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The Earth Care Manual by Patrick Whitefield a permaculture handbook for Britain and other temperate climates, 480pp large format, £39.95.
This is the complete permaculture book, bursting with useful information, photos, diagrams, tables and plant lists. It’s the first major permaculture book from outside Australia, written specifically for British conditions and highly relevant for other temperate countries.
“It contains all the information that I wish we had time for on the 72-hour Design Course,” says Patrick. “While the courses give you the experience of permaculture, the book gives you the details you need to put it into action.”
It covers the principles of permaculture and it’s practical application in: building, gardening, orchards, farming, woodland, wildlife and water supply and purification. There are also two chapters on the methods of permaculture design.
“Just occasionally a book is published that fully justifies its title and can even change the reader’s perspective on life. This is one of those rare and inspiring landmark events. A visionary, yet practical book offering the skills for a lifestyle that is kind to the environment. This is a big book in every respect, a pleasure to handle and explore, and deserves a wide celebration.” – The Garden, journal of the Royal Horticultural Society.
Food From Your Forest Garden, by Caroline Aitken and Martin Crawford, £19.99
How do you cook heartnuts, hawthorn fruits or hostas? What’s the best way to preserve autumn olives or to dry chestnuts? Forest gardening – a novel way of growing edible crops in different vertical layers – is attracting increasing interest, for gardens large or small. But when it comes to harvest time, how do you make the most of the produce?
How to Read the Landscape by Patrick Whitefield. £16.95 An abridged field guide of his previous book The Living Landscape
This book is like going for a walk with Patrick through the heart of the countryside. Everywhere he goes he notices fascinating examples of the interactions which go to make up the living landscape, and explains them in his clear and accessible way or draws a quick sketch to illustrate the point.
The book looks at what you can expect to find in woods, grassland, heath, moor, wetland, hedgerows and waysides and explains how the blend of natural forces and human action creates the landscape we see around us. You will learn see your surrounding in a way you’ve never seen them before. The Living Landscape shows how everything we see is a product of the unending dance between the rocks beneath us, the thin layer of soil, the local climate, the plants and animals which inhabit the land and the people who have forged it into their own habitat.
The result of a lifetime spent in the countryside and twenty years of deliberate observation and note taking, the book reveals Patrick’s passion for the subject as well as his deep knowledge of it. The text is interspersed with line drawings and extracts from his notebooks, illustrating the various themes of the book with examples from all over Britain. There are also colour photos of many different landscapes.
It’s both a permaculture book and one for pure enjoyment. Reading and understanding the landscape is a vital part of permaculture design – we can only design sustainable landscapes if we understand what it already there. It’s also great fun. Walks in the country will never be the same after reading this book. You will notice so much more.
How to Make a Forest Garden, 160pp large format, £16.95.
Fruit trees, soft fruit and perennial vegetables together go to make up a forest garden, on the model of a natural woodland. It’s the most ecologically friendly way to grow food.This book is a compete practical guide, with details of how to choose plants, design the garden and maintain it. There are pictures of many forest gardens and a detailed example design. There are details of over a hundred different plants, including both fruits and perennial and self-seeding vegetables.
“Patrick Whitefield’s excellent book gives numerous practical details of the steps that many of us can take to realise this alluring vision.” Robert Hart.
Permaculture in a Nutshell, 64pp, £5.95. Completely updated new edition! This is a concise, readable introduction to permaculture. It explains just what permaculture is and is full of examples of how it can be applied in both town and country. It’s a good book to get you started, or if you already know about permaculture it makes a handy gift to friends and family members who haven’t yet had the pleasure.