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Does Anyone Study from the Designers' Manual?  RSS feed

 
                      
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Location: Tejas
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Does anyone study from the Mollison Manual and if so,  what helps
them along?  Obviously, there is no Cliffs Notes.  Not that I would want
to use something like that anyway but I was just curious.  I also
have the Holmgren P&P Beyond Sustainability.  Perhaps some
words of advice?  I took the PDC over the Summer and want
to delve deeper in my new found philosophy

Thanks!

Weeza
 
                    
Posts: 9
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Hey Weeza!  One quick question, where do you live?
 
                      
Posts: 14
Location: Tejas
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I live near Dallas/Ft. Worth Texas.
 
                    
Posts: 9
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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The Designer's Manual is a good starting place to get some ideas of how to start thinking about your space. To get into more specific techniques I would recommend finding resources specific to your climatic situation and specific site characteristics.

For example, I am in Pittsburgh, PA and find that Gaia's Garden (Hemenway) and Edible Forest Gardens (Jacke) are good references for our area. And there are more obscure things like Terrestrial & Palustrine Plant Communities of Pennsylvania.

If you are looking for philosophy, Holmgren is a good way to go, if you are looking for techniques often you need to find them specific to your area. Also general gardening books can be very useful if the application of the ideas is in the context of permaculture and not just a disjointed set of "projects."

Hope this helps.
-Troy
http://pittsburghpermaculture.org
 
                      
Posts: 14
Location: Tejas
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Yup.  Not much about Permaculture in my immediate area.  I was
going to take the Master Gardener Class but decided since we don't
know where in the world we'll be in the next 6 months to forgo the
fee and time as the class is specifically designed for Texas in this area.  I am
interested in the philosophy because I am trying to think in
a more systemic way(instead of technique) as this will
help/prepare me wherever I land

I guess I just want to know if anyone has honestly waded through
the entire text?  and if so what aided this massive endeavor?

Thanks Troy.
 
Franklin Stone
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I've read the Designer's Manual from cover to cover. It wasn't exactly easy. It took me a few months to get through it. It's best to take it in small chunks, and occasionally set it down and read other books while your mind digests. There's a lot of repetition between chapters (but that's not necessarily a bad thing). The hard part is the sheer amount of information contained on each page. I would read it until my eyes began to cross or I would begin to nod off, then I would set it aside for the day and go on to another task. Like any big task, the answer lies in breaking it down into smaller pieces.


 
Bill Kearns
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Location: E Washington steppe
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I owned the Designer's Manual for a couple of years prior to my PDC ... tried often to read it, but could not get far.  But when I took my PDC, I spent each evening reading the chapters/material covered for that day and the Manual came alive.  Plus it was excellent reinforcement for the PDC. 

Now I can use it as it was intended ... a Designer's Manual I can refer to for clarity or inspiration.  All the books Troy mentions (plus more) are in my library and are excellent reading as well as references. 
 
Mekka Pakanohida
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
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I've read the book 3x, & own a copy.  For the temperate NW of America, the book is a god send of information.
 
                                
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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  I've had the designers manual for years, ten maybe?    I never read it from cover to cover.  I expect that by now I have read the whole thing if I put it all together but I've always treated it more as a reference.  That's probably because I came into learning about permaculture from other sources and the actual manual was something that was on a wishlist of sources so  when I finally got the manual already had a cursory understanding of what it was all about, so it wasn't a primary source of initial learning.    I tend to refer to it when I have questions or need to get some ideas, have an issue I'm working on or refresh my memory about tactics and techniques. 

   
   
 
Leif Kravis
Posts: 78
Location: Toronto Canada
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i'm reading it for my 3rd time, its cold and we have two feet of snow on the ground, winter os research and spring is time to apply it, it's a dense tome but i often refer to it, for me it often helps focus my wild all over the place collection of ideas.
 
Brice Moss
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Location: rainier OR
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I got halfway through it before I got busy with winter term classes
should be able to finish the other half over spring break
thats got to be the dullest plan a college student ever had for spring break
 
David Galloway
Posts: 78
Location: Greenville, SC
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I just checked it out from my local library along with Gaia's Garden and a little book called "Getting Started in Permaculture."  I'm getting a bit of an information overload and probably only be 1/2way through each book by the time they're due back, but I already know I need to buy a copy of each.  Hopefully by the time I can take a PDC next year I'll have gone through each one at least a couple of times.
 
Mariah Wallener
Posts: 167
Location: Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, Canada
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Where do you all buy your copies of Mollison's design manual? I couldn't find it anywhere...
 
David Galloway
Posts: 78
Location: Greenville, SC
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L8Bloomer wrote:
Where do you all buy your copies of Mollison's design manual? I couldn't find it anywhere...



Here are a few places.  Keep in mind the high price is not (only) because it is often out of print, but because it is a huge college-textbook sized volume that is published in Australia and has to be shipped here.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0908228015/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new
 
Franklin Stone
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I bought mine from Powells Books, back when I lived in Portland OR. They had a great number on their shelves at the time. Once I picked it up and leafed through it I realized that I HAD to own it. You can order it online from Powell's thru Amazon.com or from Powells website.
 
                              
Posts: 47
Location: Colorado, Zone 5, Cold Semi-arid
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I'll second the Powells plug.

I ordered my Permaculture Designer's Manual from Powells last year, paying about US$88 with shipping.

To order direct from Tagari was about US$150 shipped.

And, Tagari recommends Powells on their website, so you're not really screwing anybody.
 
Brenda Groth
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I just ordered 5 more books from the library yesterday and one of them was the Permaculture Design Manual, so I'll be reading it soon..I've read lots of permaculture books but haven't gotten this one yet..also have cornucopia coming as well as Permaculture in a Nutshell and 2 others..can't wait.

Just finished reading Edible food forest gardens volume 1 and 2, Perennial Vegetables and Plants for a Future..the past 2 weeks.
 
Charles Kelm
Posts: 171
Location: Western Washington (Zone 7B - temperate maritime)
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Brenda Groth wrote:
Just finished reading Edible food forest gardens volume 1 and 2, Perennial Vegetables and Plants for a Future..the past 2 weeks.


That's a LOT of reading Brenda.  The first two are on my Amazon wish list. I have browsed and referred to my copy of Plants for a Future, but not devoured it like you I guess.
 
jack spirko
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I have and do read it along with Permaculture One and Two.  Permculture One is actually almost specific to Temperate climates and may be better as a first book by Bill Mollison for many in North America than the manual.  I am now viewing a 15 DVD set of the PDC lectured by Mollison and Lawton (http://www.tagari.com/store/1 and the manual is very helpful as I do that.  I have found it very interesting to listen to Bill Mollison do a PDC, he has some interesting humor.  Like he said there are no real vegetarians only "repressed carnivores".  I spit out some home brew when he said that. 

I think as others said the manual makes more sense along with a PDC but anyone can get a lot out of it.  Reading about two pages at a time is recommended though, the illustrations alone can captivate you for hours, the work that went into the manual boggles my mind. 
 
Brenda Groth
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am a fast reader, but I also take extensive notes so I have all the info I want to keep..did actually photocopy a few of the appendixes..

love my  library

they called yesterday and said 4 out of 5 of the books I ordered are on their way..they couldn't find the Permaculture plot though and have a search nationwide out for it for me..cool eh?
 
David Galloway
Posts: 78
Location: Greenville, SC
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Brenda Groth wrote:
love my  library

they called yesterday and said 4 out of 5 of the books I ordered are on their way..they couldn't find the Permaculture plot though and have a search nationwide out for it for me..cool eh?


Gotta love the Interlibrary loan system!!!  I get plenty of use from mine. 
 
                      
Posts: 14
Location: Tejas
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What about Permaculture: Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainablitiy by Holmgren?

Has anybody read that?  and compared to the Manual what do you think?
 
Franklin Stone
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What about Permaculture: Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainablitiy by Holmgren?


Holmgren's book is more academic/theoretical - while it is a very important book, and certainly worth reading, it doesn't contain any practical details - it is looking at Permaculture in a wider, historical and societal context, not in a hands on, how-do-you-do-it context.

Holmgren has written some other books (that I have not read) that appear to be more about the hands-on experience of permaculture.
 
Suzy Bean
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I am putting together a book/dvd/magazine page for Paul, and to save him some time from making a (short paragraph) written review of everything, I figured I'd ask permie folks to write "what Paul would say" in each thread something is talked about.

So what would Paul say about the Designer's Manual?
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
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Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
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Suzy Bean wrote:So what would Paul say about the Designer's Manual?


"Written by someone almost as cantankerous as me?"
 
I'm not dead! I feel happy! I'd like to go for a walk! I'll even read a tiny ad:
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