Author(s): Bill Mollison, Reny Mia Slay
Publisher: Ten Speed
Order From: Amazon.com
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Revised Paperback, 224 pages
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.