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Fertile Edges

Regenerating Land, Culture and Hope

Nature & Environment

Maddy Harland, the editor of Permaculture magazine, offers a unique, frontline take on the environmental successes and challenges facing this planet and its people over 25 years. She explores the rise of permaculture globally, from its origins in Australia in the 1970s to its current activities in over 170 countries worldwide, and describes positive developments of this global movement and the huge potential it has yet to achieve.

Amid a wealth of permaculture’s solutions and the ecocide of "business as usual," Maddy interfaces practical permaculture and global transformation with deep ecology. This is a potent and entertaining cocktail. She writes of regenerative culture, earth restoration and social permaculture, long before they become core permaculture ideas and practices. Her deep connectivity with the natural and human worlds – a love for the changing of the seasons, of landscapes and species – and all that our differing cultures and spirits have to offer one another add another dimension of heart. These writings, based on her editorials from the mid-1990s to the current day, are a call to arms amid the enormity of world events and offer pathways to hope and strength in times of crisis. This is a treasure trove of inspiration.


"Maddy Harland’s work and life are an inspiration to anyone who dreams of devoting their energies to regeneration of land and community, and making a right livelihood from that work. As editor and publisher of Permaculture magazine, she has a global scope and more than two decades of her own thoughtful, protracted observation of the growth and development of the permaculture movement. A really valuable resource!”–Starhawk, permaculture teacher, activist and author of The Spiral Dance.

"Maddy Harland’s regular columns have, in turn, offered inspiration, a shoulder to cry on, rousing calls to arms, space to mourn and lament and signposts to stories to sustain an activist’s heart. They are essential reading for many. Gathered in one place, they offer a fascinating history of the development of permaculture, its ups and downs, its breakthroughs and its epiphanies. To have them gathered in one place is a joy. Give yourself a treat, and swim in their deep, wild waters.”–Rob Hopkins, co-founder of Transition Network, author of The Transition HandbookThe Transition Companion, and The Power of Just Doing Stuff

"About the same time Maddy Harland started penning this collection of essays, I went through a great change in my own life, leaving behind 20 years as a successful environmental attorney (punishing the bad guys) and embarking upon 30 years of permaculture teaching and design (aiding the good guys). Tracing her evolution through these pages I sense us as two vines curling up a trellis. As we reach the overarching part, Maddy has brought forth this truly amazing fruit. It packs lessons learnt along the way into nutrient-dense nourishment for the soul. Have a bite. It’s delicious.”–Albert Bates author of The Biochar SolutionPour Evian on Your Radishes and The Paris Agreement

"Permaculture magazine has served the good cause of caring for the land and for the people for 25 years under Maddy’s editorship and leadership. Her editorials have been outstanding. Maddy’s thoughts and words are timely, inspiring and filled with wisdom. I am delighted to know that these editorials are now being brought together in a book. It is a wonderful gift. May the permaculture movement go from strength to strength and may this book reach thousands of hands!”–Satish Kumar, author, peace activist and Emeritus Editor of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine

"Fertile Edges charts a movement ahead of its time, whose agenda of growing the ethics of people care, earth care and fair shares is ever more urgent and pertinent. These pages bear testament to Maddy’s role beyond editor of Permaculture magazine as a teacher, author, activist, healer, visionary, nature connector, friend, community builder, feminine leader, systems thinker, mother, gardener and lover of life. Her voice of courage is a clarion call to anyone who has a rumbling in their belly, a hunger for a world of radical care and vital connection."–Looby Macnamara, permaculture teacher and designer and author of People & Permaculture and 7 Ways to Think Differently

"Reading Maddy’s collected thoughts from over the years as she raises her family, documents a growing body of knowledge of immediate and urgent importance, while observing humanity crashing and burning its way through selfish, absurdist, feudal, materialist collapse is breathtaking and strangely rollicking good fun."–John D. Liu, film maker and founder of the Ecosystem Restoration Camps movement

"Set against the enviro-political landscape of the past 25 years, Maddy’s personal tale is fluidly woven throughout Fertile Edges showing a journey of growth and passion that has been reflected in the rise of consciousness of so many who have been effected by Permaculture magazine. The book reminds us of the importance of our individual right livelihood choices to influence our changing planet and provides hope and inspiration for our future.”–Ben Law, woodsman, author and eco-builder.


Maddy Harland

Maddy Harland

Maddy Harland is a co-founder and editor of Permaculture International: Practical Solutions Beyond Sustainability, a magazine which offers practical, innovative solutions and global perspectives. 2017 is the magazine’s 25th Anniversary Year. In 1990 Maddy co-founded Permanent Publications, a publishing company specializing in practical ecological solutions, and the Sustainability Centre in Hampshire, UK, once a military base, and now a thriving immersive learning center. She is a founding member of Gaia Education, which developed the Ecovillage Design Education course endorsed by UNESCO. An activist, gardener, teacher, community leader, Queens’ Award winning entrepreneur, and mother, Maddy is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and is a Visiting Knowledge Exchange Fellow of the Institute of Theological Partnerships at the University of Winchester in the UK.

Fertile Edges

Pages:192 pages
Size: 6 x 8.25 inch
Publisher:Permanent Publications
Paperback: 9781856233095
Pub. Date November 06, 2017

Available In/Retail Price

Paperback, 192 pages, $12.95