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Sepp Holzers Permakultur: Praktische Anwendung in Garten, Obst- und Landwirtschaft (German) Perfect Paperback – 19 Nov 2014

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Inside This Book

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First Sentence
Jedesmal, wenn mich meine Vortragsreisen in meine österreichische Heimat führen, freue ich mich, die Familie Holzer auf dem Krameterhof zu besuchen und mit Sepp Holzer über die Prinzipien der Permakultur „fachsimpeln" zu können. Read the first page
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
superficial 30 Nov. 2010
By countrydreamer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is a nice read and maybe inspiring, but for the practical purpose of gardening it is not very helpful.
First the title is misleading it tells you garden, fruit and agriculture, but the main part of the book is about agriculture, not gardening.
The gardening part does not contain any new ideas, apart from hugelculture, mulching etc.. Against slugs and snails he repeats an old recipe with saw dust and wood ash, which first does not work in the rain when those animals are most abundant and second which gardener has wood ash today?
Then there are some ideas of greening facades or grow vegetables on balconies which are not new either.
Most of his suggestions to redesign the landscape is based on using big machines. This is not suitable for gardeners either and the results don't are a far way from the aesthetic of Asian rice terraces.
But there is no instruction on how to build a terrace by hand.
He writes about ponds, and how to seal a pond with the caterpillar, but no instruction how to seal it by hand.
Throughout the text he uses many words that I don't know, maybe it's agricultural talk, but this should be explained as it is a book, written mainly for gardeners.
One of his main element are hugelculture, but this chapter is not thoroughly written and you can find better descriptions on the internet for free. As most gardeners don't have whole logs, but may have heaps of prunings the method seems to be ideal, but should the prunings be cut or not? In a garden, where do you get the humus from, you need more humus as you increase the surface area. How does he work the soil later on?
Does he prefer direct seeding or seedlings?
He uses pigs to work the soil, that is great if you have the space, but usual gardeners don't, so how should they work the soil?
Especially those who haven't got forty or more acres might like to integrate some goats or a sheep in their permaculture system, but he doesn't write a thing about it.
The chapter about poultry is equally superficial and does not apply to gardeners. A hedge against predators? First it needs several years to grow and meanwhile the fox got them all, second I would not trust that foxes can't get through. The same for his way to breed, if I would do it like that I would have to use a dog day and night to watch. He doesn't write if he leaves his ducks in the veggie garden. There is nothing about stocking rates, which is important for those on smaller spaces. I would liked a bit deeper information about geese too, because these are out of fashion and it seems to be an ideal permaculture animal. There are no suggestions on feeding these animals if you don't have a farm either.
He suggests not to prune his fruit trees and to not use dwarf root stcks either. OK, but what if you don't have the space or you must net against birds? There is a chapter on how to graft, which I don't mind but this has nothing to do with permaculture.
The best chapter is about growing mushrooms. I didn't try it so far but it seems easy and this is the only chapter, where I found that most of the descriptions are sufficient.

The book is written mainly for alpine conditions, with sour soils. There are little suggestions for those living in plains, in lowlands, in dry or warm climates. There is an entire chapter about alpine herbs, but should you plant them in Northern Germany? He suggests that you always bring a bit of soil when you harvest seeds, who can do this in a city where most people order their seeds?

Overall, nice inspiration, but not thoroughly written. Descriptions on methods are lacking any detail. The photos are not professional and often do not show much. In many instances I miss simple line drawings most of the drawings are not very instructive either.

Sepp Holzer has really something to tell because he has many decades of experience, but he is not able to tell this in a way that people can really use these instructions. Phrases like "you have to work with nature" or " it is important to observe nature" repeated over and over throughout the book are maybe true but not very helpful as we know this anyway.
Stories about his childhood are maybe nice to read but, don't help me gardening either.
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