Permaculture uses ecological principles and respect for the land to design more sustainable, local, food gardens, and more sustainable relationships to the web of life and to one another.
Introduction: Permaculture Solutions for Climate Change
By Starhawk. Republished with deep gratitude from Starhawk’s Blog
Permaculture is a system of ecological design, originated by two Australians, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, in the ‘seventies. It’s now a worldwide movement of practitioners, researchers and teachers who look to nature as a model that can show us how to meet human needs while regenerating the environment around us. The genius of permaculture lies, not in any single technique, but in looking at how multiple techniques can be woven together into systems that are more than the sum of their parts. It offers both practical tools and an ethical framework for change. …
Permaculture offers a simple, secular framework of ethics that can guide us: ‘Care for the earth’, ‘Care for the people’, and ‘Care for the Future’, which implies the imperatives to return surpluses into the system, limit consumption and take no more than your fair share.
Permaculture Reading List
Many thanks to Larry Santoyo, of Earth Flow Design Works, San Luis Obispo, California, for many items in the following permaculture reading list and for his personal book recommendations. Larry Santoyo offers intensive permaculture design courses in the Los Angeles area. (Click book images to order.)
Permaculture for Humanity: Larry Santoyo Interview
Urban gardeners. Native seed-saving collectives. Ecovillage developments. What is the connection between these seemingly disparate groups? The ecological design system of permaculture is the common thread that weaves them into a powerful, potentially revolutionary—or reevolutionary—movement.
Permaculture is a philosophy based on common ethics of sustainable cultures throughout history that have designed settlements according to nature’s patterns and lived within its bounds. As a movement that has been building momentum for the past 40 years, it now is taking form as a growing network of sites developed with the intention of regenerating local ecologies and economies. Permaculture strategies can be used by individuals, groups, or nations to address basic human needs such as food, water, energy, and housing. As a species, humans are being called forth to evolve, using our collective intelligence to meet the challenges of the future. Yet if we are to survive our collective planetary crisis, we need to revisit history, integrating successful systems from sustainable cultures. To boldly confront our position on the brink of the earth’s carrying capacity and make changes that incorporate the wisdom of the past is truly revolutionary.
Sustainable [R]evolution features the work of a worldwide network of visionaries, including journalists, activists, indigenous leaders and permaculturists such as David Holmgren, Vandana Shiva, Charles Eisenstein, Starhawk, Erik Assadourian, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Albert Bates, and Geoff Lawton. This beautifully photographed collection of profiles, interviews, and essays features 60 innovative community-based projects in diverse climates across the planet. Edited by anthropologist Juliana Birnbaum Fox and award-winning activist filmmaker Louis Fox, it can be read as an informal ethnography of an international culture that is modeling solutions on the cutting edge of social and environmental change. The research presented in the book frames the permaculture movement as a significant ally to marginalized groups, such as the urban poor and native communities resisting the pressures of globalization.Sustainable Revolution uplifts and inspires with its amazing array of dynamic activists and thriving, vibrant communities.
— Recommended by Dennis Rivers
Look for this book in your local library, order from your local bookstore (ISBN=9781583946480), or click the button below to see online bookstore links.
The newly published anthology Hope Beneath Our Feet is an inspiring tonic for anyone wishing for a little soul nourishment in the face of our present earth changes. A variety of luminaries share their thoughts, including Larry Santoyo, who advises us that “if we choose our actions based upon what we love about the present, we then have a solid foundation upon which to build our coming lives.”
Look for this book in your local library, order from your local bookstore (ISBN=9781556439193), or click the button below to see online bookstore links.
The Designer’s Manual by our long time mentor Bill Mollision, is THE permaculture book of books to have… once reviewed by Whole Earth, saying “If information had density… this book would be a black hole!…” Hard to get, but worth the price at any cost.
— Larry Santoyo
Buy in USA from Powell’s Books ($104.45 US)
Buy in Australia from Tagari Publications
We have a soft spot in our heart for Mollison’s soft cover Introduction to Permaculture.
— Larry Santoyo
Buy in USA from Powell’s Books
Buy in Australia from Tagari Publications
Gaia’s Garden is written by our good friend Toby Hemenway, one of EarthFlow’s senior instructors and designers. If you read this book, you’ll know why. Newly published second edition, with expanded information and new color photos.
— Larry Santoyo
Publisher’s Book Description: 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 forgiving gardens. This extensively revised and expanded second edition broadens the reach and depth of the permaculture approach for urban and suburban growers.
Many people mistakenly think that ecological gardening—which involves growing a wide range of edible and other useful plants—can take place only on a large, multiacre scale. As Hemenway demonstrates, it’s fun and easy to create a “backyard ecosystem” by assembling communities of plants that can work cooperatively and perform a variety of functions, including:
- Building and maintaining soil fertility and structure
- Catching and conserving water in the landscape
- Providing habitat for beneficial insects, birds, and animals
- Growing an edible “forest” that yields seasonal fruits, nuts, and other foods
This revised and updated edition also features a new chapter on urban permaculture, designed especially for people in cities and suburbs who have very limited growing space. 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. Best of all, once it’s established, an ecological garden will reduce or eliminate most of the backbreaking work that’s needed to maintain the typical lawn and garden.
Look for this book in your local library, order from your local bookstore (ISBN=9781603580298), or click the button below to see online bookstore links.
A forest garden with 500 edible plants could lead to a sustainable future.
Video from National Geographic.
Instead of neat rows of monoculture, forest gardens combine fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables together in one seemingly wild setting. This type of agroforestry mimics natural ecosystems and uses the space available in a sustainable way. UK-based Martin Crawford is one of the pioneers of forest gardening. Starting out with a flat field in 1994, his land has been transformed into a woodland and serves as an educational resource for others interested in forest gardening. This short film by Thomas Regnault focuses on Crawford’s forest garden, which is abundant, diverse, edible, and might be one answer to the future of food systems.
REGENERATIVE DESIGN INSTITUTE — BOLINAS, CA
PERMACULTURE READING LIST
PERMACULTURE & ECOLOGICAL DESIGN
GARDENING, SOIL, BIODIVERSITY
More Permaculture videos to be added…