Author Topic: books  (Read 4586 times)

Offline abyars

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books
« on: December 15, 2015, 03:50:56 PM »
I'm looking for some recommendations on books.  I've heard about Bill M's out of print book and maybe that's what I need.  But for the money I want to make sure I get practical advice and examples to follow.

I'm buying 12 acres and will start planning a homestead.  Currently it's a mix of pasture and woods, flat and hilly areas. 

I wanted something to help me plan the site, orchard location, garden site, etc.  I don't need new age thinking or old age thinking for that matter just some help understanding why and where to place trees, plants & animals.


Offline longshadow

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Re: books
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2015, 01:18:30 PM »
I would HIRE a Permaculture Design Consultant BEFORE I pulled the trigger on 12 acres. 

As for Permaculture texts I'd suggest reading the reviews on Amazon and decide for yourself which ones might be helpfull for your situation...

Offline tjstruck88

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Re: books
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2015, 07:56:15 PM »
also check to see where the author, has done most of what they talk about, example ben falk, live in vermont, i live in nh so i may be able to coppy cat some things form him, dont got to reinvent the wheel

Offline abyars

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Re: books
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2015, 08:28:49 PM »
Thanks for all the tips.

Looking up the author's location is a great idea.

Offline I.L.W.

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Re: books
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2015, 08:31:55 PM »
Permaculture One is the go-to book. Get it. It's pricey these days (academic text and out of print), but worth every cent.
Just keep in mind, it's not "How do I do...", but rather "How should I think about this". It will not answer all your questions, it does better. It will show you what questions you should be asking, which you otherwise might not have considered. That's hugely helpful.

http://www.amazon.com/Permaculture-One-Perennial-Agriculture-Settlements/dp/0938240005/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1450494212&sr=1-2&keywords=Permaculture+One

... I know, $100+ for a nearly 40 year old used paperback... "Holy fiscal ass-rape Batman!" But, it's worth it. You can find digital copies significantly cheaper.

The later revised and expanded "Permaculture designers manual" is a bit cheaper, and in some regards superior. I've read both, personally, I preferred the original. Others will prefer the later book. Personal choice.

For practical general purpose skill reference, I like Storey's Basic Country Skills. It's not an exhaustive volume on one subject, but covers a little bit of everything. From how to wire up a new shed to canning produce, to slaughtering a pig. Everything. Start there, and follow up on subjects via YouTube if you need more info.

http://www.amazon.com/Storeys-Basic-Country-Skills-Self-Reliance/dp/1580172024

For animals, or conventional commercial cropping, the Storey's guides are excellent. They cover everything from raising sheep to starting a christmas tree farm (each subject it's own dedicated book). Reading one feels like you've done an apprenticeship by the end.

Quote
I don't need new age thinking or old age thinking for that matter

Actually, you need both, because conventional contemporary thinking won't work on 12 acres, lol. Yes, that means you have to filter out some new-age bullshit, and you might be squinting at the letter "f" which looks more like an "s" in old manuscripts... but you'll get through it.

Good news, most of the books which detail the techniques best suited to 12 acres were printed for small farmers between the years 1600 and 1920. That means they're in the public domain, and you can read them for free online! Check Google Books and the Project Gutenberg website. For a small fee, you can have them printed, bound and delivered to your door if you want a physical copy, or just load them on an e-reader like the kindle, a smartphone, or your PC.

See the Annals of Agriculture by Arthus Young: https://books.google.com/books?id=iA8uAAAAYAAJ&num=19

http://fao.org/
Next up, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization. Welcome to the politically correct hippie suck-fest, lol. But the articles are geared toward developing nations. That means low cost ways of creating self-sufficiency on small parcels of land. Directly applicable to your situation. And they use actual peer-reviewed science, not "planting by the phase of the moon" crazy voodoo bullshit. Also completely free. However, keep in mind there is a political agenda which the research panders to. You just have to see past it.

http://geofflawton.com/
Check out the free videos on Geoff Lawton's website. They cover exactly what you're looking for. It's basically a tour of many different sites, explaining along the way what was done, and why it was done. "Why is the pond here on this site, and over there on another", "Why are the cows grazing near the trees, and not in the field?", "How do we get water to this area?".  You will need to register with an email address, but that's it, there's no payment needed to watch the videos.

iTunes-U has a couple of free permaculture design courses. It won't get you certified, but it's basically a camera in the classroom while it's being taught (pre-recorded, not interactive).

There's also a recording of a course from years ago taught by Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton which has been circulating the net (likely pirated from the looks of it). Legality aside, if you know where to look for that kind of stuff, you won't have problems finding it. But the stuff on Geoff's site is better, free, and legitimate. Probably not worth the search unless you want to get deeper into the subject.

There's an older video series with Mollison here: http://www.networkearth.org/videos/The_Function_Of_Design.html
Free, but the production quality is poor.

Stepping away from permaculture for a moment, the American Horticultural Society publishes plant encyclopedias, and their propagation guide is top notch. Since they are continually revising it, you can get used books online from schools and libraries for a few dollars. A hard-covered, 800 page color photo encyclopedia of plants, $2. Well worth it.

For infrastructure planning, the guides from the National Guard, Army Corp of Engineers, and state and federal parks and wildlife services are all available free online. If you need to know the proper way to key in a dam at a specific pitch and slope, they're your best bet. Constructing dirt roads which won't wash out. Draining a site. Very useful stuff.

Quote
also check to see where the author, has done most of what they talk about, example ben falk, live in vermont, i live in nh so i may be able to copy cat some things form him, dont got to reinvent the wheel

I agree with tjstruck88, there's a lot of variability based on location. If you're up north, you don't need many nitrogen fixers, but down south you can't get reliable production without them on some sites. So an author from down south will dedicate half a book to the subject. That's lead many northerner's to spend thousands on nitrogen fixation when it was unnecessary in their soils and environment. There are many such regional and site-specific considerations. People for instance don't believe I practice permaculture because I have no swales. Well, I'm on flat land at the bottom of a valley, they're not practical here. Mimicry of form is never useful. It's adaptability that dictates your success. Others near you have already adapted, and knowing how may inspire you. But don't seek to simply mirror what others are doing unless you have compelling reason to.

For this reason, I wouldn't even look to books for region specific info. Look to tour a site similar in function to what you are attempting.

Quote
I would HIRE a Permaculture Design Consultant BEFORE I pulled the trigger on 12 acres. 

longshadow is right about hiring a designer. However, not all designers are created equally. You want to see a portfolio, not a certificate of completion from a community college, lol. Saddly, that's most of the designers out there. The proof of their abilities is in the work, not in a certification. You can get a recent graduate at a discounted rate, but any design they come up with will cost you money to implement, don't let someone without real-world experience and a history of success play with your pocketbook like that, lol.

I don't mean to under-value their skills. I actually have a great deal of respect for it. Just that the skills are highly variable (not really a guild profession just yet). The most brilliant mind in that field is likely only a student now, and they'll get the same certificate as the moron sitting next to them. Until they have a body of work to illustrate their capabilities and insights, I would use them only for consultation prior to a purchase, or use them in feasibility assessments, but would get a second opinion on designs and time tables.

The final resource is also a bit of entertainment. The BBC has produced several series which are a hybrid documentary, DIY show, and reality TV show... They're actually awesome at explaining how historically these small farms have been planned and how they are operated. They are:

Tales from the Green Valley
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRj1YYnsBGk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7w9UlO0cl2k
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abfKWeOmz4w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gyu4d8K9OI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERNEEY4WU0k
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G38orXAt8MM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIVBmLA7xkc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgcgzwwCCL4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRSDG28vu_g
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkXWFCbir3k
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEmf_9BaL6s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdU_EdhRMAo

Victorian Farm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4apIM4l0laY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgRz1LFVluQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHAlKpXpvk4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko1umQWCrcs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWcvWC1M8OE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiUAcbwgvHM

Victorian Farm Christmas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFpctGEGSjM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJOVnV4iJGU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCAtbCeuEcU

Edwardian Farm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcBl4_2FJX4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrSB6RZbIhY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INMdHBlQbgE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XBz4tKhxsc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scjT9xFT1GU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USZpogdHyUQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4eTWXo4jr4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hYVXt4iuOo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUb947gvRkQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9dQDEzGSfs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viavYI2SWNE

War Time Farm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUsU5s0ofYo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2atkQAiQbFg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxztuX3fGVM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnkSPB-9BmQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j33DJk4-sMw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyGdRw6vK8Q
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBR4ejMbnHE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwBD9gRZLTE

Tudor Monastery Farm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1ERDYjsHBg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v46lzPosC1g
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLyw6w-UH6U
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIbhoR1GBuI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1IUm3V546k
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SssqL1OFuoU

A Tudor Feast at Christmas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnXUMNEGNvE

Victorian Pharmacy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsIAGCqN4po
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yxj8xyciaWg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyytJNzy2X8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBWTK4mAfhE

Secrets of the Castle
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWZWTwJ_5Ag
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gu46zGuOqk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4NJxb2kn6I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrIUETkgtgQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZluEQnzV_aU

They cover a lot more than farming, going into domestic life and the realities of the time period, but there's a lot of practical knowledge buried in the shows which can be applied today to a small parcel of land very effectively. You can buy them on DVD from Amazon if you prefer that.

I could post hundreds more books and videos... but this should hold you over for a few thousand hours. Have fun.

Offline abyars

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Re: books
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2015, 08:53:38 PM »
Thank you I.L.W. for all the resources!  I'm creating a folder to bookmark all the websites you posted.  I never thought about the Annuals of Agriculture, my grandfather used to have some of those.  I'll read all the free stuff online and keep a watch for deal on Bill M's book.



Offline abyars

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Re: books
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2015, 09:12:04 PM »
Is this the revised addition to Mollison's Permaculture One?

Introduction to Permaculture Revised Edition by Mollison, Bill published by Ten Speed Pr (1997

Offline oktheniknow

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Re: books
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2015, 09:31:38 PM »
Jack has some good videos to get you started in the right direction :)
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEA7BA330871366B8

Offline abyars

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Re: books
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2015, 09:50:09 PM »
Jack has some good videos to get you started in the right direction :)
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEA7BA330871366B8

Thanks, I didn't know about those.

Offline abyars

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Re: books
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2015, 03:56:29 PM »
I found Permaculture One on ebay for $55/75AU

I ordered from here and they have more copies:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/400898934966

There are other sellers on ebay selling for similar prices.

The book goes for $72 on amazon.

Thanks again for the help and all of the resources.  I'll be watching a lot of youtube.

Offline oktheniknow

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Re: books
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2016, 10:25:59 PM »
The BBC series are all quite entertaining. Just got through watching the Victorian Farm and going to watch the others.
Anyone know where there's a list or a way to download the books that are referenced in all the different series.

Offline I.L.W.

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Re: books
« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2016, 04:52:03 PM »
Archive.org, Google Books and the Library of Congress have digitized copies of many of them. You may also check Project Gutenberg. When you get into books between published before 1947, they've all fallen into the public domain, that is they're freely distributable without copyright after a period of 70 years from publication. But with the exception of classic literature, that usually means there's no money to be made in re-printing them, and old copies are rare and hard to come by (making them very expensive).

If you're reading from OCR scans, some of the font faces used in early printing are difficult to read. However Text To Speech agents are pretty good at interpreting it. If you have a Windows 10 PC, you can enable the "Cortana" voice (called "Eva" in the system settings) as the default. I prefer the Voices from IVONA however (they are more natural sounding). They however cost money unless you're familiar with torrents, but I won't get into that here, lol.

You can find public Domain copies of Henry Stephen's Book of the Farm (1844) for example:
https://archive.org/download/bookfarm00stepgoog/bookfarm00stepgoog.pdf

If you prefer an updated text, they have re-written them, using more contemporary language and units of measure for release in conjunction with the show. These however are not in the public domain and cost about $25 USD.

http://www.amazon.com/Book-Farm-Henry-Stephens/dp/1906388911/ref=pd_sim_14_7?ie=UTF8&dpID=51ca8I4ioWL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR107%2C160_&refRID=1JZPBD7X685DM90SQKDZ

Offline longshadow

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Re: books
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2016, 12:35:43 PM »
THANKS  :beer: abyars for the Ebay link as my new-old stock copy of "Permaculture 1" just arrived from the down-under Ebay seller.  I'm replacing my old tatered copy which was destroyed by Hurricane Rita. The prices on Amazon for this paperback are just out of this world IMO...

Offline outoforder2day

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Re: books
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2016, 12:48:35 PM »
I highly recommend The Resilient Farm and Homestead by Ben Falk. Out of all the books on permaculture, I think it's one of the most practical and easiest to follow.

Geoff Lawton also has a few videos up at his site that you will find very useful http://geofflawton.com/ (registration required).
Specifically:

I do echo the suggestions to engage a permaculture designer early on in the process, though. I feel competent in my skills, but still want to pull in an expert for a second set of eyes before I launch. Type 1 errors are best avoided.