The Permaculture Podcast

    Episode 1408: The Traveling Permaculture Library Project


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    This episode is not a normal show, but an announcement of a project I’m launching called the Traveling Permaculture Library. As some of you have heard from past shows, on occasion I get books from authors and publishers to read and review. Previously I gave the books away to someone after I read them. I want to get a greater number of books into the hands of a larger group of people. To do that, I want to review and then mail books to listeners, but with an added twist.

    Here’s what I have in mind. When I get a book from a publisher or author I’ll read it, perhaps adding my notes to it because I do write in the margins and underline or highlight passages, and when I’m done I’ll mail it to a listener. You have as long as you’d like to read it, and you can even write in it if you like. The expectation is that once you finish reading the book you’ll mail it to someone else.

    To get the address of where to send it let me know you’re done reading the book and I’ll give you the next person on the list. You then mail the book and continue the cycle. The books can keep moving in this way until they are either no longer in good enough condition to pass or, or they disappear into the ether.
    Because I don’t know what book I’ll receive, so don’t know what you’ll get as part of this project. And trying to manage separate lists for each book is a logistical nightmare for me. Plus part of the fun of this is that you never know what you could get. Instead a mysterious book, that you might not even know exists, arrives in the mail for your enjoyment.

    I don’t want to send packages unsolicited, and do want everyone who joins in to be interested in this program and be willing to mail on each book when there done. To do that, I’m asking you to explicitly contact me to be added to the library recipient list. Send an email to: with the phrase “Lending Library” in the subject. In the body of the message include your preferred mailing address. I’ll make a list that serves as a queue, so it’s first-in/first-out. Once a book is mailed to you I’ll move your name to the bottom of the list, and the process continues. Given all the factors involved in this process, including when you hear this episode, it could take months or years before everyone receives a book.

    If you’d like to make this program more interesting, you can be a source of books for the program by mailing books from your own library to others. I just ask that you understand you will probably never see them again once they are dropped in the post, so please be completely willing to part with whatever you agree to include. If you are interested in helping send a note to the show e-mail address that you are interested in passing books on, as well as a list of suggested books. Then as things get rolling I can give you a name and address from the list, as well as a book suggestion.
    If you are an author or publisher who would like to get involved, contact me and I can give you my mailing address to send books to. I’ll read and review your material, and then pass them on as part of this project.

    The plan, as you’ll see if you go to, is to keep an updated page that details the books currently in the program, the number of people who has received each title, and information on how to buy the books directly from the author or publisher. That way you can easily find a book if you’d like to add it to your personal library, and in turn we can act as a community to support the people writing and releasing the books that help us to build a better world.

    If you buy a book after reading it as part of the Permaculture Podcast Traveling Library it let me know. I’d like to track the results of this program and share the results with the listing for each book.

    To take this one step further, I’m going to have a separate Members Library for people who support the show as part of the members program. But rather than being books I receive, the books for members will come from my personal library, and include titles I’ve found to be influential in my early, and ongoing, permaculture work.

    To get things started, the first two books in this program are:

    Arthur Haines Ancestral Plants, Volume 1Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist

    I look forward to your receiving email and having you as a part of the Traveling Permaculture Library project.

    Until the next time, take care of the earth, yourself, and each other.

    (Episode 2014-008)


    1. sarahsarah
      February 5, 2014    

      Hi Scott,
      Excellent idea! It kind of reminds me of, except much more focused. Their website might be useful for people new to mailing books, as they have a guide to costs. Also, if you’re shipping lots of books, ask for media rates at the USPS, it’s cheaper than their other options.

      Love your podcast!

    2. Linda KurtzLinda Kurtz
      February 5, 2014    

      I came across your podcast for the first time today. I love the idea of the travelling library and will follow the directions for joining. The more folks we can get this information out to the better!
      BTW, I own both Ancestral Plants (Arthur is or was connected to Maine Primtive Skills School and they taught at a Pathfinder School gathering I attended-in fact they had a photo of me blowing my first bow drill coal into fireon their website!) My kids and I are slowly working our way thru his book – LOTS of info. I purchased Edible landscaping just last weekend as a treat ! So, make me #3! Great idea. Thanks for your efforts.

      Linda Kurtz

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