The Resilient Farm and Homestead: An Innovative Permaculture and Whole Systems Design Approach
Chelsea Green Publishing
Ben Falk has really written a noteworthy book in The Resilient Farm and Homestead. This is probably the best book on peraculture that I’ve read, a perfect combination of design theory and practical application. I give a big tip of the hat to Chealsea Green for continuing to lead the pack in publishing practical, down to earth permaculture books.
This book is written with the background of 10 years experience implementing permaculture on a 10 acre, formerly run down hill side farm in Vermont called Whole Systems Research Farm. Falk’s farm is a combination of fruiting plants, ducks, nuts, fuelwood hedges, earth inspired buildings, rice paddies and more. I’m impressed with Falk’s attitude and no BS approaches. A practical man who isn’t afraid to tell you that some of his original thoughts and theories had to be revised and reworked when implementing them on the farm, rather than on paper. I really like how he thinks and enjoy his writing style very much.
One very interesting thing mentioned in this book is a compost powered hot water heating system that I think has loads of potential. This high carbon compost pile, covered with hay bales and with coiled plastic piping running through it can heat water to 115 degrees at a rate of 1 gal/min 24 hrs a day! Also, I found the section on homestead scale rice production to be fascinating. I never thought of growing rice in the north east! The book is full of such gems. Tons of practical how-to information along with easy to understand reasoning on theory.
The bottom line. This is an excellent book, whether you have 5 acres or 500 acres there are useful ideas and information to help you build a more stable, sustainable and permanent homestead or farm. Well worth the money.