Learning from the Leaders



As you can see, I have some reading ahead of me.  Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual is the bible for the Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) and part of the course assessment is a multiple choice exam based on this book.  If you are not aware, Bill Mollison coined the term “permaculture” and developed the concept with his student, David Holmgren, in the late 1970s in Tasmania.  It gives me a sense of pride that Australia can have such an influence on the world stage in such an overwhelmingly positive manner.

Another Australian, Rosemary Morrow is a leading authority in permaculture and has implemented permaculture in diverse and challenging environments internationally for nearly 40 years.  She is still teaching permaculture and contributing to the community, as you can see from her profiles on Retrofitting Your Home and Milkwood Permaculture, and her book Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture is frequently mentioned in the lectures as a highly-respected resource. 

From across the pond, American Toby Hemenway studied and worked across the US in biotechnology and then was inspired to change his career by permaculture, developing a permaculture site with his wife in southern Oregon.  His book Gaia’s Garden is the best-selling permaculture book in the world for the last 7 years, and his permaculture work is ongoing.


Photo credit: http://www.patternliteracy.com/biography-for-toby-hemenway

I also have the following on my wishlist:

  • Teaming with Microbes by Jeff Lowenfels,
  • Permaculture by David Holmgren,
  • The One Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka,
  • Perennial Vegetables by Eric Toensmeier,
  • Edible Forest Gardens by Dave Jacke,
  • The Empowerment Manual by Starhawk,
  • Permaculture in a Nutshell by Patrick Whitefield, and
  • Permaculture Design by Aranya

What about you?  Have you read any of these?  What did you think?  Are there any others that you would add as a must-read?



4 thoughts on “Learning from the Leaders

  1. Hi there, I loved doing the PDC, I’m now starting out on my diploma. Great book list… How about Looby Macnamara’s People and Permaculture, which looks at non land-based designs. It’s a UK book.


    • Hi Lucy, I’m pleased you found me! I’ll keep an eye out for your blog too 🙂 It sounds like there is quite a process for permaculture education and that a PDC is a starting point for a lot of people. Everything I learn inspires me to keep learning and discover more, and makes me think that this knowledge needs to be shared more widely. Thanks for the feedback on the book list! Great tip for another to add to the list 🙂 I’ve found it on the book depository but currently unavailable. It definitely sounds interesting and that it would be an important additional to social permaculture.


  2. Hello, i was going to recommend Looby’s book too. It gives an interesting new perspective on how to use permaculture beyond just gardens. You can get it from Permanent publications. Aranya’s book is very clear and a good straightforward starting point. I loved Gaia’s garden. x


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