These are a collection of books, websites and other resources where you can dive deeper into the subject of Permaculture. There is tons of information out there and it can be a bit overwhelming, so I have compiled this list to guide you towards some quality information from some of the best names in permaculture.
Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway is an excellent guide for “home scale permaculture” on an average suburban lot. Toby guides you through what he calls “ecological gardening,” working with the natural patterns of the landscape, local climate, and wildlife. This is a must have for anyone in a suburban environment.
The Permaculture City: In his latest book, Toby Hemenway demonstrates that the same nature-based approach that works to grow food―connecting the pieces of the landscape together in harmonious ways―applies perfectly to our need for water, shelter, energy, livelihood, and community. “Urban permaculture takes what we have learned in the garden and applies it to a much broader range of human experience,” writes Hemenway. “We’re not just gardening plants but people, neighborhoods, and even cultures.”
Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual by Bill Mollison. The orginal “Big Black Book” of permaculture, written by the co-founder of permaculture, Bill Mollison. This is a must have for anyone who is serious about learning the permaculture system and doing their own design work. It is also required reading for most Permaculture Design Courses, or PDCs. Written as a reference manual, it is pretty dry reading, but it is packed full of information on all climates and situations. This book is what nearly all other permaculture books are based upon.
Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture: Sepp Holzer is a wizard of ecological design and permaculture. Growing up on his family farm in Austria, and working intimately with nature from a very young age, Sepp developed his own methods of helping Nature to thrive long before permaculture was even a word. Though he worked for many years without any connection to Bill Mollison, David Holmgren, or the sytem of permaculture, Sepp has long been considered one of the best designers in the world. In this book, he shares his unique perspective on observing Nature and learning to work with her. It is a much more intuitive approach than the scientific methods of traditional permaculture, one which many people are drawn to.
The $50 and Up Underground House Book by Mike Oehler: One of the classic books of the Permaculture and back to the land movements. Written by the pioneer of low cost, do it yourself underground housing, this book will show you how to build your own home with simple methods and very low cost materials. You don’t need to get a mortgage and buy a stick house that is ecologically unsound and will cost lots of money to heat and cool, you can build your own underground house that will be just as beautiful as any traditional house, but will take advantage of the many benefits of building underground.
The Earth Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book by Mike Oehler: Using the same methods from his Underground House Book, Mike Oehler shows you how to build a very low cost, earth sheltered greenhouse that will allow you to grow vegetables all year round by taking advantage of the temperature moderating effects of the Earth.
Permaculture Design: A Step by Step Guide, by Aranya: This is a great little pocket guide to help you through the sometimes daunting task of creating a permaculture design for a property. It walks you through the process of drawing a scale map, finding your sectors and zones, making observations, and more. It is more of a how to for the actual process of design than a detailed look at whole systems that you might get from a larger book like the design manual or Gaia’s garden, however, I have found it to be a great supplement for the practical nuts and bolts of permaculture design.
Ishmael by Daniel Quinn: This is a fiction book, not directly related to permaculture. However, it provides some excellent insights into how our culture, and civilization in general has been shaped by the agricultural revolution ten thousand years ago. I feel it is important to have an awareness of how we got here in order to more effectively get to where we want to be.
Permies.com A massive permaculture community forum, this is probably the most extensive source for information regarding all aspects of permaculture and homesteading. There is more information and real world examples being added to the forums every day. Connect with other permaculturalists, ask questions, find out what others are doing, and share your story. Check out my personal thread in the Wheaton Labs forum.
Permaculturenews.org Updated daily with new information from around the world, see whats going on in the world of permaculture.
Geofflawton.com One of the top permaculture designers in the world, Geoff lawton has put out an incredible series of videos and lectures, all for free after you have supplied your email address. You might get one or two emails a week, but the information is always good. Geoff also offers a very popular online PDC.
Permaculturevoices.com The Permaculture Voices Conference has been bringing together the top minds in Permaculture and Regenerative Design, along with hundreds of people looking to learn and be inspired, for the past three years in San Diego, California. Most of the talks from the conference have been recorded and are available for purchase through the website, an incredible source of information. Even more incredible is the hundreds of hours of free audio available through the Permaculture Voices Podcast. The host and organizer, Diego Footer, is an excellent interviewer with a strong motivation to help people be financially successful through applying permaculture to whatever it is they do.
Regrarians Facebook Group A well managed community for serious discussion about transforming the world of agriculture through regenerative design and permaculture.
These are some of the Kickstarter campaigns put on by people who are doing great work towards making the world a better place. Directly supporting individuals is a great way to help transform our economy into a more resilient and fair system.
The Rocket Mass Heater Builder’s Guide by Erica Wisner I just backed this project, and I am happy to support Ernie and Erica Wisner. 35 bucks for this book, plus a ton of other digital material that comes with it, is an absolute steal! I had the privilege to work with Ernie and Erica at Wheaton labs last summer and I was absolutely blown away by their knowledge in all sorts of different fields, but when it comes to rocket mass heaters and the science of fire, they are genius level. For those of you who haven’t heard of rocket mass heaters, or are sick and tired of chopping cord after cord of wood each winter, do yourself a favor and do some google searches, and then get this book to learn how to do it right!
The Permaculture Student 2 by Matt Powers A permaculture text book directed at high school kids. Matt Powers has a dream that permaculture will someday be taught regularly in schools. Imagine if an entire generation grew up learning the ethics and principles of permaculture! I backed Matt for the Permaculture Student 1, which was aimed at middle schoolers, and teh book turned out beautifully. I have no doubt that this will be a great book too, and it could end up being a very important book for the future of our world.