Suggested Books

Suggested Books:


Earth User's Guide to Permaculture. Morrow, Rosemary. Simon & Schuster, 2000. An informal introduction to permaculture by an experienced teacher.

Edible Forest Gardens. Jacke, David and Eric Toensmeier. Chelsea Green, 2006. Simply the best book on forest gardens, comprehensive and readable. A good all-round permaculture book for temperate climates.

Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture. Toby Hemenway. Chelsea Green, 2001. Easy to use and understand tour through the permaculture garden

Introduction to Permaculture. Slay, Reny, and Mollison, Bill. Tagari 91 Tyalgum. The best intro, includes a concise listing of principles.

Living Community. Haggard, Ben. Center for the Study of Community, 4018 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe NM, 87505. The evolution of a premier permaculture site, written by a master designer.
Permaculture: A Designers' Manual (alternate subtitle: A Practical Guide for a Sustainable Future) Mollison, Bill. Island Press Covelo, CA, 1990. A comprehensive study guide; the bible of permaculture

The Permaculture Garden. Bell, Graham. Thorson's, 1994. A British-oriented introduction to permaculture gardening techniques.

The Permaculture Way. Graham Bell. Thorsons, London 1992. Simple explanation of permaculture in action. Good examples.

Travels In Dreams. Bill Mollison. Tagari 1996. Engaging memoir with stories, stories, stories by the man behind permaculture.

The Western (Aust) Permaculture Manual. Brown, David, ed. Cornucopia, Subiaco, West Australia 1989. From philosophy to nitty-gritty region specific, untidy early Pc from the trenches, OP

Ecology and Whole Systems Design:

At Home in the Universe. Oxford, 1995. Kauffman shows how life inevitably will emerge when there is sufficient complexity.

Ecological Design. Van der Ryn, Sim, and Stuart Cowan. Island, 1996. The essential concepts of ecological design.

The Ecology of Urban Habitats. Wheater, C. Philip. Routledge, London, 1999. Though written for a British audience, this book contains a wealth of information about urban ecology: succession, soils, animals, microclimates, and more.

Fundamentals of Ecology. Odum, Eugene, P. W. B. Saunders, 1971. An early textbook on the basics of ecology, in depth.

A Hierarchical View of Ecosystems. O'Neill, R. V. Princeton, 1986. An advanced look at how ecosystems function.

Holistic Resource Management. Savory, Alan. Island, 1988. The central work of a school of sustainability developed in parallel with permaculture. Good biblio which includes personal growth.

Noah's Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Back Yards. Stein, Sara. Houghton Mifflin, 1995. A well-written and compelling plea for allowing nature back into our yards, full of natural history.

The Origins of Order. Kauffman, Stuart. Oxford, 1994. A dense and scholarly treatment of the ideas expressed in At Home in the Universe.

Out of Control .Kelly, Kevin. Addison Wesley, 1994. How our new understanding of biology is transforming both ecology and economics.

The Web of Life. Capra, Fritjof. Doubleday, 1996. An engaging account of how the new sciences of complexity and self-organization are affecting our understanding of living systems.

Design Process:

Design with Nature. McHarg, Ian. Wiley, 1992. Innovative techniques for appropriate landscape design using map overlays.

Landscape Graphics. Reid, Grant W. Whitney Library of Design, 1987. Excellent introduction to professional landscape drawing.


By Nature's Design. Neill, William, and Pat Murphy. Chronicle, 1993. Stunning photographs and clear explanations of nature's patterns.

The Fractal Geometry of Nature. Mandelbrot, Benoit. W.H. Freeman & Co, 1983. Key insights into natural patterns by the developer of the fractal concept.

Metapatterns. Volk, Tyler. Columbia, 1995. Very compatible with Mollison's pattern writings.

On Growth and Form. Thompson, D'arcy Wentworth. Dover, 1992. A magisterial text on how the shapes and patterns in nature are formed; a classic in the field.

A Pattern Language. Alexander, Christopher. Oxford NY 1977 Design for human building and settlements using patterns derived from successful designs.

Patterns in Nature. Stevens, Peter S. Little, Brown & Co., 1974. A review of the common classes of patterns found in nature.


Biological Control of Insects and Mites. N.C.R.481. University of Wisconsin. Coop./ Ext. Publication. 30 Murray St. Rm. 345 Madison, WI. 53715-2609 $9.00 An Introduction to beneficial natural enemies

The Bug Book. Olkowski. Easy to understand book on bugs- lifecycles, beneficials. Excellent, often found used.

The Butterflies of North America. James A. Scott (1986). The definitive b-fly text of the moment.

Handbook for Butterfly Watchers. Robert Michael Pyle, Houghton Mifflin, Boston '84. Butterflies as indicator species

Natural Enemies Handbook: The Illustrated Guide to Biological Pest Control. Mary Louise Flint and Steve Dreistadt. "Best ever" practical guide to insect control. This book will help you find, identify, and use natural enemies to control pests in almost any agricultural setting.

Encyclopedia of Natural Insect and Disease Control. Yepson, Roger, ed. Rodale,1984. Natural pest

The Orchard Mason Bee. Brian Griffin Knox Cellars 1607 Knox Ave. Bellingham, WA 98225 (306) 733-3283 Good little book on Mason Bees. Also, provider of Adult blue orchard bees (Osmia lignaria) along with nesting material and educational products.

Rodale's Color Handbook of Garden Insects. Anna Carr Rodale Press, Emmaus, Pa 1979. Readily available used. Photographs illustrating insect (beneficial and 19pest') life cycles.


ABC of Poultry Raising: A Complete Guide for the Beginner or Expert. Florea, J, H. Dover, 1977. A standard work on small-scale poultry care.

The American Minor Breeds Notebook. Heise &Christman. The American Minor Breeds Conservancy POB 477, Pittsboro, NC 27312 rare livestock with unique characteristics

Chicken Tractor. Lee, Andy Good Earth, 1994 "The Gardener's guide to Happy Hens and Healthy Soil." A second-generation Pc book that goes beyond Mollison; using animals multifunctinally.

Chickens in Your Backyard: A Beginner's Guide.Luttmann, Rick, and Gail Luttmann. Rodale, 1976. A good book on small-scale chicken raising for the homeowner.

The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable. de Bairacli Levy, Juliette Faber and Faber Boston, 1990. A look at traditional knowledge and the importance of plant diversity to animals.

The Family Cow. van Loon, Dirk. Garden Way

The Forgotten Pollinators. Buchman, Steve, and Nabhan. Island, 1996. Stories about ecology through the window of pollination, a crucial link. I recommend any of Gary Nabhan's books, which mostly center on the Sonoran desert; this one is of world-wide urgent importance.

Grass Productivity Voisin, Andre. A primary text for rotational grazing.

The Home Duck Flock. Holderread, Dave The Hen House Corvallis, OR 1978 a local expert on waterfowl.

Keepers of the Game. Calvin Luther

The Last Ranch. Bingham, Sam. A year in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, centering on a few ranchers applying Holistic Resource Management methods. Well-written by the author of the HRM Workbook, it begins with a quote from Permaculturist Michael Crowfoot: "Not only are ecologies more complex than we imagine, they are more complex than we can imagine" Very highly recommended.

Microlivestock. N A P 1991 "Little-known small animals with a promising economic future"

A Natural History of Domesticated Animals. by Juliet Clutton-Brock. All you could want to know about the wild ancestors of all the domesticated animals of the world. With extensive references, this book is very useful if you are designing low-input systems with animals.

Pastured Poultry Profits. Joel Salatin. Production model describes how to produce an income from small acreage raising poultry. He tells how anyone can earn $25,000 in 6 months on 20 acres.

The Power of Duck: Integrated Rice and Duck Farming. by Takao Furuno 2001, 94 pp. + 4 color plates, $24 + 10% p&h, Permaculture Activist, PO Box 1209 Black Mountain, NC 28711

Raising Rabbits the Modern Way.Bennett, Bob. Garden Way, 1980. Good introduction to rabbits in the backyard.

Salad Bar Beef. Joel Salatin This proven system can yield a superb profit from a small cow herd regardless of the commodity price of calves.

The Tender Carnivore and the Sacred Game. Paul Shepard. Deep thinking and poetic writing about our need for relationships with animals; good for countering anti-meat food dogma.

The Third Chimpanzee. Diamond, Jared. I recommend all of Diamond's books because of his wide range of knowledge, which includes genetics, birds, language and owes much to his long involvement in research in New Guinea, the area with the greatest human cultural diversity.


A Better Place to Live. Corbet, Michael. Rodale, 1981; "New Designs for Tomorrows Communities," the planning behind Village Homes, lots of ties to Ebenezer Howard's Garden Cities movement from earlier in this century.

Bioshelters, Ocean Arks, and City Farming. Jack and Nancy Todd

Build It With Bales. Myhrman & Mac Donald Out on Bale,1997

The Cob Builders Handbook. Becky Bee Groundworks PO Box 14194, Portland, Or. 97293

Earth Building & The Cob Revival, and The Cobbler's Companion. Ianto Evans, Michael Smith. PO Box 123 Cottage Grove, Or 97424

Handbook: Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Building. John Reynolds

The Hand-Sculpted House. Ianto Evans, Linda Smiley, Michael Smith. Philosophy and practice of building with cob; highly recommended

The Natural House Book. David Pearson Fireside Books Simon and Schuster,1989

The Owner-Built Home. Ken Kern. Scribner's, 1972.A classic on innovative design and techniques for building your own house. Any of Kern's books (Owner-Built Homestead, Pole-Frame House) is well worth finding.

A Straw Bale Primer. S.O. MacDonald How to Build w/ great illustrations

Appropriate Technology:

Appropriate Technology Sourcebook. Ken and Mike Saxenian. 1986. PO Box 4543 Stanford, CA 94305. Exc. ref. reviews hundreds of publications on AT from agriculture to disaster preparedness.

The Composting Toilet System Book. Carol Steinfeld. The most complete book on the subject's state of the art that I've seen.

The Humanure Handbook. Joseph Jenkins, Chelsea Green, 1999. Excellent guide to composting humane manure.

Landscape Design That Saves Energy. A. Moffat Morrow 1981.

The Integral Urban House: Self-Reliant Living in the City. Helga and Bill Olkowski 1979 Guide to 19integral' home design, focusing on energy conservation.

Teaching/Children and Nature:

Composting Across the Curriculum: A Teacher's Guide to Composting. Kathy Ezratty 1993. Marin County Office of Waste Management 10 North San Pedro Rd. Suite 1022, San Rafael, CA 94903 (415)499-6647 Great workbook for people of all ages.

The Evolution Book. Sara Stein. Workman Publishing, NY, 1986. The story of 4,000 million years of life on Earth revealed through observations, experiments, projects, and investigations.

Exploring the Secrets of the Meadow-Thicket. JoAnne Dennee and Julia Hand. A Common Roots Guidebook 1994. Observing plants, birds, insects, and animals and how they interact in the meadow thicket. Songs, activities, and stories.

Kid's Nature. Susan Milord. Williams Publishing. Charlette,VT. 365 Indoor and outdoor nature experiences for kids. Springo Tyron Creek State Park 11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd. Portland, Or 97219 (503)636-4550

Life Lab, Growing Adventure. Life Lab Science Program 1156 High St. Santa Cruz, Ca. 95064 (408)459-2001 In and outdoor science activities

The Long Haul. Horton, Miles, Anchor, NY, 1990 Autobiography of a union and civil right organizer who founded the Highlander School. As he retired the school was becoming involved in bioregional land control and ecology issues. Good for teachers-aren't we all?

Sharing Nature With Children. Cornell, Joseph. Ananda, 1979. Teaching tactics, a classic.

Squirmy Wormy Composters. Bobbie Kalman Crabtree Publ.Co. 1992. My favorite pix in this book is the kid w/ a worm on his tongue. Really gets the attention of children to read this! For elementary school age.

The Usborne Complete First Book of Nature. Michael Chinery Usborne Ltd. Belgium Publishing Ltd. 1990. Beautifully detailed illustrations of plants and animals. A serious nature study for the young and old. I had to special order this but found it one of the best children's nature books available.

333 Science Tricks and Experiments. Robert Brown Tab Books, INC. Blue Ridge Summit, PA 1984. Inexpensive, readily available materials- unique and unusual experiments


CoHousing. McCamant and Durrent. Habitat/Ten Speed, 1992. The book that brought the Scandinavian movement to popularity in the US. Lots of interviews and good design stories.

Intentional Communities. Communities Publication Cooperative 105 Sun Street Steele Illinois, 60919. This book explains what communities are, how to choose a community, social action, personal growth through community, ideas for decision making, community economics, land trusts, and networking.

Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow an Ecovillage or Intentional Community. New Society, 2003.Diana Leafe Christian.

Forests, Hedgerows, and Tree Crops:

Bioengineering for Land Stabilization and Conservation. Hugo Schiechtl U. of Alberta Press Edmonton, 1980 The foundation text for using live plants in engineering.

Firewood Crops. National Academy of Sciences Wash. DC 1980. Shrub and tree species for energy production.

The Forest Farmer's Handbook: A Guide to Natural Selection Forestry, Orville Camp. Sky River Press, Ashland, Oregon 1984

Forest Farming. Douglas, J. Sholto, and Robert Hart. Rodale, 1985. A strong argument for growing trees for food and fodder, with descriptions of many species; a basic Pc book.

Forest Gardening: Cultivating an Edible Landscape.Hart, Robert. Chelsea Green, 1996. A personal account of forest garden design by one of the originators of the field.

Forest Primeval. Maser, Chris. The forest of the PNW, by a clear-thinking eco-forester.

The Handbook for Fruit Explorers. Fishman, Ram. North American Fruit Explorers, Rt. 1 box 94, Chapin, I1. 62628 (1986) free to new members- OP but may be re done.

Hedging: A Practical Handbook. BTCV British Trust For Conservation Volunteers 1988 Wallingford, Oxfordshire. Excellent–tools, species and techniques. Best material on coppice, management and tree planting I have seen in one book.

How to Make a Forest Garden. Whitefield, Patrick. Permanent Publications, 1997. Distributed in the United States by Chelsea Green. Instructions and ideas for forest gardens, with a British focus but usable in North America.

The Redesigned Forest. Maser, Chris R & E Miles. San Pedro,'88. Forestry, old and new, in the Northwest.

Restoration Forestry: An International Guide to Sustainable Forestry Practices. Michael Pilarski,ed.

Saving Our Ancient Forests. Zuckerman, Seth Living Planet Press L.A. 1991. Written to a high school level, fresh style.

Seeing the Forest Among the Trees. Hammond, Herb, Polestar, Vancouver, 1991. Herb is the holistic forestry consultant in BC and this is his book for the public at large. Good "invisible structure" social info.

Tree Crops: A Permanent Agriculture. Smith, J. Russell. Harper. A foundation, visionary text for Pc.

Trees on The Treeless Plains. Holmgren, David. 1994. Recommended for designers doing broadscale work, this book is about Victoria and so the climate is not inappropriate for PNW conditions. I recommend any of Holmgren's writings.

Wildwood: A Forest Farm for the Future. Ruth Loomis. Pacific Certified Ecological Forest Products Institute for Sustainable forestry PO Box 1580 Redway, Ca. 95560Stories form the front lines; a toolkit for designing a functional community.


Ecology of Commerce. Paul Hawken Harper Collins 1993. Ecological analysis of Business. Practical suggestions

Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered. F. Schumacker Harper Collins. The author recommends decentralized localized life styles. He outlines a series of proposals intended to save the planet from economic and environmental collapse.

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
Course policies: missed classes (sessions) February 21, 2013 5:34 PM Melissa M
LocalLinks December 2, 2010 1:09 PM Joy
September 2010 Newsletter September 20, 2010 9:16 AM Joy
resources July 27, 2010 9:43 AM Joy
Links August 25, 2011 10:54 AM Melissa M
Suggested Books August 25, 2011 10:48 AM Melissa M
Eastern Pennsylvania Permaculture Guild Facebook January 7, 2010 4:03 PM Melissa M
About Eastern Pennsylvania Permaculture Guild December 8, 2010 4:59 PM Melissa M

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