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Recommended Reading, aka Resources

The following websites and books have been formative in shaping our vision. We would really encourage you to read these, so that we can have an informed and in-depth discussion about the issues that these writers raise.


Short CircuitRichard Douthwaite

A clear analysis of the structures that support a community’s economic base, and a description of the hands-on tools needed to strengthen it. In Short Circuit, Richard Douthwaite has undertaken the most extensive survey yet of community economics in the industrialized world.

As individuals, we face increasing insecurity in our working lives, on our streets and even within our homes. As societies, we face a ruthlessly competitive global economy, the threat of armed conflict, and a biosphere stressed to the point of collapse. In the face of all this, governments and businesses offer us, at best, a tattered, decaying safety net. Short Circuit‘s encouraging message is that the security we need can be found in our own communities by developing our local economies.

Nutrition and Physical DegenerationWeston A Price

This is an extremely important report, written by Weston A Price, who had the opportunity to study indigenous people from all over the world. His study can never be repeated, given that he was working at a time when indigenous cultures were begining to be exposed to Industrialised food. Price studied the traditional diets of peoples from many different parts of the world prior to the introduction of other foods (such as refined flour, sugar and vegetable oils), and he was also able to study the effect that these introduced foods had on the population. This book is very easy to read, and full of very clear photographs that illustrate his findings.

From this study, Weston A Price found that all traditional cultures based their diets on the same principles, even though the actual foods eaten were vastly different given their locations around the planet. These principles are the same ones that we must relearn and adopt into our everyday habits if we are to remain strong and healthy for future generations.

Deep Nutrition – Why your genes need traditional food – Catherine Shanahan MD

This recent publication is an excellent explanation of how our genes respond to the food we eat – expressing in a positive or a negative way, depending on the quality of the food. Environment determines Genetic Expression.

The Vegetarian Myth – Lierre Keith

Written by a woman who was vegan for 20 years, this is a passionate and well articulated rebuttal of the common myths surrounding vegetarianism. Keith goes through the arguments for human health and the health of the planet and shows the assumptions and mis understandings that support the popular and politically correct stances around omnivorous vs vegetarian diets.


The nutritional resilience approach to food security – Bruce Darrell (a chapter from Fleeing Vesuvius)

From this recent compilation from Feasta; “The Foundation for the economics of Sustainability”. This article addresses the challenges of providing ourselves with food security (growing our own food) on seriously compromised and de-mineralised soils. This is an issue we have taken very seriously, and our research (which is based within the Koanga Institute) has been focused on this issue for more than 5 years now. Kay Baxter’s research into methods that are suitable for home gardeners to improve the soil, addressing mineral deficiencies and other soil issues. A critical issue that hass high priority in our planning for self reliance.

Websites and Lectures

The Automatic Earth

An ongoing blog website that offers commentary about the global financial situation and where we might be headed, what we can do to prepare.

Nicole Foss: A Century of Challenges

This is an analysis of the current global financial situation, and what we need to do to prepare for the coming challenges. Highly Recommended

The Weston A Price Foundation

This website is a great resource – full of well researched articles from the foundation that exists to educate and promote the work of Weston A Price. Many informative articles on health and nutrition, as well as environmental influences on our health.

The Koanga Institute

Our developing village incorporates the Koanga Institute, a registered charitable trust dedicated to saving the heritage food plants of Aotearoa. The Institute is also committed to finding solutions that are appropriate for home gardeners, with an emphasis on understanding how to grow Nutrient Dense Food in a way that is regenerative for the soil and appropriate for NZ Home gardeners. Much of the research program at the Institute is directly related to the practical work we are doing in the development of the village. We share a common vision, reclaiming a sustainable, self reliant culture which supports optimum human health, and regenerates the environment.

The Permaculture Research Institute of Australia

The Permaculture Research Institute Australia

The Koanga Institute has developed a strong relationship with PRI and the directors Geoff and Nadia Lawton. Their website has lots of interesting articles with new postings most days. Well worth a regular check in for updates on permaculture ideas and happenings around the globe.

The Global Permaculture Network

Global Network for Permaculturalists world wide. We will be posting regular updates on this website about our progress.