Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture

​Title: Sepp Holzer's Permaculture

Author: Sepp Holzer

Published: 2011

Sepp Holzer's Permaculture is an excellent overview of practical permaculture methods based on decades of hands-on experience and trial-and-error. 

One of the things that makes this book stand out is Holzer's honest and transparent writing style.  Sepp Holzer's Permaculture shares information about successes and failures alike - often detailing the design process that helped to transform failures into successes.  In this way, the reader virtually builds his or her own experience, absorbing the knowledge that Holzer shares along with an understanding of how that knowledge came about.

What's in Sepp Holzer's Permaculture?

Sepp Holzer's Permaculture begins with a short introduction about the author's past and beliefs, and quickly moves on to Hozer's favorite subject, earthworks.

A variety of growing methods are covered, with plenty of attention given to terrace systems, raised beds, and orchards.  An entire section is devoted to growing mushrooms. 

Holzer is a huge fan of green manures, and Sepp Holzer's Permaculture covers the topic in-depth, including plants he grows specifically for this purpose.  And, of course, the mistakes he has made along the way are left in.

Photo of Sepp Holzer's permaculture earthship

Photo credit: Pedalofilo via / CC BY-NC-SA

Alternative methods for raising livestock are shared, with an emphasis in pigs.  Holzer has become quite an expert at finding ways to let the livestock do their fair share of work on a farm, and many of his ideas are included in Sepp Holzer's Permaculture.  Cattle and poultry are up next, with a fresh perspective on both provided by Holzer's lifetime of innovative experience.

​One of the hallmarks of Holzer's work is his creative use of earthen buildings, and he does cover some ground on this topic in Sepp Holzer's Permaculture.  Earth shelters are discussed as potential sites for pigsties, cellars, storage rooms, and dwellings.

Holzer is an accomplished orchard keeper, and he details his methods in-depth in Sepp Holzer's Permaculture.  He discusses heirloom varieties and the characteristics that make them desirable to a permaculture grower.  And some time is spent discussing propagation, including a detailed explanation of grafting methods.

Summary - Sepp Holzer's Permaculture

Sepp Holzer's Permaculture is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to learn about the process of learning and designing through permaculture.  Holzer's intimate style and transparency make all of his topics approachable for permaculturists of any experience level.

A short section at the end of Sepp Holzer's Permaculture is dedicated to urban gardening.  But the vast majority of the information in this book will be more relevant for people working in rural farm and homestead settings.