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A quick scan of our Permaculture Bookshelf

January 29, 2012 | Permaculture, Permaculture Design, Resources | 10 comments | Author:

Permaculture and Regenerative Agriculture are fortunately two fields that have lots of great resources. Books, DVDs, you name it. But where do you start? Which to read first? I thought I’d share our most-thumbed favorites.

We have this crate of books that travels to each Permaculture Design Course as the ‘student library’, and those books mostly line up with the ones we use on the farm, either for reference, for inspiration, or for discussing with students and wwoofers…

So here’s some, but not all, of the titles we love:

Whew! And that’s just the start of our library… so much goodness to learn from in there…

Should you like to browse our library, you could come to a Milkwood Permaculture Design Certificate course (or any of our on-farm courses actually, where the library resides), or come learn + work at our farm as part of our Wwoof program. Check your local library also!

Thanks to Cathy X for the photos…

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10 COMMENTS


  • squirrel January 29, 2012 at 8:14 am | Reply

    Hi I have read and own a lot of the permaculture classics but I was wondering what books you have found most useful with your Organic Market Garden? The New Organic Grower looks like one I should get my hands on.

    My plan for getting land involves running a box lot scheme and growing lots of annuals until my longer term tree crops come on. I figure that the sooner I get my head around running a market garden the fewer nasty surprises are in store.

    Thanks for so rigorously documenting your journey including the highs and lows. I often find myself looking through your archives for a particular post or specific design you have mentioned.


    1. milkwoodkirsten January 29, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply

      Hi Squirrel – ok market garden books: http://milkwood.net/2011/06/03/planning-our-organic-market-garden/ and http://milkwood.net/2011/12/09/eliot-colemans-fertile-dozen-recommended-reading-for-organic-growers/ – also have a good look at, and consider getting, Allsun’s CD rom which is chokkas with great info for each crop for temperate austraila from propagation to storage – http://milkwood.net/2011/08/05/growing-annual-vegetables-cd-rom-review/ – good luck! – with a wide-angle approach they all fit perfectly with all the permaculture titles, just use your intuition on the details (mulch vs no mulch, straight line beds vs crenelations, etc) :)


  • Maggie Walters January 29, 2012 at 8:24 am | Reply

    as always! more to add to the reading list! thank you i think! and you have answered the debate that is raging in our household. I LOVE holding something in my hands that is tangible and tactile ….. hubby sais we should be utilizing technology properly and going electronic to save trees. … nice to see tacticle wins out in your household too!


    1. milkwoodkirsten January 29, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Reply

      Maggie I have to say that despite having many, many hard-drives stuffed with good e-books and other crucial resources, it’s always the hard-copy books that people prefer to pull out and work from, we find… go figure, but i’d rather a solid collection of hard-copy knowledge any day over a mountain of electronic awesomeness that is only as long-lived as the hard drive or internet connection it’s attached to! But each to their own, and e-books are great in their searchability, I must say…


  • Evan January 29, 2012 at 9:06 am | Reply

    Nice collection!

    Let’s just hope those aren’t the first on the book-burning pile when it all goes to ‘hell’.


  • Frank Woolf January 29, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Reply

    Can anyone please recommend any books on permaculture and organic farming in the tropics?

    I see plenty of books and information for temperate climates but almost nothing for the tropics where heat is a problem, not cold and where the plants that can be grown are mostly very different.

    I realize the basic principles are the same but after that it gets very different.


    1. milkwoodkirsten January 30, 2012 at 8:52 am | Reply

      Hi Frank – check http://www.idepfoundation.org and http://www.pfaf.org/user/default.aspx – both have lots of info on tropical stuff -


  • eremophila January 29, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Reply

    A great collection of classics, and soon to be classics. I have a few e-books (on photography) but do much prefer the good old real book :-)


  • Robin Clayfield January 29, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Reply

    Great to see so many wonderful Permaculture Books on your shelves. I still have ‘You Can Have Your Permaculture and Eat It too’ available (but as a spiral bound version since I sold the print run) and ‘The Manual For Teaching Permaculture Creatively’. I’m happy to supply them at a cheaper rate to support what you’re doing there and so you have copies to share with others. Happy Reading, Robin Clayfield
    http://www.dynamicgroups.com.au to have a look at them


    1. milkwoodkirsten January 30, 2012 at 7:58 am | Reply

      Thanks Robyn, fear not, we have your lovely books on the bookshelf too – and they are frequently used! Had to put a big caveat in that post that these are “some, but not all” of our fave books, as I ran out of puff so just listed the ones in the images :)



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