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Summary

The Resilient Farm and Homestead is an award-winning (American Horticultural Society book of the year) handbook for developing regenerative human habitat systems adaptive to drought, flooding, heat, power outage, price spikes, pest pressure, and the multitude of challenges brought by climate change, peak oil, food system contamination, and economic decline.

The book covers many of the strategies Falk and his team have been testing at the Whole Systems Research Farm almost two decades, as well as experiments from other sites Falk has designed through his off-farm consulting business. Falk’s wide array of fruit trees, rice paddies (relatively unheard of in the Northeast), ducks, nuts, and earth-inspired buildings is a hopeful image for the future of restorative land use, regenerative agriculture and modern homesteading.

The Resilient Farm and Homestead is more than just a book of tricks and theories for regenerative site development. It offers actual working results from complex farm-ecosystems, and presents a viable home-scale model for an intentional food-producing ecosystem in cold climates, and beyond. Inspiring to would-be homesteaders everywhere, but especially for those who find themselves with “unlikely” farming land, Falk is an inspiration in what can be done by imitating natural systems and making the most of what we have by re-imagining what’s possible.

Where to get it?

Ben's website
Chelsea Green
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.au

Related Books

Restoration Agriculture by Mark Shepard

Related Podcasts

Podcast 057 - Preparing a food forest
Interview with Ben Falk on The Survival Podcast

Related Videos







Related Articles

Article on Ben Falk growing rice in cold climate
Hugelkultur: The Ultimate Raised Garden Beds

Related Threads

Growing rice in New England thread at Permies
Pond forum at Permies
Earthworks forum at Permies
Homestead forum at Permies

Related Websites

Ben Falk's Website
COMMENTS:
 
Posts: 1185
Location: Central Wyoming -zone 4
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thanks for the share, looks like a good book to get
 
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Hi Ben! Love your website! We're very much interested in your new book!
 
steward
Posts: 42386
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Geoff Lawton has a new tour of Ben Falk's place. To see the 18 minute long video,







 
Posts: 1947
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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One thing I really appreciate about this book is how he discusses his experience of implementing permaculture principles and practices. It's real hands-on practical information. For example, in the implementation of orchard guilds he talks about how planting rows with alleys between that can be mowed or grazed makes maintenance easier in a zone away from the house. Maintaining systems over time is a real focus of mine and this book has more of that than most permaculture/gardening books do.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3910
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Matu Collins wrote:One thing I really appreciate about this book is how he discusses his experience of implementing permaculture principles and practices. It's real hands-on practical information. For example, in the implementation of orchard guilds he talks about how planting rows with alleys between that can be mowed or grazed makes maintenance easier in a zone away from the house. Maintaining systems over time is a real focus of mine and this book has more of that than most permaculture/gardening books do.



+1

It is very much a journal of an implementation, mistakes and all. I like that.
 
Posts: 33
Location: Costa Rica
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Lots of great info in this book. As others have said it contains alot of practical info and experiences.

I really appreciate his in-depth design analysis' and thorough design plans/maps

 
steward
Posts: 809
Location: Italy, Siena, Gaiole in Chianti zone 9
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the thread is old but I thought interesting writing down a few things. Ben Falk is going to become one of the big guys in permaculture in the next ten years, if he already isn't. the book is one of the best recent works that breaks down some of the myths even we have in permaculture and explains what really happens in true life on a homestead. just think about the way he discusses the use of animals on a homestead, and how he explains that we sometimes assume certain breeds of chicken are better than others, like his experience with indian runners. He explains how all this really is a theoretical vision. One has to try, it's all through the book. If whe look at the comments made by people that have participated to the pdc courses he organises they all highlight how it's so hand's on and the book passes on this message.
One thing I really loved of the book is even the way it's written, it has a gender neutral language in it, we may not think about these things often but instead they count and Ben even in this demonstrates how much he cares to share a different way of speaking and writing.
there is one thing I will in the next future write directly to Ben: the book is a work in progress and he recalls many times the fact that in future editions of the book he will give the new info on the results of experiments he has done or that for when the book was first published hadn't yet given proven data. Can't we think of an update on the site of whole systems design so those who already had the book don't have to rebuy it and can have the info at hand to complete the vision?
 
Posts: 9
Location: Montrose, CO
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I read this book a few months ago. Like other people have said, it's full of practical advice, but I found it a little difficult to read. It reads almost more like a textbook, and also sort of a 'prepper' angle to the writing. Also, the book focuses on the NE USA biome. What I would love is a similar book written with regards to the intermountain west, or the high desert. My favorite part of this book was the food crop chapter. There were some unique & interesting perspectives in there.
 
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I'd give this one 9 "acorns". I read this one this past winter, so it's been a few months. Really good book for cold-climate growing, has lots of PRACTICAL ideas, backed up with real-world experience.
 
Lorenzo Costa
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Posts: 809
Location: Italy, Siena, Gaiole in Chianti zone 9
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I give this book 8 out of 10 acorns

For the review fo this book I'll recall what i wrote a bot of time ago when on permies we didn't have the acorn scale.

Ben Falk is going to become one of the big guys in permaculture in the next ten years, if he already isn't. the book is one of the best recent works that breaks down some of the myths even we have in permaculture and explains what really happens in true life on a homestead. just think about the way he discusses the use of animals on a homestead, and how he explains that we sometimes assume certain breeds of chicken are better than others, like his experience with indian runners. He explains how all this really is a theoretical vision. One has to try, it's all through the book. If whe look at the comments made by people that have participated to the pdc courses he organises they all highlight how it's so hand's on and the book passes on this message.
One thing I really loved of the book is even the way it's written, it has a gender neutral language in it, we may not think about these things often but instead they count and Ben even in this demonstrates how much he cares to share a different way of speaking and writing.
there is one thing I will in the next future write directly to Ben: the book is a work in progress and he recalls many times the fact that in future editions of the book he will give the new info on the results of experiments he has done or that for when the book was first published hadn't yet given proven data. Can't we think of an update on the site of whole systems design so those who already had the book don't have to rebuy it and can have the info at hand to complete the vision?

Still believe what I wrote, the book and the author are big. An update can be we're all looking forward to see Permaculture skills, the DvD set, that is going to be 4 dvd's instead of 3 due to be out at the endo of may!!
 
gardener
Posts: 697
Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
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I give this book 8 out of 10 acorns.

This is a great read for the wide-eyed new permaculturalist that can't understand why their property doesn't look like one of Geoff Lawton's amazing videos even though they've been working on the land for a few years. You get to see some of Ben's hiccups along the way as well as get some insight as to lessons learned and solutions found.

Filled with inspiring photos coupled with good writing, I expect this book will end up on many a permies' shelf.
 
gardener
Posts: 1153
Location: Eastern Tennessee
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A solid 8 out of 10 acorns.

Let me start by saying how beautiful some of the images are in this book. There is something about beautiful pictures that can really draw you into a book. So where do I stand on this work besides the pictures?

I would say that this book is absolutely ideal for beginners. That said, it may be an interesting read for just about anyone. Those who would prefer a quicker movement towards the point may find the way he writes a bit frustrating. The book takes its time weaving through ideas and the author's philosophies.

It sits somewhere between a philosophy book, a how-to manual and a memoir. If it fails in leaning a particular way, I would say it is the how-to. It is long on ideas but limited in direct instructions. The heavy cost of some things may be off-putting to those who wish to be more directly hands-on or who have tight budgets (as I am sure many a Permie is or has been).

I'd say it is a book worth buying, but if you can only get a copy at the library for now, it isn't going to be a problem. It might take you a while to read through and digest it all, though.
8acorns.png
[Thumbnail for 8acorns.png]
 
Posts: 34
Location: Santa Cruz, Ca
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I give this book 9 out of 10 acorns.

Ben Falk has created an inspiring book, full of breathtaking photographs. I found myself making lists of seeds to seek out, reading about what he has grown; I viewed my own backyard differently, after working my way through his richly informative text. This book is a treasure for anyone studying the philosophy of permaculture. Ben Falk is a natural teacher, his book is substantial and his explanations thorough. He so eloquently walks us through his ideas, mistakes and successes, his principals. The Resilient Farm and Homestead will help you to develop a closer relationship with your land, clarifying your ability to plan and prioritize your survival needs in the event of a system collapse. I found this book to have more than enough completely original content to earn it a valued place on my shelf.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1947
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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I've been planting my new trees and bushes using his alley system and, so far so good.

I agree that as his systems mature and he gains even more experience he is becoming one of the major permaculture voices. He clearly is walking the walk, observing, working on the land, self regulating. Especially here in New England, I'm excited to see how he does.
 
pollinator
Posts: 359
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6b
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I give this book 9 acorns.

Why 9: because it's well written and tells us about first-hand experience instead of just stating the facts (X is / does / needs Y).

Why not 10: to keep my powder try in case something truly miraculous comes along
 
Posts: 102
Location: Reeds Spring, MO; zone 6b Ozarks
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I give this book 8 out of 10 acorns.

An inspiring and beautiful read with some very helpful considerations included on design philosophy and how to think about your land. I don't think it's as helpful for a beginner as some other books, and I don't find Falk as rigorously science-based as some other permaculture writers. However, I dip into it regularly for ideas and visual guidance.
 
master gardener
Posts: 4835
Location: southern Illinois, USA
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I give this book 8 out of 10 acorns.

Hemmingway had a theory that a book needed to begin with a "true sentence".  Ben achieves this with his observations on regeneration and resiliency.   I expected this to be a "how to book".  It is.  But, it is much more.  By the time I has completed the first 25 pages, it so, I walked away from it to clear my brain. I needed time to dump my preconceived notions of what I was reading.

It certainly contains "how to" information, but it also co tai. A good bit of theory and philosophy. Sometimes the author is a little too preachy. He appears to see septic systems as some kind of conspiracy, for example. And, although I was a skeptic at times. I was also impressed by his magic ...  growing rice in Vermont!

I also have to comment on the high quality of photography. The photos certainly put his practices in the best light. To be fair, he is also quick to share his set backs as well.

This book was an enjoyable and informative read.
 
gardener
Posts: 628
Location: Tennessee
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I give this book 10 out of 10 acorns.

It is one of my all-time favorite books about Permaculture, and I have read it cover-to-cover twice.

It's (to paraphrase the author):
  • A case study
  • A resource for ecological design
  • An idea book for ecological restoration
  • A prepping manual


  • And it really is all those things--and more.

    The author, right after grad school (land-use planning and design) in 2003, bought a house and 10-acre Vermont property to flip, and wound up turning it into a Forever Homestead where he still lives, with his family. So this book is part what he did and how he did it for the first ten years there, and part information and advice based on his knowledge and experience (and experiments), as well as questions and ideas for readers to consider about what they could do, and gentle exhortations to be part of the solution to regenerate our world by our choices and actions. It's exactly what I needed, because I want to know what to do to "level up" my lifestyle, not to keep up with the Joneses, but to build a more natural and sustainable basis for all my daily habits.

    Falk covers homestead site design, water and earthworks, gardening and livestock, fuel and shelter. Material covered is so complete, replete with his experiences, photos, memories, and encouragement to the reader to back up all the information provided, including lots of charts and diagrams. And by the way, it's just amazing what they've done with that property profiled in the book. He grows rice--RICE!--as one of their staple crops...in Vermont (view cover image for rice paddies).

    I love the author's writing style, too. It really reads like a memoir in so many ways, rather than a textbook, although it rather looks and feels textbooky. I will be keeping this volume on my shelves forever, and constantly referring to it. A wonderful resource for all levels of Permaculturists/gardeners/farmers.
     
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