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Introduction to Permaculture

4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  859 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
1995 Reprint, New Edition, Tagari. 216-page Softcover.

Introduction to Permaculture is an updated and revised version of the first two permaculture books, Permaculture One (Mollison and Holmgren, 1978) and Permaculture Two (Mollison, 1979), and replaces them. New material by Bill Mollison and Reny Mia Slay has been inserted, along with excerpts from Permaculture: A Designer
Paperback, 216 pages
Published November 1st 1997 by Tagari Publications (first published 1991)
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Jim Sara Devitt, I would first introduce myself as one seeking the same answer. As I research these principles and find that permaculture incompasses more…moreSara Devitt, I would first introduce myself as one seeking the same answer. As I research these principles and find that permaculture incompasses more than the nutritional needs of people it requires the mindset that many are going to need to change ways of thinking away from past thought and methods which have forthemost part not been sustainable. For example monoculture gardening/farming and the need to kill all "pest", which means that learning to live with what once was called a pest. Should now be viewed has having equally as muchr right to be there as we do. Not every weed is a "weed" yet some have other function. Get the big picture one seed or plant at a time. But into play some new idea one way or another.(less)

Community Reviews

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Jul 09, 2013 Anna rated it it was amazing
I dipped into this classic several years ago, then returned it to the library. Despite the wonderful illustrations, there wasn't enough information on any one topic to grab me during those early days.

However, with several more years of permaculture experimentation under my belt, Introduction to Permaculture strikes me as a definite classic --- I can't quite figure out why it's out of print. You have to read the book for what it is, an idea book full of hundreds of great thoughts to send you rese
This is an excellent book! I knew very little about permaculture, having only read Gaia's Garden prior to picking up this book, but I can feel a new obsession brewing. This essentially combines all of the things that I'm interested in, such as rainwater catchment, greywater usage, food production, proper house siting, livestock and poultry, and the list goes on. I'm really excited to read Mollison's other works.

This book covers a great deal of material, including how to divide an area of land i
Jan 25, 2009 Bryan rated it really liked it
Great book to begin wrapping one's thought process around Permaculture; I think this is something that should be required reading in the school system. It would make for an interesting change in the way things are done in the world.
Stephie Jane Rexroth
Apr 14, 2013 Stephie Jane Rexroth rated it it was amazing
"After many years as a scientist with the CSIRO Wildlife Survey Section and with the Tasmanian Island Fisheries Department, I began to protest against the political and industrial systems I saw were killing us and the world around us. But I soon decided that it was no good persisting with opposition that in the end achieved nothing. I withdrew from society for two years; I did not want to oppose anything ever again and waste my time. I wanted to come back only with something very positive, somet ...more
May 18, 2015 Connie rated it it was amazing
In my humble opinion, permaculture is the ultimate in intelligent sustainable living. In this introduction, Bill Mollison explains that permaculture is 98% observation and 2% action (hope I got those numbers right). If the whole planet lived by such a recipe, we would be on the road to solving the serious planetary problems which are moving us rapidly toward disaster.
I took a class in permaculture a few years back, in Boulder, CO (down the road from where I live). Ever since, I have longed to b
Nathanael (Boehm) Coyne
An interesting book with lots of ideas and information about permaculture, although very prescriptive with little theory or evidence (although I'm hoping to get that from David Holmgren's book Permaculture: Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability which is sitting next to me). But my main issue for not giving this book a higher rating is that Bill Mollison just isn't a good writer. I didn't feel inspired about permaculture like I did with Toby Hemenway's book Gaia's Garden (which I read a ...more
Jena Buckwell
May 06, 2015 Jena Buckwell rated it it was amazing
I tried to read this about a year ago when I first introduced to Permaculture and felt completely overwhelmed and gave up on it. Fortunately, I came back to it after from hands-on experience and more time talking to others about Permaculture and really, really enjoyed (and understood) the entire book. Even though this is meant to be an introduction, I would recommend reading this after a bit of time getting your feet wet with Permaculture principals and maybe after reading Gaia's Garden, which I ...more
Jun 09, 2012 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cheryl by: Emanuel Culman
This is a highly technical, and awesome way to view our relationship to the land. It involves a view for the function of each building, each resting area, east growing area, each forestland or prairie that you might be responsible for and how it all fits together. It is very comprehensive and surely expanded my attitude toward the whole of what I'd be working with. I will wait to read this completely until I'm actually on my land. Although it can be applied toward a small house and backyard, the ...more
Mar 08, 2011 Jonathan rated it it was ok
Frankly, if you have access to a different introductory book on permaculture, choose that one over this. Mollison is not a good writer, and his text is both dull and spotty, giving inadequate information in some areas and too much in others. For me personally, his text was too focused on sub-tropical flora and did not have enough information about plants that can survive a good freeze. If you don't care about the specifics and this is the only book you can get your hands on, it will introduce yo ...more
Jun 10, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Wow! Give me a million dollars and several acres of land and I'm following this book to the t! Ok, it does have advice on sustainability and permaculture for the less extravagant as well. The book covers efficiency in the most basic forms but in ways I hadn't thought of. Several times while reading it I would stop and think - yes! that's brilliant!

Topics include arranging your living environment, your garden, and your home to minimize waste and maximize resources.

In simple terms - it's living
Jul 24, 2012 Levi rated it it was amazing
A great (and not overwhelming) introduction to the subject overall. I'm sure I'll be looking back through tables, appendices, and drawings many times.

A few minor complaints: may be a suited a little more for tropical/subtropical climates, could have been clearer in a few areas (patterns/forms, for example), and some of the drawings are not explained very well. Again, these issues are minor.

Feels like a good starting point for me. Cleared up a lot of general questions I had and has made me exci
Jeff Van Campen
May 11, 2008 Jeff Van Campen rated it really liked it
Shelves: ecology
I've heard the word permaculture over and over again, but only had a vague idea of what it referred to. This book gives you a great introduction to what it's all about by one of the men who started it all.

More than anything, this book made me want my own house and garden. Actually, it made me want my own piece of land on which I could build a house and create a garden.

Highly recommended.
Apr 18, 2013 Elena rated it it was amazing
this book is much more than an introduction to permaculture. It explains how to build and transform homes into ecological sustainable machines! I loved it and applied many of its concepts to a cabin in the woods :P You do need property and space to pull this off... not practical unless you build and plan a home yourself or have freedom to adapt one. Great book
The first Mollison book I've managed to read past the first few pages. Although I did have to return it before I finished it. I found the section on zones helpful where he mentioned many urban/suburban dwellers might have just zone 1 and 2, rather than all 5 zones. it's one of those concepts that's frustrated me since I don't live on a farm.
Denis Farley
Oct 21, 2012 Denis Farley rated it it was amazing

Found this in a library in Santa Maria, CA. So I had a limited amount of time to get through it. That added to having also checked out the 2nd edition of Gaia's Garden with the updated urban sections, and, another book on bamboo. Bill's knowledge & insights are worth having both this & his Designer's Manual, on a nearby shelf for ready reference.
Oct 17, 2011 Troy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: environment
This book offers a great introduction to sustainable yard design. While many of the ideas are more practical for rural settings or large yards, there are certainly concepts included that would improve a smaller piece of land. If nothing else, Mollison gets the reader to begin thinking about the relationships between humans and plants, and how they can be made more efficient and practical.
Alex M
Jul 31, 2016 Alex M rated it really liked it
The authors rushed through each topic without going into very much detail, but I believe that it was intentionally written that way. They have written more extensive practical guides, and I hope that I can find copies that I am able to afford. Until then, this was a good overview of permaculture with a spattering of handy ideas.
David Koblos
Aug 03, 2014 David Koblos rated it really liked it
Seeing that this Introduction book was actually a collection of pamphlets, which in turn was a transcript of a Permaculture course back in 1981, I thought I might skim through it before putting it away. Boy was I wrong! It is filled with interesting ideas, making one want to try them. Mollison is a genius, and now I feel like attending one of his courses in person.
K Lugliani
Dec 15, 2008 K Lugliani rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: living learners of the land
Recommended to K by: Joanne Poyourow
1/3 done (12/15/08)

how to interact with and organize all your land components (soil, wind, light, slope, vegetation, water) into multiple,
positive feedback, interactive spheres. PRAGMATICALLY. by the father of the concept, Bill Mollison. a clear, wise book. to be read by all serious about living sustainably, interested in elements of homesteading / survival.
Aug 07, 2014 Scott rated it liked it
This book gave a fantastic overview of several permaculture techniques, however on its own it doesn't give enough information to implement them without either further reading or lots of experimentation.

I'd recommend if you've a basic understanding of permaculture and want to see some other applications. This is a book that shows you how much you don't know.
Aug 07, 2016 Tessa rated it it was amazing
This has been the most educational and instructional book I've read since college, maybe ever. So enlightening with simple to understand concepts and ways to implement permaculture in a wide variety of situations. This book has inspired me to learn more about permaculture and I am so excited to use what I've already learned!
Mar 16, 2013 Angie rated it liked it
A good, as the title says, introduction. There is a chapter on permaculture in the city/ suburbs and the chapters on zones 1-2 will be of use to the city dweller who owns a property with some land. I'm following up with Gaia's Garden for more city permaculture gardening.
Sep 05, 2008 CleverGirl added it
Shelves: i-cannot
i just wasn't able to plow through the textbook. and it REALLY is a teeeeeeeeeeexty text-book, strange graphs notwithstanding. since i was planting cover crops and feeding chickens anyway at the time, i allowed myself a gimme.
Aug 06, 2012 Zoë added it
A very straightforward guide to the concepts and applications of Permaculture. Mollison includes detailed and clear drawings and diagrams to illustrate his beautiful and practical methods.
Alisa Kester
So inspiring. So many great ideas - some I can put into practice now, others that will have to wait until I get my country farm. LOVE the detailed line drawings. I could just pore over those all day.
Oct 17, 2009 Finnertyfinnerty rated it it was amazing
A wealth of information and ideas about sustainability. Part manifesto, part boy scout handbook. Already changing my patterns of perception and action.
Mar 26, 2008 Laurel marked it as to-read
This book is on my list, but I hear the other permaculture book by this author (Permaculture: A Design Manual) is the better of these two books. Anybody read either of them?
Sep 04, 2010 Scot rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. A classic of the field. Not exactly a spellbinding read, but you won't do better on this subject.
Dec 24, 2008 Carrie rated it it was ok
Ok I know this is a really great book to read, but with the reacent move to an apartment... I guess I am just not feeling it.
Aug 27, 2012 Steve rated it really liked it
a great book for gardeners, lots of ideas and designs to make it easy to have a garden all year round.
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Founder and director of the Permaculture Institute, Bill was the most experienced Permaculture teacher and designe. He 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 seven Amaz ...more
More about Bill Mollison...

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“Sitting at our back doorsteps, all we need to live a good life lies about us. Sun, wind, people, buildings, stones, sea, birds and plants surround us. Cooperation with all these things brings harmony, opposition to them brings disaster and chaos.” 7 likes
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