculture: A Designer's Manual, by Mollison. I was also unable toparticipate in a hands-on design course at the time due to work and familycommittments.What I found was inspiring. I have since completed thedesign certificate and am now teaching a university course in environmentalethics. There are several strengths to the Earth User's Guide. First, thereare plenty of excellent illustrations by Rob Allsop, so you can see as wellas read about the process and principles of permaculture design. The twentywell-chosen colour photographs compliment these. Secondly, the bookfocusses on two different real-life examples, a small suburban house and aneighty acre farm. Seeing permaculture in action in real places is veryhelpful. Third, the book avoids duplicating material that can be foundelsewhere and instead focusses on the practical. There are project ideashere that could take a morning or a lifetime to complete. As RosemaryMorrow writes in the preface, 'start now and let your life be enriched'. ... Read more

7. The Basics Of Permaculture Design
by Ross Mars
Paperback: 170 Pages (2005-03-30)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$16.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1856230236
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The Basics of Permaculture Design, first published in Australia in 1996, is an excellent introduction to the principles of permaculture, design processes, and the tools needed for designing sustainable gardens, farms, and larger communities.

Packed with useful tips, clear illustrations, and a wealth of experience, it guides you through designs for gardens, urban and rural properties, water harvesting systems, animal systems, permaculture in small spaces like balconies and patios, farms, schools, and ecovillages. This is both a do-it-yourself guide for the enthusiast and a useful reference for permaculture designers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great one stop shop for a broad overview of Permaculture
This was the ideal introduction I needed to talk some what intelligently about the back-in-vogue topic of permaculture. The book is written very well as a quick reference guide particularly considering the breadth of the subject matter.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
I was really surprised with this book. Actually, I bought it blindly, with no recomendations.
When I read it, I felt relieved to see that it was so well written, with excellent theory and beautifull and clear drawings.
The writter sais his opinions, wich went very well with what I already believed.
Sustainability and Respect with yourself and nature is what this book brings.
Permaculture and Agroecology is the cure to our world.

2-0 out of 5 stars not impressed
didnt find it very practical or helpful - maybe I needed something with a bit more depth to it

3-0 out of 5 stars A bit scant on any new ideas
Ross Mars does approach the subject from an assumption of complete ignorence from his readers, so he doesn't write over anyone's head- which is good, but it really seems a bit redundant to write yet anotherintroduction to permaculture. not a bad book, but you might as well spendyour money on something a little less superficial. (ie. Mollison's books;even Rosemary Morrow is a bit more thorough) ... Read more

8. The Permaculture Way: Practical Steps to Create a Self-Sustaining World
by Graham Bell
Paperback: 238 Pages (2008-07-23)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$20.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1856230287
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The Permaculture Way shows us how to consciously design a lifestyle which is low in environmental impact and highly productive. It demonstrates how to meet our needs, make the most of resources by minimizing waste and maximizing potential, and still leave the Earth richer than we found it. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars the best permaculture book for beginners
Regardless of one person's opinion about this book being dry, it is considered one of the best tried and true permaculture manuals out there. The illustrations are funny and poignant and the information accessible and aplicable to a modern world.
Also be sure to check out the forthcoming "Food Not Lawns" by Heather Coburn due out next Summer. It is sure to be among the best-ever urban gardening books.

3-0 out of 5 stars a bit dry...
This being my first text on Permaculture, I was hoping to be awed and enthused after reading. Rather, I was a bit tired and dreary eyed. The book does contain many useful and convincing ideas. It also seems to have the depth of research I like in a text. Yet I could not wait to put the book down. It's common sense approach, not the revolutionary style I had come to link with Permaculture, left me wondering why I ordered it and if there is another trext more inspiring...

Look further before buying.

5-0 out of 5 stars For anyone who wants to build a better world
What is permaculture? Permaculture is a way of life; it makes maximum use of resources by minimizing waste and maximizing potential; it is a tool for planet-repair; it is a way of creating wealth without causing environmental damage; it is about meeting our own needs without making the lives of other less pleasant; it is about limiting personal consumption but gaining more than you lose; it is about using technology when it is the best way to accomplish a task; it is developing interdependence with the community rather than self-sufficiency; it is about reducing the work required to meet a given end; it is about giving each of us the power to influence the world from our own home. Permaculture is not about getting away from it all but taking control of our lives where we are. It is a concept and a practice with global implications because it is possible under any culture, in any climate and by people with any skills. Permacultue invites you to take care of yourself, your family and your immediate community, and to care for your neighbors in the widest possible sense, all around the globe. Permaculture is based on sound economics while making our lives more harmonious with the needs of the planet.

Put in its simplest terms, permaculture asks people to put as much into life as they demand from it; but it starts with each individual because that is what is immediate and within our control and because only we have the power to affect the future by acting creatively for the good of ourselves and others.Permaculture starts in the home because that is the central point in time and space from which all daily occupations radiate. Designing the home to supply much of its own needs and to consume its own outputs would be a massive contribution to global cleansing. Thoreau, in his book 'Walden' reviews his two-year experiment in simple living as a counter to industrialization and commerce that have driven people into virtual slavery. His remedy was to concentrate on simple requirements to free up time and energy for our spiritual needs. Our house should provide health for the family, peace for the spirit and harmony with the environment - and that is what permaculture strives to attain. Think globally but act locally is a slogan that reminds us, not just of our duty, but of our personal ability to affect change for the better. Permaculture is best expressed in your own garden because gardening exhibits all the qualities of planet-care - it is small scale, local, ethical, and a personal responsibility that brings together all strands of our relationship with nature; it is a common bond between families throughout the world. Permaculture is best expressed through the individual because leadership is so vital to building a better world. Every parent is a leader; every adult and every child can become a leader. All it requires is to do something when you see something that needs doing and that something may be as simple as creating a garden along the lines described in this book.

This book shows us how to meet our basic needs while leaving the earth richer; it helps us to relearn the value of nature; it helps us to understand new ways of being wealthy; it helps us to create a productive lifestyle without causing environmental damage. Although the specifics of this book are for the British Isles, the principles and philosophies are universal. At present, the earth cannot keep up with our rate of production and consumption. We must deepen our understanding of the land and our relationship to it. This doesn't mean that we all have to become peasant or subsistence farmers; permaculture seeks more rewarding paths to paradise. This book helps us to design our lives efficiently, not just to feed and clothe ourselves better but to take as little as possible of the earth's space for the production of those needs; to do as little damage as possible to the environment and whenever possible to return as much as possible to nature.

David Bellamy starts his preface with these words. "I have four books in my library which form the cornerstones of my hope for the future: Marcus Porcius Cato's 'Treatise on Agriculture' (about 160 AD); Robert Sharrock's 'History of the Propagation and Improvement of Vegetables by the Concurrence of Art and Nature' (1660); Hans Jenny's 'The Soil Resource' (1980); and Bill Mollison's 'permaculture' (1988). I can now add this book to the collection, for it is of great importance. This is a spring-board text, which relaunches the wisdom of almost twenty centuries into the arena where it is most needed and from which it can be most effective - the rich countries of the temperate world."

At the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit for Sustainable Development, one resolution was to declare a Decade for Education on Sustainable Development starting in 2005. We must now start thinking about what should be included in the new curriculum. Permaculture should definitely be included.If you want to move away from the consumerist lifestyle; if you want to live by more enduring values; if you are looking for answers to the question 'What can I do about curing our world?'; if you are looking for ways to improve your health and to live more harmoniously with nature; if you agree with Edmund Burke that "for the triumph of evil it is only necessary that good men do nothing"; then this well may be the book you have been looking for. This book should be in the library of everyone interested in building a better world.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Permaculture Way
I read this book about a year ago so I can't be too detailed. But I appreciated this accessible introduction to the entire field of permaculture as a philosophy. Not just focused on farm or landscapingdesign, Bell explicates deeper community design and planning that mollisonusually just suggests in passing. Particularily interesting was hisdiscussion of Community centered currency and exchange programs like BREADin Berkeley ... Read more

9. The Permaculture Garden
by Graham Bell
Paperback: 174 Pages (2008-11-05)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$16.81
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1856230279
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Working entirely in harmony with nature, The Permaculture Garden shows you how to turn a bare plot into a beautiful and productive garden. Learn how to plan your garden for easy access and minimum labor; save time and effort digging and weeding; recycle materials to save money; plan crop successions for year-round harvests; save energy and harvest water; and garden without chemicals by building up your soil and planting in beneficial communities. Full of practical ideas, this perennial classic, first published in 1995, is guaranteed to inspire, inform, and entertain. ... Read more

10. Edible Forest Gardens: Ecological Vision, Theory For Temperate Climate Permaculture
by Dave Jacke, Eric Toensmeier
Hardcover: 396 Pages (2005-08-30)
list price: US$75.00 -- used & new: US$49.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1931498792
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Volume One of the two-volume set, Edible Forest Gardens, begins with an overview of the ecological and cultural context for forest gardening in modern North America. It also lays out a holistic vision that guides the study of forest ecology that follows. This ecological exploration forms the bulk of Volume One, and offers clear and specific direction for forest garden design and management. Three forest garden case studies ground the concepts discussed in the book and bring them life. Volume One concludes with colorful descriptions of forest gardening's "Top 100" species, and useful listings of information and organizational resources. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Amazing, in-Depth Reference
It's no surprise to learn that Dave and Eric worked for seven years to write the Edible Forest Gardens books; the depth and breadth of permaculture knowledge that they present is incredible. Although I've heard some say that these books are not an easy read, I've found them to be fascinating,enjoyable and indispensable. I started my journey into permaculture with Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway, then decided to plant an edible forest in the back yard, so I purchased Volume 2 of Edible Forest Gardens, since it covers the practical consideration of forest gardening. I was so impressed with the book that I then purchased volume 1, which focuses on the ecological vision and theory for temperate climate permaculture. Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Volume One on Theory and Vision
This is a beautiful and well-designed book. It draws on a very large number of ecological and forestry publications, with full references. The chapter end-notes are easy to use and refer to an appended bibliography. Numerous colour photographs, and diagrams illustrate the concepts. Both as text and as a reference it will retain its value.

There are many tough patches of ecological complexity, and of subtle theory. Numerous times I could read a few pages only until I had come to understand some difficult to grasp concept, then I would need to put the book down as the authors started a fresh mental adventure. Review after each chapter could be helpful during reading, but I continued to finish, and now plan to solidify understanding by going over pencil-marked passages. Throughout, even difficult topics are made clear.

A highlight to me was the authors' masterful handling of the various theories of ecological succession, brief comments on their historical development, and preliminary discussion of how they can be used in design and management. Their enthusiasm and humor, allowed only occasional brief exposure up to this point, break through here as they repeatedly state the need for freedom, experimentation, and fun.

I found the introductory portions inspirational, also the final text portions and the catalogue of 100 most useful plants--I skipped ahead and read this listing to get a break from the theory and to see what plants could be used in my northern boreal forest location.

If this instructional and authoritative volume had been available in the 1970s, we might now have more commonly available permaculture forests and gardens for practical examination and evaluation, and a generation of working designers.

Volume Two on design and practice sits on my shelf. What a delightful problem deciding whether to start reading it or look back on Volume One!

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible resource for applied agro-ecological development
This book adds depth to the existing research in agro-ecology. It provides new information and examples specific to temperate, especially warmer-temperate climates.It also highlights applications of this information in the first section: "Vision." The authors have put together a massive work that will certainly serve my reference for years to come.This work is primarily an information-packed textbook that includes much in the way of strategies and principles which apply to all biological development of landscapes. In this regard the book can serve as a text in any regenerative landscape studies.

For me, the most valuable aspects of this book are:
-the articulation of integrated design principles (so many good one's under one cover)
-the masterful graphics (who did them all?)
-the development and refining of new language for thinking about agro-ecosystems.E.g. they've taken out the word "invasive" and use the word "opportunist" instead; advancing our approach in this perennial challenge and contextualizing it in a more proper problem-solving/use-based approach, as opposed to the useless conservationist/alarmist approach that can't find the leverage.
-the case studies, although I wish there were more.
-The "top 100" plant list for temperate climates = awesome resource.
-the depth of research (which is fairly mind-blowing) including aspects such as cross sectional mapping of root systems, nutrient flows in agro-ecosystems, and much much more.

It is obvious why this book has taken many years to produce.
I am left with several confusions/questions.One is the name: "Forest" gardening.The authors show the differences between forest and woodland systems (as in % canopy cover) and are clearly explaining strategies for WOODLAND gardening with some light coming in through a partially open canopy. "Edible Woodland Gardening" would make more sense and the term Forest is a bit misleading.(This is not a book about mushroom cultivation, or understory crops alone).Maybe it's simply that woodland is a fairly unused term in the States.
Another frustration is in the case studies/examples.The case studies are few and examples of strategy applications are brief.They are also only from fairly warm-temperate sites: southern England, North Carolina, etc. I did not see any from New England, for instance, where both authors reside.Of course there are not an abundance of sites to use as examples, but there are many more than are shown.I wonder why the Bullock Bros. woodland garden in a temperate region of the US was not highlighted or referenced, for instance.I am hoping that Volume II has more of these case studies.

Overall an incredible work of research with an applied focus and a super useful source of ecological design principles that are crucial for any student in any field connected with biological landscape development.

Ben Falk
Whole Systems Design, LLC
Moretown, Vermont, USA

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome Forest Garden
This book is incredible and could very well change your life!

Unlike other works on permaculture and ecological agriculture, which discuss simple principles derived from ecology, Jakce dives into the real workings of forest ecology and humanity's role (and potential role) in this ecology.

While technically impressive, the real merit of this book is the quality of writing.It reads like a novel while conveying complex ecological ideas and their practical application.

It truly offers hope for a beautiful and delicious post-petroleum food production system.

Check it out now!
And then get gardening like the forest!! ... Read more

11. Chicken Tractor: The Permaculture Guide to Happy Hens and Healthy Soil
by Andy W Lee, Patricia L Foreman
Paperback: 324 Pages (1998-01)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$14.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0962464864
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
A chicken tractor is a bottomless, portable pen that fits over your garden beds. Just set it wherever you need help in your garden. The chickens peck and scratch the soil to clean your beds, eat pest bugs and weed seeds. Best of all, they provide eggs and meat with that old-fashioned flavor. Chicken tractors have helped thousands of gardeners have better gardens and taken chickens out of factory farms and put them in the garden where they are your personal helpers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars What A Surprize!!!
I thought I was buying instructions to build a chicken tractor. What I got was much more. I found this to be very interesting and informative. I've read it twice so far.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
Awesome info on backyard chicken raising. Not just about chicken tractors, good for info on feeding, breeds, brooders, butchering, supplements, etc.

5-0 out of 5 stars backyard experience
This book is a great help in getting started with chickens.When building the tractor, be sure to double check the given measurements as I found the top of the tractor to be about 4 inches too short.

3-0 out of 5 stars could be helped by editing
Bottom line: This could have been a great book, but it reads like a first draft -- almost as rough as raw notes from the authors' field notebook. It is useful reading to get ideas about how to put this system to work for you.

My family is going to get a handful of egg layers and I heard about the chicken tractor concept and wanted to get the authoritative guide. I was hoping for (a) building instructions and rough plans, (b) how the system is best used, and (c) basic care of the animals. I didn't expect a comprehensive guide to animal care, I'll get a separate book for that.

The book covers all three of the above areas.

Chapter 8, "How to Build Your Custom Chicken Tractor" has a sequence of instructions, a bill of materials, and a couple of diagrams. The diagrams could be better, and there could be more. A third of a page is devoted to a picture of how to square two boards using the 3-4-5 rule, but the next page of seven construction steps has no pictures at all. There is no (nearby) photograph of the finished product, only some sketches with cartoon chickens. Chapter 4 focuses on straw bale construction techniques (though you can't build a tractor out of bales) with more and somewhat better diagrams but does not have a set of specific construction steps (and I'm not sure it needs one).

Chapter 3, "Chicken Tractor Systems", discusses seven different systems in which the tractor may be used. Not all of the systems are covered evenly: the rotational garden system gets four paragraphs in contrast to the dozen or so pages for the deep mulch system. One "system" is a brief mention of four different hen houses on wheels without any mention of how wheels might be deployed in contrast to the simple tractor he describes later in Chapter 8.

Basic care is scattered throughout the book. Chapter 6, "Keeping Hens in the Chicken Tractor" has some tips about keeping hens happy but doesn't go into much depth. It could be better integrated with the rest of the book: the section on nesting boxes should include details or cross reference to construction techniques for integrating nesting boxes into the Chapter 8 tractor. In 300 pages about "happy hens and healthy soil", there are only two or three pages devoted to nesting boxes, and then there are no diagrams -- just a couple of silly cartoons.

Some info on breed selection would have been nice. Chapter 11, "Give Me That Old-Time Chicken", discusses the fact that some heritage breeds are in danger of extinction. But other than positing that they taste better, they don't give much for hints in selecting a breed that is appropriate for your farm.

Some miscellaneous criticisms:

* Selective use of science makes me suspicious. There are places where the authors cite scientific studies in support of their opinions. There are places where the authors make vague mention of science in support of their opinions. And there are places where the authors mention scientific studies and then dismiss the science based on their opinions.

* The photography is poor -- generally too dark and not well composed.

* Organization is inconsistent. This is a minor point, but some chapters have numbered sections, some have lettered sections, some have no sequence marks -- just section titles, and some chapters are mix and match. Example: Chapter six has sections A, B, C, D, 5. Only A and B show up in the table of contents. Sloppy organization makes it unlikely that this book will be useful as a reference.

* Hordes of typographical/copy errors. Again, a minor point but distracting nonetheless. Example: Page 38 has a diagram/cartoon at the top of the page, titled in large print "Products and Behviors (sic) of a Chicken".

* Poor indexing. Example: the index for "killing cone" references only page 202. But the chapter on processing has multiple references to killing cone. There's a diagram/cartoon on page 209, description of its use on page 216, and thoughts on different types of killing cones including some thoughts on homemade versus commercial on page 217.

* The authors are very repetitive. They could shave 100 pages with better organization and judicious use of cross-references. Example: Chapter 5, "Soil Building with Chicken Tractors" is part rant against the destruction of soil by monoculture farming and part repetition of information mostly found in other parts of the book about the use of tractor systems for improving garden soil.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best option for residential chickens!
This book was my first real introduction to permiculture.It really helps the beginner get a taste of sustainable living and is a really great companion guide to gardening!I would encourage everyone to have a copy as this method can also be applied to goats, turkey, cows, ducks. ... Read more

12. Edible Forest Gardens, Vol. 2: Ecological Design And Practice For Temperate-Climate Permaculture
by Dave Jacke, Eric Toensmeier
Hardcover: 672 Pages (2005-10-20)
list price: US$75.00 -- used & new: US$47.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1931498806
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Volume Two of the two-volume set, Edible Forest Gardens, focuses all of its attention on effective design and practice. It organizes the ecological strategies from Volume One in a way that is accessible to gardeners and designers. It offers a unique 'pattern language' for forest garden design, and provides detailed advice for how to design, prepare the site for, plant, and maintain your forest garden. Volume Two also includes a unique Plant Species Matrix and several associated appendices which offer a wide-ranging catalog of the ecology, uses, and ecosystem functions of the best temperate-climate forest garden plants, and a few edible mushrooms, from around the world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars In-Depth, Practical Permaculture
It's no surprise to learn that Dave and Eric worked for seven years to write the Edible Forest Gardens books; the depth and breadth of permaculture knowledge that they present is incredible. Although I've heard some say that these books are not an easy read, I've found them to be fascinating,enjoyable and indispensable.

I started my journey into permaculture with Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway, then decided to plant an edible forest in the back yard, so I purchased Volume 2 of Edible Forest Gardens, since it covers the practical consideration of forest gardening. Although this book is written so it can stand on its own, I also highly recommend volume 1, which focuses on the ecological vision and theory for temperate climate permaculture.

Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Permaculture, a must
Very nice for practical information. I hope to build a edible forest soon. I will see the results in some years.

5-0 out of 5 stars A stupendous amount of relevant info under one cover
The more I use this book the more I realize how much is in here.There's not a time that I turn to the book for a specific piece of information and don't end up reading into other aspects that relate to the question at hand.The authors have chased down most any question to their logical, and integrated, extents.It's quite astounding that this much necessary and applicable information exists now under one cover.An essential reference for ecological land use. Many thanks to people dedicated enough to take the time and effort to share this much insight and information with the world at large.I am sure it will prove to be a crucial resource for survival many decades into the future. ... Read more

13. Permaculture One: A Perennial Agricultural System for Human Settlements
by Bill Mollison, David Holmgren
Paperback: 130 Pages (1990-06)
-- used & new: US$63.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0908228031
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14. The Earth Care Manual: A Permaculture Handbook For Britain & Other Temperate Climates
by Patrick Whitefield
Hardcover: 482 Pages (2005-03-30)
list price: US$75.00 -- used & new: US$54.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 185623021X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The long-awaited exploration of permaculture specifically for cooler Northern Hemisphere climates is finally here! Already regarded as the definitive book on the subject, The Earth Care Manual is accessible to the curious novice as much as it is essential for the knowledgeable practitioner.

Permaculture started out in the 1970s as a sustainable alternative to modern agriculture, taking its inspiration from natural ecosystems. It has always placed an emphasis on gardening, but since then it has expanded to include many other aspects, from community design to energy use. It can be seen as an overall framework that puts a diversity of green ideas into perspective. Its aims are low work, high output, and genuine sustainability. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is a "never-give-away-book"!
It's really a great book and worth every penny if you're interested in Permaculture in cooler climates.
I was also a bit frightened by the price but it's a BIG book and the informations inside are priceless.
I also tend to say it's better than Mollisons Manual because the way of writing is easier to understand for me (I'm german).
So this is one of the books I will never allow to leave my house. ;-)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is the manual for the Pacific NorthWest
Bill Mollison is probably happy to see this big edition (it's a big book) added to the Permaculture coat rack.

Contains a lot of great insight into key designering principles, with a great emphasis on temperate climate.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Resource!
I just borrowed this book from the library because I was a little scared away by the high price. Now I know that I have to buy it. This is a fantastic book. I'm planning to start a small farm and have been reading about permaculture for a couple of years. If you live in a temperate climate, this is the best book on the subject. It is filled with diagrams and interesting details about how to establish a successful system. There is hardly anything that the book doesn't touch on. If you are a serious home gardener or you are looking to create a more sustainable farm, this book will be a well used resource.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great textbook on Permaculture
I've only had a chance to glance through this and read
snippets, but I'm very impressed.A lot of information well
organized; it's like a textbook for a college level
Permaculture course.Seems comparable to, but easier to
understand and apply, than Mollison's Permaculture Design
Manual.I'm in the PNW US but I think this book will be very
useful here.Only compliant is the climate, etc maps of
britian rather than the US :-) ... Read more

15. Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture
by Toby Hemenway
Paperback: 240 Pages (2001-04-01)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$69.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1890132527
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Permaculture is a verbal marriage of “permanent” and “agriculture.” Australian Bill Mollison pioneered its development. Key features include:

  • use of compatible perennials;

  • non-invasive planting techniques;

  • emphasis on biodiversity;

  • specifically adaptable to local climate, landscape, and soil conditions;

  • highly productive output of edibles.
    Now, picture your backyard as one incredibly lush garden, filled with edible flowers, bursting with fruit and berries, and carpeted with scented herbs and tangy salad greens. The visual impact is of Monet’s palette, a wash of color, texture, and hue. But this is no still life. The flowers nurture endangered pollinators. Bright-featured songbirds feed on abundant berries and gather twigs for their nests.
    The plants themselves are grouped in natural communities, where each species plays a role in building soil, deterring pests, storing nutrients, and luring beneficial insects. And finally, you--good ol’ homo sapiens--are an integral part of the scene. Your garden tools are resting against a nearby tree, and have a slight patina of rust, because this garden requires so little maintenance. You recline into a hammock to admire your work. You have created a garden paradise.
    This is no dream, but rather an ecological garden, which takes the principles of permaculture and applies them on a home-scale. There is nothing technical, intrusive, secretive, or expensive about this form of gardening. All that is required is some botanical knowledge (which is in this book) and a mindset that defines a backyard paradise as something other than a carpet of grass fed by MiracleGro. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (45)

    5-0 out of 5 stars now in a 2nd edition...
    (which amazon sells but doesn't link to here on the purchasing options, perhaps due to the different ISBN: 1603580298 - fyi. it's got a whole new chapter, which this review does not reflect [remember, that's a different book with a different ISBN...])

    I've read the whole book, and am rereading it now (seeing as it's about that time of year). 'Gaia's Garden' provides a wide arrange of topics and tactics regarding edible home landscaping, be they swales (methods of water absorbtion into the ground), chicken tractors, companion planting (with a few great and extended examples, much better detailed than I've seen in any other book yet), beneficiaries, and more. It's been a long while since I've read it entirely through, but I still recall feeling, at least towards the end, that many of the points were being weakly reiterated (at least in comparison to earlier in the book), somewhat tied together, but that they didn't really add too much to the whole of the book. Again, it's been a while, and this second reading may provide a contrary perspective.

    Nonetheless, seeing as I've yet to encounter another book which covers half as much, that gives great examples of such, and a number of tables of plants for various uses, then don't forget about the good writing and lots of real world examples, and 'Gaia's Garden' still receives five stars by the likes of me.

    p.s. 'Edible Forest Gardens' is also great (at least the first volume, wading through the second more technical one now), which I purchased with Gaia's Garden, and glad both were bought -- one is primarily about tree crops, and not so much in the way of utilizing annual garden vegetables (rightfully so, as Toensmeier has put out since then another book, 'Perennial Vegetables' [look it up on Chelsea Green's website, there's a good 10+ minutes of video with the author going through his garden, showing off some of the diversity of his perennial veg]), whereas Hemenway's book does cover annuals to some extent, with no less than two examples of good polycultures of them (extended throughout the season, even).

    4-0 out of 5 stars Old Idea... new to me!
    I found this book to be a delightfully inspirational blend of stories, facts and a common sense approach to the home garden environment,although, I would not use this book as a definitive "how to guide".

    I think this books main value is in its provocative manner.I read it, and two weeks later have started a plethora of mini permaculture experiments.I searched around my home to find my "micro-environments" and have started to identify my "weeds" to see what they can tell me about my soil conditions.I even found a "weed" growing plentifully in my backyard, was actually an herb!

    I recommend this book especially for those new or just beginning to explore the wide world of the home garden.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Read
    I haven't made my way through the whole book yet, but what a great start - good organization, fabulous ideas and examples, nice mix of philosophy and method, more than ample motivation and inspiration to start my own food forest!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Eye-Opening
    Maybe I'm naive and uninformed, but I found this book eye-opening.I did read it a couple years ago now, but its ideas and principles were fascinating to me.Much of what it recommends, I was already doing, because most of my gardening techniques come from foggy memories of my grandmothers and their gardens.Because both my grandmothers were pretty poor (dirt poor?), they couldn't afford pesticides or herbicides or irrigation or manicured lawns.So, they built up beautiful gardens with crush planting and recycling of resources and careful siting of particular plants.They knew their space and their plants, and they never wasted anything.I try to do what they did and expand on it through what I can learn from books.This book gave me a lot in terms of principles for what I do and why I do it.What I maybe understood on an intuitive level or didn't understand at all but just did, this book provided a foundation for and then built further on that foundation.I'm always in search of more books of this type -- that address how a home-owner can use some of the principles of permaculture and ideas for minimizing work and human input in the garden through more "natural" methods of gardening.Too few books seem to try to tackle such issues on a small scale for single homes.This book was a great start.So, if you didn't have grandmothers like mine but you're interested in learning how to make the most of your garden with the least human input, start with this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars got my money's worth in one season, for just one technique from this book
    The Library journal review does a huge disservice to this book.

    Imagine a beautiful, highly productive, virtually weed-free,

    drought-resistant, inexpensive, low-maintenance and ecologically sound

    garden bed in your yard. It sounds impossible, but it is very simple

    and only requires a few hours to create this fall, no digging required.

    You can put to use the bounty of leaves and/or pine needles that are

    provided for free to almost every suburbanite in the fall. This

    is the ideal time, as the bed is better if it can break down over the


    I have been gardening for about 25 years, and wish had I had heard of

    this method sooner. It is perfect, especially for those who are not

    physically able to dig, till or do a lot of weeding or simply have very

    little time for gardening.

    It involves piling up and wetting down 8 -12 inches oflayers of

    organic matter (we used leaves and some manure) on top of a thin layer

    of newspapers or cardboard, with a small amount of amendments such as

    greensand, lime and rock phosphate and manure underneath the paper. On

    the top is a 1-2 inch layer of mulch (we used white pine needles), to

    keep in moisture and suppress weeds. Come spring, you simply push aside

    the top mulch and plantseedlings.

    This 'sheet mulching' method came from this wonderful book by Toby

    Hemenway. We have several sheet mulch beds this

    year, and they are outrageously productive. For example, one 4' x 9'

    bed in a very sunny spot, contains 6 large tomato plants, 3 sweet

    pepper plants, 3 cucumber vines on a trellis, a short row of

    sunflowers, one summer squash plant,and 7 winter squash plants. I

    find this amazing considering that the ground underneath is very poor,

    sandy and barely supported grass.

    With apologies to Mae West, I have learned a big lesson, it's not the soil

    in your life, it's the life in your soil!

    I bought this book in January and have many times over saved the price in
    time, mulch and bought amendments using ONLY the sheet mulch idea.
    ... Read more

  • 16. The Woodland Way: A Permaculture Approach to Sustainable Woodland Management
    by Ben Law
    Paperback: 272 Pages (2001-11)
    list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$31.77
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1856230090
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
    Editorial Review

    Product Description
    Ben Law is an experienced and innovative woodsman with a deep commitment to practical sustainability. Here he presents a radical alternative to conventional woodland management that creates biodiverse, healthy environments, yields a great variety of value-added products, provides a secure livelihood for woodland workers and farmers, and benefits the local community. The author views the separation of agriculture from silviculture as unnecessarily limiting and argues for a new approach to planning that will encourage the creation of sustainably managed woodlands for the benefit of people, the local environment, and the global climate. Although specific to Britain, the principles of The Woodland Way will be understood by foresters worldwide.This brilliant book covers every aspect of woodland stewardship from both a practical and philosophical standpoint. Ben Law writes from the heart after long years of struggle with a whole host of naysayers who tried to convince him by fair means and foul to give up his vision for a renaissance in the countryside. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (2)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Where's the Permaculture please?
    I found the title to this book deceptive. I don't consider interplanting a few fruit trees and listing their habitat a permaculture design. While it might be an step towards a forest garden the book neglects the ground cover layer, various companion planting, the nutrient cycling, water cycling and co-management of animals.
    The book is mostly dedicated to traditional woodland managment in the United Kingdom. The author successfully introduces the concepts of coppicing and various derivitives. He also breifly mentions various ways of making a living from the forest, such as charcoal production and furniture making. Although, if you wish to pursue either of those activities you will need to find another source, as the details of these operations are missing entirely.
    Finally the resources listed in the book are only sepecific to the United Kingdom, again a let down for someone not culturally familar with the management of coppice stands that has been going on for hundreds of years in places. So to summarize, if you want to learn how to coppice, read this book, otherwise choose somewhere else.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not quite sure what I expected
    Something to tell me exactly what to do with my Tennessee woods, I guess.And no British book is going to do that.

    Last year a British on-line acquaintance told me that those tales of the early settlers in Tennessee being able to drive their ox-carts through the forest without getting stuck in the trees meant that the Indians were grooming the forest, had put a lot of thought and energy into making sure that the forest could sustain them.I wasn't sure what he meant.This book tells me.How he rotates his crops--cut some of the willow for artist's charcoal, a couple of years later, for rustic furniture, then let it come back from the stumps.In the meantime, blackberries can grow and fruit in the clearing, and a fairly rare bird just loves to nest there.The birds can move on to the next patch of cut back to the stumps by the time the blackberries are in too much shade and the willow is about ready to be cut a little bit for artist's charcoal.

    So I'm now busily wondering how I apply this to my woods. ... Read more

    17. The Transition Handbook
    by Rob Hopkins
     Paperback: Pages (2009-03-01)
    -- used & new: US$50.74
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1921462000
    Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
    Editorial Review

    Product Description
    We live in an oil-dependent world, and have got to this level of dependency in a very short space of time, using vast reserves of oil in the process without planning for when the supply is not so plentiful. Most people don-t want to think about what happens when the oil runs out (or becomes prohibitively expensive), but The Transition Handbook shows how the inevitable and profound changes ahead can have a positive effect. They can lead to the rebirth of local communities, which will generate their own fuel, food and housing. They can encourage the development of local currencies, to keep money in the local area. They can unleash a local -skilling-up-, so that people have more control over their lives.The Transition Handbook is the manual which will guide communities to begin this -energy descent- journey. The argument that -small is inevitable- is upbeat and positive, as well as utterly convincing. Read this book! ... Read more

    18. The New American Sustainable Garden: Green Roofs,Rain Gardens, Permaculture, Food Forests, Xeriscaping, and More
     Hardcover: 256 Pages (2011-04-15)
    list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$23.07
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1604691867
    Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
    Editorial Review

    Product Description
    A sustainable garden is easy to define - a garden that improves, not degrades the environment - is but often harder to achieve. The New American Sustainable Garden explores key garden techniques and practices to give homeowners a roadmap to a garden in harmony with nature - and human nature. Native plants? Organic lawns? Meadows? Living roofs? This book frames the questions and lets the discussion unfold from there. ... Read more

    19. Permaculture One: A Perennial Agriculture for Human Settlements
    by Bill Mollison
     Paperback: Pages (1981-06)
    list price: US$12.50
    Isbn: 0938240005
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    Editorial Review

    Product Description
    Permaculture One presents unique strategies for creating a food-producing system specifically suited to your needs, whether you garden in your backyard or engage in full-scale farming. By carefully designing a system around functional relationships between plant and animal species you can create a stable 'cultivated ecology' suited to local conditions. The book provides a catalog of 130 trees and plants useful to a permaculture system.

    The authors have based permaculture on the underlying philosophy 'of working with, rather than against nature' of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions rather than treating any area as a single product system.

    Focusing throughout the book on providing for human needs while maintaining a deep respect for the finite resources of the earth. Mollison and Holmgren propose an alternative to the resource-hungry methods of commercial agriculture. 'Permaculture One' gives you the tools to begin at your own doorstep. ... Read more

    20. Permaculture in a Nutshell
    by Patrick Whitefield
    Paperback: 84 Pages (1993-01-15)
    list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$7.61
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1856230031
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
    Editorial Review

    Product Description
    Permaculture is a creative approach to abundant and fulfilling lifestyles. It is for everyone wishing to live sustainable and tread more lightly on the Earth. Permaculture is an ecologically sound approach to providing for our needs, including our food, shelter and financial and social structures. It is based on co-operating with nature and caring for the Earth and its people. Permaculture in a Nutshell is a concise and accessible introduction to the principles and practice of permaculture in temperate climates. It covers how permaculture works in the city, the country and on the farm and explores ways in which people can work together to recreate real communities. This inspiring book clearly describes how we can live fruitfully and sustainably and is essential reading for anyone wishing to reduce their environmental impact.

    ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (8)

    2-0 out of 5 stars If you know what Permaculture is - DO NOT buy this book!
    After learning about Permaculture from a friend, I wanted to learn more about designing sustainable human settlements to solve many of the world's problems.This is a summary of that educational journey.Skip to the last two paragraphs for the details on this particular book.

    I started by purchasing Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability by David Holmgren (286 pages).This was NOT a good choice to learn about Permaculture.Another reviewer reflects my view perfectly on that book:

    I couldn't wrap my head around Holmgren's style of prose, and the layout and ideas in this book. It is wordy, meandering, and confusing - and I found myself lost in chapter after chapter as Holmgren's explanations went way over my head, leaving me confused and befuddled. This would not be a good introduction to Permaculture, and no good at all as a teaching book or textbook.

    While I did find some good ideas in his book - it was difficult to get through.As an aside, I can put in a good word for David Holmgren for his other book:Future Scenarios: How Communities Can Adapt to Peak Oil and Climate Change (136 pages)He must have a new editor or a ghost writer now - This is an amazing book, easy to read, and I can easily recommend it for all audiences, both experienced and those new to these concepts (a great introduction filled with new perspectives) - definitely worth the $12.

    Continuing on in my journey to learn about Permaculture, I went on to borrow a copy of PERMACULTURE: A Designers' Manual (576 pages) and found it incredibly detailed, but too in-depth to begin learning from.

    Next I went on to purchase Introduction to Permaculture(224 pages) by Bill Mollison.WOW!What a book!Exactly what I was looking for in the first place!Easy to read, wonderfully presented ideas and illustrations, and ideal to share with anyone wanting to learn about whole system design from ecology, to buildings, and our food systems - all the concepts of Permaculture.With that said, I spent WAY too much for this book and I don't understand why it costs so much ($43 last glance).Perhaps it's an import from Australia?Had this book been $25 or less, I would have stopped there and simply bought copies for my friends and family.

    So now I went looking for another introductory book of similar quality and a reasonable price and ordered Permaculture in a Nutshell (84 pages).The minute I opened the box from Amazon I was immediately disappointed.The book was TINY - nearly pamphlet sized - for a book priced at $12.95 I couldn't believe it!A typical $5 paperback is four times thicker!I did try to give it a chance and started reading.The book is easy to read and contains all the basics.In fact, it leads the reader to believe they have a reasonable understanding of what Permaculture is.

    I'm SO happy I didn't start with this book.I think it'd be easy to read this book, think of it as a somewhat interesting overpriced read, and file the book away never to study Permaculture again.The amazing depth and substance found in Introduction to Permaculture was completely missing - like 2D versus 3D.I couldn't recommend this book to anyone actually interested in Permaculture.Even if this book was appropriately priced around $5, the only audience I would recommend it to is those seeking a high-level understanding of Permaculture without any real intent on learning the details.In short, this is the Cliff Notes version.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Practical Stewardship
    This little book furnishes a practical agriculural roadmap for moving away from a deceptive global ethos of entitlement, greed, impractical resource depletion and unsuportable infrastructure.Those who read this tiny volume take the first step toward a real stewardship ethic which must surely replace today's attitudes, lest Western Civilization--or even humanity--perish.

    2-0 out of 5 stars brief
    Probably too basic for those already interested in permaculture. This book is really more of a booklet, the type you can read in an hour. Be aware that it focuses on British issues.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Exactly what the title says
    Bought this book to give to my relatives who are dairy farmers.This book is a brief explanation of permaculture. It also has some good ideas such as an explanation of zones, and some of the other basic principles of permaculture.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great for curious family members
    As a recently certified Permaculture Consultant, I have found it harder to explain the overall concept to the curious (such as in-laws) than to potential clients (who have specific problems to solve). After a couple of tongue-tied attempts, I put together a quick definition suitable for small-talk and bought Whitefield's book for those who wanted to know more. This came in handy at a recent gathering where Betty, my 84-year-old grandmother-in-law, saw the book and read several chapters. In a few short pages, the book defines permaculture, sketches some of its history and principles, and gives examples of how it works in cities, gardens and farms. Grandma Betty got a kick out of the Britishisms and, despite her early skepticism ("how can back-lot gardens hope to feed the world's hungry?"), seemed satisfied with the explanations. Permaculture in a Nutshell has opened up a whole new area of conversation for us. Well worth it. ... Read more

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