I began reading this book over a week ago and am still tumbling down its fascinating rabbithole, bouncing from one adventure in permaculture to another.
In case you are unfamiliar with permaculture, briefly it’s a way of farming which seeks to mimic and enhance (tweak?) the tendencies of nature, working with rather than contrary to the normal succession processes of disturbed land.
The author, Ben Falk, is the principal of Whole Systems Design, a sustainable design firm and permaculture training center in Vermont, USA. This book is an expo of his experiences establishing a sustainable farm on 10 acres of depleted land, using his training in land-use planning and landscape architecture.
I almost don’t know where to begin to describe what is in this book. It is information rich and cutting edge in terms of permaculture and sustainability. This is an essential addition to anyone’s permaculture bookshelf. If you are trying to move in a permaculture direction and mold your piece of earth into a food forest, I believe you will find it a must-read.
This book includes the author’s experiences with growing and using many of the permaculture food and medicine crops most of us are unfamiliar with, such as seaberry, yacon, shiitake and reishi, as well as chapters on fuel, shelter, livestock and fowl. There is a don’t-miss sidebar on a compost hot water heating system, an explanation of his rice paddy system (yes, rice!), and valuable information on site selection you’ll wish you’d read first before finalizing the design of any new garden and farm layout.
All with beautiful photography and enough detailed design sketches, charts, and graphs to keep you coming back for more long after the first read-through.
For a chance to win one of the two copies Chelsea Green Publishing is giving away to two LHITS readers, click here.