Here are some of our favorite websites, podcasts, plant databases and other online resources. If you have suggestions for other links we should add, please let PJ know. Thanks!
A wiki-like resource with very good articles on specific plants, as well as articles on food, gardening, energy, and a wide range of interesting topics. More visually appealing and accessible to the layperson than the Plants for a Future site, though it covers fewer species. Highly-recommended!
An incredible (and free!) resource, based on the many years of extensive plant research carried out by Ken Fern in the UK. Lots of really good plant information, including site preferences, size, alternative uses (for medicine, fibers, dye, basketry, etc.) as well as propagation techniques, user comments, and more. The format can be a bit confusing at first, but worth spending some time with.
Named after our native food the Groundnut, this is another exciting wiki-like site that is still in its early stages. This site deals more with polycultures and how species interact. This is a project being worked on by the likes of Eric Toensmeier, Jonathan Bates, Ethan Roland, Mark Angelini and more, so it’s a quality affair. They are trying to raise funds to support this project (membership fee to gain full access), so if you can contribute a few dollars, it’s a worthy cause.
An international site which acts as a showcase of permaculture projects all over the globe. Search the map and add your project, you may make some great new contacts. I (PJ) have met a few cool people who found me through this site. Let’s put SW Michigan on the map as a permaculture hotbed!
Published quarterly, each issue focuses on a specific topic (i.e. natural building, water in the home landscape, appropriate technology, saving seeds, invasive plants, etc). Always full of very useful info and highly-recommended. Not the slickest website or publication, but good people doing amazing work—the magazine has been going strong since 1985! You can also subscribe to Agroforestry News through them, and they have a very good bookstore.
A podcast dedicated to Permaculture education, sustainability, gardening, organic food, and resiliency. Great listening for your commute, long drive, while you work, or anytime you have an hour or so to hear some of the world’s greatest practitioners talk about what they do.
A podcast for people looking to blend the permaculture design process and techniques of permaculture with right-livelihood. Repairing the planet, solving problems, producing products, and making a living doing it. Hear from experts who are far down their respective paths and people just like you who are starting out and making a go of it and learning as they go. Each episode gives you practical insights and advice that you put into action today.
An active discussion board with the following categories: permaculture, organic practices, critter care, gen’l homesteading, farm income, alternative building, alternative energy, woodland care, cooking and food preservation, intentional community, medicinal herbs, primitive skills, and more! Tons of great content, and a bit easier to find stuff now that they’ve broken the site into many smaller, more specific topics.
A beautiful printed magazine (available at some larger bookstores or by subscription) and a nice website with lots of good articles. Based in the UK, so it has a bit of that across-the-pond flavor, but definitely worth checking out.
The website of celebrated author Toby Hemenway, (he wrote the excellent Gaia’s Garden). There are some indispensable articles and videos on this site, Toby is one of the great minds and voices of Permaculture in North America.
The co-originator of the Permaculture movement, we who love this stuff owe a large debt of gratitude to this brilliant human being. Here you can read some of his more recent writings, watch some of his presentations, and see documentation of his property “Melliodora.” His thoughts on Retrofitting the Suburbs will be of interest to many Americans living in suburban areas.
A site created by fellow MI permaculture friend Trevor Newman (of RootsToFruits Ecological Design), featuring some nice little articles and videos about the more interesting fruits and nuts which can be grown in our climate. The podcasts are great too!
Several of us from VKP were lucky to make the trip to the inaugural year of the MI Permaculture Convergence in the fall of 2013. We even met some new group members there and “brought them into the fold” (hopefully, ha!). It was an incredible weekend full of idea exchanges, passionate speakers, good-neighborliness, and a permablitz project where we transformed an eroded hillside into a swale’d bed of useful perennials. We plan to attend again each year!