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Introduction to Permaculture Paperback – August, 1997

41 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0908228089 ISBN-10: 0908228082 Edition: Revised

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Pr; Revised edition (August 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0908228082
  • ISBN-13: 978-0908228089
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

288 of 302 people found the following review helpful By Joseph J Hecksel on March 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
A reviewer is well advised to be mindful of the arrogance that is intrinsic to criticizing another's work.
Intro to Permaculture is a book of breath-taking scope. I can only write with authority about those parts that apply to my middle-class, Mid-Western (US) frame-of-reference.
While reading the book, I carried it to work and to my daughter's soccer practice. I have never had so many people ask, "What's that?", pick up the book and start leafing through it. *Every* person who picked it up found some illustration that resonated with them and they started reading. I never had THAT happen before. Observation #1, World-class illustrations that are well linked to the text.
This is a good book to read with a highlighter (pen). These are just a few of the lines I highlighted:
Chapter 1:
"-harmony with nature is possible only if we abandon the idea of superiority over the natural world.
-The core of permaculture is design...To enable a design component we must put it in the right place...Each important function is supported by many elements...The key to using biological resources is management...
-the importance of diversity is not so much the number of elements in a system; rather it is the number of functional connections between these elements. It is not the number of things, but the number of ways things work....
-Edges are places of varied ecology. Productivity increases at the boundary between two ecologies because resources from both systems can be used...There is hardly a sustainable traditional human settlement that is not sited on those critical junctions of two natural economies.
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68 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Halopa on March 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great introduction and overview of permaculture concepts. The book covers a lot of material for initiates to permaculture. It's sets the foundation for further reading and studies for those who want to get serious though one could take the principles learned just from this book alone and be quite successful in my opinion. You learn how the sun, wind and rain, all play an important role in siting structures like homes, sheds, barns, green and shade houses and also in garden and plant selection and placement. The book also covers designing for temperate, tropical and dry-land environments. It explains how interconnected relationships between the land, climate, soils, water, structures, flora and fauna can be fostered to the benefit of all. There are just so many creative ideas and diagrams in this book that it is worth it for those alone. The book is 8 1/4 X 11 inches with small print that fills the pages with valuable information. I want to live in the sub-tropics of Hawaii and enjoyed the coverage in this regard but, the book also left me day dreaming about living the permaculture lifestyle in other areas like the High Desert of New Mexico and the Pacific Northwest of Oregon. This book touches on all the possibilities, from the home garden with a few animals to commercial orchards, forests, animal farms, aquaculture, urban gardens and more. But don't get me wrong, it does not cover these topics in depth, it gives a thorough introduction to these topics and an understanding that one would likely not gain by reading just one book. Also each chapter ends with a list of references for further reading. In addition there are appendices listing useful permaculture plants, such as nitrogen fixing plants.Read more ›
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By jenn on March 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I ordered this book (which is copywrited 1997) they sent me a 2011 version that had a different cover (a colored line drawing of a garden in profile and photos of animals and plants on the top and bottom). It has the same title and the same authors, so I assumed it is the newest version of this book. I gave it one star (as explained below) and sent it back. However, I have now found the 1997 version in the library and I can tell you THEY ARE NOT THE SAME! Do NOT buy the 2011 version. It does not have the same content and is not worth the money.

However, I have upgraded this review from one star to four stars now that I have seen the book that was supposed to have been sent. I am a retired City Planner, and I am not new to the ideas of permaculture. I played with sustainable designs and alternative energy in the early '80s when I was just out of college (I joined a non-profit dedicated to alternative "life systems" as we called it back then). While the 2011 book reminded me of those early days when my friends and I were full of utopian (but impractical) ideas of how bathrooms could be set up inside greenhouses attached to the house so grey water humidified the room and feed the plants, and grey water could be used to flush toilets by placing the shower at a higher elevation than the toilet), the older (1997) version listed here is much more practical and detailed about permaculture and how it might be applied.

So, I do recommend this book as a good introduction to permaculture, although it is lacking in examples where the ideas have actually been applied. If you really want to see these ideas put into action, take a look at "Sepp Holizer's Permaculture" and Darrel Frey's "Bioshelter Market Garden." Good Stuff!!
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