Mollison/Permaculture Books in Charlotte?

cjmones(7 Clt, NC)June 8, 2009

Is anyone in Charlotte studying permaculture for their own yards? I'd be interested in knowing what local resources you're using.

I'm also looking for Bill Mollison's book "Permaculture: A Designer's Manual". The library has a copy and I have a request in but its description is "non float". I need it to float to me :)

I have a request in to get a copy of "Gaia's Garden" which is frequently partnered with Mollison's books in courses on permaculture.

There's also a distance-learning course in permaculture taught through NC State (Will Hooker is teaching and I heard he is wonderful.) I am looking at the Fall 2009 class and was wondering if anyone else in Charlotte would be interested.



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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

Don't make us Google. Tell us a little bit about permaculture, what it is and how it's accomplished.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 11:33PM
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Claire Pickett

Caroline... "Seeds of Change" has books on permaculture. But, I'm like you, the library is always a better source.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 12:20PM
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cjmones(7 Clt, NC)

Please follow the link below for more professional information since I may accidentally make this sound lame and disjointed. It's only because I am as yet uneducated. My sister with the Masters in Horticulture from NC State insists that I take Will Hooker's class. She loved it.

Permaculture ("permanent" + "culture" or "permanent" + "agriculture") is a design philosophy developed by Bill Mollison in the 1970's. It basically teaches you to use nature's principles as your own as you build your home and structures, design your landscape, think about water and energy.

The point is sustainability focusing on intensive small-scale food production by developing the natural relationships between plants and animals. I am really interested in the landscaping principles since I'm in The American Suburb. Right now, the land is what I can control most.

Permaculture principles that I need to learn about are things like "food forests" where you layer different plants as you would find them in nature. Canopy, low tree layer (like dwarf fruits), shrubs, herbaceous plants, root crops, cover crops, and climbers/vines. I don't know yet what that means for me who lives on the edge of real woods and just figures I'll do straight-up raised beds. I want to know more.

There's also a principle of "everything must have at least two uses". One example is housing your chickens in a chicken tractor so you can position them under your grape arbor. You shake down your vines, the beetles drop into the tractor. You save your grapes, you feed your chickens... Since I don't have chickens (yet!...), I want to see what else I might dual-purpose. I'm itching to build my arbor.

Another observation/principle is that there is no waste in nature. Everything has a purpose and returns to the earth somehow. One man's apple core is another worm's dinner. That kind of thing. We all know composting is good, right? One of the desired results of permaculture is efficiency.

There's much more that I don't know about. You might be able to tell that I haven't gotten my hands on the books yet but I do want to learn before I commit to my backyard landscape design. That's why I want cohorts in Charlotte :)

This is the link to the course description at NC State.

Here is a link that might be useful: Permaculture

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 8:20PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

Sounds very interesting and had I more land and less restrictions (better yet, no restrictions) I'd hop in the car and go with you to the class.
I hope you'll keep us posted on what you learn because while many, like me, live in neighborhoods with lots of rules, others like Triangle John have or will soon have acreage (and chickens) and would benefit from your posts.
Come back soon and share the knowledge.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 8:43PM
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you might consider getting a permaculture design certificate. it is usually a two week long intensive course but is sometimes broken up into weekends. it usually costs from between $1000-$1500. just google "permaculture pdc 2009 north carolina" or variations thereof. there might be PDCs in neighboring states as well. i'm doing mine starting this weekend (in california)!

toby hemenway's gaia's garden is fantastic, just finished reading it. make sure to get the second edition which just came out. it's worth the $ to buy it IMO as it is also a great reference and you'll want to go back to it often. you might also check out rosemary morrow's book as a good complement. the mollison books are very pricey and hard to get hold of. the hemenway book has a great bibliography of other books you might want to get hold of.

there are some great videos on food forests by geoff lawton. look for them on google video. if you are lucky you can dig up the full length one or sizable chunks of it. he's great. there is also lots to see on youtube & google video on permaculture in general.

good luck, permaculture is a beautiful thing

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 2:38AM
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cjmones(7 Clt, NC)

Thanks for the suggestions!

Unfortunately I am strictly a hobbyist and a stay-at-home mom so my disposable income is limited. I'm afraid I have to be self-taught right now. It's on my list of things for someday, though. I think just the Hooker class at NC State would run about $500 including the Mollison and Hemenway books.

I'll buy Gaia's Garden as you proposed because of its high recommendation. The library still hasn't gotten it on reserve for me.

I'll look for the videos too! Great leads! Good luck with your certification and thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 1:51PM
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