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This page present main Permaculture Books, for other topics, see Natural Building books (cob, strawbale, adobe, etc).

Pioneers Books

Masanobu Fukuoka

  • Natural Way of Farming : The theory and Practice of Green Philosophy - 280 pages - 1985 - download for free from Zinelibrary or Sribdexternal image 5135nY-5YTL.jpg
    From rear cover notes: "...Here in one volume are the secrets of Fukuoka's approach to farming the natural way; the theory and practice of working with nature, and living better for it. At once philosophical and down-to-earth, he takes us on a walk through healthy fields, and clearly explains how we can and must change our way of doing things if we are to make lasting peace with the earth and ourselves. Photographs, diagrams, and tables provide abundant practical reference for gardeners and farmers, while the lucid text will open the eyes of the most general reader. Detailed coverage of actual methods instructs competently without becoming overly technical. This is a highly accessible book with far-reaching implications and applications for all." ( this book from Amazon)
    • Content : anyone can be a quarter-acre farmer - "do-nothing" farming - follow the workings of nature - the illusions of modern scientific farming - 1. ailing agriculture in an ailing age - man cannot know nature - the breakdown of japanese agriculture - disappearance of a natural diet - 2.the illusions of natural science - the errors of the human intellect - 2.the fallacies of scientific understanding - a critique of the laws of agricultural science - 3.the theory of natural farming - 1.the relative merits of natural farming and scientific agriculture - 2.the four principles of natural farming - 3.how should nature be perceived? - natural farming for a new age - 4.the practice of natural farming - starting a natural farm - rice and winter grain - fruit trees - vegetables - 5.the road man must follow - the natural order - natural farming and a natural diet - farming for all

Robert Hart

  • Forest Gardening : Cultivating an Edible Landscape - 234 pages - 1996 - download for free from ??external image 51YdHxFchOL._SS500_.jpg
    "Forest Gardening is a way of working alongside nature--an approach that results in great productivity with minimal maintenance, and a method for transforming even a small cottage garden into a diverse and inviting habitat for songbirds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Based on the model of a natural woodland, a forest garden incorporates a wide variety of useful plants, including fruit and nut trees, perennial herbs, and vegetables.
    Hart's book beautifully describes his decades of experience gardening in the Shropshire countryside, yet the principles of 'backyard permaculture' he explores can be applied equally well in other locales across the planet, from tropical to temperate zones." (from Amazon)
    • Content : towards a forest economy - unity and diversity - health and wholeness - personal pilgrimage - the wenlock edge project - plant life: its infinite potentialities - design and maintenance - water and no water - stored up sunshine: energy yesterday and tomorrow - the thinking hand: skills of the craftsman - agroforestry against world want - green is real - where do we go from here


Sepp Holzer

  • Sepp Holzer's Permaculture: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale, Integrative Farming and Gardening - 256 pages - 2004 (2011) - download for free ?? (preview)external image 511DblH-TvL._SS500_.jpg"Sepp Holzer farms steep mountainsides in Austria 1,500 meters above sea level. His farm is an intricate network of terraces, raised beds, ponds, waterways and tracks, well covered with productive fruit trees and other vegetation, with the farmhouse neatly nestling amongst them. This is in dramatic contrast to his neighbors' spruce monocultures. In this book, Holzer shares the skill and knowledge acquired over his lifetime. He covers every aspect of his farming methods, not just how to create a holistic system on the farm itself, but how to make a living from it. Holzer writes about everything from the overall concepts, down to the practical details." (from Amazon)
    • Content: 1 landscape design - early childhood experiences - past mistakes - the permaculture landscape - setting up a permaculture system - design ideas - terraces and paths - humus storage ditches - waterscapes - 2 alternative agriculture - basic ideas - soil fertility - green manure - ways to regulate problem plants - old varieties and plant diversity - tips for polycultures -alpine plants - alternative ways to keep livestock - poultry - earth cellars and open shelters - 3 fruit trees - possible uses - the wrong way to cultivate fruit trees - my method - protection against browsing - fruit varieties - propagating and grafting - sowing a fruit forest - processing, marketing and selling - 4 cultivating mushrooms - general - health benefits - the basics of mushroom cultivation - growing mushrooms on wood - growing mushrooms on straw - cultivating wild mushrooms - 5 gardens - kitchen gardens - the pharmacy on the doorstep - vegetable patch - the most important work in our gachtl -natural fertiliser - helpers in the garden and regulating fellow creatures - characteristics of town gardens - plant list - 6 projects - scotland - thailand - berta: a project for lebenshilfe ausseerland - concluding thoughts


Ida & Jean Pain external image 000a4e80.jpeg

  • The methods of Jean Pain: Or another kind of garden - 88 pages - 1980 (1973) - download for free at Burlingtonpermaculture
    Translated by Ann Pellaton. "This is the only reference book on the work of Jean PAIN and the applications of his methods; Autodidact inventor of the "METHODS of JEAN PAIN", processes allowing, from brushwood and residuals woods, to produce a hight-fertilizing pre-compost, to collect heat by contact with the fermenting heap, and to produce biogas." (from Author)
    • Content : the end of big forest fires - a new source of humus - cultivation without watering - the fundamental food of the soil - industrialization of brushwood composting - production of energy (hot air, hot water) and uses : heating, domestic uses, etc. - a small chipper… with big capabilities - brushwood gaz, the energy of tomorrow - the jean pain plan for thicket clearance and rational use of the residual forest biomass.


Alan Savory

  • Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision Making - 644 pages - 1988 (1998) - download for free from ?? (preview)external image 51kAjMGZ3yL._SS500_.jpg
    "This work shows that on the most fundamental level, environmental problems are cuased by human management decisions rather than the commonly blamed culprits of environmental degradation, overpopulation, poor farming practices and lack of financial support. In considering humans, their economies and the environment as inseparable, the holistic management approach is intended as a revolutionary decision-making framework. It has been practised by thousands of people around the world to profitably restore and promote the health of their land, and the book is aimed at anyone involved with any form of environmental and resource management who is seeking to make better decisions." (from Amazon)
    • Content : changing the way we make decisions - the predatorprey connection - timing is everything - a new framework for management - the power lies in the holistic goal - the four fundamental processes that drive our ecosystem - water cycle - community dynamics - mineral cycle- energy flow - the tools we use to manage our ecosystem - testing your decisions - making economically environmentally and socially sound decisions - cause and effect - weak link - marginal reaction - gross profit analysis - energy and money - generating lasting wealth - personal values and social responsibility - completing the feedback loop - monitoring your plans and keeping on track - learning and practice - organization and leadership- marketing in line with holistic goal - time - stock density and herd effect - cropping - burning - population management - planning procedures unique to holistic management - expanding the uses of the holistic management model - diagnosing the cause of problems - making research relevant - creating sound policies - changing course: creating the future we want







Essential Book

Bill Mollison

  • Permaculture One : perennial agriculture for human settlementsexternal image 61Y74ZQXF8L._SL500_AA300_.jpg, with David Homgren - 127 pages - 1981 - download for free french edition in PDF"Permaculture One presents unique strategies for creating a food-producing system specifically suited to your needs, whether you garden in your backyard or engage in full-scale farming. By carefully designing a system around functional relationships between plant and animal species you can create a stable 'cultivated ecology' suited to local conditions. The book provides a catalog of 130 trees and plants useful to a permaculture system [...]. Mollison and Holmgren propose an alternative to the resource-hungry methods of commercial agriculture. 'Permaculture One' gives you the tools to begin at your own doorstep." (this book at Amazon)
    • Content : origins, directions, principles - the self-sufficiency - products of permaculture - the cultivated ecosystem - establishment of the system - animals in permaculture - mushrooms in permaculture - urban development, rural renewal - plant catalog






  • Permaculture Two: Practical Design for Town and Country in Permanent Agriculture - 159 pages - 1987 - download for free as PDFexternal image 71KKFHtFb1L._SL500_AA300_.jpg
    "Permaculture Two" delves deeper into the concept of "consciously designed agricultural systems." Author, Bill Mollison, describes new approaches and solutions that have evolved around the world. Ways in which plants can modify climate and many forms of pollution are discussed. Highly productive, low-energy systems, are made clear, in this fascinating book that offers some concrete solutions for saving Mother Earth." (this book at Amazon)
    • Content : design in landscape - soil improvement - broadscale techniques - design for difficult climates - structures - waterworks - free range poultry design - on permaculture and community




  • Permaculture: A Designers' Manual - 574 pages - 1988 - download for free from sribd or (Preview) external image designers_manual_with_shadow.jpgexternal image 51gV20LTNOL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
    also found titled Permaculture: A Practical Guide for a Sustainable Future - 579 pages - 1990"An encyclopedic treatment of permaculture, this book is essential for students, landowners, public policy-makers, and others interested in revolutionizing modern farming and land use. Highly detailed chapters cover everything one might ever need to know about the permaculture philosophy and its applications to land-use design, systems analysis, climatic factors (including tailored strategies for drylands, aquaculture, and other special circumstances), and much, much more" (this book at Goodreads)
    • Content : concepts and themes in design - methods of design - pattern understanding - climatic factors - trees and their energy transactions - water - soils - earthworking and earth resources - the humid tropics - dryland strategies - humid cool to cold climates - aquaculture - the strategies of an alternative global nation - plant lists






  • Introduction to Permaculture, with Reny Mia Slay - 218 pages - 1997 (2005) - download for free from ??external image 51HKBJ5BRNL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
    "Written to introduce readers to Permaculture concepts and design strategies. Abundantly illustrated with detailed diagrams and line drawings throughout. Includes a listing of useful Permaculture plants with descriptions and uses, and a further species list in useful categories. The book is set out as a step-by-step introduction to Permaculture with detailed instructions. Using simple language it describes the range of Permaculture for general consumption. Very little content of Mollison's other books are found within Introduction to Permaculture." (this book at Tagari or Amazon)
    • Content : energy efficient site analysis - planning and design methods - house placement - design for temperate, dry-land and tropical regions - urban permaculture - garden layouts, land access and community funding systems - fences, trellis, greenhouse & shadehouse to best effect - chicken and pig forage systems - tree crops & pasture integration for stock - orchards and lots for temperate, arid and tropical climates - energy-saving designs and techniques - influence micro-climate around the house and garden - large plant species

  • Permaculture Design Course Pamphlets Series - 155 pages - 1981 - download for free from BarkingFrogPermacultureexternal image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRShorD7z3YcUOVRfQTFviDyBtGqEvA2XK9RVMIS1dkzzfqgzLsVA"The complete text of 15 pamphlets based on the 1981 Permaculture Design Course given by Bill Mollison (the father of Permaculture) at The Rural Education Center, Wilton, New Hampshire, USA." (this pamphlets at Freewebs)
    • Content : introduction to permaculture - humid landscapes - arid landscapes - low islands - high islands - granatic landscapes - permaculture for fire control - designing for permaculture - permaculture techniques - forests in permaculture - water in permaculture - permaculture in urban areas - the permaculture community - the permaculture alternative - permaculture for millionaires




Toby Hemenway and John Todd

  • Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture - 240 pages - 2001 - (preview Sribd)external image Gaia%2527s+Garden%252C+Second+Edition+A+Guide+to+Home-Scale+Permaculture.jpgexternal image eec7c8f4.jpg"Now, picture your backyard as one incredibly lush garden, filled with edible flowers, bursting with fruit and berries, and carpeted with scented herbs and tangy salad greens. The visual impact is of Monet's palette, a wash of color, texture, and hue. But this is no still life. The flowers nurture endangered pollinators. Bright-featured songbirds feed on abundant berries and gather twigs for their nests. 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." (from Amazon Ed.2001 and Ed.2009)
    • Content : the garden as ecosystem - introducing the ecological garden - a gardener’s ecology - designing the ecological garden - the pieces of the ecological garden - bringing the soil to life - catching, conserving, and using water - plants for many uses - bringing in the bees, birds, and other helpful animals - assembling the ecological garden - creating communities for the garden - designing garden guilds - growing a food forest - permaculture gardening in the city - pop goes the garden - a sampling of useful plants

Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeie

  • Edible Forest Gardens (2 volumes) - 1068 pages - 2005 - download for free from ??
    external image 61JieQrENIL._SL500_AA300_.jpg"Edible Forest Gardens is a groundbreaking two-volume work that spells out and explores the key concepts of forest ecology and applies them to the needs of natural gardeners in temperate climates. Volume I lays out the vision of the forest garden and explains the basic ecological principles that make it work. In Volume II, Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier move on to practical considerations: concrete ways to design, establish, and maintain your own forest garden. Along the way they present case studies and examples, as well as tables, illustrations, and a uniquely valuable "plant matrix" that lists hundreds of the best edible and useful species." (from Authors or Amazon)
    • Content of "Volume 1: Ecological Vision & Theory For Temperate-Climate Permaculture"
    • invitation to adventure - part one : context and vision - the forest and the trees - visions of paradise - case study 1: charlie’s garden - part two: ecology- the five elements of forest architecture - case study 2: robert’s garden - social structure: niches, relationships and communities - structures of the underground economy - succession: four perspectives on vegetation dynamics - case study 3: e.f. schumacher forest garden - conclusion: elements, dynamics, and desired conditions ( - appendix 1: forest gardening’s “top 100” species - appendix 2: plant hardiness maps)Content of "Volume 2: Ecological Design & Practice For Temperate-Climate Permaculture"
    • a forest gardener’s tool kit - issues and strategies in forest garden design and management - a forest garden pattern language - design processes 1: overview, goals, and assessments - design processes 2: the design phase - site preparation - garden establishment - management, maintenance, and coevolution - epilogue: a story of robert - ( appendix 1: plant species matrix - appendix 2: species by use tables - appendix 3: species by function tables - appendix 4: species of concern - appendix 5: niche requirements of beneficial animals - appendix 6: plant hardiness maps - index of latin synonyms -index of common and latin names)








Later Books

Patrick Whitefield

  • How to Make a Forest Garden - 184 pages - (2002) 1992 - download for free from ?? (preview)external image 284.jpg
    "A forest garden is a food-producing garden, based on the model of a natural woodland or forest. It is made up of fruit and nut trees, fruit bushes, perennial vegetables and herbs. It can be tailored to fit any space, from a tiny urban back yard to a large rural garden. A close copy of a natural ecosystem, it is perhaps the most ecologically friendly way of gardening open to us. It is also a low-maintenance way of gardening. Once established there is none of the digging, sowing, planting out and hoeing of the conventional kitchen garden. The main task is picking up the produce. This highly practical, yet inspiring book gives you everything you need to know in order to create a beautiful and productive forest garden. Forest gardening is an important element of permaculture. This book explains in detail permaculture design for temperate climates and contains much of interest for anybody wanting to introduce sustainable practices into their garden." (from Chelsea)
    • Content : why grow a forest garden - yield of food - how a forest garden works - what kind of food - benefits - home garden or market garden - the forest garden community - layers - tree - shrub - vegetable - putting things together - land and people - light and shade - access - co-operation and competition - succession - microclimate - soil - models - home-grown resources - plant nutrients - mulch material - water - pest and weed control - preparation, planting and maintenance - mulching - preparation - planting - maintenance - choosing plants - climate, microclimate and soil - choosing vegetables - choosing trees - shrubs - vegetables - designing a forest garden - collecting information - recording - evaluation - design - a sample design - plant index








  • Permaculture in a Nutshell - 84 pages - 1993 - download for free from ?? (preview) external image 51X9HJNC3JL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
    "This inspiring book is a concise and accessible introduction to the principles and practice of permaculture in temperate climates. It explains how permaculture works in the city and the countryside, including on farms, and also explores ways people can work in cooperation to recreate real communities. Permaculture in a Nutshell is the ideal introduction to this complex subject—essential reading for those wishing to understand how a new way of perceiving horticulture can transform our relations other humans and with the Earth." (from Chelsea)
    • Content : what is permaculture - "a tale of two chickens" - in the city - in the garden - on the farm - in the community - some questions answered - getting started







Martin Crawford

  • Creating a Forest Garden: Working with nature to grow edible crop - 336 pages - 2010 - download for free from ?? (previewexternal image Creating%2Ba%2BForest%2BGarden%2BWorking%2Bwith%2BNature%2Bto%2BGrow%2BEdible%2BCrops.jpg)
    "Forest gardening is a novel way of growing edible crops - with nature doing most of the work for you. A forest garden is modelled on young natural woodland, with a wide range of crops growing in different vertical layers. Unlike in a conventional garden, there is little need for digging, weeding or pest control. Species are carefully chosen for their beneficial effects on each other, creating a healthy system that maintains its own fertility. Creating a Forest Garden tells you everything you need to know - whether you want to plant a small area in your back garden, or have a larger plot." (from Amazon)
    • Content : how forest gardens work - forest gardens - forest garden features and products - the effects of climate change - natives and exotics - emulating forest conditions - fertility in forest gardens - designing your forest garden -ground preparation and planting - growing your own plants - first design steps - designing wind protection - canopy species - designing the canopy layer - shrub species - designing the shrub layer - ground cover and herbaceous perennial species - designing the ground cover / perennial layer - annuals, biennials and climbers - designing with annuals, biennials and climbers - extra design elements and maintenance - clearings - paths -fungi in forest gardens - harvesting and preserving - maintenance - ongoing tasks






Ross Mars

  • The Basics of Permaculture Design - 170 pages - 2005 - download from ?? (preview) external image 176.jpg
    "The Basics of Permaculture Design, first published in Australia in 1996, is an excellent introduction to the principles of permaculture, design processes, and the tools needed for designing sustainable gardens, farms, and larger communities. Packed with useful tips, clear illustrations, and a wealth of experience, it guides you through designs for gardens, urban and rural properties, water harvesting systems, animal systems, permaculture in small spaces like balconies and patios, farms, schools, and ecovillages. This is both a do-ityourself guide for the enthusiast and a useful reference for permaculture designers." (from Chelsea)
    • Content : maximising the edge - land-based food production - water-based food production - design principles - elements - zones and succession - sectors - microclimate - designing for catastrophe - steps in the design - tools for the designer - building healthy soil - integrated pest management - stacking - guilds - other tips for gardeners - location and climate - choosing a property - local regulations - the passive solar home - integrating the house and garden - retrofitting existing houses - water harvesting - on the surburban block - on the farm - in dry areas - designs for urban settlement - gardens - animals - limited spaces - designing for rural properties - whole farm plans - windbreaks and shelterbelts - animals in the system - permaculture in schools - communities - appropriate technology - generating power - electric fencing - pumping water - cooking devices