I first came across Sepp Holzer when I read an article about him in the Permaculture Magazine and I was totally impressed with what he had achieved. Let's face it, anyone who can grew kiwi fruit outdoors, 1500m up a mountain in Austria, is definitely worth listening to. After all, everyone else is simply growing low-grade fir trees at those altitudes. I read his autobiography, The Rebel Farmer, and watched the DVDs that have been made about his farm, the Krameterhof. I found the man and his achievements a complete inspiration so was delighted when he decided to produce a practical guide for the rest of us.
Sepp Holzer's Permaculture is a comprehensive guide which clearly explains the methods he has used. It is heavily illustrated with photographs and detailed diagrams as well as very informative text. The book itself is a quality paperback and is a credit to the author and the publishers. I have many books on permaculture but few inspire me as much as this one does. I am looking forward to applying many of Sepp's ideas to my own small-holding, which is only four acres and located at a maximum of 59m in West Wales. The one thing Sepp emphasizes is that we should observe nature before we do anything. So his book will supply the ideas and my own observations will enable me to adapt them to my land. Will I be able to produce exotic fruits and become self-sufficient? Who knows, but this book will certainly help me on my way.
And a little more. If you ever saw the documentary on the Krameterhof, you will be massively entertained by the way the book is written. It is very much in Sepp's own words - resulting in an entertaining direct translation of his ideas from his native german tongue.
The content of the book is 85% introduction level permaculture. Value were added in Sepp's inclusion of his earth shelters, the more for him including specifications. There seem to be quite a lack of it in permaculture publications in general, and also a demand, even if it is site specific. There were also enough detail on some of the guilds he set up to make the book well worthwile.
If I had known nothing about permaculture, I would probably have scored it a 5 out of 5. Unfortunately, Sepp have to compete with all of the other permie authors out there already. Nontheless, it is a book that will stay on my book shelf indefinitely.
Sepp Holzer has become a legend - the man who made a farm high in the Alps profitable and beautiful while reducing its dependency on brought in products. He did all this by reasoned thought and by escaping the bonds of conventional farming wisdom. Now, I garden at sea level in Somerset, so not much of what he did in the Alps is useful here, except for his general method of observing and thinking. The value of this book is that it inspires the reader to do just that. As if that were not enough, it is a thoroughly good read into the bargain. I just could not put it down and read on into the night until it was finished. This is a book to treasure.
This is the fascinating account of a completely original thinker who invented his own version of permaculture. It is full of great ideas for challenging environments, but not all is relevant or usable in a standard English garden or allotment.
A method of farming and gardening is described which is compassionate to nature as well as healthy for humans. Anyone interested in permaculture should read this book. No boring theory here: Herr Holzer writes with an engaging style and relates his own experiences. Hard to put this book down!
I have just finished reading this and am sad to of finished it. Sepp is such a fantastic guy in so many ways. He's grounded and he gives out his information in a lovely way with great writing style. This book is packed full of really good advice and Sepp isn't afraid to make things from anything. What a legacy he has left his son with the farm now he has handed it over to him and moved on to build another one himself.
packed with useful information and practical advice. Sepp gives us an insight into the depths of his experience. Useful plant lists and species lists are also included. He certainly gives food for thought as well as many useful tips. He also empowers the reader to go out and experiment, observe the results and adapt to our local conditions and land type, rather than being prescriptive.
This book has so much depth to it, it cannot be read in one season. Of course some could read it in one season, but, to extract the depth of experience Sepp Holzer has included, one needs to read and then understand by implementation of the concepts in ones own locale.
That is my humble opinion at least. Worth the money for... Yes yes yes!
Great book that changes the way I see gardening and agriculture forever! Like his idea of using microclimates and improving otherwise infertile soils with plants. Perfect for people growing their own in mountainous terrain but equally useful for giving farmers such as myself a new outlook on sustainable food production. A must read!
Fantastic read from cover to cover. Now all i need is a version of this book written using Sepp's methods for the UK. So many idea's & dreams were rushing through my head while reading it. Ive read this book twice now & still read things i dont think i read last time. Thanks Sepp for all your hard work