Jenny Mars is a primary school teacher with a passion for the environment, gardening and plants, especially herbs. Jenny has a diploma in permaculture and has a particular interest in growing food to enable families to work towards supporting themselves. Ross Mars is a well-known Western Australian educator, writer and course and workshop presenter. Ross has qualifications in permaculture, having achieved the first diploma in permaculture issued in Western Australia. He has also been awarded his diploma of permaculture design, in six categories. Ross has taught a large number of permaculture-related courses and workshops, including several Advanced courses in both Permaculture Design and Teaching.
This deceptively compact little volume is chock full of practical activities aimed at increasing self-reliance and reducing our ecological footprints. Clearly explained and illustrated DIY projects range from recycling every day waste such as tyres, plastic bottles and newspaper into ponds, retaining walls, mini-greenhouses and bio-degradable plant pots, through to creating sheet mulched mandala gardens, home made landscape surveying equipment, plant propagation techniques and even how-to guides for producing your own paper and household cleaning agents. Theoretical content is kept to a minimum, although sprinkled throughout are short sections that place activities into a wider permacultural context. I like this approach as it encourages 'learning by doing', making this a potentially useful resource for schools or community gardening projects where early success is crucial in breeding confidence, empowerment and the development of new skills. Another winner from Permanent Publications' aptly titled 'Simple Living' series. Graham Burnett, permaculture teacher, practitioner and author of The Vegan Book of Permaculture