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Sepp Holzer's Permaculture: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale, Integrative Farming and Gardening Paperback – April 11, 2011
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"A fascinating book written by a man who has devoted a lifetime to working with nature and creating extraordinarily diverse polycultures. His work is breathtaking."--Maddy Harland, editor of Permaculture Magazine
"There, at an altitude which everyone else has abandoned to low-value forestry, what is probably the best example of a permaculture farm in Europe stands out like a beacon."--Patrick Whitefield, permaculture author and teacher
Holzer's beautifully designed and illustrated book is essential reading for all who care about the land and the vast interrelated web of living beings who inhabit it, and it is especially timely, since small and organic farmers in the United States are being threatened by agribusiness, chemical companies, and others who view nature as something to conquer and ravish rather than honor and learn from. Large- and small-scale farmers, home gardeners, and even those who only have room to grow in a few pots on a city balcony will find Holzer's methods applicable and effective, his reasoning and knowledge impeccable, and his spirit pure and honest.
"The real story of a 110+ acre commercial permaculture farm featuring 14,000 fruit trees with diverse understory plants, complete integration of rotationally grazed livestock, terraces and rainwater harvesting, and so much more. Anyone interested in taking permaculture to a larger scale in a cold climate will benefit from Sepp Holtzer's 40 years of practical experience implementing permaculture principles."--Eric Toensmeier, author of Perennial Vegetables and co-author of Edible Forest Gardens
Here's great news for fruit-loving gardeners everywhere! Most of the work of establishing, pruning, and tending fruit trees by 'modern' methods is unnecessary and even counterproductive. Sepp Holzer's Permaculture is the One-Straw Revolution for tree crops.--Carol Deppe, author of The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-reliance in Uncertain Times
"After reading this book, all I can say is Sepp Holzer is a Superstar Farmer. Holzer turns out an absolutely remarkable volume and variety of food products, all without one smidgen of chemical fertilizer, and on land in Austria that an Illinois corn farmer would pronounce too marginal for agriculture. American farmers and gardeners will be particularly interested in Holzer's raised beds--which are quite different in construction from ours in the U.S.--as well as his inventive water well irrigation systems, unique methods for integrating livestock into his fruit and vegetable gardens, and practical, low-labor way to grow mushrooms. A fascinating book for anyone who aspires to become the ultimate, champion professional of sustainable farming."--Gene Logsdon, author of Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind, and The Contrary Farmer
"As the era of cheap energy, stable climates and surplus fertilizer stocks comes to a close, the principles of permaculture will become increasingly attractive as one way to design our future food and agriculture systems. Sepp Holzer's Permaculture provides important insights for applying these principles, for both rural farming and emerging forms of urban agriculture."--Frederick Kirschenmann, President, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
About the Author
Josef ("Sepp") Holzer was born in the province of Salzburg, Austria. He is a farmer, author, and an international consultant for natural agriculture. He took over his parents' mountain farm business in 1962 and pioneered the use of ecological farming, or permaculture, techniques at high altitudes (1,100 to 1,500 meters above sea level) after being unsuccessful with regular farming methods. Called the "rebel farmer" because he persisted in these practices despite being fined and even threatened with prison for practices such as not pruning his fruit trees (unpruned fruit trees survive snow loads that will break pruned trees). He has also created some of the world's best examples of using ponds as reflectors to increase solar gain for passive solar heating of structures, and of using the microclimate created by rock outcrops to effectively change the hardiness zone for nearby plants. He has also done original work in the use of Hugelkultur and natural branch development.
He is conducting permaculture ("Holzer Permaculture") seminars at his farm and worldwide, while continuing to work on his alpine farm. His farm now spans over 45 hectares of forest gardens, including 70 ponds, and is said to be the most consistent example of permaculture worldwide. He is author of several books and the subject of the film The Agricultural Rebel. He works nationally as permaculture activist in the established agricultural industry and works internationally as adviser for ecological agriculture. He is the author of Desert or Paradise: Restoring Endangered Landscapes Using Water Management, Including Lake and Pond Construction, and Sepp Holzer's Permaculture: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale, Integrative Farming and Gardening.
Patrick Whitefield (1949 – 2015) was an early pioneer of permaculture, adapting Bill Mollison’s teachings with a strong Southern Hemisphere bias to the cooler, maritime climate of the British Isles. He wrote a number of seminal books, including Permaculture in a Nutshell (1993), How to Make a Forest Garden (1996), The Living Landscape (2009), How To Read the Landscape (2014) and his magnum opus, The Earth Care Manual (2004), an authoritative resource on practical, tested, cool temperate permaculture. Patrick appeared in several BBC TV programmes, popular gardening videos, and taught many permaculture and other practical courses, throughout the UK.
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scale farming in our increasingly dangerous world of profit-first agribusiness. It is refreshing to read how someone has used the best of traditional rural practices to come up with innovative ideas. I've come up with my own as a result. I was particularly interested in his solutions for ponds and terracing on steep slopes, since I have very little level land and erosion is a serious concern. Now I just need a mini-excavator.
the earth" is an overlooked way of living. the author describes the observing, experimenting, patience,that being an engineer
to the earth and life around us require. In pop culture and main stream media we are force fed "quick fix" is the cheap answer to
every aspect of life. when we buy into that mentality we live shallow, ghost lives always wondering why we experience so much emptiness and frustration.
We are led to believe that the "gods" of technology have all the answers, so we buy into another quick fix, that ultimately fails us again.
This thoughtful way of living with earth is the responsible answer. To live a life of this kind of truth is to live a life of dignity and self respect. A person living this way is powerful in the real sense.
All the pieces together form a whole - humans, animals, plants and environment living together in symbiotic relationships. It is my belief that to achieve excellent spiritual and physical health, one must be able to do what this man has done. We have a deep connection to earth and all living things and modern society separates us from that connection. If you would like to feel more connected to your food and where it comes from this is a good book to help you. If you are interested in finding ways to integrate plants, animals your environment, home and yourself into a happy union, this book is an excellent resource. Sepp Holzer is full of unconventional ideas that he has researched and found to work well. His experience comes through in the book. This can work for a small yard or a whole farm.