Bookmark and Share
HomeWhat is Permaculture? - Permaculture Handbook
Books about Permaculture / Design

Essential Media
for your Research 
/ Design Library

All items on this page can be purchased securely using Paypal
You MUST "SELECT YOUR LOCATION" or your order will fail!!!
The Paypal prices include postage and handling charges which vary depending on your location (US / Canada, or Elsewhere). Items are priced for solo shipment to the same address. If you reside outside the US & are ordering several titles, contact us for possible discounts on shipping.
You may send a check or money order (in US dollars... sorry, no phone credit card payments... payable to
The Permaculture Activist, PO Box 5516, Bloomington, IN 47407 USA,
Contact: 812-335-0383 or
If ordering by mail with check, US & Canada Postage for Videos is US$4 for one, $7 for 2-3.

The Permaculture Handbook:
Garden Farming for Town and Country

by Peter Bane, Foreword by David Holmgren
Price: $45, 2012, 608pp.
(Expected delivery of this book is June 2012)

Review the Table of Contents

The urban landscape has swallowed vast swaths of prime farmland across North America. Imagine how much more self-reliant our communities would be if 30 million acres of lawns were made productive again. Permaculture is a practical way to apply ecological design principles to food, housing, and energy systems; making growing fruits, vegetables and livestock easier and more sustainable.

Select your location
Gift Greeting / Instructions

The Permaculture Handbook is a step-by-step, beautifully illustrated guide to creating resilient and prosperous households and neighborhoods, complemented by extensive case studies of three successful farmsteads and market gardens. This comprehensive manual casts garden farming as both an economic opportunity and a strategy for living well with less money.

It shows how, by mimicking the intelligence of nature and applying appropriate technologies such as solar and environmental design, permaculture can:

  • Create an abundance of fresh, nourishing local produce
  • Reduce dependence on expensive, polluting fossil fuels
  • Drought-proof our cities and countryside
  • Convert waste into wealth

Permaculture is about working with the earth and with each other to repair the damage of industrial overreach and to enrich the living world that sustains us. The Permaculture Handbook is the definitive, practical NorthAmerican guide to this revolutionary practice, and is a must-read for anyone concerned about creating food security, resilience and a legacy of abundance rather than depletion.


Permaculture Design: A Step-by-Step Guide
by Aranya
$25, 191pp, 2012

Developed from course worksheets that have been tested on students over time, Aranya's Permaculture Design leads you through the design process from beginning to end using clear explanations, flowcharts and diagrams.
Linking theory to practice, Aranya places the ethics, prinicples, philosophies, tools and techniques directly into the context of the process itself. While written for anyone with a basic grasp of permaculture, this book also has plenty to offer the more experienced designer.
Topics include:
Systems and patterns / Working as part of a design team / Land and non-land based design / Design frameworks / Site surveying and map making / Interviewing clients / Working with large client groups / Identifying functions / Choosing systems and elements / Placement and integration / Creating a design proposal / Project management / Presenting your ideas to clients

Select your location
Gift Greeting / Instructions
NEW!! How To Read The Landscape
by Patrick Whitefield
$24, 2014, 236pp. 

According to an ICM poll, 77 percent of UK adults, or about 38 million people, say they walk for pleasure at least once a month. It is remarkable, therefore, that no one has written about the landscapes they’re walking through and enjoying . . . until now.

Patrick Whitefield has spent a lifetime living and working in the countryside and twenty years of that taking notes of what he sees, everywhere from the Isle of Wight to the Scottish Highlands. This book is the fruit of those years of experience.

Select your location
Gift Greeting / Instructions

In How to Read the Landscape, Patrick explains everything from the details, such as the signs that wild animals leave as their signatures and the meaning behind the shapes of different trees, to how whole landscapes, including woodland, grassland, and moorland, fit together and function as a whole.

Rivers and lakes, roads and paths, hedgerows and field walls are also explained, as well as the influence of different rocks, the soil, and the ever-changing climate. There’s even a chapter on the fascinating history of the landscape and one about natural succession, how the landscape changes of its own accord when we leave it alone. The landscape will never look the same again. You will not only appreciate its beauty, it will also come alive with a whole new depth of appreciation and understanding

Thinking in Systems: A Primer
by Donella Meadows
$20, 2008, 240pp.

“Dana Meadows’ exposition in this book exhibits a degree of clarity and simplicity that can only be attained by one who profoundly and honestly understands the subject at hand--in this case systems modeling. Many thanks to Diana Wright for bringing this extra legacy from Dana to us.” —Herman Daly, Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland at College Park

“When I read Thinking in Systems I am reminded of the enormity of the gap between systemic thinkers and policy makers. If this book helps narrow the gap, it will be Dana’s greatest contribution.” —Lester Brown, founder and President, Earth Policy Institute

Select your location
Gift Greeting / Instructions

“Dana Meadows was one of the smartest people I ever knew, able to figure out the sensible answer to almost any problem. This book explains how she thought, and hence is of immense value to those of us who often wonder what she'd make of some new problem. A classic.” —Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy

“Thinking in Systems is required reading for anyone hoping to run a successful company, community, or country. Learning how to think in systems is now part of change-agent literacy. And this is the best book of its kind.” —Hunter Lovins, founder and  President of Natural Capital Solutions and coauthor of Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution

Practical Permaculture for Home Landscapes, Your Community, and the Whole Earth

By Jessi Bloom and Dave Boehnlein. Illustrations by Paul Kearsley

Permaculture's principles are simple: take care of the earth, and the earth will take care of you. Ecological landscape designer Jessi Bloom and permaculture expert Dave Boehnlein provide all the tools you need for this holistic approach to living that leads to healthy food, a healthy home, and renewable resources.

The book covers the basic principles of permaculture, showing the entire design process, and offers detailed information on the plants, water, waste, energy, shelter, food, animals, and structures that make up the garden. Filled with real-life examples from all over the world, this invaluable resource will help you turn your home garden into a sustainable ecosystem.

"Powerful, visceral, readable, and inspiring. It shows us how we can and should live." - Joel Salatin, farmer and author

Select your location
Gift Greeting / Instructions
A Permaculture Handbook For Britain & Other Temperate Countries

by Patrick Whitefield

$75, 2004,  480pp, 206 black and white photos, 43 color photos, 145 line diagrams & numerous tables.
Seven years in the making, this is the long awaited study of permaculture specifically for cooler climates. It takes a detailed view of designing sustainable systems both large and small, urban and rural.Defining permaculture and placing it in the context of the green movement, this important book is divided into three parts. Part One: The principles underlying permaculture as applied to soil, fertility, water, climate, microclimate, energy and materials.

Select Your Location
Gift Greeting / Instructions
Part Two: Applying permaculture to buildings, gardens, orchards, farming, woodlands and biodiversity. Part Three: The permaculture design process in action, how to develop your home or project on permaculture lines, plus many useful skills and techniques. Scrupulously researched and written in an accessible style by Patrick Whitefield, one of Europe’s foremost permaculture teachers, designers and author of How to Make a Forest Garden and Permaculture in a Nutshell. It is lavishly illustrated, filled with case studies and useful contacts.


PERMACULTURE: Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability
by David Holmgren Co-Originator of the Permaculture Concept
2003, 286pp, $29

This book builds on the extraordinary success of the permaculture concept and global permaculture movement (over the last 25 years), to provide a more cerebral and controversial contribution to the sustainability debate.

David Holmgren is an ecological pioneer destined to have a major influence on permaculture's evolution.
"If the 'Permaculture Principles' that David Holmgren discusses in this extremely important book were applied to all that we do, we would be well on the road to sustainability, and beyond." Professor Stuart B Hill (Foundation Chair of the Social Ecology University of Western Sydney).

Are there ways to live within nature's limits while providing a secure future for our children and justice for everyone? We think so. Read this book.


Select Your Location
Gift Greeting / Instructions


Beyond the War on Invasive Species: A Permaculture Approach to Ecosystem Restoration
By Tao Orion
Foreword by David Holmgren

Invasive species are everywhere, from forests and prairies to mountaintops and river mouths. Their rampant nature and sheer numbers appear to overtake fragile native species and forever change the ecosystems that they depend on. Concerns that invasive species represent significant threats to global biodiversity and ecological integrity permeate conversations from schoolrooms to board rooms, and concerned citizens grapple with how to rapidly and efficiently manage their populations. These worries have culminated in an ongoing “war on invasive species,” where the arsenal is stocked with bulldozers, chainsaws, and herbicides put to the task of their immediate eradication. In Hawaii, mangrove trees (Avicennia spp.) are sprayed with glyphosate and left to decompose on the sandy shorelines where they grow, and in Washington, helicopters apply the herbicide Imazapyr to smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) growing in estuaries. The “war on invasive species” is in full swing, but given the scope of such potentially dangerous and ecologically degrading eradication practices, it is necessary to question the very nature of the battle.


Select your location
Gift Greeting / Instructions

Beyond the War on Invasive Species offers a much-needed alternative perspective on invasive species and the best practices for their management based on a holistic, permaculture-inspired framework. Utilizing the latest research and thinking on the changing nature of ecological systems, Beyond the War on Invasive Species closely examines the factors that are largely missing from the common conceptions of invasive species, including how the colliding effects of climate change, habitat destruction, and changes in land use and management contribute to their proliferation. Beyond the War on Invasive Species demonstrates that there is more to the story of invasive species than is commonly conceived, and offers ways of understanding their presence and ecosystem effects in order to make more ecologically responsible choices in land restoration and biodiversity conservation that address the root of the invasion phenomenon. The choices we make on a daily basis—the ways we procure food, shelter, water, medicine, and transportation—are the major drivers of contemporary changes in ecosystem structure and function; therefore, deep and long-lasting ecological restoration outcomes will come not just from eliminating invasive species, but through conscientious redesign of these production systems.

“Some of our most productive and tasty plants in the permaculture landscape are vilified as invasive weeds that need controlling. This is a mindset that also promotes a delineation between conservation and agriculture. My personal response is to cultivate fewer conventional annual vegetables and grow and eat as many of these weeds as is appropriate, creating an extensive, diverse, and resilient forage system in my own backyard. It is time to stop putting land management into boxes and create wildlife habitats and food in stacked systems.

"Tao Orion explains how to take advantage of the vigor of ‘invasive’ edible and useful exotics and harvest them. This is how to bring ecosystems back into balance. This is adaptive permaculture thinking at the broad-scale level. Chelsea Green has produced yet another pioneering book, demonstrating how permaculture is way ahead of conventional land-management practices.”--Maddy Harland, editor of Permaculture magazine, cofounder of The Sustainability Centre in the UK, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

“An interesting and valuable contribution to the ongoing refutation of invasive species ideology. Detailed and wide-ranging, Orion extends and deepens several analyses of invasionism, and offers several interesting new perspectives. She points to holistic systems management as an alternative to the current war on invasives. Land managers and invasionists would do well to give it a careful read.”--D.I. Theodoropoulos, author of Invasion Biology: Critique of a Pseudoscience

“This book brings much-needed balance to the overheated debate about so-called invasive species. Tao Orion’s meticulously researched yet engaging work shows that the true culprits are nearly always human-caused disturbance and development, and that species shifts are a symptom, not a cause, of this habitat destruction. Beyond the War on Invasive Species is an important book that offers a path away from unsuccessful restoration efforts?based on poor science and policy?and toward new, ecologically sound programs for building and preserving biodiversity.”--Toby Hemenway, author of Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture and The Permaculture City: Regenerative Design for Urban, Suburban, and Town Resilience

“Beyond the War on Invasive Species is part of a new, much more nuanced conversation about ‘invasive’ species that is taking place in science, agriculture, and land management. It provides an analysis of the new science that looks for ecosystem function as well as harm from newly arrived species, looks at species migration in the context of climate change, and broadens our conversation to look at these organisms in the context of the human ecological footprint. Orion offers land management guidelines, based in permaculture design process, that help to chart a new way forward in our new land of novel ecosystems.”--Eric Toensmeier, author of Paradise Lot and Perennial Vegetables

“Tao Orion has brought together personal experience, careful study, and visionary thinking to turn us toward becoming useful people of place. Her exploration widens the narrow concept of invasion (so often repeated but seldom carefully thought through) and elucidates the trouble of short sightedness. We are not threatened by aliens, but rather we are turning our backs on the big picture.”--Tom Ward, author of Greenward, Ho! Herbal Home Remedies and cofounder of Siskiyou Permaculture

“Beyond the War on Invasive Species is a devastating exposé of the military industrial invasive species complex and a sorely needed and impeccably researched volume that should become one of many as we recover from self-destructive attempts to eradicate parts of nature instead of acting with an understanding of the whole.”--Ben Falk, author of The Resilient Farm and Homestead and founder of Whole Systems Design

Earth User's Guide to Teaching Permaculture: 2nd Edition
by Rosemary Morrow
2006. 264pp., $35

Permaculture design is a powerful tool for creating systems that meet our human needs but also support the ecosystem as a whole. It applies ecological principles to designing gardens, farms, community projects, even entire human settlements. The standard seventy-two-hour Permaculture Design (PDC) course is taught all over the world to farmers, gardeners, design professionals, and world changers who want to practically create a healthier, more equitable planet.

Rosemary Morrow offers evidence for permaculture’s effectiveness and describes each unit of the PDC’s curriculum. This fully revised and updated edition contains a wealth of technical information for teaching permaculture design and includes new findings in emerging disciplines such as regenerative agriculture. The Earth User’s Guide to Teaching Permaculture is of key relevance to teachers and students of architecture, landscape design, ecology, and other disciplines like geography, regenerative agriculture, agro-ecology, and agroforestry, as well as permaculture design. It leads the reader step by step through a recommended course structure, providing a flexible approach that encourages the adaptation of the materials for specific bioregional and cultural conditions. With advice on teaching aids, topics for class discussion, extensive reading lists, and tips on teaching adults, this book is bound to be an invaluable friend to the experienced and novice teacher alike.


Select Your Location
Gift Greeting / Instructions


A Pattern Language:
Towns - Building - Construction

by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein with Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl-King, Shlomo Angel
1977, 1172pp, $65

A working document for a new theory of architecture, building, and planning which forms the basis for a new traditional post-industrial architecture created by people. It introduces the archetypal language which allows lay person to design for themselves. "Brilliant....Here's how to design or redesign any space you're living or working in--from metropolis to room. Consider what you want to happen in the space, and then page through this book. Its radically conservative observations will spark, enhance, organize your best ideas, and a wondrous home, workplace, town will result"--San Francisco Chronicle

"I believe this to be perhaps the most important book on architectural design published this century. Every library, every school, every environmental action group, every architect, and every first-year student should have a copy." Tony Ward, Architectural Design

Select Your Location
Gift Greeting / Instructions


Seeing Nature: Deliberate Encounters with the Visible World
by Paul Krafel
1999, 208 pp, $20

"[This book] is a gift . . . With curiosity, wit, and a spare and graceful style, Krafel notes why birds in flocks land as they do, how islands can move upstream in a river, how kelp forests, swaying gently, break the force of the sea's power, how tundra plants create whole ecosystems on bare rock from mere specks of life. Yet there are no long-winded sermons about the woods, or cute anthropomorphizations of animals.

The book's economical, unsentimental style is part of its originality."—Barbara Damrosch

Seeing Nature is a series of true, parable-like stories that offer tools for understanding relationships in the natural world. Many of the stories take the reader to wild landscapes, including canyons, tundra, and mountain ridges, while others contemplate the human-made world: water-diversion trenches and supermarket check-out lines.


Select Your Location
Gift Greeting / Instructions

To link to our site, clip the graphic, paste in your page(s) and add this link: Thanks!

Copyright ©The Permaculture Activist, PO Box 5516, Bloomington, IN 47407 USA 812-335-0383
Original material in this website may be reproduced in any form with permission on condition that it is accredited to the Permaculture Activist magazine, with a link back to this site or, in the case of printed material, a clear indication of the site URL ( We would appreciate being notified of such use. Although care has been taken in preparing the information contained in this web site, the Permaculture Activist magazine does not and cannot guarantee the accuracy thereof. Anyone using the information does so at their own risk and shall be deemed to indemnify us from any and all injury or damage arising from such use.