The Permaculture Promise

In The Permaculture Promise author Jono Neiger ’03 offers an introduction to permaculture, as a design system that offers practical ideas for how humans can simultaneously provide for ourselves and regenerate the world. In it are 22 examples of ways in which permaculture has helped to achieve this goal, brought to life through profiles of the people and communities who are already taking the permaculture path – including an urban dweller who tore up her driveway to create a vegetable garden and a California housing development that dedicates a third of its land to parks, orchards and gardens.

A permaculture teacher and designer since 1996, Jono works to help organizations and individuals further their goals for stewarding their land and for creating productive, regenerative human ecosystems. Currently, he is on the faculty at the Conway School, and is the principal of Regenerative Design Group, a permaculture design and consultation firm in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

Pilgrimages and Peregrinations

By Jean-Pierre Marcoux ’86. Now living in the anthropocene era, humanity’s common setting is the écoumène, where no stone is left unturned. Metaphorically, life can be seen as a phenomenological journey, balancing from intentional planning of one’s course to events thrust upon us, surprising us, leading us into the mystery of the unknown. Since 1945, as a citizen of Québec and a pilgrim of planet Earth, my presence in this here and now and the discovery of its beauty through vigilant observation has brought about multi-faceted reflections: spiritual, philosophical, sociological, political, ecological, aesthetical… By way of prose, haiku or free verse poetry, and photographs, these thoughts would like to touch the soul and spirit of those who share the privilege and gratitude of being alive.

Taste, Memory: Forgotten Foods, Lost Flavors, and Why They Matter

In Taste, Memory author David Buchanan ’00 explores questions fundamental to the future of food and farming. How can we strike a balance between preserving the past, maintaining valuable agricultural and culinary traditions, and looking ahead to breed new plants? What place does a cantankerous old pear or too-delicate strawberry deserve in our gardens, farms, and markets? To what extent should growers value efficiency and uniformity over matters of taste, ecology, or regional identity?






The Resilient Farm and Homestead: An innovative permaculture and whole systems design approach

The Resilient Farm and Homestead by Ben Falk ’05 is a 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 also details leading-edge strategies for regenerating soil, water systems and human health through the design and operations of the homestead and farm.




Bioengineering Case StudiesBioengineering Case Studies

Bioengineering Case Studies by Wendi Goldsmith ’90 and her co-authors (Springer, 2014) is like having instant access to 35 fascinating field trips guided by eminent experts. Not meant as a how-to manual on bioengineering, the book instead looks at a wide range of techniques that have been employed for soil bioengineering, bio-stabilization, biotechnical erosion control, ecological engineering, and green construction. The three dozen projects from across the United States give a board introduction to methods of using vegetation to protect exposed soils, slopes, and stream banks. Benefits and lessons learned are given for each project, which also includes photographs from before, during, and after construction. “Choosing bioengineering over its common alternatives fundamentally contributes to ecosystem productivity, balance, and resilience,” the authors note.



Edible Forest Gardens

This comprehensive two-volume book by Conway grad David Jacke ’84 constitutes an in-depth course in ecological garden design. Edible Forest Gardens is written in a passionate, clear, and engaging style, it integrates the vision and ecology of forest gardening with practical design, establishment, and management strategies.




Energy-Wise Landscape Design

Sue Reed ’87, a registered landscape architect, has helped hundreds of homeowners create comfortable, beautiful, energy-efficient landscapes. In Energy-Wise Landscape Design, she shares tips, techniques and actions, gleaned from nearly 25 years experience, that will help homeowners, gardeners, landscape professionals and students save money, time and effort while making their landscapes more environmentally healthy and energy efficient. Many illustrations in the book are by Kate Dana ’07.


Lens on Outdoor Learning

The outdoors is filled with rich learning experiences for young children. Packed with colorful photographs and detailed stories about children exploring and experiencing nature, Lens on Outdoor Learning, which was co-authored by Ginny Sullivan ’86, will inspire you to facilitate and encourage children’s learning as they spend time in nature. Each story describes how children naturally explore and create their own learning experiences outdoors. Using images, children’s dialogue and actions, you will see how the natural world supports joyful and meaningful learning that connects to the approaches to learning standards.


Designing Greenways: Sustainable Landscapes for Nature and People

Designing greenways is a key to protecting landscapes, allowing wildlife to move freely, and finding appropriate ways to bring people into nature. This book, co-authored by former Director Paul Cawood Hellmund, brings together examples from ecology, conservation biology, aquatic ecology, and recreation design to illustrate how greenways function and add value to ecosystems and human communities alike. (Ok, Paul isn’t a Conway alum, but he tells us he feels like one after teaching at the school so long.)


Are you a Conway alum and a published author? Let us know.

Many of these books can be found at local bookstores and online booksellers like Better World Books. If you do use Amazon, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Conway: use this link to support us.