Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-12-01
- Reviewer: Staff
In this thorough introductory guide, Bloom (Free-Range Chicken Gardens) and Boehnlein, both Pacific Northwest permaculture practitioners and designers, fill a niche for readers who want to integrate this down-to-earth but too-often-mystifying nature-inspired design system into their lives. Moving a step beyond Toby Hemenway’s classic Gaia’s Garden, the book includes more recently hatched, controversial additions to permaculture philosophy. In a conversational, at times overly cute style, Bloom and Boehnlein walk readers through the basic ethics and principles of permaculture, core ecological concepts, and a detailed explanation of the potentially intimidating permaculture design process. They examine permaculture systems, from soil and water to energy and shelter, showing readers how each system is “a major piece of the sustainability puzzle.” They also provide a list of “50 useful plants for permaculture landscapes” that, unusually, seem to favor warmer and even tropical climates. The final section discusses the “invisible” structures of economics, community, and land access, topics absent from earlier permaculture guides, reflecting the system’s dissemination and development beyond its Australian originators. (Jan.)