[permaculture] Food Not Lawns book

neshura neshura at gmail.com
Wed Dec 27 11:17:36 EST 2006

How about an electronic copy of this book? Is Chelsea Green going that
route at all? It would seem like it would save a few resources to
distribute electronically for those of us that are trying to
consolidate our book collections or who would just like to have less
"stuff" but more access to creativity and ideas.

There's a big difference between books one reads and books one uses,
and for my own part, I would prefer to have the former in electronic
format, so that I can read, enjoy and then file them in my gmail or
backup drive. I only have a few books which I pull off the shelf
repeatedly when I need to refer to nitty-gritty specifics, make notes
about a particular species or cultivar, or browse for a design
pattern, and I don't mind keeping those in dead tree form.

Unless I have misunderstood the reviews of the book greatly, it sounds
interesting, political,  intended to shake people up to rethink their
lawns and habits and inspire them to do this type of composting, that
type of greywater, and so on and so forth, all of which I already have
books on, and I don't really need to be convinced of the lawn part
either what with my ongoing transformation of my front yard. So, I
think I'm not really the right audience but I wouldn't mind reading it
anyway, only not for the price of the physical manifestation of one
more oppressive material object in my already oppressively-cluttered

I suppose what I am saying, to be really honest, is that I am really
extremely sick of "things" including books, and all the associated
transactional costs of disposing of, gifting, donating, storing,
filing for insurance on after floods or hurricanes, packing into boxes
and moving cross-country, and otherwise wasting my life on junk, even
useful junk like books, when it is really the ideas in those books
that I am interested in, not the books themselves (with a few rare

Anyway, sorry, this turned into a bit of a rant, it seems to have come
out sounding a bit like I'm accusing Heather of being a paper-based
overlord of oppression, which was not at all my intent, unless it's
true, in which case it was just a lucky guess... I really just wanted
to ask if I could pay for a PDF copy... ?


On 12/24/06, Heather Coburn Flores <seedgeek at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Hi folks. I have been getting an interesting diversity of responses to my commecnts on permaculture in my new book, Food Not Lawns (chelsea green 2006). If you haven't seen it, check out my website at www.foodnotlawns.com/. The book is getting many and excellent reviews, but a few people, fo rwhom i have the utmost respect, are very upset about a few paragraphs in the first chapter, in which I choose to drop the term permaculture from the rest of the text and attempt to explain why. Several people posted angry and malicious messages here, and several others came quickly to my defense. Thank you all for your spirited and heartfelt exchange!
>   Let me say that because of the violent and angry nature of some of the more extreme responses, I will probably change the wording for the next printing. my feelings have not changed, but I wish to clarify my intentions.
>   First, my intent was to eliminate the buzzword in the interest of inclusion, and to bring up a much-needed class analysis of the permaculture community. In the UK it may be different but here in the states you would be lucky to find a pc course for less than $600, (more like $1200) and even then you would often have to work many hours in trade for tuition. this may seem like a nominal charge to those who have grown up with homes, medical care, access to education, cars, but to a poor person who lives on minimum wage it is totally inaccessible. and to an activist who already works full-time for no pay, it is also inaccessible.
>   I want the information to be less proprietary, more of a resource for the general public. we, as a movement, complain about being mostly white, middle-class people yet expect to get paid for our earth stewardship. we cannot maintain a cushy middle-class lifestyle and also be a sustainable culture. it is just not going to happen. i am not white or middle-class, and of course i like to get paid for my work, but I live on less than $10,000 a year and don't think anyone should try to make a middle-class or better salary teaching permaculture (unless of course you want to cater to the wealthy homeowner types--and yes, they deserve to have access too). But if we really want to diversify the color and shape of our community we are going to have to completely change the way many people feel when they inquire into taking a permaculture course. They need to feel like it is within their reach to participate, and the price is the first thing they ask about.
>   The main reason I "abandoned the term" is because, while I wanted my readers to know about permaculture, I did not want to write a "permaculture book." And because it seems like whenever anyone even mentions the term, all of the grumpy old permies get all worked up over the "right" to use it. Absurd. It's a word. Subject to personal interpretation like all other words. I have my certificate, and a right to my opinion. And when was the last time anyone read a book in which they agreed with every single paragraph anyway? It's nice to rock the boat a little, keeps us on our toes!
>   Please feel free to forward this to anyone you like.
>   peace
> Heather Flores
> Now Available!
> Food Not Lawns, How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden and Your Neighborhood into a Community, by Heather Coburn Flores.
> The premier guide for ecological living in the city through paradise gardening and shared resources by a co-founder of the original Food Not Lawns grassroots gardening project in Eugene, OR. With a foreword by Toby Hemenway and over 400 pages of text, enhanced by almost a hundred drawings by Northwest artist Jackie Holmstrom, Food Not Lawns offers a theoretical and practical handbook for ecological community transformation. (Chelsea Green, 2006, 334 p.) ISBN 1-933392-07-X
> Keep your eyes open for a book release party near you as Heather embarks on her national tour. Order your author-signed first editions today by sending a check or money order for $25 plus $4.05 S&H ($29.05) to Heather Coburn Flores, 31139 Lanes Turn Road, Coburg, OR 97408. Estimate 5-8 business days for delivery.
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