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The Resilient Farm and Homestead: An Innovative Permaculture and Whole Systems Design Approach [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Ben Falk , Cornelius Murphy

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The Resilient Farm and Homestead A manual for developing durable, beautiful, and highly functional human habitat systems fit to handle an age of rapid transition, written by a land designer and site developer whose permaculture-research farm has drawn national attention. Full description


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93 von 95 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The best permaculture book to start with 8. Juni 2013
Von N. Anderson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
The title really says it all. For those unfamiliar with the concept, permaculture, as defined in this work, is "applied disturbance ecology". The fundamental idea being that working with the land allows an optimized native ecosystem which is productive, supports life, and requires minimal maintenance. The term was first proposed by Bill Mollison and Dave Holmgren and first published in book form in Permaculture One: A Perennial Agricultural System for Human Settlements, and more extensively fleshed out in Permaculture: A Designers' Manual, but these are the kinds of works which beg for explanation. They are full of practical advice, plans and drawings for homestead design, water usage, and crop selection, but for all their visionary qualities, Mollison and Holmgren are not as organized or easy to follow as many would like. Additionally, the practical examples, with before and after pictures, and case studies demonstrating effectiveness are minimal in those works. This, I think, is the reason for the explosion of works like Shephard's Restoration Agriculture, and Hemenway's Gaia's Garden. This work is very much in the same tradition, but I liked it better than either of those.
The first chapter is a "why permaculture?" discussion. It hits the high points of Mollison's idea, and though it doesn't say much you won't find elsewhere, it is clearly written and provides a solid foundation to the rest of the book. The second chapter discusses the design process, how to go about planning the transformation of a plot of land into a permacultured homestead. In this, it summarizes prior works, but does so every bit as extensively as the one dedicated work I've read on the subject: Permaculture Design: A Step-by-Step Guide. You do not need that book if you have this one. Chapter three is a summary of earth works and water planning, and while not as extensive as Yeoman's Water For Every Farm, it explains well enough that you could forgo that in the short term. It does not discuss contour plowing as extensively as Mark Shephard or Yeoman does. But it will give you the basic ideas behind the process. Chapter four discusses recycling of fertility, composting, and the how to use the cycle of decay and regeneration to benefit every living thing on your homestead. Chapter five discusses food crops, which centers around perennial crops and how to integrate grazing animals, poultry, and plant life to generate yields greater than the sum of the parts. Here again the discussion and the examples are better than in Restoration Agriculture, though some of the choices are tailored specifically to the northern temperate climate of Vermont. Enthusiasts in other climes will need to look elsewhere for specific choices. Intriguingly, the staple crop Mr. Falk grows is rice, and there is some good discussion of why this crop. Certainly unique in American agriculture, which has been solidly dominated by wheat and corn, but probably not as useful to permaculturists in more arid areas. Chapter six discusses fuel, and why wood burning, coupled with energy efficient housing design, is the most ecologically sound choice for a homestead. He also discusses building design, including how to plan for passive water conservation and use. Chapter seven is a "putting it all together" discussion. These chapters are followed with appendixes of tool lists, checklists, and design outlines.
Overall, probably the best introduction to the topic, in a practical sense with examples, that I have read. While the details are specific to his location, it could not be otherwise, and for homesteaders in that climate, it will be even more useful. For those in the Midwest, the practical examples in Restoration Agriculture will be better, but that work is not as clear, nor as good on topics outside crop selection and planting as this one is. Additionally, while details of some aspects of sustainable living are glossed over here, it does not purport to be a self-contained manual to every aspect. For those interested in this topic for the first time, I would recommend this work, followed by Introduction to Permaculture as a starting point. You probably don't need much else if you have imagination, helpful neighbors, some understanding of local ecology, and a desire to experiment. For those already widely read on the subject, this is a solid addition to a permaculture library, demonstrating the feasibility and success of these principles in well photographed detail. Highly recommended.
39 von 40 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Incredible resource! 6 stars out of 5. 20. August 2013
Von Cindy Lynn Anderson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
I've been gardening, homesteading, medium scale farming/ranching in three states (MO, northern CA & NM) and five properties in the past nearly 50 years, have an extensive library, subscribe to several excellent relevant publications, am constantly learning and expanding my skills & horizons. This is, hands down, one of the best, most comprehensive and HELPFUL books of which I am aware. Yes, I have and love resources from John Seymour, Gene Logsdon, Sepp Holzer, Joel Salatin, a HUGE amount of permaculture texts, gardening, homesteading, grass farming, sustainability, etc., WHICH ARE IMMEASURABLY VALUABLE, but this is right up there with the best. I enthusiastically echo several other excellent reviews, but cannot understand the scathingly negative ones. For my purposes, Ben has written a wonderfully refreshing blend of PRACTICAL and possible permaculture homesteading book from his PERSONAL experience. I've plenty of books gathering dust telling me what to do and what should work...but not many willing to admit when it doesn't (particularly the permaculture books). It is concise despite covering an impressive array of material. Not everything that "experienced" old-timers do works equally well in all situations and I appreciate the author's honest reporting of what is or is not working historically and currently on his particular property at various stages of its development/reclamation. It often takes several years of working with a property to get a feel for what it wants and needs in terms of plants, animals, water, amendments...especially if one's experience is with vastly divergent enterprises and climatic challenges. Regardless of what we know (or think we know), one can always learn from others' successes, mistakes, ideas, experience. While most of the charts & graphs were not helpful for my personal learning styles, no doubt other folks loved them. He wisely presented the material in various formats to reach the widest audience. I appreciate Ben's willingess to share their project journey thus far and look forward to his subsequent reports...books.
30 von 32 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Mind blowing! 2. Juli 2013
Von L. Buck - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
I am not quite finished with this book. In fact, I keep re-reading the first few chapters. I have several permaculture books, but for some reason this one is combining the theoretical and philosophical with the 'nuts and bolts' in a way that is clear and, most importantly, encouraging and inspiring for ME, on MY property. I have been carrying this book with me everywhere and reading it in digestible bits (there is a LOT there). Mean while, I find I am seeing the world around me in new ways. This book is transforming me from a person who only sits on the couch and reads good books, to a person who is out there actually creating what the books inspire me to dream.

P.S. Everyone in America should read the chapter on systems principles: I have even been applying the ideas to my work place and housework schedule to make the function more appropriately! Not what the author intended, I am sure, but it does speak volumes about applicable nature of the ideas presented.
19 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Hits on All Levels! 5. Juli 2013
Von V. Guadagno - Veröffentlicht auf
I love this book! It demonstrates how to be part of the global solution by taking personal responsibility. Presented as a case study, it details how a beat-up hillside farm was transformed into an inspired example of appropriate, resilient farming, and provides information to get you started.

This is a great resource for personal action with global relevance. The best part of this book is that it starts with tangible information associated with an actual case study. From there it expands well beyond to include personal mindset/motivation and broad global challenges. It doesn't avoid the big issues of climate change and peaking resources, but since it starts with practical experience, it offers solutions rather than daunting challenges. It provides specific information including tools you will need, skills you should develop, personal empowerment strategies and easy to comprehend design techniques.

And the photography is incredible! The practices and design strategies are accompanied by hundreds of beautiful photographs of the farm's evolution. These combined with descriptive graphics and charted methods make this an invaluable how-to guide, as well as a reference for the global picture. This book does a great job explaining how living systems need evolving strategies and presents how to adjust design and maintenance as a system matures. The only down side, is you will find yourself out of excuses for not participating in solutions - solutions for your home, community and the planet! It will turn the passive observer into an active participant.
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Surprisingly Literate and Perceptive from One so Young. 20. Oktober 2013
Von Ron Shook - Veröffentlicht auf
The Resilient Farm and Homestead: An Innovative Permaculture and Whole Systems Design Approach:

I was introduced to Ben Falk from a Jack Spirko interview. Intrigued by the interview, little did I know that reading this book would take me to worlds that the interview didn't touch on. I checked it out of the library which is fine for most books. I'll have to purchase this book for the reams and realms of detail that I'll never remember. This isn't a "how to" book as much as it is bible for designing for and restoring beat up, degraded land in a cold temperate climate although the design principles are applicable anywhere. It is also a book about a life worth living that adapts to the terrain and space that you live in and fits into, even enhances that space. It all happens through the interconnectedness of a natural world eons in the making, through permaculture, from permanent culture.

It is a story of the laws and reality of nature on a ten acre patch of used up land in hilly Vermont, utilizing the designs of men and women who can, if they do so with care and knowledge, make these laws work better than nature left to its own devices, delivering abundance to both human animals and rescuing biodiverse nature. Sounds intimate and near impossible, doesn't it? But it's working. Woven throughout this superb book is a big picture understanding that just is, and is little filtered through the ideology, politics and economics that divide us today. Ben Falk is the real deal, a startling 30 something blend of Wendell Berry, Bill Mollison and Joel Salatin.

You don't have to be looking to or be dreaming about farming or homesteading to gain from reading and studying this book. Coming out of and brutalized by an intense period of exploitation without care of human, animal, vegetation and watery/soily nature, just the hope alone is worth the read. Things to exploit are winding down and kicking back. It's time for something different!
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