Patrick Whitefield (1949 – 2015) was an early pioneer of permaculture, adapting Bill Mollison’s teachings with a strong Southern Hemisphere bias to the cooler, maritime climate of the British Isles. He wrote a number of seminal books, including Permaculture in a Nutshell (1993), How to Make a Forest Garden (1996), The Living Landscape (2009), How To Read the Landscape (2014) and his magnum opus, The Earth Care Manual (2004), an authoritative resource on practical, tested, cool temperate permaculture. Patrick appeared in several BBC TV programmes, popular gardening videos, and taught many permaculture and other practical courses, throughout the UK.
Books By Patrick Whitefield
How to Make a Forest Garden, 3rd Edition
A forest garden is a food-producing garden, based on the model of a natural woodland or forest. It is made up of fruit and nut trees, fruit bushes, perennial vegetables and herbs. It can be tailored to fit any space, from a tiny urban back yard to a large rural garden.
A close copy of a natural ecosystem, it is perhaps the most ecologically friendly way of gardening open to us.
It is also a low-maintenance way of gardening. Once established there is none of the digging, sowing, planting out and hoeing of the conventional kitchen garden. The main task is picking up the produce!
This highly practical, yet inspiring book gives you everything you need to know in order to create a beautiful and productive forest garden,
- Basic principles
- How to choose plants
- Details of over one hundred plants, from apples to mushrooms
- the most comprehensive account of perennial and self-seeding vegetables in print
- A step-by-step guide to creating your garden
- Full details of an example garden, and pictures of many more
Forest gardening is an important element of permaculture. This book explains in detail permaculture design for temperate climates and contains much of interest for anybody wanting to introduce sustainable practices into their garden.
Permaculture in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition
Permaculture is a creative approach to abundant and fulfilling lifestyles. It is for everyone wishing to live sustainable and tread more lightly on the Earth. Permaculture is an ecologically sound approach to providing for our needs, including our food, shelter and financial and social structures. It is based on co-operating with nature and caring for the Earth and its people. Permaculture in a Nutshell is a concise and accessible introduction to the principles and practice of permaculture in temperate climates. It covers how permaculture works in the city, the country and on the farm and explores ways in which people can work together to recreate real communities. This inspiring book clearly describes how we can live fruitfully and sustainably and is essential reading for anyone wishing to reduce their environmental impact.
How to Read the Landscape
According to an ICM poll, 77 percent of UK adults, or about 38 million people, say they walk for pleasure at least once a month. It is remarkable, therefore, that no one has written about the landscapes they’re walking through and enjoying . . . until now.
Patrick Whitefield has spent a lifetime living and working in the countryside and twenty years of that taking notes of what he sees, everywhere from the Isle of Wight to the Scottish Highlands. This book is the fruit of those years of experience.
In How to Read the Landscape, Patrick explains everything from the details, such as the signs that wild animals leave as their signatures and the meaning behind the shapes of different trees, to how whole landscapes, including woodland, grassland, and moorland, fit together and function as a whole. Rivers and lakes, roads and paths, hedgerows and field walls are also explained, as well as the influence of different rocks, the soil, and the ever-changing climate. There’s even a chapter on the fascinating history of the landscape and one about natural succession, how the landscape changes of its own accord when we leave it alone. The landscape will never look the same again. You will not only appreciate its beauty, it will also come alive with a whole new depth of appreciation and understanding.
The lively text is supported by 50 color photographs, 140 line drawings by the author, and extracts from his notebooks illustrating actual examples of the landscapes he describes. Opening How to Read the Landscape is like opening a window on a whole new way of seeing the living world around you.
The Minimalist Gardener
Low Impact, No Dig Growing
Low input, year-round “no-dig” gardening that provides your kitchen with fresh healthy food, without breaking your back
Written by an acknowledged expert, this friendly guide will help you grow food in whatever space you have – large or small, rural or urban – with minimal purchased inputs, and maximum satisfaction.
This is the first in a collection of Patrick Whitefield’s pioneering writings, celebrating his life. It explores a cutting edge of permaculture gardening that is eminently practical and visionary all at the same time. Patrick describes an evolving system that is totally chemical free, requiring little input from outside the garden gate. His minimalist approach uses techniques such as no-dig, raised beds, perennial vegetables and self-seeding salads as ground cover, and mulching when appropriate. This minimizes garden maintenance whilst growing an abundance of produce year round. Patrick describes how to select plants based on what you like to eat and how to combine them in polycultures that confound would-be pests. He mixes annual hybrids, heritage varieties and perennial vegetables and has a pragmatic approach to selecting seeds and seed saving. There are also tips on fruit growing, from berries to fruit trees, including how to choose rootstocks and varieties.
The Earth Care Manual
A Permaculture Handbook for Britain and Other Temperate Climates
As seen on the BBC 2 TV Series, It’s Not Easy Being Green (attracting over 3 million viewers), the critically acclaimed and definitive permaculture design book, reprinted due to popular demand
“You’ve probably never thought of yourself as the ultimate ‘eco-warrior’, but this book will make you think again… essential reading.” Kitchen Gardener
This is the book which inspired Brigit Strawbridge (It’s Not Easy Being Green, BBC2) to attended her first permaculture design course with Patrick Whitefield, and to set her and her family off on a voyage of discovery which is helping to introduce and inspire others to explore permaculture.
Already hailed in the UK, Europe and America as definitive, The Earth Care Manual offers an inspirational yet practical vision of a sustainable future invaluable to those new to the subject as well as to the experienced practitioner.
Permaculture started in the 1970s as a sustainable alternative to modern industrial agriculture, taking its inspiration from natural ecosystems. It placed an emphasis on gardening but since then, expanding on its principles, it now includes many other aspects, from building and community design to energy use. It is an interconnecting framework which links a diversity of green ideas. Its aims are a low input, high output efficient use of resources – and genuine sustainability.
The Earth Care Manual gives a vision of a sustainable future and the practical steps we can take towards it, both large and small, urban and rural. The book defines permaculture and places it in the context of the green movement.
Written by Patrick Whitefield, one of Europe’s foremost teachers and practitioners of temperate permaculture, it explains in depth how to apply permaculture to any situation, from the smallest of buildings or apartments, to houses, gardens, orchards, farms and woodlands. It covers subjects vital to sustainability including food, energy, water, microclimate and shelter.