Whitefield Permaculture

Whitefield Permaculture

"Permaculture means learning from nature. The aim is to make our lives more sustainable and more productive while reducing the work and energy required. We do this by taking nature as the model for designing our own houses, gardens, farms, woodlands, towns & villages."

Permaculture Courses

Each year we teach a variety of permaculture courses at different venues and events around the country. The courses listed below happen at around the same time each year, just click on the headings to learn more about them.

Shift Bristol Practical Sustainability Course

Each year I head to Bristol to teach the Soil module of Shift Bristol’s Practical Sustainability Course. The course is a veritable cornucopia of all things sustainable from a foundation in Ecology and Soil, to...
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Schumacher Sustainable Horticulture Residency

Each year I teach Permaculture design to the horticulture students at the renowned Schumacher College in Dartington. The course is a 6 month practical residency in Sustainable Horticulture practices, which guides students through the growing...
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Filling the Hungry Gap

This is the time of year when vegetable gardeners grumble about the ‘hungry gap’. A problem for annual vegetable growers, this is the spring period... Read More "Filling the Hungry Gap"

Soil Fertility Factors

The fertility of soil is not just down to the presence of certain mineral nutrients; the soils ability to support the abundant and healthy growth... Read More "Soil Fertility Factors"

Permaculture Design – Thinking Like an Ecosystem

Permaculture is often difficult to define as it is not so much A Thing, as a way of thinking. It is in essence an ecological... Read More "Permaculture Design – Thinking Like an Ecosystem"

Permaculture Gardening – Edible Ecosytems

Most people interested in practicing permaculture are doing so in a domestic situation – a house or apartment with a garden or in a community... Read More "Permaculture Gardening – Edible Ecosytems"


To order a book please click on a book title or image.

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?

 81o2VQmzRZL._SL1500_From bamboo shoots and beech leaves to medlars and mashua, Food from your Forest Garden offers creative and imaginative ways to enjoy the crops from your forest garden. It provides cooking advice and recipe suggestions, with notes on every species in the bestselling Creating a Forest Garden by Martin Crawford. The book includes:
 –   Over 100 recipes for over 50 different species, presented by season,    plus raw food options.
 –   Information on the plants’ nutritional value, with advice on harvesting and processing.
 –   Chapters on preserving methods, from traditional preserves such as jams to ferments and fruit leathers.
 With beautiful colour photographs of plants and recipes, this book is an invaluable resource for making the most of your forest garden – and an inspiration for anyone thinking of growing and using forest garden crops.

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.