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Picks of the Month

We Found 33 items, sorted in Bestselling order.

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11.

THE COMPLETE ROOT CELLAR BOOK

S. Maxwell and J. MacKenzie
Paperback

Price: $24.95

Whether as a way to manage challenging economic times or retain a garden's bounty, root cellars are making a big comeback.

This book takes a fresh look at the art, science and romance of …

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Whether as a way to manage challenging economic times or retain a garden's bounty, root cellars are making a big comeback.

This book takes a fresh look at the art, science and romance of building and stocking a root cellar. There are detailed, illustrated construction guides for making four different kinds of root cellars that are functional and attractive. These include never-before-seen models for apartment and condo dwellers and home owners without a basement.

The Complete Root Cellar Book provides technical information on using photovoltaics (solar cells) and other energy technologies to enhance a root cellar's performance and ecological sustainability. It also includes must-know information on how to choose, store and manage a supply of fruits, vegetables, nuts and preserves.

The book features 100 recipes that call for stored produce, many of which also make use of the root cellar's specific environment, such as sauerkraut and barrel-fermented dill pickles. These classic dishes, many with new twists, include:

  • Classic leek and potato soup
  • Golden puffed potato puddings
  • Maple pecan crumble apple pie
  • Classic carrot cake
  • Spiced pear butter
  • Three-onion relish
Root cellars are the best natural way to store food, and this book is the most complete and up-to-date reference available on this time-honored tradition.

12.

DIY PROJECTS FOR THE SELF-SUFFICIENT HOMEOWNER

Betsy Matheson
Paperback

Price: $19.99

Build your way to a more self-sufficient lifestyle with step-by-step projects for backup and supplementary utilities -- including independent water, heat and electricity -- growing and storing food, r…

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Build your way to a more self-sufficient lifestyle with step-by-step projects for backup and supplementary utilities -- including independent water, heat and electricity -- growing and storing food, raising small livestock, beekeeping and more. Many of the projects require basic materials available at your everyday home center, but this book also provides valuable DIY resources for solar, hydro, greenhouse and gardening needs.

This book will help you build security with utility backup systems and become more sustainable, resulting in less dependence on city systems for basic needs. Whether you have a city plot or simply pots, this book includes all of the information needed to plan, build and succeed with greater self-sufficiency.

13.

ROUNDWOOD TIMBER FRAMING

Ben Law
Hardcover

Price: $39.95

This definitive manual marks the birth of a new vernacular for the 21st century. More than 400 color photographs and step-by-step instructions guide you through the building of anything from a garden …

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This definitive manual marks the birth of a new vernacular for the 21st century. More than 400 color photographs and step-by-step instructions guide you through the building of anything from a garden shed to your own woodland house. This practical ‘how-to’ book will unquestionably be a benchmark for sustainable building using renewable local resources and evolving traditional skills to create durable, ecological and beautiful buildings.

14.

HOUSING RECLAIMED

Jessica Kellner
Paperback

Price: $24.95

Housing is a fundamental human right. For most of human history, our homes were built by hand from whatever local materials were available. However, since the Industrial Revolution, most housing has…

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Housing is a fundamental human right. For most of human history, our homes were built by hand from whatever local materials were available. However, since the Industrial Revolution, most housing has become little more than quickly constructed, mass-produced, uniform boxes. At the same time, the invention and standardization of the 30-year mortgage and our ever-increasing reliance on credit has come to mean that most of us never own our homes outright.

Housing Reclaimed is a call to arms for nonconventional home builders. It examines how technological advances, design evolution and resourceful, out-of-the-box thinking about materials and efficiency can help us meet the challenge of building affordable, environmentally friendly, beautiful and unique homes. Focusing on the use of salvaged and reclaimed materials, this inspirational volume is packed with case studies of innovative projects including:

  • Phoenix Commotion — working together toward low-income home ownership through sweat equity and 100% recycled materials
  • HabeRae — revitalizing neighborhoods by creating urban infill using modern technology and sustainable and reclaimed materials
  • Builders of Hope — rescuing and rehabilitating whole houses slated for demolition
These projects and others like them demonstrate that building one's own home does not have to be an unattainable dream. This beautifully illustrated guide is a must read for anyone interested in creating quality zero- or low-debt housing, reducing landfill waste and creating stronger communities.

About the author
Jessica Kellner is editor-in-chief of Mother Earth Living magazine (www.motherearthliving.com) and a passionate advocate of using architectural salvage to create aesthetically beautiful, low-cost housing.

Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, MOTHER EARTH NEWS is recommending books and products to readers. For more than 40 years, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has been North America's "Original Guide to Living Wisely," creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.

15.

SMALL GREEN ROOFS


Paperback

Price: $24.95

Until now, the green roof movement has been limited to large-scale, professional endeavors and public buildings. But homeowners everywhere are catching onto the benefits of a green roof — water conser…

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Until now, the green roof movement has been limited to large-scale, professional endeavors and public buildings. But homeowners everywhere are catching onto the benefits of a green roof — water conservation, energy savings, and storm water management. In Small Green Roofs authors Nigel Dunnett, Dusty Gedge, John Little, and Edmund Snodgrass profile ordinary homeowners who scaled green roofs down to the domestic level.

Small Green Roofs is the first book to focus on small-scale and domestic green roofs. More than 40 profiles of small and domestic-scale projects of all shapes and sizes include green roofs on sheds, garden offices, studios, garages, houses, bicycle sheds, and other small structures, as well as several community projects. For each project, details are given for design, construction, and installation, as well as how-to tips on how the roof was planted and cared for.

For readers looking for inspiration when hiring a contractor or taking the adventurous step of building their own, Small Green Roofs provides the knowledge and encouragement to make it possible.

16.

HOME SWEET ZERO ENERGY HOME

Barry Rehfeld
Paperback

Price: $17.95

Zero energy homes produce at least as much energy as they consume through a combination of energy efficiencies, passive design and renewable energy production. California has adopted zero net energy a…

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Zero energy homes produce at least as much energy as they consume through a combination of energy efficiencies, passive design and renewable energy production. California has adopted zero net energy as the new residential standard for 2020; many other governments are considering similar policies. Developing zero energy homes is the first step toward making all buildings zero energy — a critical step in mitigating climate change as buildings account for 40% of material and energy use worldwide.

Home Sweet Zero Energy Home is the first practical guidebook that clearly shows how zero energy homes can be good, livable, affordable homes. The author identifies all the pieces of the zero energy puzzle and how they fall into place, and explains how homeowners and buyers can also take smaller steps toward sharply reducing the energy use of existing buildings. Focusing on real costs and savings, this book takes an in-depth look at:

  • Site selection and passive design
  • Insulation, windows, doors and building materials
  • Heating and cooling
  • Appliances and electronics
  • Financial resources and incentives
Whether you are a prospective buyer, owner or developer, Home Sweet Zero Energy Home is your complete guide to creating a more comfortable, efficient, environmentally friendly home without breaking your back or your bank account.

17.

HOW TO BUILD AN UNDERGROUND HOUSE

Malcolm Wells
Paperback

Price: $18.00

Malcolm Wells' fourth book about underground architecture will show you that building a house underground is not only possible but also a very good idea for those who want a friendly-with-the-earth li…

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Malcolm Wells' fourth book about underground architecture will show you that building a house underground is not only possible but also a very good idea for those who want a friendly-with-the-earth life.

This book covers everything you need to know about underground building, from concept basics to house plans you can use for your own underground home.

An architect by trade, Wells lived in The Underground Art Gallery, in Brewster, Mass., and wrote several books about this subject, which he began promoting in 1964. A pioneer of underground building and natural design, he penned such best-selling books as Gentle Architecture and The Earth-Sheltered House. How to Build an Underground House is scanned from his own handwritten and illustrated pages and is self-published.

18.

THE HOW TO GUIDE TO BUILDING WITH STRAW BALES: POST & BEAM

Andrew Morrison
DVD

Price: $39.99

The How-to Guide to Building With Straw Bales (Post and Beam Infill) DVD covers post and beam construction using a structural support system in the home (typically wood), with straw bales as infill in…

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The How-to Guide to Building With Straw Bales (Post and Beam Infill) DVD covers post and beam construction using a structural support system in the home (typically wood), with straw bales as infill insulation (nonstructural bales). In nearly three hours of instruction, this best-selling DVD walks you through the entire baling process of a post and beam home, step-by-step. You'll learn how to:

  • install toe-ups
  • properly set up your baling layout and bale walls (including inside and outside corners)
  • create niches, truth windows and window seats
  • work with tall walls, as well as rounded and straight edges
  • weedwhack your walls
  • apply welded wire mesh
  • work with electrical and plumbing systems in your walls
  • get your walls completely ready for the plastering process
  • and more!

19.

THE HOW TO GUIDE TO BUILDING WITH STRAW BALES: LOAD BEARING

Andrew Morrison
DVD

Price: $39.99

In the How-To Guide to Building With Straw Bales (Load Bearing) DVD, you'll discover how this form of construction uses the bales themselves as the structural element of the home. The roof sits direct…

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In the How-To Guide to Building With Straw Bales (Load Bearing) DVD, you'll discover how this form of construction uses the bales themselves as the structural element of the home. The roof sits directly on the bale walls and the straw itself is load-bearing. Nearly two hours of instruction takes you through the entire process of building a load-bearing straw bale home in a day-by-day teaching format.

The DVD shows in detail everything from creating a pad and pier raised floor foundation to installing toe-ups, baling the walls square and plumb, using the best strapping to pre-compress your walls, installing the rafters, attaching the roof sheathing, installing windows and doors, dealing with cabinetry installations, and much more.

20.

THE HOW TO GUIDE TO FRAMING A STRAW BALE STRUCTURE

Andrew Morrison
DVD

Price: $39.99

This double DVD set with nearly 3 hours of step-by-step footage will walk you through the entire framing process from start to finish. Whether you have never framed before or if you know how to frame…

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This double DVD set with nearly 3 hours of step-by-step footage will walk you through the entire framing process from start to finish. Whether you have never framed before or if you know how to frame but aren't clear on what the differences are between standard construction and straw bale wall framing, this video will provide you valuable information.

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