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The Soil and Health Library is an online library of books, which cover a wide range of topics of interest to anybody looking at sustainable alternatives to modern living. What’s even better is that the library is free.

I came across the Soil and Health Library about three years ago, whilst researching soil microbes. Since then I have downloaded about a dozen books. The service is free, but you are asked to contribute a one off donation, which I think is ten euros. It’s been a while since I donated.

The library is split into collections covering Agriculture, Health, Personal Sovereignty, and Spiritual Freedom.  Some of these have additional sub-categories. This is important. For example, the Personal Sovereignty section is further sub-divided into sections on Homesteading, and Social Criticism, and the homesteading section contains some excellent books that you might expect to be included under Agriculture. My advice is to visit the site, and take a look around. There is a link Below

Soil and Health

What I find most exciting about the collection, is that it includes books by people who were at the forefront of the Organic movement, and who were the source material for many of the current spate of authors. One example of this is the book  Tree Crops: a permanent agriculture, by Russell J Smith, which can be found in the Agriculture Library. Not only are many of the ideas and examples used by Bill Mollison found here, but even the  words PERMAnent agriCULTURE are found in the title of the book. There is so much common content, that it’s obvious that this is the seed from which Permaculture developed, or at least one of them. I hope to review the book soon.

The library is only allowed to provide texts which are out of print, or are freely available in the public domain. My experience so far, is that you can download the out of print books, but you have to read the public domain books online. One sad thing is that if somebody reprints one of the books, it stops being available. This applies to books like Fertility Pastures, by Newman Turner. This is a fantastic, practical book, about ley farming, and rotation. Which pre dates the ideas of Joel Salatin, which are gaining a following in the USA. The Turner book was put back into print by ACRES in the USA, so is now no longer available. The same applies to The One Straw Revolution, by Masanobu Fukuoka. I’m fortunate to have read both before then.

It would be impossible to give suggestions as to which books you might find most useful, as the range is so wide. My advice is to get in there and read as much as you can. What would also be nice would be for you to comment on any of the books that you find there, that you find really useful, or enjoyable,

Take Care