VOTED IN TOP TEN PERMACULTURE BOOKS!
There are lots of books about permaculture, from beginner’s guides to in-depth manuals. But which one to choose and why so? This brief overview provides some details of the top 10 permaculture books as voted for by Permaculture Association Diploma Apprentices.
Rianne C. ten Veen for Permaculture Association.
“Even the smallest back yard can be transformed into a beautiful and highly productive garden, if you work in harmony with nature. This book shows you how to plan your garden layout for easy access and minimum labour, save money by creating a beautiful garden in recycled containers, use garden crop successions for year-round harvests and healthy soil, choose the best plants for different sites and enjoy the benefits of plant communities. Especially recommended for: Those interested in practical application of permaculture”
Excerpt from a review by Emma Cooper:
My new plan for the garden is to take it further down the low input/ high output route. The inputs I am particularly looking to reduce at the moment are the time I spend doing things like potting on and planting out, and the amount of watering I have to do in summer. Those of you who are in the know will realise that I am talking about applying permaculture principles to my garden. I was already doing that, but permaculture is very much a cyclical process of observing what is going on, thinking about and researching possible solutions and then implementing the ones that you think will have the best and most sustainable effect.
There are lots of books about permaculture, and many have a slant on gardening, but one that I have found particularly useful recently is The Permaculture Garden, by Graham Bell.
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Reviews from Amazon
“I first came across the word ‘Permaculture’ in an article in ‘Peace News’ way back in 1981. The word intrigued me, and I filed it away in some back cupboard of my brain for the next few years. In the meantime I’d acquired an allotment and become a reasonably competent vegetable grower, able to supply my family with plentiful supplies of potatoes, onions, cabbages and beans. I’d also learned much from the books of organic pioneers such as HDRA founder Lawrence D Hills and the late, great Geoff Hamilton. I’d even borrowed David Holmgren and Bill Mollison’s ‘Permaculture One’ from the library a couple of times, but found it rather dense and difficult to get my head around. I did however grasp that permaculture had something to do with herb spirals, and decided I’d like one of these in the garden of the house we bought in 1994, after 7 years of being cooped up in a tiny first floor flat. So as I liked the pictures in Graham’s book I picked it up in the hope of gaining a few tips. It had nothing about herb spirals, but instead was one of the most eye-opening books I’ve ever read, changing my whole attitude to gardening, growing and ultimately, life. Giving insights into topics such as soil ecology, water management, composting and energy conservation, Graham gently explains that permaculture is a design system, based around ethics of caring for the earth and each other, and principles of using minimum effort for maximum results, seeing solutions instead of problems and above all, working with nature rather than against, as has been the pattern of most agricultural systems for the last few hundred years. More over, these ethics and principles can be applied to almost any other field of human activity beyond simply growing food; architecture and building to economic systems, forestry management to healthcare, energy production to community building. Somebody once described permaculture as ‘revolution disguised as organic gardening’, but I think its more important than that. Climate change and peak oil are the earth’s way of telling us that we need to alter our behaviours. With permaculture we can not only make those changes but learn to thrive as well.”
“I have been interested in Permaculture for a while and bought this book as it looked interesting. The authors laid back and humorous style made this book easy to read and yet his logic and ideas make this revolutionary in its way. The illustrations are simple and easy to follow and he really challenges the reader to think differently about how they grow plants. Suddenly I am thinking of my junk as very useful and I can’t wait to get stuck in and change my grassed field into something of beauty and bounty.
Suddenly anything seems possible to this unfit middle aged arthritic housewife. Read this book and let it open your mind.”
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