Ready to Try Polyculture for Diversified Crop Production? ‘Practical Permaculture’ Book Will Get You Started

| 12/22/2016 9:40:00 AM

Tags: permaculture, crop rotation, Joshua Burman Thayer, California,

Practical Permaculture: for Home Landscapes, Your Community, and the Whole Earth. By Jessi Bloom and Dave Boehnlein. Illustrations by Paul Kearsley. Timber Press, 2015.

For farmers who have heard the term “permaculture” and are curious as to just what it means, out comes a new book from Timber Press. Practical Permaculture offers vivid ways to diversify the number of crops growing in a given area. As the focus of this book is community-scale production rather than market gardening, it lacks in specific data for large-scale production.

Further, some of the systems proposed in this book are more labor-intensive than machine-based agriculture and thus, not necessarily practical to all market gardeners.  However, what this book does bring to life is the permaculture design process and how looking at the land through a new lens can empower farmers to diversify the crops grown.

New Ways of Observing the Land

The first 40 pages of this book are a permaculture primer. The basic core principles that form Permaculture design are hashed out. Like many other Permaculture texts, Why Permaculture is important is explained in the introduction section of this book.

For Mother Earth News readers, aligned to ecological farming, this introduction section lingers in rhetoric and flag waving. However, it introduces key concepts, such as zone assessment, ecological succession, land stewardship and natural patterning. What the book effectively does is begin to open the mind of the reader to a new way of observing the land.

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