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The Permaculture Home Garden Paperback – December 7, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane (December 7, 2002)
  • ISBN-10: 0670865990
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670865994
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,565,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Freeman on August 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
This was the first permaculture book I have ever read and it was so wonderful to read, I have been inspired to create a Canadian version of Linda Woodrow's mandala garden. The book hits home to me because it is realistic. She tells us exactly how much time and work energy we will need to put in to this system to recieve bountiful gains, and she is a mother of two kids, not a research scientist telling us how to garden.
The book is enjoyably light to read and sometimes funny, not a boring technical gardening book. I recommend this book to everyone, it has become my bible.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Leanne on January 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a good book - thorough, instructive, easy-to-read, and well thought-out. Every aspect of the permaculture 'mandala' system is covered, and the section on moveable 'chook domes' is worth the cover price in itself.

HOWEVER - the author fails to deal with some issues that may cause problems in this system, may make it less efficient, and may cause problems for some home permaculture enthusiasts.

The first of these is that the system discussed in the book works very well if starting from a flat, square, bare piece of land with nothing already planted and established.

However, this is not usually the case. Most gardeners come to their property with established planting that they do not wish to remove even though the plants may be in awkward positions.

The book does not discuss how to deal with strong slopes or cliff gardens, and does not discuss water restrictions which may be problematical. In short, it all works very well on paper but may not work brilliantly in reality.

Then there is the issue of the 'chook domes' themselves. Gardeners in cold and very windy climates may find that these structures are simply not suitable and workable, yet they are central to the premise of the book.

Overall, the book is worthwhile, but I would argue that better permaculture books exist for a similar price. Jackie French's 'Backyard Self-Sufficiency' is excellent, and most of Bill Mollison's books, though pricier, are a good grounding in permaculture.

It is also important to note that many copies of this book exist second-hand. If you are a keen permaculturalist and food gardener, I'd recommend a secondhand copy, or a copy from your library.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Richard Walter on April 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is the best book Ive read to date on food production in the suburban (or rural) backyard. The author makes very clever use of many permaculture principles and comes up with an incredibley efficient, yet enivironmentally friendly and sustainable system of vegetable and herb production.

I also like this book as it balances the practical with the theory in a balanced and entertaining format.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Arnoo on September 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
Linda Woodrow's book has fast become my bible as I establish my own home permaculture garden. The concepts she presents are simple and easy to apply, and she writes with a delightful style which invites me back again and again. Whenever I introduce this book to friends, it only takes them a day or two before they are Linda Woodrow converts too! A 'must read' for any beginning permaculturalist.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By MYOB on November 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first permaculture book I have found that really concentrates on the annual vegetable garden, almost to the exclusion of perennials. Perennial herbs are mentioned, and fruit trees are grown in the garden, but it's really all about the annual vegetables. Her "chook dome" (chicken tractor) system is brilliant--at least for her mild climate; chickens may need more warmth and shelter in much of North America. And yes, she's Australian, so the references to north/south and the months/seasons are "backwards" for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. (Or you could say that we are the backwards ones. Fair enough.)

She starts almost all of her vegetables (except carrots, turnips, radishes, and a few others) as seedlings and plants them out into the garden when they are about 6" tall. That certainly has its advantages, but I really wish she'd included a chart to tell me how long it takes each vegetable to get to that stage--especially the ones that we usually direct-seed. The lack of such a chart is my number one frustration with this book, and its inclusion in later editions would be the number one thing that the publishers could do to make it more useful! Also, she lives in a year-round gardening climate, and although they apparently do get some frosts, there is no reference to planting in regard to frost-free dates, which would have been useful in much of North America.

Nevertheless, this book is a good read, and worth the time. There are some good tips for growing specific vegetables, dealing with pests, etc. And it's the only book I've found so far that really addresses the annual vegetable garden in a permaculture context. In most permaculture books, the annual vegetable garden rates just a passing reference as to where it should be located.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mel Woods on April 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book was one of the first books I read on permaculture gardening, before I read Mollison or any other perma literature.

I loved this books approach to holistic and pesticide free gardening, and adopting a permaculture approach in my garden has been the best thing I have ever done for my garden and my children.

However, now that I am a more experienced gardener, there are some flaws in this books approach.
The mandela approach is an excellent idea, however, in practice a round mandela shape is not very practical in a suburban block (which are often rectangular-ish in shape). It's also much harder to build a dome shaped chicken tractor than it is to build a square one (and we tried). While the memories are quite humourous, I discovered quickly that wire fencing doesn't fold neatly into a dome shape and that entry in to collect eggs etc is nearly impossible. Perhaps adapting this to a more "sqaure foot gardening" approach might work better.

The reason I was inspired to write this review, so many years after buying this book, was that I have discovered through experience that a lot of her advice regarding chickens is wrong, and even down right dangerous. She writes that "each trip to town yeilds several boxes of spoiled fruit and vegetables, and scraps from the fishmonger." I have recently lost some chickens to suspected botulism (food poisoning) and have discovered through other sources that giving rotten food / maggots to chickens is just asking for illness in your flock. Woodrow has a very lax approach to feeding chickens and pretty much implies that anything not festering is good to go, and this has cost me much loved pets.

Secondly, chickens are creatures of habit.
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