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Permaculture: A Designers' Manual

4.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,126 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way. Without permanent agric ...more
Hardcover, 574 pages
Published December 1st 1988 by Tagari Publications (first published 1988)
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Silent Spring by Rachel CarsonA Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There by Aldo LeopoldThe Lorax by Dr. SeussThe Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael PollanDesert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
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The Humanure Handbook by Joseph C. JenkinsThe One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu FukuokaGaia's Garden by Toby HemenwayPermaculture by Bill MollisonEdible Forest Gardens, Volume 1 by Dave Jacke
The Best Permaculture Books Ever
4th out of 99 books — 75 voters

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Community Reviews

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Feb 21, 2011 Wayne rated it it was amazing
Everything you ever wanted to know about Permaculture but didn't have a week to hear the explanation. Check this out at the library. The damned thing costs somewhere around eighty bucks. It's very good, but not that good.

Readers who have become isolated from nature will feel as though they've been hit upside the head with this five pound hardcover. Mollison teaches us that working with nature means learning to see frugality as beautiful. Don't just water your plants, plant them so the water poo
Tom Winkler
Mar 06, 2012 Tom Winkler rated it it was amazing
I've read this whole thing now, it took one year. All I can say is that this is all damn good common sense and this book is the real foundation work articulating Permaculture design. It is a masterpiece.

We can conciously design our future reality, one that works and provides for us much better than we're currently heading for. We can look at it this way on any scale. Its about how we can learn to make gardens superseed most of 'primary industry' as modern idustrial agriculture meets its inevitab
Jan 08, 2013 Viola rated it really liked it
Shelves: permaculture
“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.”
― Bill Mollison
Sep 12, 2007 David rated it really liked it
just found this! woo hoo. this is one of the books that will make you say holy shit why am i working for the man when i could be living. you know. just living. and enjoying and watching the clouds come by and seeing how everything is completely connected and feeling that connection.
May 30, 2011 Monica rated it it was amazing
This has got to be the "bible" of permaculture books. It is quite thorough, filled with diagrams and examples. It is a book that is not only about learning to garden by imitating the strengths observed in nature, but it is also about a philosophy of life that I find attractive in many ways. Ultimately, I think we are all going to have to chose to live in either a permaculture-partnership world, or in a command-and-control/new feudalism world. I'm for permaculture-partnership.
Greg Jalbert
Sep 29, 2010 Greg Jalbert rated it it was amazing
Authoritative and encyclopedic, well illustrated, this fascinating and useful book is what we need to move forward out of the wretched mess of unsustainable industrialization and the robotic behavior it causes in society. It details permanent sustainable agriculture techniques for a huge range of bioregional situations of flora, climate, landforms, precipitation, and other elements of nature.
Sep 27, 2013 Dan rated it it was amazing
Worked through this book as part of a PDC course with Geoff Lawton. Permaculture is changing the world from the ground up(literally), and this book changed how I view the world. The final chapter on building an alternative nation is amazing.
Woody Debris
Nov 08, 2008 Woody Debris rated it it was amazing
what have i learned from this book? the only things worth knowing...
Mar 30, 2012 Melanie rated it it was amazing
Even if you're not a gardener, if you work with systems at all (and if you're living, you do), this is THE book on how they work and how to be an effective part. And while you're applying the contents metaphorically, you'll be learning all about how the planet you live on operates. Welcome to Earth!
Jack Stephens
Read this to experience a profound shift in perspective, from consumer to producer. Many new books have been written on the subject, but this one is still considered the foundation of the philosophy and practice of permaculture.
May 16, 2010 Leabelle rated it really liked it
There is a lot of practical wisdom in this book for a variety of geographical and climatic locations. Some of Mollison's systems are pure practical genius.
Oct 21, 2008 Paul rated it it was amazing
The manual on permaculture. Mollison's opus reads like a spiritual textbook for the secular humanist. Drawings alone are worth the hefty price tag.
Jul 10, 2008 Julien rated it it was amazing
I've only read a couple chapters so far, but this book is amazing. It could become my bible.
Mar 21, 2015 Luke rated it it was amazing
Shelves: environment, design
Broad textbook on integrated long-term design of agricultural & living sites in concert with nature and natural cycles. Wonderful balance of high-level philosophies and design principles with practical details, from the water capture capacities of tree cover to the Spanish Mondragon cooperatives political model. Probably 4 stars if I didn't have my own site to consider the application of these ideas, and in that light I skipped the chapter on arid conditions, but devoured the rest in a day.
Michael Marchal
Sep 09, 2015 Michael Marchal rated it it was amazing
The bible of Permaculture or how to connect every living things and create a more sustainable society. Bill Mollison with David Holgrem are the first to coin the term Permaculture. Today millions of people follow the Permaculture principle. But I will say that is an hard book to read about the subject it will be better to start by reading Gaia's Garden who is also a really great book and much easier to grasp.
Gail Morris
Mar 22, 2016 Gail Morris rated it really liked it
This book is full of quite a few ideas, most of them for areas of the world where I don't live but some that I have been able to apply to my small yard. It is also very political which isn't necessary for a book about how to care for the land you live on.
Nick Woodall
Well....I really wanted to like this book. It does have some great ideas, thoughts, and practical advice on nature, land, and the environment. I could have done without the preaching, liberal environmentalism, and sophistry. He should have stuck to the facts of what he knows, NOT what he wants his readers to believe.
May 13, 2014 Mwalkes rated it it was amazing
This book could literally change the world we live in if more people read it and implemented these simple concepts. The author's far-reaching observations, insight and research is humbling.
Mar 31, 2014 Paul rated it it was amazing
Literally a paradigm shift in thinking away from the 2000 year old agrian model of agriculture.
Paul Brooks
Mar 05, 2015 Paul Brooks rated it it was amazing
The Bible of Permaculture. a mast have for all serious gardeners and community builders
Jan 04, 2016 Tinea rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Tinea by: Permaculture designer's course

3 Ethics:
1) Care for the earth.
2) Care for people.
3) Fair share.

12 Principles: * Observe and interact. * Catch and store energy. * Obtain a yield. * Apply self-regulation and accept feedback. * Use and value renewable resources and services. * Produce no waste. * Design from patterns to details. * Integrate rather than segregate. * Use small and slow solutions. * Use and value diversity. * Use edges and value the marginal. * Creatively use and respond to change.
Ahmed Alami Aroussi
Sep 09, 2015 Ahmed Alami Aroussi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sent-to-facebook
One way to a sustainable future.
David Koblos
Sep 29, 2015 David Koblos rated it it was amazing
Mollison's Big Book on everything related to Permaculture, which is essentially everything under the sun. After a thorough discussion of the principles, it look at every climatic zone, goes in depth into soil and water, buildings, plants, animals, and not least humans, including invisible, that is social and legal structures. A very thorough introduction to Permaculture, with many many facts that one will have to come back to as the design is set up.
Ya Go
Jan 10, 2015 Ya Go rated it it was amazing
This is the "Bible" for permaculture! This is most complete textbook about the Permaculture. Bill Mollison and David Holmgren coined the word permaculture.
May 20, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: gardeners, farmers, ecologists, planners, and politicians
a.k.a. The Permaculture Bible

This is not light reading by any means - definitely more of a text book than a sit-down-and-read-it book. It's jam packed with information and ideas.

I thin most everyone should read about permaculture, but this isn't the book to introduce them to the idea.
Dec 25, 2011 Rook rated it liked it
This book is filled with great ideas and keen observations. The writing is encyclopedic in style and the editing is poor. Despite the good content, this book is only for dedicated farmers, gardeners, environmentalists, and thinkers.
Feb 16, 2008 Kelda rated it it was ok
Honestly? Bill is just a rambler with a lot of big ideas. There's much better books on the topic out there that will actually inform the reader and make them feel smart, not stupid. It does have a lot of rad pictures though.
Dec 13, 2010 Adam rated it it was amazing
Extremely thorough and informative book. In fact, I couldn't even get through the whole thing because it was so incredibly detailed. I will have to check it out again sometime when I have more time to peruse through it.
Jun 04, 2013 Kerry rated it really liked it
Read this many years ago when living in Tasmania> The "Bible" of the permaculture revolution, as it was known then. Great book with some terrific ideas about the way we grow our food and design our natural living space.
Sexy! The best, most complete, most hard to come by (and often expensive) manual on permaculture by the homnid who made it happen.
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Founder and director of the Permaculture Institute, Bill is the most experienced Permaculture teacher and designer today. He has taught and developed projects from the Arctic through Sub-tropics and Equatorial regions of the planet. There are few countries left in the world where he has not personally planted the seeds of Permaculture. The Peoples of the Pacific, South East Asia, South Africa and ...more
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“Animals are the messengers of the tree, and trees the gardens of animals. Life depends upon life. All forces, all elements, all life forms are the biomass of the tree.” 0 likes
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