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First published in German as Sepp Holzers Permakultur by Leopold Stocker Verlag.
Grow better not bigger with proven low-tech, human-scale, biointensive farming methods
Once regarded by society and his fellow farmers as a controversial oddball, Sepp Holzer is now recognised as an important agricultural innovator whose influential permaculture ideas have spread beyond his home country of Austria to bring him international acclaim. Holzer himself is modest about his ideas which he regards simply as "Nature's wisdom" and is happy to share his knowledge and experience. In high demand for seminars and lectures, Holzer has aroused a new interest in farming and has inspired even non-farmers to take over old farms and to manage them based on his ideas of permaculture. Holzer' s aim is to develop and promote farmers who are able to live in harmony with nature, to recognise its cycles and symbioses and to treat their land, soil and fellow living creatures with respect. He believes in the urgent need for farmers to re-learn how to produce good natural foods rather than mere nutrients. The roots of Holzer' s permaculture extend back to his childhood when he first became an observer of nature. Through observation and experiment, Holzer came to realise that Creation is perfect and that nature is always right. He realised that the key to agricultural success was diversity based on natural symbioses and mutual promotion of plant varieties rather than monotonous monoculture. Holzer recognised the important relationship between animals and plants and how each affects the other and put this knowledge to use on his farm. Holzer points out that every plant and animal has its purpose in creation and that problems only arise when humans try to steer their fates in the wrong direction. Over the years, the farm at Krameterhof has played host to students and scientists alike, keen to learn from Holzer' s example and Holzer himself has become involved at an international level working in development aid in Colombia, Costa Rica and Africa.
What book would you want if you were stranded on a desert island? Widely regarded as the "bible" of off-grid living, Real Goods Solar Living Source Book might be your best choice. With over six hundred thousand copies in print worldwide, it is the most comprehensive resource available for anyone interested in lessening their environmental footprint or increasing their energy independence. The Solar Living Sourcebook, Fourteenth Edition is the ultimate guide to renewable energy, sustainable living, natural and green building, off-grid living, and alternative transportation, written by experts with decades of experience and a passion for sharing their knowledge. This fully revised and updated edition includes brand new sections on permaculture and urban homesteading and completely rewritten chapters on solar technology, sustainable transportation, and relocalization. It also boasts greatly expanded material on: Natural building Permaculture and biodynamics Electric and biofuel-powered vehicles Passive solar Solar water heating Grid-tie photovoltaic systems —plus maps, wiring diagrams, formulae, charts, electrical code, solar sizing worksheets, and much more. Whether you're a layperson or a professional, novice or longtime aficionado, the Sourcebook puts the latest research and information at your fingertips—everything you need to know to make sustainable living a reality. John Schaeffer is the president and founder of Real Goods—the foremost global source for tools and information on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living. Since 1978, through Real Goods, he has pioneered solar technology in North America, providing over one hundred and fifty megawatts of solar power and helping to solarize over eighteen thousand homes.
The Resilient Farm and Homestead is a manual for developing durable, beautiful, and highly functional human habitat systems fit to handle an age of rapid transition. Ben Falk is a land designer and site developer whose permaculture-research farm has drawn national attention. The site is a terraced paradise on a hillside in Vermont that would otherwise be overlooked by conventional farmers as unworthy farmland. Falk’s wide array of fruit trees, rice paddies (relatively unheard of in the Northeast), ducks, nuts, and earth-inspired buildings is a hopeful image for the future of regenerative agriculture and modern homesteading. The book covers nearly every strategy Falk and his team have been testing at the Whole Systems Research Farm over the past decade, as well as experiments from other sites Falk has designed through his off-farm consulting business. The book includes detailed information on earthworks; gravity-fed water systems; species composition; the site-design process; site management; fuelwood hedge production and processing; human health and nutrient-dense production strategies; rapid topsoil formation and remineralization; agroforestry/silvopasture/grazing; ecosystem services, especially regarding flood mitigation; fertility management; human labor and social-systems aspects; tools/equipment/appropriate technology; and much more, complete with gorgeous photography and detailed design drawings. The Resilient Farm and Homestead is more than just a book of tricks and techniques for regenerative site development, but offers actual working results in living within complex farm-ecosystems based on research from the “great thinkers” in permaculture, and presents a viable home-scale model for an intentional food-producing ecosystem in cold climates, and beyond. Inspiring to would-be homesteaders everywhere, but especially for those who find themselves with “unlikely” farming land, Falk is an inspiration in what can be done by imitating natural systems, and making the most of what we have by re-imagining what’s possible. A gorgeous case study for the homestead of the future.
The Bec Hellouin model for growing food, sequestering carbon, creating jobs, and increasing biodiversity without using fossil fuels When Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer set out to create their farm in an historic Normandy village, they had no idea just how much their lives would change. Neither one had ever farmed before. Charles had been circumnavigating the globe by sail, operating a floating school that taught students about ecology and indigenous cultures. Perrine had been an international lawyer in Japan. Each had returned to France to start a new life. Eventually, Perrine joined Charles in Normandy, and Le Ferme du Bec Hellouin was born. Bec Hellouin has since become a celebrated model of innovative, ecological agriculture in Europe, connected to national and international organizations addressing food security, heralded by celebrity chefs as well as the Slow Food movement, and featured in the inspiring César and COLCOA award-winning documentary film, Demain ("Tomorrow"). Miraculous Abundance is the eloquent tale of the couple’s evolution from creating a farm to sustain their family to delving into an experiment in how to grow the most food possible, in the most ecological way possible, and create a farm model that can carry us into a post-carbon future—when oil is no longer moving goods and services, energy is scarcer, and localization is a must. Today, the farm produces a variety of vegetables using a mix of permaculture, bio-intensive, four-season, and natural farming techniques--as well as techniques gleaned from native cultures around the world. It has some animals for eggs and milk, horses for farming, a welcome center, a farm store, a permaculture school, a bread oven for artisan breads, greenhouses, a cidery, and a forge. It has also become the site of research focusing on how small organic farms like theirs might confront Europe’s (and the world’s) projected food crisis. But in this honest and engaging account of the trials and joys of their uncompromising effort, readers meet two people who are farming the future as much as they are farming their land. They envision farms like theirs someday being the hub for a host of other businesses that can drive rural communities—from bread makers and grain millers to animal care givers and other tradespeople. Market farmers and home gardeners alike will find much in these pages, but so will those who’ve never picked up a hoe. The couple’s account of their quest to design an almost Edenlike farm, hone their practices, and find new ways to feed the world is an inspiring tale. It is also a love letter to a future in which people increasingly live in rural communities that rely on traditional skills, locally created and purveyed goods and services, renewable energy, and greater local governance, but are also connected to the larger world.
This is a practical guide to restoring damaged, unproductive land by constructing or restoring lakes and ponds to support abundant edible landscapes. It will explain why natural water management is at the centre of any earth restoration; how to design water retention areas that produce 'living' water; show you how to prevent and reverse desertification; how to prevent floods and soil erosion; dam building; growing and harvesting fish; creating economic as well as biological diversity and much more.

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