Practical Permaculture for Sustainable Community and Home Landscapes

by DerdriuMarriner

Practical permaculture by Jessi Bloom, Dave Boehnlein, and Paul Kearsley has 50 energy, soil, water sustainable plants for community and home landscapes.

Practical permaculture connects families and neighbors meaningfully, profitably

Practical Permaculture by authors Jessi Bloom and Dave Boehnlein and illustrator Paul Kearsley attracts amateurs, newbies, and specialists in community and home landscapes, renewable and sustainable in:

• air;
• energy;
• food;
• shelter, soil;
• water, wildlife.

It begins with a two-page preface about:

• interconnected environments that all life inherits;
• strategic plans which humans implement consciously, haphazardly, methodically, unconsciously for happiness, health, security, stability.

It continues to a 48-page chapter on:

• ethics of appropriate energy and technology, current and future environments, re-invested surpluses, self-regulated consumption and growth ;
• principles of aesthetics, carbon sequestration, consistent yields, functional interconnections, multiple resilient functions, small-scale intensiveness, wildlife habitat;
• systems of interrelated built, natural, social environments with closed loops, limiting factors, recirculated by-products, self-regulated maintenance.

Importance of zoning in permaculture as arranger of all elements in system according to level of care and interrelations:

A well-designed permaculture system features little effort in maintenance.
permaculture's five zones
permaculture's five zones

Practical permaculture delivers on current and future self-sufficiency


The term permaculture dates to the 1970s as David Holmgren’s and Bill Mollison’s linguistic invention for permanently life-friendly culture. It emphasizes such lessons from Nature as:

  • biodiverse polyculture;
  • ecological succession by niche-divided habitats;
  • ecosystem services for anti-erosion, filtration, pollination, sequestration;
  • harmonious edges;
  • microclimate orientations from airflow, slope, sunlight, vegetation;
  • natural patterns of branches, fractals, grids, meanders, networks, spirals, tessellations, waves;
  • soil horizons of compaction, friability, infiltration, minerals;
  • watershed bioregions of groundwater, springs, stormwater.

It finds its practical applications elaborated in:

  • 70-page chapter on the permaculture process of collecting information, completing designs, consolidating details;
  • 142-page chapter on the permaculture systems of conserving energy, improving soil-fertilizing nutrients and tilth, minimizing waste, perfecting shelters, promoting diversity, protecting wildlife, sustaining plants. 


Permaculture Playing Cards: Artwork by Alexander Ojeda. Text and ideas from Paul Wheaton of ~ Available now via Amazon

Deck of 52 poker size playing cards themed to show rich diversity of permaculture, such as Honey Bee design for 6 of Diamonds which gives techniques accounting for permaculture beekeepers' rare loss of hives to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

Practical permaculture encourages sustainable communities through life-friendly decision-making


A 20-page chapter gives a list of 50 plants as renewable, sustainable providers of fiber, fodder, food, fuel, medicine, and shelter:

  • ground covers: lingonberry, Malabar spinach, Okinawa spinach, sweet potato;
  • herbaceous perennials: asafoetida, banana, Brazilian spinach, cilantro, day-lily, fuki, groundnut, perennial peanut, Russian comfrey, saffron crocus, sweet cicely, turmeric, vetiver, violets, yacon, yarrow;
  • shrubs: araza, caper bush, chaya, chokeberry, goumi, katuk, Natal plum, red currant, Siberian pea;
  • trees: avocado, carob, chestnut, Chilean wine palm, coconut,  date palm, horseradish, jaboticaba, jackfruit, jujube, Malabar chestnut, mulberry, olive, oval kumquat, pistachio, purple osier willow, tamarind, white sapote;
  • woody perennials:  pigeon pea, prickly pear cactus, trailing silky-leaf woodwaxen.

It has hardiness, lighting, and water tolerances. It includes dimensions, landscaping, and serviceability. 


Practical Permaculture for Home Landscapes, Your Community, and the Whole Earth by Jessi Bloom and Dave Boehnlein ~ Available now via Amazon

The idea behind permaculture is simple: take care of the earth, and the earth will take care of you. Filled with real-life examples from all over the world, this invaluable resource gives guidance in turning land into sustainable ecosystems.

Practical permaculture focuses upon energy-efficient, renewable resource-rich communities


A 42-page chapter joins into a super-practical conclusion the invisible structures of:

  • accounting by triple bottom line-measured people, planet, profits;
  • capital from cottage industries, value-added products;
  • community in consent decision-making;
  • financing of inventories, markets, stockpiles;
  • investments through credit unions, lending circles;
  • land-use through leases, trusts, unused/vacant plots;
  • social spheres through clusters, collaboration, cooperation, integration.

Its final page keeps readers as inspired as the preface’s first page through last reminders of:

  • happy bodies, minds, pocketbooks;
  • healthy activities, environments, lifestyles.

It equally helpfully leads into:

  • acknowledgments;
  • hardiness zones;
  • illustration/photo credits;
  • index;
  • metric conversions;
  • on-line resources;
  • recommended reading.

So designers/educators Jessi Bloom, Dave Boehnlein, and Paul Kearsley make easy-to-comprehend, east-to-implement Practical Permaculture a culturally enriching, educationally entertaining, geo-historically enthralling experience. 


Permaculture Skills: A Cold-Climate, Applied Permaculture Design Course (4-DVD set) ~ Available now via Amazon ~ 5 out of 5 stars with 4 customer reviews: "If you love permaculture this needs to be in your library."

Filmed entirely on location in beautiful hills of central Vermont, educational documentary joins students learning to become permaculture designers and practitioners during applied, 10-day Permaculture Design Course hosted by Whole Systems Design LLC.
permaculture-themed products



My special thanks to:

  • Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.


Powered by Permaculture: 100% cotton Men's Hoodie ~ Available now via Amazon

permaculture-themed products

Sources Consulted


Bloom, Jessi; and Boehnlein, Dave. 2015. Practical Permaculture for Home Landscapes, Your Community, and the Whole Earth. Portland, OR, U.S.A.; and London, England, U.K.: Timber Press. 


Claire Gregory's suburban permaculture garden in Sheffield, UK ~

After taking course from Patrick Whitefield (February 11, 1949 – February 27, 2015), pioneer permaculturist, Claire purchased 3-acre field on edge of Sheffield, where she lives, to start community permaculture project.
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, north central England
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, north central England
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Sepp Holzer's Permaculture: 3 Films About Permaculture Farming ~ Available now via Amazon ~ Fascinating vignettes of pioneer permaculturist Sepp Holzer's successful, natural techniques!

Austrian Sepp Holzer built one of the largest permaculture farms in Europe. DVD contains all 3 films on "Agro-Rebel" Sepp Holzer (born July 24, 1942), whose successful techniques are based on listening to and observing nature.
permaculture pioneers

Tree by Danny Wilde: Available as Art Print and Premium Giclée Print ~ Available now via AllPosters

Permaculture acknowledges importance of trees with inclusion in first 2 (canopy; understory) of standard 7-layered permaculture system.

Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 09/11/2015, DerdriuMarriner
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


DerdriuMarriner on 09/22/2016

NanciArvizu, Thank! Me too, I like the attractive, convenient, logical organization of permaculture's space. The Bloom and Boehnlein book is a one-stop shop, time-saving merger of helpful images and information.

NanciArvizu on 09/22/2016

Great article, information and inspiration. I love the garden plan, and especially the picture of the gardener yard surrounded by the non-Gardner yard. A hidden gem.

DerdriuMarriner on 01/07/2016

sandyspider, I like the plan, too. It's not that difficult and it's particularly fun when all or most of the neighborhood turns it into a community-wide plan.

sandyspider on 01/04/2016

I do like this plan for gardening.

DerdriuMarriner on 09/23/2015

frankbeswick, Thank you! Looks like metal-detecting on the Wash won't be high on my list of treasure hunts ;-D!

frankbeswick on 09/22/2015

If there were any remaining treasure it would be claimed by the crown. Hidden rooms would imply stone buildings, such as abbeys,castles and churches. The castles are generally in ruins and the abbeys are gone, so there are not many places left.

DerdriuMarriner on 09/22/2015

CruiseReady, This book is excellent in examples and explanations as well as illustrations and images. It's sturdy since it survives my moving it on and off the shelf many times throughout the month.
Zones 0 - 2/3 can work on not that much land. It's putting into effect Zones 3/4 onward that may be tricky, but not if neighbors are involved.

DerdriuMarriner on 09/22/2015

frankbeswick, Melted down undoubtedly means that it cannot be traced. But I wonder if some of that treasure remained as is to be admired by a few any time they were feeling particularly ornery against Normans and Plantagenets.
Is it possible that there are hidden rooms -- as during the Armada -- or underground tunnels -- as in "Skyfall" ;-] -- where treasures could be hidden for almost 1,000 years now?

CruiseReady on 09/19/2015

This would sure be a nice plan to follow if you have a bit of land.

frankbeswick on 09/18/2015

There is no record of the treasure's having been found, but considering that the Anglo-Saxons responded to the Norman conquest with a plague of theft from their masters, it is well possible that some enterprising Englishman found and took the treasure,melted it down and none were the wiser.

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