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Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-scale Permaculture Paperback – 7 Jun 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing Co; 2nd Revised edition edition (7 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603580298
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603580298
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 2.5 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Toby Hemenway is the author of the first major North American book on permaculture, Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, now in its second edition, and an adjunct assistant professor at Portland State University. After obtaining a degree in biology from Tufts University, Toby worked for many years as a researcher in genetics and immunology, first in academic laboratories including Harvard and the University of Washington in Seattle, and then at Immunex, a major medical biotech company. At about the time he was growing dissatisfied with the direction biotechnology was taking, he discovered permaculture, a design approach based on ecological principles that creates sustainable landscapes, homes, and workplaces. A career change followed, and Toby and his wife spent ten years creating a rural permaculture site in southern Oregon. He was associate editor of Permaculture Activist, a journal of ecological design and sustainable culture, from 1999 to 2004. His current project is developing urban sustainability resources in Portland, Oregon, where he now lives. He teaches permaculture and consults and lectures on ecological design throughout the country. His writing has appeared in magazines such as Whole Earth Review, Natural Home, and Kitchen Gardener, and he wrote the foreword for Heather C. Flores' Food Not Lawns. He is available for workshops, lectures, and consulting in ecological design. Visit his web site at http://www.patternliteracy.com

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Luke Warren Wills on 5 May 2011
Format: Paperback
I have Permaculture One and "the big black book" Permaculture a designers manual.
Not coming from a gardening/agricultural background I got a little frustrated with Bill Molisons books as I thought they would be more hands on. Dont get me wrong, the previously mentioned books are amazing and now that i have a little more practise and knowledge in this area I couldnt do without them. Bill Mollisons books are very good but give you the information and the principles and then your on your own. This is fine for someone that already knows a little about this subject but not so great for a total beginner.

So, Gaia's Garden should be the first stop for someone that wants to get into permaculture. It gives a great explanation of what permaculture is and its principals in one chapter, before passing on to how to put the principles into practise. You get great examples of all the principles with great images and anecdotes. It gives you lots of guidance and has a great reference section for further reading.

I wish i had bought this book first as it would have avoided me a little frustration.

I would add "The Self sufficient life and how to live it" to this book if you have no gardening experience. Gaias garden will give you the Permaculture principles and the self sufficient life will show you how to take care of the plants, animals etc.

Hope this helps.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By deanom on 22 July 2011
Format: Paperback
I bought this book as an experienced Permaculturalist, and wasn't disappointed. I found it to be an ideal bridge from conventional gardening, to using Permaculture on a small scale.It is written in a way that makes it easy to understand, the pictures make my non permacultural family say that they want a garden like that,and there is enough about Permaculture design, and Principles, to tempt people to take it further.
If you want to find out more about Permaculture, this is a good book to start with. If you want to ease others into a permaculture lifestyle, this book is an ideal gift, and has worked for my family.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By theleveller on 17 Oct. 2011
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This is a good introduction to permaculture - with two reservations. Firstly, it's an American book and the varieties, climate and lifestyle that are covered are often very different from those we are used to in the UK. Secondly, I found it quite tedious to read at times as it's difficult to just pick out the practical advice from the wealth of detail, scientific data and so forth which, whilst making this a very comprehensive book, is not always pertinent to the practical gardener.

So, all in all, an excellent introduction to the priciples of permaculture, but to put them into effect you will probably need to already be an experienced gardener to work out what will and will not work in your UK plot and adapt the varieties and the techniques accordingly.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Blackburn on 23 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first gardening book I have sat and read from cover to cover. Some previous reviewers said that they had found the American references got in the way of a good book... I do not find that this is the case as things that do not apply are far and few between. The only thing that is hampered by the American thing are the plant lists, but even these are not a problem as the reader is given so many other choices, and as Mr Hemenway points out you can pick and choose.
Thank you Toby Hemenway for producing such an accessible, thorough and affordable book on permaculture. If you can afford only one book on gardening of any-sort, buy this one.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tricotessa on 9 April 2012
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I was a little put off by the title of this book. It didn't sound like the title of a serious reference book on permaculture. How wrong I was. This book is a wonderful guide. The writing is clear and thoughtful. The pictures and diagrams are inspiring and it has ideas and solutions for all kinds of climates. I can not recommend this highly enough. I'm buying a copy for my father, and have already had two of my friends borrow it. They're buying their own copies so that they can have it around for quick referencing. I believe it is books like this one that will convince people to re-think the way that they garden.
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It is quite a lengthy read which is refreshing in some respects as so many gardening books are just crammed full of photographs with minimal real content. My gripes with this book are partly to do with an American audience in mind as American examples are used throughout the book. From what I've read so far Permaculture in the UK climate is a slightly different game to more temperate climates. The second gripe is that the author just takes ages to get to the point, and often the text is very repetitive. It could quite easily be condensed and provide the same level of technical detail.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kmay on 19 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback
This book is the perfect entry point for someone interested in permaculture and specifically with applying permaculutre techniques to a home size garden.
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My Gaia's Garden book arrive both promptly and in excellent condition. I'm already half way through it. I would definetly recommend this book for anyone interested in Permaculture, It's easy to read and understand. Not technically confusing like some gardening books, the illustrations are excellent and the diagrams and charts are easy to read and understand. I'm giving this book top marks.
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