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on 2 September 2010
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.
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on 30 January 2012
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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on 13 November 2012
Permaculture is not just about growing stuff in your garden or on your allotment. Permaculture is about sustainable living, caring for the land, caring for people and sharing abundance. Graham's thoughtful and informative book covers all aspects of permaculture - and more besides. I cannot recommend this book highly enough for growers and thinkers and humans.
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on 21 April 2015
This is a good introduction to Permaculture, with lots of inspirational line drawings. For me, the text was rather light and I'd like to see something a little more scientific. But that's because I'm an environmental scientist - the book left me wanting more. If you are a complete beginner, you'll like this book.
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on 6 September 2014
Great title, lots of explanation...I'd like a website to follow up on the projects.
The information is vast, I'm moving into using the one day projects.
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on 1 September 2015
I really loved reading this book. I love how Graham writes from the heart and explains things easily.
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on 13 March 2015
Very clear, readable and practical; amazingly comprehensive for 170 pages.
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on 22 October 2015
Arrived quickly
Great book
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