If you are a home gardener who has ever stopped to wonder whether permaculture was useful to you, you need to read these books. If you are an intermediate to advanced permaculturist, you will revel in these books. If you want to understand how a single individual with a garden can make the world a better place, you need to read these books.
Jacke and Toensmeier lay out an incredible vision in Volume I for the potential that permaculture holds for gardeners in the northern US. And they lead the reader through an eye-opening education in the scientific theory which supports that vision. In Volume II, they walk the reader through the process of creating their own unique vision for the reader's own permaculture design. Then they lay out, step by step, how to progress from vision to reality.
Along the way, they range from the theoretical to the highly practical, from how many miles of fungal strands are in a teaspoon of soil from the forest floor, to exactly how to plant a tree so that it not only survives but thrives. And they do it in a voice which is both learned and whimsical, enthusiastic and serious -- and downright fun.
I'm buying a second set of these books. I need to keep one set with me as I build my garden; I learn new things every time I turn the page, knowledge I need on a "how to" level. But I need a second set, so that I can lend it to my friends who would get tremendous insight from reading these books...my order for my second set is going in today!
Full disclosure: I am a very pleased client of Dave Jacke's design practice.