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Permaculture is an important but often misunderstood method of growing food and building homes in a manner that works with nature, rather than against it, to create beautiful, healthy, and useful gardens. Blending ecology, organic agriculture, green home design, appropriate technology, and biology can be confusing and overwhelming, but The Ultimate Guide to Natural Farming and Sustainable Living simplifies this vast field for practical application.
Author: NICOLE FAIRES
To ensure food security and restore the health of the planet, we need to move beyond industrial agriculture and return to the practice of small-scale, local farming. Bioshelter Market Garden: A Permaculture Farm describes the creation of a sustainable food system through a detailed case study of the successful year-round organic market garden and permaculture design at Pennsylvania’s Three Sisters Farm.
At the heart of Three Sisters is its bioshelter — a solar greenhouse which integrates growing facilities, poultry housing, a potting room, storage, kitchen facilities, compost bins, a reference library and classroom area. Bioshelter Market Garden examines how the bioshelter promotes greater biodiversity and is an energy-efficient method of extending crop production through Pennsylvania's cold winter months.
Both visionary and practical, this fully illustrated book contains a wealth of information on the application of permaculture principles. Some of the topics covered include:
Whatever your gardening experience and ambitions, this comprehensive manual is sure to inform and inspire.
Author: Darrell Frey
In The Forest Garden Greenhouse, Jerome Osentowski presents a wholly new approach to a very old horticultural subject. Osentowski is one of North America’s most accomplished permaculture designers, and here he shows how bringing the forest garden indoors is not only possible, but doable on unlikely terrain and in cold climates, using near-net-zero technology. Different from other works on greenhouse design and management, this groundbreaking book advocates for an indoor agriculture using permaculture design concepts—integration, multifunctions, perennials and polycultures—that take season extension into new and important territory.
Author: Jerome Osentowski
Increasingly, we want to know where our food comes from, who grows it and how it is grown, and interest in permaculture, backyard composting, and gardening in general, is growing. So how does the budding gardener ensure that the soil is healthy and nutrient-rich enough to support growing some great food? One answer — worms! Vermiculture is the healthiest and most cost-effective way to ensure that your soil receives the nourishment that it needs. A simple vermicompost bin can produce completely natural, nutrient-rich fertilizer that can be used to boost soil health and, in turn, increase crop yield. In true Crystal Stevens' fashion, Worms at Work is a practical, easy-to-implement guide to fertilizing and enriching your garden naturally. It discusses the vital role worms play in boosting soil health, and the reasons why every gardener should use vermicompost in order to decrease reliance on toxic synthetic fertilizers. Covering simple designs for building your own vermicompost bin, whether for a small backyard garden or for a larger farm or homestead, to the care and feeding of worms and how to use worm castings in the garden, Worms at Work will help you put YOUR worms to work to grow happy, healthy plants in happy, healthy soil.
Author: CRYSTAL STEVENS
A food forest is a productive landscape developed around a mix of trees and perennials. Rooted in permaculture principles, this integrated approach to gardening incorporates a variety of plants such as fruit and nut trees, shrubs, vines, and perennial herbs and vegetables. Food forests can help increase biodiversity, protect valuable habitat for beneficial insects, and promote food security and resilience, all while providing an abundant harvest. The Food Forest Handbook is a practical manual for the design and management of a home-scale perennial polyculture garden. Simple, straightforward instructions guide the reader through: •Getting started — site assessment and planning •Tending the forest garden — maintaining soil health, succession planning, mulching, pruning and more •The fruits of your labor — crop profiles, harvest, storage, nutrition and recipes. This timely book makes the concept of food forests accessible to everyone. Focusing on the potential of perennial polyculture to enhance local food systems, The Food Forest Handbook shows the reader how to mix and match plants in unique combinations to establish bountiful landscapes and create genuine self-reliance in years to come.
Author: DARREL FREY/MICHELLE CZOLBA
The Nourishing Homestead tells the story of how we can create truly satisfying and permanent relationships with the land, nature and one another.
Ben and Penny Hewitt offer practical ways to grow nutrient-dense food on a small plot of land, and think about a farm, homestead or home as an ecosystem. Much of what the Hewitts have come to understand and embrace about their lives of deep nourishment is informed by their particular piece of land and local community in northern Vermont, but what they have gleaned is readily transferable to any place—whether you live on 4 acres, 40 acres or in a 400-square-foot studio apartment.
The Hewitts (including their two sons) maintain copious gardens, dozens of fruit and nut trees, and other perennial plantings, as well as a pick-your-own blueberry patch. In addition to these cultivated food crops, they also forage for wild edibles, process their own meat, make their own butter, and ferment, dry and can their own vegetables. Their focus is to produce nutrient-dense foods from vibrant, mineralized soils for themselves and their immediate community. They are also committed to sharing the traditional skills that support their family, helping them be self-sufficient and thrive in these uncertain times.
Much of what the Hewitts are attempting on their homestead is to close the gaps that economic separation has created in our health, spirit and skills. They use the term “practiculture” to describe the family’s work with the land—a term that encompasses the many practical life skills and philosophies they embody to create a thriving homestead, including raw-milk production, soil remediation, wildcrafting, Weston A. Price principles, bionutrient-dense farming, permaculture, agroforestry, traditional Vermont hill farming, and more. The Nourishing Homestead also includes information on deep nutrition, the importance of good fats and integrating children into the work of a homestead.
The Hewitts’ story is reminiscent of The Good Life, by Helen and Scott Nearing, and is sure to inspire a new generation of homesteaders, or anyone seeking a simpler way of life and a deeper connection to the world.
Author: Ben Hewitt
The first edition of Gaia's Garden sparked the imagination of America's home gardeners, introducing permaculture's central message: Working with Nature, not against her, results in more beautiful, abundant and sustainable gardens. As Toby Hemenway demonstrates, it's satisfying and easy to create a permaculture garden, a complete backyard ecosystem, by assembling communities of plants that can work cooperatively and perform a variety of functions, including:
This revised and updated edition also features a new chapter on urban sustainable permaculture, designed especially for people in cities and suburbs who have very limited growing space. Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture details the steps to designing and assembling an ecological garden. Whatever size yard or garden you have to work with, you can apply basic permaculture principles to make it more diverse, more natural, more productive and more beautiful.
About the Author: Toby Hemenway is an adjunct assistant professor at Portland State University. He teaches permaculture and consults and lectures on ecological design throughout the country. His writing has appeared in magazines such as Whole Earth Review, Natural Home and Kitchen Gardener.
Author: Toby Hemenway
Are you wondering which productive trees to plant in your garden? Or are you planning a forest garden? Perhaps you are planting an orchard but want a greater diversity of useful trees than is typical? Or you’d like to know what unusual fruit trees you can use? The answers to all these questions can be found in master forest gardener Martin Crawford’s new book.
Crawford has researched and experimented with tree crops for 25 years and has selected more than 100 of the best trees producing fruits, nuts, edible leaves and other useful products that can be grown in Europe and North America. Color photos accompany every entry, and each of the trees or tree groups includes details of:
Author: Martin Crawford
Longtime Maine farmer and homesteader Will Bonsall possesses a unique clarity of vision that extends all the way from the finer points of soil fertility and seed saving to exploring how we can transform civilization and make our world a better, more resilient place.
In Will Bonsall's Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening, Bonsall maintains that to achieve real wealth we first need to understand the economy of the land, to realize that things that might make sense economically don't always make sense ecologically, and vice versa. The marketplace distorts our values, and our modern dependence on petroleum in particular presents a serious barrier to creating a truly sustainable agriculture.
For him the solution is, first and foremost, greater self-reliance, especially in the areas of food and energy. By avoiding any off-farm inputs (fertilizers, minerals and animal manures), Bonsall has learned how to practice a purely veganic, or plant-based, agriculture—not from a strictly moralistic or philosophical perspective, but because it makes good business sense: spend less instead of making more.
What this means in practical terms is that Bonsall draws upon the fertility of on-farm plant materials: compost, green manures, perennial grasses, and forest products like leaves and ramial wood chips. And he grows and harvests a diversity of crops from both cultivated and perennial plants: vegetables, grains, pulses, oilseeds, fruits and nuts—even uncommon but useful permaculture plants like groundnut (Apios).
In a friendly, almost conversational way, Bonsall imparts a wealth of knowledge drawn from his more than 40 years of farming experience.
"My goal," he writes, "is not to feed the world, but to feed myself and let others feed themselves. If we all did that, it might be a good beginning."
Author: Will Bonsall
In the '60s it was called the "back to the land" movement, and in Helen and Scott Nearing's day, it was "living the good life." Whatever the term, North Americans have always yearned for a simpler way. But how do you accomplish that today?
Blending inspiration with practical how-to's, Rural Renaissance, a Mother Earth News Book for Wiser Living, captures the American dream of country living for contemporary times. Journey with the authors and experience their lessons, laughter and love for the land as they trade the urban concrete maze for a five-acre organic farm and bed and breakfast in southwestern Wisconsin. Rural living today is a lot more than farming. It's about a creative, nature-based and more self-sufficient lifestyle that combines a love of squash, solar energy, skinny dipping and serendipity.
Among the many topics explored in Rural Renaissance include:
When Eric Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates moved into a duplex in a run-down part of Holyoke, Massachusetts, the tenth-of-an-acre lot was barren ground and bad soil, peppered with broken pieces of concrete, asphalt, and brick. The two friends got to work designing what would become not just another urban farm, but a "permaculture paradise" replete with perennial broccoli, paw paws, bananas, and moringa—all told, more than two hundred low-maintenance edible plants in an innovative food forest on a small city lot. The garden—intended to function like a natural ecosystem with the plants themselves providing most of the garden's needs for fertility, pest control, and weed suppression—also features an edible water garden, a year-round unheated greenhouse, tropical crops, urban poultry, and even silkworms. In telling the story of Paradise Lot, Toensmeier explains the principles and practices of permaculture, the choice of exotic and unusual food plants, the techniques of design and cultivation, and, of course, the adventures, mistakes, and do-overs in the process. Packed full of detailed, useful information about designing a highly productive permaculture garden, Paradise Lot is also a funny and charming story of two single guys, both plant nerds, with a wild plan: to realize the garden of their dreams and meet women to share it with. Amazingly, on both counts, they succeed. Show more Show less
Author: Eric Toensmeier, Jonathan Bate
What book would you want if you were stranded on a desert island? Widely regarded as the bible of off-grid living, the Solar Living Sourcebook might be your best choice. With more than 600,000 copies in print worldwide, it is the most comprehensive resource available for anyone interested in lessening their environmental footprint and increasing their energy independence.
This 14th edition of the sourcebook is the ultimate guide to renewable energy, sustainable living, natural and green building, off-grid living and alternative transportation, written by experts with decades of experience and a passion for sharing their knowledge. This fully revised and updated edition includes brand new sections on permaculture and urban homesteading, and completely rewritten chapters on solar technology, sustainable transportation and relocalization. It also boasts greatly expanded material on:
You’ll also find maps, wiring diagrams, formulas, charts, electrical code, solar sizing worksheets and much more.
Whether you're a layperson or a professional, novice or longtime aficionado, the Sourcebook puts the latest research and information at your fingertips … everything you need to know to make sustainable living a reality.
Author: John Schaeffer
One of the easiest mushrooms to grow for beginners, experienced growers have used Garden Giant (also known as King Stropharia) as a learning tool for cultivating in hardwood chip beds or mulch.Perfect for gardening and permaculture projects, this mushroom can also be used to mulch the floors of livestock pens and chicken runs. The mushroom tastes like potatoes cooked in a mild red wine sauce. The stem is stringy like asparagus, so sautéing it lightly in a little salted butter and serving it on mashed potatoes or on toast with eggs is a treat!
Author: Mushroom Mountain
Everyone loves to prepare a meal with ingredients fresh from their own garden. But for most of us, no matter how plentiful our harvest, homegrown produce comprises only a fraction of what we eat. And while many gardening guides will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about individual crops, few tackle the more involved task of helping you maximize the percentage of your diet you grow yourself.
Grow a Sustainable Diet will help you develop a comprehensive, customized garden plan to produce the maximum number of calories and nutrients from any available space. Avoid arriving in August buried under a mountain of kale or zucchini (and not much else) by making thoughtful choices at the planning stage, focusing on dietary staples and key nutrients. Learn how to calculate:
Author: Cindy Conner
This book takes us on an original and inspiring adventure around the temperate world, introducing us to the author’s top 80 perennial leafy-green vegetables. We are taken underground gardening in Tokyo, beach gardening in the United Kingdom, and traditional roof gardening in the Norwegian mountains. There are stories of the wild foraging traditions of indigenous people in all continents: from the Sámi people of northern Norway to the Maori of New Zealand, the rich food traditions of the Mediterranean peoples, the high-altitude food plants of the Sherpas in the Himalayas, wild mountain vegetables in Japan and Korea, and the wild aquatic plant that sustained Native American tribes with myriad foodstuffs and other products.
Around the World in 80 Plants will be of interest to both traditional vegetable and ornamental gardeners, as well as anyone interested in permaculture, forest gardening, foraging, slow food, gourmet cooking and ethnobotany. A thorough description is given of each vegetable, its traditions, stories, cultivation, where to source seed and plants, and how to propagate it. Sprinkled with recipes inspired by local traditional gastronomy, this is a fascinating book, an entertaining adventure and a real milestone in climate-friendly vegetable growing from a pioneering expert on the subject.
Author: Stephen Barstow
When most of us think of self-sufficiency, we think of growing a large garden and maybe keeping a few chickens for eggs or meat. While this is certainly part of the picture, unless you live on a large acreage or happen to be a permaculture god or goddess, it is unlikely that it will be enough to allow you to completely break free from the corporate food machine. Wild foods are the ideal solution to bridging the gap between what you are able to produce to feed yourself and what your family needs to survive.
Browsing Nature's Aisles is the story of one suburban family's adventures in wild foraging. As part of their commitment to self-reliance and resiliency, Wendy and Eric Brown decided to spend a year incorporating wild foods as a regular part of their diet. The experience fundamentally changed their definition of food. Not only did they learn about specific flora and fauna, but they also had to learn how to prepare them in ways that would be both aesthetically appealing and palatable.
With information on collecting, preparing and preserving easily identifiable wild edibles found in most suburban landscapes, this unique and inspiring guide is a must-read for those who wish to enhance their family's food security by availing themselves of the cornucopia on their doorstep.
Author: Wendy Brown
Rosalind Creasy is a name to be trusted in the field of growing and cooking with herbs. This book is full of practical information and personal experience, with plenty of detail on how to take your herbs from the garden to the table with panache.
Author: Rosalind Creasy
Author: Matt James