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Winter read-along book club for Permaculture: A Design Manual by Bill Mollison  RSS feed

 
Ann Torrence
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Anyone interested in a read-along discussion of this book, starting the first week in January?

I'm thinking that we read and discuss a chapter or two a week. Questions like "is this still true xx years later?" "how can I use this?" "what would Sepp/Geoff/Toby/whoever say about that?" I know I read with better attention when I have to say something cogent about it later.

I know it's expensive. It's a massive textbook, hardcover, printed in Australia. I got my copy as a birthday gift (thanks mom!). A small reward for another decade. By planning to start a month from now, you can a) reserve it from the library, b) drop hints to loved ones about a tasteful gift, c) buy a copy to write copious notes in, d) rent a copy from Amazon, or e) buy a copy and plan to sell it back, since the going used price is 1¢ less than the new price. In fact, instead of whinging about how expensive it is, you could buy a copy, take good care of it, sell it to someone else on Permies.com for $5 less than the original price, they could read and resell for a similar reduction, and then 20 people could read it for $5 each plus shipping. A lot of shipping. But effectively renting a $100 book for $5 plus shipping isn't bad. That would be an interesting experiment in free market economics, but I digress.

Winter in the northern hemisphere is a good time to undertake such a commitment. Things are relatively calm here on the farm until spring. Perhaps our antipodal friends will org up such a thing in their quiet season.

As Alder says in this thread,
Alder Burns wrote:Read this book, one time, cover to cover, and you will have achieved something that some of the people out there teaching....PDC's now.....and issuing certificates for the same.....have never done!!!


Who's in?

 
Jen Shrock
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For me, it would be good with this particular book because I am finding it a harder to read and hold my attention. There is a lot of great information in it that I want to read and understand. This would get me in gear and I would enjoy others input and interpretations too.
 
Ann Torrence
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Yay Jen!
 
Adam Klaus
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I like any excuse to read and re-read this wonderful text. So yes, I would be in.

To anybody debating the cost/value of this book, all I can say is that I debated it myself for years. Bought the cheap kindergarden version, bought lots of other less expensive books. Finally when I took the plunge and bought the master work, I had no doubt as to its value anymore. It is a truly genius work, worth every penny if you are serious about this stuff.
 
Miles Flansburg
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If I get it for christmas I will try to keep up with you all.
 
Matu Collins
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Brilliant! I've never been able to bring myself to buy it before but I just told my husband what I want for Christmas! I'm in.
 
Burra Maluca
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Well I think it's an awesome idea.

If there's enough interest I think we could even create a sub-forum to keep all the weekly threads in. What do you think?
 
Ann Torrence
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Happy to see there's some enthusiasm for digging into this tome. I teach photography to adult learners and I always remind them that they ARE allowed to write in their camera manuals, so maybe ask for some highlighters and sticky notes from Santa in your stocking.

I'm thinking to start a new thread per week/chapter. As for subforums, can we leave that to our august forum moderator to sweep us into the corner as he sees fit? With a few magical keystrokes, a Permies.com superpower can move them if/when it the threads need to be tucked away into a special corner somewhere.

(edited to add: Burra, I see you ARE a superpower. I bow to your wisdom in forum thread sorting.)
 
Burra Maluca
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Ann Torrence wrote: As for subforums, can we leave that to our august forum moderator to sweep us into the corner as he sees fit? With a few magical keystrokes, a Permies.com superpower can move them if/when it the threads need to be tucked away into a special corner somewhere.


Well the intention was more 'up on a pedestal' rather than 'swept into a corner'.

I was an Open University student, and I've been thoroughly trained in the use of highlighter pens to desecrate personalise books and make them 'your own'. It still grates a little with me, but I do see the advantage.
 
Burra Maluca
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I'll try to get an appropriate forum set up just before the new year starts.

Ann - do you want to be the one to start off a new thread each week? Or do you want a staff member to do it? I'm in a different time-zone to most of you so, assuming I don't forget, I could probably get each thread up and running earlier in the day. And what day should we start? First of January? I think that's a Wednesday...
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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I'll join you too - time (and vision bandwidth) permitting. I'll be teaching my first PDC starting in late Jan - so I may or may not follow true to the book as I may have burrow into the dryland stuff (which I've read repeatedly, but that book is DENSE) when the moment arrives. Still struggling with getting the basic intro stuff into a format that is appealing and engaging without being overly technical or pedantic.... I think I've hit on a combination of activities, "teaching" and setting the stage with some online vids and blogs... I've found that a lot the start of the PDC can drag if you don't watch out.

Love the idea of a separate thread for this!

You guys rock!
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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@Jen Shrock - it will be interesting to compare the manual with Geoff's class materials too! I am going over them again now to glean notes for my own PDC. I skimmed the manual during the class. This should be a fun way to explore it in more depth.

 
Ann Torrence
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Burra Maluca wrote:I'll try to get an appropriate forum set up just before the new year starts.

Ann - do you want to be the one to start off a new thread each week? Or do you want a staff member to do it? I'm in a different time-zone to most of you so, assuming I don't forget, I could probably get each thread up and running earlier in the day. And what day should we start? First of January? I think that's a Wednesday...


Burra, first one there wins I like redunancy in systems. Wednesday the 1st is as fine a day as any day to start. Let's do Chapter 1 and 2 in the first thread, as 1 is only 9 pages.

Jennifer, I need to get to the drylands stuff too, ASAP.
 
Burra Maluca
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Ann Torrence wrote:
Burra, first one there wins I like redunancy in systems. Wednesday the 1st is as fine a day as any day to start. Let's do Chapter 1 and 2 in the first thread, as 1 is only 9 pages.



Or, we start Chapter 1 on Wednesday, then, so as not to keep everyone waiting too long, Chapter 2 on, say, Sunday? Then every Sunday from then on. That way it will be easier for people who join in later, or come back to browse the threads in later months or years, to find the relevant bits? It might be a bit confusing for the first two chapters to be all jumbled up together.
 
Dawn Hoff
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I'm in - but don't know how much I'll participate online though - as we are moving to our homestead after Christmas and we don't have our solar panels yet, and only have a 3G connection away from the house
 
Nate Zitting
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This sounds like a great idea! I've owned the book for several years but have only launched half hearted attempts at it.
 
Jason LaVoy
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I'm interested, is there a way to get on a list so I don't forget about it?
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Perhaps the forum should be made now an a post started and interested people sign up there. When late Dec rolls around - a post will alert those of us who participate in the thread that this is about to start?? Or - just a reminder here on this thread that we're starting and directions to the forum? Thoughts?
 
Jim LaFrom
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Jason LaVoy wrote: I'm interested, is there a way to get on a list so I don't forget about it?

Jason once you reply to a thread you will get reminders every time someone else comments. Definitely a poke in the ribs.
 
April Chase
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I've had this book for awhile now and not made it all the way through...I think some discussion/motivation would be helpful. I'm in!
 
Burra Maluca
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Jason LaVoy wrote: I'm interested, is there a way to get on a list so I don't forget about it?


Might be safest to sign up to Paul's Daily-ish email and I'll get him to announce to the whole mailing list a couple of days before it starts.
 
Jessica Gorton
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I'd love to do this too! I got the book last year for Christmas, and though I've spent some time skipping through it, I would love to really dig in...
 
John Polk
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Since I'm the 6th staff member to post in this thread, it sounds like this will be welcomed idea.

Since I have quit accumulating new books, (pending a move early next year...they're heavy & bulky,) it looks as if I will have to make an exception. This sounds like a great idea. It will make the book interactive, allowing us to read a little, then discuss what we are learning with others, thus seeing variations based on different climates or other site specific parameters. Much like sitting in a class room, but with the ability to retrieve the discussion at any time convenient to each of us.

I agree that this should be in its own forum.
Keeps all of the discussion in one place, with less chance for somebody hijacking the thread with irrelevant discussions.



 
Alun Morgan
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I'm in! The PDM has been sitting beside my bed for a while now. I've read a couple of the most relevant chapters, but it's an easy book to get distracted from.

By the way I'm in SW Australia. Winter is our growing season! We've had a long cool wet spring, but now with the height and strength of the sun there is not much going on except watching to see what things wither in the shade!
 
Ann Torrence
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Burra Maluca wrote:Or, we start Chapter 1 on Wednesday, then, so as not to keep everyone waiting too long, Chapter 2 on, say, Sunday? Then every Sunday from then on. That way it will be easier for people who join in later, or come back to browse the threads in later months or years, to find the relevant bits? It might be a bit confusing for the first two chapters to be all jumbled up together.


Burra, that sounds great, short week for a short chapter, then start into the meat of the thing. That way everyone who gets back from holidays can get caught up by Sunday. And the dailyish email sounds awesome too. You are a superpower

John Polk wrote:Since I have quit accumulating new books, (pending a move early next year...they're heavy & bulky,) it looks as if I will have to make an exception. This sounds like a great idea. It will make the book interactive, allowing us to read a little, then discuss what we are learning with others, thus seeing variations based on different climates or other site specific parameters. Much like sitting in a class room, but with the ability to retrieve the discussion at any time convenient to each of us.


John, exactly what I am looking for too! And I hear you on the weight of paper. This one's like dragging a old-school phonebook around.
 
Todd Rogers
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I joined the forum specifically to take part in the book discussion. I'm definitely looking forward to it!
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Hey Todd - Welcome to Permies!
 
Sam Ms
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I also just joined the forum for this read-along! I'm taking a permaculture class now, but can use the review and discussion! : )
 
Ann Torrence
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Alun Morgan wrote:I'm in! The PDM has been sitting beside my bed for a while now. I've read a couple of the most relevant chapters, but it's an easy book to get distracted from.

By the way I'm in SW Australia. Winter is our growing season! We've had a long cool wet spring, but now with the height and strength of the sun there is not much going on except watching to see what things wither in the shade!


Alun,

I've been to Perth in your early spring (Sept 1). Can't imagine how hot it must be now. Lovely. Margaret River is what California could have been if we hadn't wrecked it with roads.
 
Trista Teeter
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I have been re-checking this book out from the library over the past few months because it's just SO much information. A discussion would be wonderful!! Thanks for getting it going!
 
Linda Ford
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I had borrowed this book a few months ago. I will have to tell my friend that I'm going to keep it a while more.
This is a great idea.
 
Miles Flansburg
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Nice to see a thread that has attracted so many new folks. Welcome to you all!!
 
Jessie Anderson
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Yes Please !
Our family of 3 are up for this during the winter months ....... exciting way to learn together, cozy on the couch by the wood stove. Will order our copy today Happy to connect with folks as we learn to grow food.
Thanks & Greetings to all
 
Alun Morgan
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Ann Torrence said:
I've been to Perth in your early spring (Sept 1). Can't imagine how hot it must be now. Lovely. Margaret River is what California could have been if we hadn't wrecked it with roads.

California's definitely a climate analogue in parts, west coast desert with deep alkaline sands, what forest was here has been cut down and replaced with concrete and irrigation. We're about to get our first really hot spell this year, with easterly winds coming in off the desert. Temps predicted the same as my daughters body temp, and she's got a higher fever at the moment! Torrey sounds fantastic...
 
Emily Aaston
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Yes! I'm in! I had been planning to buy the book this month anyway and try to get through it over the winter, but now that there is a reading group it is even more motivating and will be more fun! Thank you for coming up with the idea!
 
Lucas Harrison-Zdenek
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Burra Maluca wrote:
Or, we start Chapter 1 on Wednesday, then, so as not to keep everyone waiting too long, Chapter 2 on, say, Sunday? Then every Sunday from then on. That way it will be easier for people who join in later, or come back to browse the threads in later months or years, to find the relevant bits? It might be a bit confusing for the first two chapters to be all jumbled up together.


So does this mean a new chapter every WEEK?

I'm very much into this idea as well. I just finished a PDC with geoff lawton this summer and we covered almost the entire manual. It was the first time in the one year that I've owned it that I actually read huge chunks of it. I've burned through the Intro text and Permaculture One, as well as many smaller manuals like gaia's garden and Earth User's Guide, but to actually read the basis for all permaculture design would be enlightening!

John Polk wrote:Since I have quit accumulating new books, (pending a move early next year...they're heavy & bulky,)


Think of carrying this book around with you like digging a swale by hand! Totally worth the effort!

Now I can't wait for the new year to begin! Thanks everyone!
 
James Graham
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Yesterday, I thought this would be great to review this book with input from many others.
I walked into a book store and asked the girl behind the counter to order it. She said try the used books first.
What are the chances? Well, I walked out with a used one for $8.50. The back cover is worn out but for less than 10 bucks, can't beat that!
 
Lucas Harrison-Zdenek
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I believe I got mine on Amazon.com used for about $87. I am definitely going to check the 3 or 4 used book stores in my town now though! That's awesome! If I find any for cheap, I'll post it here and sell them.
 
Ann Torrence
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Lucas Harrison-Zdenek wrote:So does this mean a new chapter every WEEK?

Yep, one a week. Keep the momentum going and try and get done before spring when things start to crank up on the land.

James Graham wrote:Well, I walked out with a used one for $8.50.

Score!
 
Mariamne Ingalls
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I'm in! Great idea -- thanks!
 
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