Recommended Permaculture Books

Permaculture Books we Recommend:

Gaia’s Garden

The quintessential beginner’s guide to Permaculture. Although other┬áPermaculture books might provide better details on Permaculture, there are none better than Toby Hemenway’s magnum opus for helping the newcomer to understand the basics. If you are not entirely certain how Permaculture might improve your life, or you are interested in learning more about the topic, start with this book.

Restoration Agriculture

Mark Shepard wrote this because he was tired of seeing Permaculture misrepresented as merely a gardening gimmick. In this book he writes about Permaculture on an agricultural scale. What stands out in my mind are the caloric comparisons between corn farming and multi-layered farming using his Permaculture design that mimics the Oak Savanna biome native to much of North America… Not to mention his brilliant use of marketing to improve and rebrand apathetic farming into what he refers to as the “Strategic Total and Utter Neglect” (S.T.U.N.) method for improving the genetics of the crops on his farm. If you are interested in running a farm east of the Rocky Mountains, consider reading this excellent book.

Early Retirement Extreme

Although some might not group this one in with other Permaculture books, this book made me look at money, finances, and life in a whole new light. This new framework allows us to seemlessly incorporate our personal finances and other aspects of our lives into an all-encompasing Permaculture design.

In this book Fisker offers a plan in which one can “retire” at any age in as little as 5 years. Sound too good to be true? Only if you are undisciplined… like us and most other people. There are very hard choices to make if you aim to meet this goal. However, even if you don’t intend to make these tough choices this book is worth reading for hundreds of eye-opening tid-bits on personal improvement, with emphasis in the finance department. Even though “retiring” may not be one of our five-year goals, we are using ideas from this book, and haven’t ruled out the possibility of an extremely early retirement.

The Hand-Sculpted House

I originally borrowed this from the library. After reading this through, I decided we needed to own this book before we began designing our next home. The Hand-Sculpted Housefocuses exclusively on the design and construction of cob houses, but there is so much information on designing the space that anyone thinking of building a new home can learn from it. If you plan to build your own home, do yourself the favor and read this book before you begin. Although our dream home may not be a fully cob structure like they build in the book, this book will have a huge impact on its design.

Paradise Lot

This book is a bit of an oddity on this list. It serves almost as an auto-biography of a garden and its two gardeners. A wonderful story, it may actually inspire our farm’s memoirs.

The Resilient Farm and Homestead

Mortgage Free

Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual

Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture

Pastured Poultry Profits

The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer


Permaculture Books on our Reading List:

The Lean Farm

Holistic Management

The Rocket Mass Heater Builder’s Guide

One Straw Revolution

Perennial Vegetables

The Market Gardener

Tree Crops, A Permanent Agriculture

Water Storage

Edible Forest Gardens, Volumes 1&2

Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal

Weeds And What They Tell (Us)

The $50 and Up Underground House Book

The Earth Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book

Introduction to Permaculture

The Basics of Permaculture Design

The Rebel Farmer

The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book

Salad Bar Beef

You Can Farm

Holy Cows and Hog Heaven

Getting Started In Permaculture: 50 Practical Projects to Build and Design Productive Gardens

Permaculture in a Nutshell

How to Make a Forest Garden

Create an Oasis with Greywater

Earth-Sheltered Houses

Farmers of Forty Centuries

The New Organic Grower