“Though the problems of the world seem increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.”            – Bill Mollison

Bill Mollison (1928 – 2016) is one of the creators of the permaculture movement, which he co-founded with his student, David Holmgren, in the 1970s in Australia. Together they jointly developed a framework for a sustainable agricultural system based on a multi-crop of perennial trees, shrubs, herbs, fungi, and root systems, which they coined permaculture (permanent – culture).


Bill wrote several books, but it was his ‘Introduction to Permaculture’, which he wrote with Reny Mia Slay, that first sent me on a journey of discovery into Permaculture. I understand that this book contains some of the same information in Bill’s early publications along with revised and new material.

What grabbed me about this title were the numerous informational illustrations that introduce the core permaculture principles. They clearly demonstrate simple ways relationships can be built between components in the home and garden. I still pull my well-thumbed copy off the bookshelf several times a year for inspiration.

This is an idea book, rather than a comprehensive ‘how to’ guide. It’s the sort of book to send you off researching in different directions for more information. At the time Bill’s books were first written, there probably wasn’t a great deal of reference material to follow-up, but these days there is a plethora of information on specialist permaculture subjects.

Unfortunately ‘Introduction to Permaculture’ is currently out of print. You can, however, access a number of Bill’s essays and pamphlets from his Permaculture Design Course here.

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