I have received my library copy of Permaculture: A Designer's Manual, and it solidified in me a creeping worry. Several of you have mentioned being beginners, and wanting to learn how to grow food. At it's purest (and the manual is it's purest, for sure) permaculture is not about how to grow food, it is entirely about how to design a piece of land. Growing food is one of the goals, but not the focus of the knowledge. There are lots of other knowledge sets which deal with how to grow food, the hole that Mollison wanted to fill was function design
using earth science principles.
Now that I have looked at the manual, I am concerned that beginners might feel disappointed. It is nearly completely theory, and sometimes quite technical. I myself don't mind at all sharing company with beginners, I love a well rounded group, and maybe you are a beginner who loves theory. But I am just thinking that if you want to learn the basics of growing food using a permaculture style, Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway might suit you much better. It's a wonderful beginner's guide and it's considerably cheaper!!! Perhaps there could be two seperate groups, one for Gaia's Garden, and one for the Mollison's manual....? [editor's note: I have indeed started a beginner's group, here http://www.homegrown.org/group/perma-curious-beginner-s-group
If in doubt about which group is right for you, check out that free access archive of the designer's manual at http://archive.org/details/PermacultureADesignersManual_306
Now, after that cautionary tale, I should say that I myself am even more excited! I was looking for dense, and this book is dense! It is a textbook, like earthscience for farmers. After hearing his lectures I was worried that the book would be wandery and full of barely related stories. Not at all! It is very to the point, and laid out extremely coherently.
I have limited myself to just the very first few pages, since I really do want to read along with y'all and have things current in my mind when we discuss, but so far I love his style. It's like wooey earth worship for absolute type-A, science minded folk, with a sharp sense of wit. Awesome.
Now, a few details on this group
-- I know it has only been a few days, and many people are not able to spend time online every day, which I WELL understand. But if you are still interested in joining in, please leave a comment on the introductions page telling us about yourself. Otherwise I will have to assume that you have changed your mind.
Also, if you are still on board, please make sure you are 'following' us. It's not very self explanatory, so here's a link to the actual discussion page
Once you are there, there is a little envelope symbol at the bottom.
You might also need to go into your settings and make sure you have the 'email me when there is activity in my groups' turned on (it's at the bottom of the email settings page)
Alright, enjoy your weekend!