Try an introductory course. It takes no more than a weekend, is not expensive (usually with special rates for the unwaged) and will introduce you to a network of new contacts. Many countries have Permaculture Associations, with local links to courses, projects, resources and events. The Permaculture Association and Permaculture Magazine in Britain have provided an international networking service between them for 15 years and are useful wherever you happen to live.
International Permaculture International Limited www.permacultureinternational.org
Australia The Permaculture Research Institute of Australia www.permaculture.org.au
Britain The Permaculture Association www.permaculture.org.uk
Canada Vancouver Permaculture Network www.alternatives.com/vpn
Ireland Irish Permaculture Worknet c/o Training Workshops in Horticulture, College Orchards Church Avenue, Drumcondra, Dublin 9
Japan Permaculture Centre of Japan www.pccj.net
New Zealand/Aotearoa Permaculture in NZ www.permaculture.org.nz
United States The Permaculture Institute www.permaculture.org
Worth reading on permaculture...
Books The books of Bill Mollison, though sometimes dense, can also be eloquent and inspiring. Try the relatively short Introduction to Permaculture (with Reny Mias Slay, Ten Speed, Australia, 1997). David Holmgren’s increasingly influential Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability (Holmgren Design Services, Hepborn, Australia, 2003) updates the debates and looks to wider applications and current issues, like ‘peak oil’. For me, the best written and most useful books about permaculture (in Britain, though quite possibly elsewhere too) have been by Patrick Whitefield, Permaculture in a Nutshell, followed by The Earth Care Manual (both from Permanent Publications, East Meon, Britain). The first is encouraging, the second weighty and expensive, but indispensable when you actually get stuck in.
Internet To get some idea of what’s brewing worldwide, it’s worth browsing www.permacultureactivist.net. It gives you a ‘Planetary Permaculture Directory’ with hundreds of links, particularly in the Majority World.
This first appeared in our award-winning magazine - to read more, subscribe from just £7