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Permaculture for the Rest of Us (PDF)
Abundant Living on Less than an Acre
Many of us want to increase our self-sufficiency, but few have access to the ideal 5 sunny, gently-sloping acres of rich, loamy, well-drained soil. Jenni Blackmore presents a highly entertaining, personal account of how permaculture can be practiced in adverse conditions, allowing anyone to learn to live more sustainably in a less-than-perfect world. With a rallying cry of "If we can do it, you can too," she distills the wisdom of 20 years of trial and error into a valuable teaching tool.
The perfect antidote to dense, high-level technical manuals, Permaculture for the Rest of Us presents the fundamental principles of this sometimes confusing concept in a humorous, reader-friendly way. Each chapter focuses on a specific method or technique, interspersing straightforward explanations with the author's own experiences. Learn how to successfully retrofit even the smallest homestead using skills such as:
- No-till vs. till gardening, composting and soil-building
- Natural pest control and integrating small livestock
- Basic greenhouse construction
- Harvesting, preservation and more.
Ideal for urban dreamers, suburbanites and country-dwellers alike, this inspirational and instructional "encouragement manual" is packed with vibrant photographs documenting the author's journey from adversity to abundance.
Jenni Blackmore is an artist, writer, micro-farmer, and certified Permaculture Design Consultant. Passionate about all things "food," she's an ardent supporter of holistic food production who strives to grow most of her own vegetables. Her most recent book, Permaculture for the Rest of Us, follows her journey from industrial Manchester to a sustainable island homestead in Nova Scotia. When she isn't painting, writing, or tending to the various feathered residents of her QuackaDoodle Permaculture Farm, Jenni likes to slip her kayak into the waves or take her bike for a spin along the trail.
"Permaculture is personal journey to a more sustainable, earth regenerating lifestyle. In Permaculture for the Rest of Us, Jenni Blackmore skillfully weaves a thorough explanation of permaculture principles and practices into her own story of returning to the land. With wit and charm she draws on her experiences homesteading in a challenging climate. She deftly illustrates how she and her family have truly created abundance while embracing the natural world around them. The result is a wealth of information, advice and inspiration."
Darrell Frey, Author of Bioshelter Market Garden: A Permaculture Farm
"Self-reliance is a choice today, and a difficult one, but it won't be a choice in the future. Jenni Blackmore writes with heart about her family's crawl toward living in harmony with nature. Sharing her hard-won lessons in permaculture with verve and intimate warmth, the author reveals the human side of building a new way of life: food, seeds, animals, weather and setbacks. Genuine, pithy, and filled with practical tips to encourage and guide the reader, the book also expands our knowledge of coastal ecosystems."
Peter Bane, author, The Permaculture Handbook: Garden Farming for Town and Country and publisher, Permaculture Activist magazine
"A welcome breath of fresh air, Jenni Blackmore's Permaculture for the Rest of Us is exactly what the title suggests: an enthusiastic, user-friendly guide to ecologically sensitive homesteading, using permaculture principles, for those who don't happen to have the money and opportunity to buy five or ten acres of perfect farmland. For those who want to grow their own food without pesticides or the other problematic features of industrial agriculture — and these days, it's hard to think of a more useful step toward personal sustainability — this is an excellent guide."
John Michael Greer, author, Green Wizardry: Conservation, Solar Power, Organic Gardening, and Other Hands-On Skills from the Appropriate Tech Toolkit
"As Canadians change their approach to the garden, Jenni Blackmore is leading the way. It is not that nature has changed but our attitude towards her is. Blackmore shows us how to embrace the lead that nature provides us with, in an approach that is as much storytelling as it is a guide to self-sufficiency. I am not sure if this book is more useful in the magazine rack, next to the almanac where I can pick it up and gather some nuggets of knowledge that will make me a better gardener, or next to my fat, cushioned reading chair where I enjoy a good story. We need a special category for this book."
Mark Cullen, markcullen.com
"For most, permaculture can seem like a complex philosophy too daunting to make part of our everyday reality. In Permaculture for the Rest of Us, Jenni Blackmore masterfully distills the concepts and principles of permaculture in such a way that the reader is convinced to put theory into practice. Both optimistic and realistic, Permaculture for the Rest of Us is a rare combination that provides both the how and why of creating a simpler life while fostering a deeper connection with nature, with the Earth, and with each other."
Av Singh, Just Us! Centre for Small Farms
Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate
Design and Build a Low-Cost, Passive Solar Greenhouse
High-Production Methods for Small-Scale Farmers
Living Well with Heritage Chickens, Turkeys and Ducks
A visual guide to a profitable whole-systems farm business