[Ok-sus] permaculture book/resource for an 8 acre SW OKC farm?

Robert Waldrop bwaldrop1952 at att.net
Mon Dec 10 23:18:28 CST 2012

Well, a good introduction to permaculture is the book Introduction to 
Permaculture by Bill Mollison, which is less expensive and easier to grasp than 
the full Permaculture Design Manual.  But I think its important to remember that 
design principles, such as are discussed in permaculture books, are one thing, 
while best practices for a situation like this is another thing.  Permaculture 
is a design system.  People often think it is about using perennial food 
producing plants.  Certainly many, probably most permaculture designs would 
include perennial food producing plants, but that's perennial gardening, it's 
not permaculture gardening. Permaculture is the design system that decides where 
you put your perennial food producing plants and describes how they beneficially 
integrate into your system, whether that be a household, a ranch, a farm, a 
school, a business, whatever it may be. It is a way of designing your life so 
you live in accordance with the permaculture ethics of caring for people, caring 
for the planet, and having a care for the future.

I am not aware of anyone that has written a book applying permaculture design 
principles to the situation in southwest Oklahoma.  So the best that can be done 
I think is to study something like Intro to Permaculture while also picking up 
some best practices from other books.

I would say that the most important additional book actually is two books, the 
Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands, volumes 1 and 2, because I grew up in 
southwest Oklahoma, and water is an extremely critical issue down that way.

Then you could add Eliot Coleman's Four Season Harvest, and browse the books by 
Joel Sallatin for information on various cultivation practices.  He's in 
Virginia, so some discernment is involved, but his books on managing cattle for 
direct sales to customers are really good.

Kouric's Maintaining Your Edible Landscape Naturally is a great guide to the 
issues involved with horticulture (managing a mixture of perennial and annual 
edible and useful plants for household use).

If I was going to build a house in southwest Oklahoma, my only choice would be 
an underground or mostly earth-sheltered house.  The reason for that is simple 
"extreme weather."  Actually, if I was building a house anywhere in Oklahoma it 
would be an underground or mostly earth sheltered house.  If I could bury my 
existing house in Gatewood I would, but that's not practical.  Just imagine how 
Code Enforcement would react to that.  Their heads would explode.  I would be in 
a lot of trouble, lol.  So I won't bury my house but if it ever gets blown away 
in a tornado, underground is what I am replacing it with.  I think going forward 
into the future, the weather may become so extreme so often that along the Great 
Plains, people will get very interested in underground architecture.

My final suggestion is to find some old timers who have lived in the immediate 
area of their acreage for a long time and become good friends with them and 
learn from them what that area is like.  They could also consult the Oklahoma 
Mesonet for climate records for that area and they should go back as far as they 
can to see how the situation is regarding weather.

Bob Waldrop
Certificate in Permaculture Design, 2007, Elfin Permaculture/Florida

From: Eric Pollard <ewpollard at gmail.com>
To: Sustainability Issues in Oklahoma <ok-sus at lists.oksustainability.org>
Sent: Mon, December 10, 2012 9:35:13 PM
Subject: [Ok-sus] permaculture book/resource for an 8 acre SW OKC farm?

Received this message from Lillian Thee via Facebook. I will forward any 
responses on this listserv to her.

Hello, OSN!  Can any recommend a permaculture book/resource for an 8  acre SW 
OKC farm?  Lots of information out there but with Oklahomas  extreme 
weather/terrain challenges...need some specific guidance on  developing a fully 
intergrated seed to seed grain to livestock  operation.  We are fully commited 
to the principles of permaculture.  thanks!!!

Eric W. Pollard
C: (918) 804-2011
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