The following lists are not all-inclusive, but are meant to give you leads into where to find more information, and not just about permaculture.  Please visit our Finch Frolic Garden Facebook page (you don’t need to be a Facebook member to view it on computers) for lots of information, albums of plant and animal identification, and more, hosted by Miranda Kennedy.  Below I’ve starred the links I use the most:



Helpful Permaculture Books

These are books that I have vetted. There are more on the market which I’m sure are wonderful, too, but I haven’t had a chance to read them, or I have found them to not be worth the price of the book.  

  • Backyard Beekeeper by Kim Flottum: The Backyard Beekeeper, now in its revised, and expanded third edition, makes these time-honored and complex tradition of beekeeping enjoyable and accessible backyard pastime will appeal to gardeners, crafters, and cooks everywhere.
  • The Barefoot Beekeeper by Philip Chandler  Using homemade equipment and natural, chemical free methods of management, this is beekeeping simplified. replica breitling watches
  • *Build Your Own Earth Oven by Kiko Denzer (Our own cob oven, Harry Mudd, as built using the guidelines): Earth ovens combine the utility of wood-fired, retained-heat oven with ease and timeless beauty of earthen construction.
  • The California Native Landscape: The Homeowner’s Design Guide to Restoring It Beauty and Balance by Greg Rubin and Lucy Warren: A clear and information-rich guide to choosing California native plants written by San Diegans! A MUST read.
  • Compost Tea Making by Marc Remillard: the basics of how to make compost specifically for compost teas. 
  • *Create an Oasis with Greywater by Art Ludwig: describes how to quickly and easily choose, build, and use a simple greywater system
  • Desert or Paradise by Sepp Holzer: he who coined the term hugelkultur, Sepp Holzer is renowned the world over for bringing degraded landscapes back to life using his unique methods of creating water retention basins.
  • Farming the Woods: An Integrated Permaculture Approach to Growing Food and Medicinals in Temperate Forests  by Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel. If you have a forested area on your property, here is a guide on how to grow food and specialty crops within the wooded domain without harming the forest. A carefully written specialty guide.

  • Food Not Lawns by H. C. Flores: a  guide to building a sustainable community through growing and sharing food, seeds, and ideas.

  • *Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway: my first permaculture guide and the most user-friendly, by the recently late Toby Hemenway. “It’s fun and easy to create a “backyard ecosystem” by assembling communities of plants that can work cooperatively and perform a variety of functions.”
  • *Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land by Gary Paul Nabhan: How to harvest water and nutrients, select drought-tolerant plants, and create natural diversity because climatic uncertainty has now become “the new normal.”  
  • Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms by Paul Stamets: For the seriously mycologistically inclined:  This book covers in detail state-of-the-art commercial cultivation techniques, liquid culture inoculation methods, mycological landscaping, growing room and lab designs, troubleshooting and more.
  • The Hand-Sculpted House by Ianto Evans, et. al. This is a building method so old and so simple that it has been all but forgotten in the rush to synthetics. A cob cottage,cobb, however, might be the ultimate expression of ecological design, a structure so attuned to its surroundings that its creators refer to “an ecstatic house.”
  • The Humanure Handbook by Joseph Jenkins: This book explains why people of the Western world do not compost their humanure, why we should, and how it can be done safely, AND the entire book is free online in PDF form.
  • The Microbe Manual by Carole Ann Rollins (buy poster separately): How to recognize the creatures under your microscope when analyzing compost! With photos! “A 31 page microbe manual accompanies the poster with extremely detailed and scientific explanations of each photo on the poster, with arrows and letter labels to help clarify what you see in each photo and your microscope. This is the only reference guide on the market written by Phd’s about how to add beneficial biology into plant growing systems. Doctor Elaine Ingham is the expert in this field through the world with micro biological laboratories in eight different countries she has been the world leader in the compost tea industry for over 25 years. Since there are no textbooks written on the subject this guide is the only reference the industry has available.”
  • *Mycelium Running: how mushrooms can help save the world by Paul Stamets: A MUST read.  A manual for the mycological rescue of the planet with chapters on nutrition, medicinal properties and so much more.
  • Natural Beekeeping:Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture by Ross Conrad . Keep bees without using poisons.
  • The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollen: A MUST read! Why we eat the way we do. Pollen traces four meals back to their origins. Very enlightening! 
  • The One Straw Revolution: A MUST read. “Call it “Zen and the Art of Farming” or a “Little Green Book,” Masanobu Fukuoka’s manifesto about farming, eating, and the limits of human knowledge presents a radical challenge to the global systems we rely on for our food.”
  • Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual by the late Bill Mollison. This tome is for the serious. “Permaculture” (permanent agriculture) is the conscious design and maintenance of economical, agriculturally productive ecosystems that have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems.” THE textbook.
  • The Permaculture City: Regenerative Design for Urban, Suburban, and Town Resilience by Toby Heminway: Toby’s last book. “Permaculture is more than just the latest buzzword; it offers positive solutions for many of the environmental and social challenges confronting us. And nowhere are those remedies more needed and desired than in cities.” 
  • Rainwater Harvesting for Dry Lands vols. 1 and 2: teaches you how to conceptualize, design, and implement sustainable water-harvesting systems for your home, landscape, and community.
  • Restoration Agriculture: Real-World Permaculture for Farmers by Mark Shepard: explains how we can have all of the benefits of natural, perennial ecosystems and create agricultural systems that imitate nature in form and function while still providing for our food, building, fuel and many other needs – in your own backyard, farm or ranch.
  • Regenerative Enterprise: Optimizing for Multi-Capital Abundance by Ethan C. Roland & Gregory Landua (an ebook). Sustainability isn’t enough: we must be regenerative in all of our practices. “We believe that there is a rational way that humans can exist on the planet, one that reverses current trends and actually increases the health of all ecosystems and living beings. “
  • The Resilient Farm and Homestead by Ben Falk: a manual for developing durable, beautiful, and highly functional human habitat systems fit to handle an age of rapid transition.
  • Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture: A guide for farmers, but an excellent resource for understanding the stacking of functions and what can be done. He covers every aspect of his farming methods, not just how to create a holistic system on the farm itself, but how to make a living from it.

Helpful Magazines

Edible San Diego (they have one for many cities throughout the US)

*Permaculture: Practical Solutions for Self-Reliance (UK)


Local (San Diego area) Permaculture Demonstration Sites (there are more!)

*Finch Frolic Garden (Fallbrook) (This is mine!  See Finch Frolic Garden tab on this blog for information.)

*San Diego Sustainable Living Institute (Valley Center)

*Sky Mountain Institute (Escondido)



Permaculture Consultants and Landscapers (San Diego Area)

Diane Kennedy (me!) (Consultation)

Miranda Kennedy, : Wildlife, native plants and animal biodiversity analysis and recommendation (Consultation)

Hatch Aquatics and Landscaping 760-877-3000 (Consultation and installation)

Josh Robinson, Ecology Artisans (Consultation, design and installation)

Chris Meador, Permasystems, (rain catchment, water tanks, etc.)

Bob Lloyd, PuraVida Aquatics (Chemical-free pond maintenance and swimming pool conversions [into chemical-free swimmable ponds and rain catchment, without changing the structure of your pool!])


I only list businesses with which I’ve done successful business and can recommend; there are many which I haven’t yet patronized which I’m sure are great, but I can’t promote them until I do.


Videos online

*We have our own YouTube channel:  Finch Frolic Garden has playlists about permaculture with videos from Sepp Holzer (Austrian alps permaculture wonder garden!), Geoff Lawton (informative and informational permaculture from around the world), Bill Mollison (the author of the Permaculture Design Handbook (with David Holmgren) and who coined the term permaculture), Mark Shepard (author of Restoration Agriculture, using treescapes to fix the land), Joel Salatin (diversified farming), Dr. Elaine Ingham (world-renowned soil scientist and compost tea advocate), Curtis Stone and Jean-Martin Fortier (urban intensive farming), Willy Smits (reforesting Indonesia) and Paul Stamets (mushrooms and fungal health), for starters.  Find them here.  These playlists are not all-inclusive; please do your own search on YouTube under these names for more videos by and about them!

*For free short educational videos from Geoff Lawton of the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia, go  to GeoffLawton. com .  THESE ARE GEMS!  LOTS OF PERMACULTURE INSPIRATION IN SHORT BITES.  WATCH THESE!


*Geoff Lawton’s series, either purchase DVDs or digital download from Permaculture Research Institute :

Introduction to Permaculture Design, Urban Permaculture, Establishing a Food Forest, Permaculture Soils,

Harvesting Water – the Permaculture Way.



Earth Friendly Homeowners These stopped in 2017 but are still available through Apple. There is one interviewing me, but I don’t know if it is accessible or not.,




  • Danielle Dunn

    Hi there I received Some advice that has led me to here . I’m attempting to contact Diane Kennedy for her vegetable garden consulting. Someone on friends of Fallbrook recommended that I stop by Diane’s herbs and so I did and then the lady that worked there recommended I contact Diane Kennedy to help me with a few questions I have about starting my first garden. I’ve done a ton of research and I cannot believe how complex planting vegetables and fruit and between soil pH, the different types of soil, fertilizers, mulch, compost and watering requirements (that I do not understand how to measure properly) to germinating seeds for the garden call. It seem so easy until i start to get into it and then it becomes quite complex and I need a guide to help me have a successful first garden. I live on Willow Glen here in Fallbrook where I was born and raised. I have about 4000 ft.² of space to garden and have it all mapped out according to what I have learned online. I desperately need somebody who knows what they’re talking about to help me create the right soil environment for each plant. The plan is grow to grow our fruit and veggies in raised beds across the 4000 plus sq feet available for gardening. It is my very first garden in a long time dream of mine to put this browned them to an end and turn it green. Please contact me I desperately need help

  • Diane

    Hi Esther. I’ve been giving your question a lot of thought. Mice and rats can fit in a very small opening, many times smaller than their size. Therefore blocking entrances has to be complete for that to work. I have cats so I don’t have a rodent problem in the house, but I have had lots of rat problems in my cars and in the chicken coop. For the cars I’ve tried moth balls, cinnamon, vinegar, and other things. They sell these little bags of highly scented pine/cedar shavings and that may have worked. However the best thing that worked was when a rat died in the fan or something while I was driving (didn’t know he was in there). Rat blood keeps other rats away. For a house, however, there are many, many opportunities to enter. They are looking for shelter, food and water and this time a year a place to nest. Truly the only things that absolutely work are trapping (catch-and-release is futile in that if you release them anywhere nearby they’ll just come back, and if you release them farther away it is cruelty to the animal because they are now strangers in a strange and hostile land and will probably become food quickly or be injured in fights with other rodents), or having a dog or cat that will be diligent about keeping the house rodent-free. Rodents don’t come into my house because they smell the cats. I am completely against having unrestricted outdoor cats as they kill an enormous percentage of wildlife, but having an indoor cat or dog that is trained to keep rodents out is really your best bet. I’ll see you on the 28th! Diane

  • Esther Krouse

    Could you recomend a natural, kind and effective method for keeping mice, rats and other rodents from coming inside the home. Something other than finding and covering holes through which they come in?
    I’ve already tried that and neverthless,they soon find a new way in.
    I would much appreciate your input.
    I’m planning to attend the talk about methods for collecting water on June 28th. Hopefully, I might see you then.

    Thanks in advance!


  • Diane

    It was our pleasure to meet you and your family and their friend. You are so full of information and it was great to talk with you. Thanks so much for making the drive from Palomar! I, too, hope to meet you again. Diane.

  • Esther Krouse

    Hi Diane and Miranda,

    What a blessing to meet you. My family and l had a marvelous time taking your tour yesterday. What a wonderful endeavor you both are undertaking. I’ve checked the section on resources for everyone on your website and I am very excited about learning all I can about Permaculture and Sustainable Living.
    Again, thank you so much for the great contribution you’ve made to us and that you make to “all.”
    You are both blessed, and a blessing!

    I Hope there’ll be another opportunity to meet you again!



  • Diane

    Hi Judy. Sorry it took me a few days to respond. I have the instructions on my blog under Compost Tea, or Actively Aerated Compost Tea. A 5-gallon bucket of good water, a bag of good soil, a teaspoon of molasses, and any or all of the following, and no more than a tablespoon of each: organic flour (can be non-wheat), organic corn meal, kelp, bone or blood meal. There are other things as well but the molasses, flour and corn meal will grow you a great inoculant. Plug in a fish tank aerator for 13 hours, then use the mixture within 3 hours after. I hope that helps!

  • Judy ipema

    Hello Diane
    I took your tour a few months ago. It was so educational and inspiring! You showed us how to make an organic inoculant, and I’ve now forgotten how make it. Can you refresh my memory please?
    Thank you.

  • Beth Cobb

    Hi Diane This is Beth from the bird hike last Sunday. Great web page and information. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *